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My Accutane Diary

Antibiotics and gels before Accutane

Before using Accutane, I took other drugs for more than a year. Actually, I didn’t know that Accutane exist in the very beginning. The first time a dermatologist gave me an antibiotic called doxycycline because I was obviously too young for so powerful medicine like Accutane. The medical description of my condition was acne vulgaris. The red, inflamed and subcutaneous acne all over my face, shoulders and back. He mentioned that he wrote a small note- “Accutane” on a prescription to remind him next time, in case I experience a failure with prescribed drug.
I orally took doxycycline for 5 weeks and meanwhile clindamycin gel during the day while Differine gel was for the night. I had a doctor’s exam after the intake of antibiotic was finished. My dermatologist said that acne was improved but he isn’t enough satisfied with the results. He offered Accutane as solution but I had to refuse and come again few days later since I was underage to take the drug without parental consent. Since my mother is a pharmacist, she told me it is a way to strong drug and not recommended for my age.
For next the 4 months my therapy was clindamycin and Differine gel. Some pimples were cleared up. The doctor has graded my skin condition as “improved” on the medical examination so the treatment with the mentioned medicine continued for another 3 months. I think it was primary caused by the summer: sun, sea and light foods have strong impact on acne. As the summer went by, the pimples started to spread. I’ve scheduled a dermatologist’s appointment and he prescribed doxycycline for 2 weeks and benzoyl peroxide in the form of Klinoxid 5% or Akneroxid gel during the day and Differin for night time. After two weeks he replaced benzoyl peroxide with Eucerin cream. Such acne therapy lasted for 3 months. It really tired me out because no greater effects were noted so I wanted Accutane just to stop visiting the doctor every month or two. Next time I got doxycycline pills again for 3 weeks and had to switch Differine for day with benzoyl peroxide during the night.
None a single combination of drugs had much impact on my acne. I took at least 5 combinations of acne cure and there was not much help. About 14 months passed since acne treatment started and it was definitely time for Accutane. All that time I wanted to see the magical cleansing, which was referred as Accutane results on many websites and acne forums.

Accutane treatment

First of all, I had to make complete blood picture to see the general picture of my health. Later in the repeated tests, the doctor tracks only factors essential for liver health. Blood test should include: cholesterol, triglycerides, bilirubin (hematodin), AST, ALT, LDH, GGT- all the important indicators of liver-health. Substance isotretinoin, the active ingredient of Accutane may damage the liver since vitamin A from which it is derived, accumulates in the liver. The blood test was all OK, in the normal limits for my age and sex. I was allowed to take Accutane and get receipt after all these controls.
The doctor prescribed daily dose of 40 mg in total, two doses containing two pills with 10mg. In the morning, just before the breakfast I drank 2x10mg Accutane with a glass of water. In the evening, before the meal, intake was the same. I created a routine rapidly: morning- evening, breakfast- dinner… Skipping a dose of Accutane prescribed within a time frame of every 12 hours results in a dose less, which was totally not good for me. Just wanted to get rid of acne as soon as possible!(laugh) :)

First month on Accutane

In the initial week side effects of Accutane have shown. Strong back pains occurred 3 days after the Accutane intake begun. My legs and arms felt the same way and I become tired all the time without a reason. When looking in one direction, Accutane, like any other drug, is actually a poison- it’s all a matter of dosage. And you should treat it like that. I used a lot of moisturizing creams, lip balm several times a day because of chapped lips and a special prescribed shampoo. Any other damaged my skin much more. For the first few weeks your body must get used to Accutane results and this period was the worst for me. I felt very exhausted as the side effects progressed. Other reason was too many expectations. Acne won’t go away overnight as many young Accutane patients think. Do not expect anything for 3 months, and if you are smart enough and want to protect yourself from being disappointed, wait for 6 months to make judgments. Sorry, but it’s just the way it goes. The face was usually inflamed, especially if I was under a hot shower, even for a minute. Try to avoid long baths during the Accutane treatment and don’t wash your face for longer than a couple of seconds or by a direct stream of water. My dermatologist prescribed a special soap to use on the face for blemish-prone skin. The skin easily starts to peel as its very dry. The only advantage is that it will be less moisturized so the minor pimples will be gone. Expect dizziness, nausea and tiredness that will result in bad mood, and some people say- depression. I think depression is caused by mentioned things, seriously inflamed acne and too many happy thoughts about “miracle drug” Accutane. Remember, six months is borderline for skin cleansing!

Skin progress on Accutane

You will get used to therapy so the following months are “waiting to the end”. Having blood tests every 4 weeks, inflamed and peeled off skin, avoiding the direct sunlight, acne breakouts, improvement, breakouts again… Accutane has dried my skin, the shoulder and back acne has gone but left spots. The colored spots disappeared when I exposed my skin to the sun after the course. My face was pretty red, it might be embarrassing to talk with people when you know everyone is staring at your face. But keep your head up! Don’t give up- Accutane has helped many patients to get rid of pimples. Slow progress might be seen after 3 months, but just in few cases it is visible before. My advice is: place yourself in the category of those who will see actual progress later and you won’t be disappointed while waiting. More accurately, the real Accutane results appear as the acne treatment is finished. Pimples vanished away, the redness starts to fade away, no need to remind yourself to drink the pills a couple of times per day, chronic fatigue is gone… You will start to feel like a new person!

Before and after Accutane

My Accutane therapy lasted for more than 4 months in total and acne has cured completely. For some period I literary didn’t have a single acne on my body. Now some of them are back, but it depends on what I eat or drink. All in all, it’s not even 3% of what was 3 years ago before using Accutane. I drank alcohol 2 times I think while on medication, but that’s definitely not recommended. Some small nodules have still left, but I don’t care. I’m glad if this Diary has encouraged you to suffer a little while for your own good!