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Accutane Experience


I have struggled with acne since I was 13 years old. Over the years it has started on my chest and back aswell. (I am now 24) About 5 years ago I got put on Minocycline which worked wonders until my doctor suggested around 2 years later that I take a break from it as it is a very intense drug. Then within a year of being off the medication the acne slowly started coming back. I started getting cystic acne on my face which is VERY painful and frustrating. At this time I had been visiting steam rooms at the pools around home and over a good 5 month period noticed my back and chest getting tiny bumps all over. I just figured it was a reaction to something and continued on with life. The bumps kept getting more big and more red and seemed to cluster the most on my upper back near my shoulders. My chest had them everywhere. I took it as my acne coming back swinging so I went to my doctor and asked that she put me back on Minocycline. After 2 months the bumps only got worse so we tried another hefty acne medication. (Sorry forgot the name) This had the same effect on my skin. My doctor said it could be a yeast infection of the skin a.k.a "Folliculitis." Having been hanging out in steam rooms... hot, moist areas where bacteria grows best we figured this is where I picked it up. I tried half a dozen percribed creams for yeast infections, even monistat on my back and chest which definetly brought the redness down but that's it. I tried dandruff shampoos on my skin such as "Nizoral" and "Selsun Blue" to try and kill the yeast but had no luck. Finally after a year my doctor gave up and sent me to s dermatologist specialist. He was sure it was just bad acne but he sent in culture from my back to make sure. The results showed acne and folliculitis. So we had our verdict and my last and final option... ACCUTANE!

I read many stories about experiences using accutane and decided to keep record of my own experience to help others who are thinking of using this medication or are currently on it. As I continue to use it I will add to my blog.

Month 1-----

About a week in I got a real bad nose bleed that lasted a good 10 minutes. My face started peeling like crazy, especially my chin and nose. I constantly have to load lotion onto my face. Coverup is not an option unfortunately as much as I want to coverup acne on my face it's impossible. The second you put makeup on, skin dries out and starts to peel. Corner of lips are cracked right open. You know the feeling after eating a freezie when you slice the corners of your mouth open? well, that's what I was experiencing only it didn't go away, every day I have to constantly put a huge glob of vaseline on the corners of my mouth to feel relief. Yes, I looked like a fool but I didn't care. It was better then feeling the pain. Talking and eating hurt so I would have to have vaseline handy at all times. At night I put "Prevex" ( a lotion for extremely dry skin) on my lips and in the corners of my mouth. I did this at night because the lotion is white and it would stay on till morning. I'm shedding hair like a cat! It's everywhere!!! I really hope I don't go bald! I Have never been so tired in my life! I have ZERO energy. My body aches, mostly my back it feels like I've done the workout of a lifetime. Joints hurt so bad especially my legs. Usually I workout every single day but I couldn't. It's impossible at this point. I feel like I got hit by a truck...
On the bright side though, within the first 2 weeks of using accutane my chest and back cleared up! So all the side affects are worth it... right?

Month 2-----

Still very tired with little to no energy. Face is more dry then ever and peeling intensely. Lips still dry and cracked open on sides. My eyes have become extremely dry which is painful and uncomfortable. Started using "Refresh tears" which is exremely helpful. My back pain has become unbearable! It burns like crazy in my middle and lower back both when I sit and stand, sitting being the worse of the two. Laying on my back was the only way to ease the burning. I started seeing a chiropractor. I was told my back was severely inflamed. I have regular visits now to help tame the pain. I also ice it regularly which helps. I Had one nose bleed. Right nostril is also getting very dry, vaseline helps. Started having chest pains on right side. Whenever I'd move my upper body or take a deep breath. Felt like "Chostocondritis" (inflamation of the chest wall) I seem to have chronic chostocondritis. As Ive had it many times in the past. Seems to come and go, sometimes it gets worse and not better and I have to go on strong anti-inflamatories to get rid of it for awhile. I went to a walk-in and got tested and X-rays to make sure the accutane wasn't doing damage. Results proved healthy and was put on "Naproxen" taken 3x a day. After 6 days on the meds the chest pains were gone. My face is looking better no more cystic acne popping up. My chin is breaking out pretty bad though. Chest and back still clear.

Month 3-----

Had one nose bleed again. Right nostril still very dry, putting vaseline in often. Hair isn't falling out in large masses anymore. Face isn't as dry or peeling as bad. Noticed that little scratches and scrapes on skin take FOREVER to heal! Skin is definetly thinning at this point. I burn in the sun VERY easily! Still quite tired and donot have my energy back but my back no longer burns and my body and joints no longer ache. Corner of my lips finally healed, no more open cracks and no more gobs of vaseline on my mouth, wahoo!! Face looks great, I get a pimple here and there. Back and chest still clear! Things are looking up.

Month 4-----

I put lotion on once in the morning and once before bed and I see no more dryness and no more peeling. Right nostril still very dry, because of this bleeds often. Vaseline is still being used for relief. Been having chest pains on the right side on and off again. Hasn't gotten to the point of "uncomfortable enough to see a doc" it just comes and goes. Annoying if anything. Still not sure if it's a side affect of accutane or if it is just "chostocondritis." I guess I'll know if it continues after I'm off theaccutane. My face is clear!!! Havent had any breakouts lately. Eyes aren't dry anymore. Tiredness still holds strong though, energy isn't back to normal yet but seems to be coming back slowly. I can use normal lip chap on my lips now as I normally would if I weren't on accutane. No more vaseline on these lips!

Month 5 & 6 -----

Lipchap is needed all the time. SO tired with zero energy! My forehead and outside corners of mouth have become dry and peeling. Walls of nostrils (especially the right one) dry out and bleed all the time!! Very annoying, sometimes painful if the blood dries up and skin gets peeled off. Still get a minor pimple here or there but am very very happy with my skin. Joints hurt more then ever. Going from a sitting position to standing feels like Im 50 years older then I am all joints are stiff. Body aches. Eyes are really dry and hurt alot by bedtime and also first thing in the morning. Drops are heaven! Top eyelids are also very swollen in the morning. Can't wait until this is over....

Month 7 -----

Stay tuned....

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