Starting The Program:
I started the Accutane program six weeks ago to clear up skin issues I have struggled with since the sixth grade. It is not easy to get put on Accutane and requires a series of steps at your dermatologist's office before they will even consider Accutane.
I was prescribed three other topicals and an ingestible antibiotic, all of which caused a reaction in my skin. I felt that they made it worse, rather than better. Since I have had a hysterectomy and am unable to get pregnant, my dermatologist saw no problems with me trying Accutane. (Anyone who can get pregnant has to use two forms of birth control and get monthly pregnancy tests in order to stay on the program. Missing one pill or contraceptive in a month will get you removed.)
When starting Accutane, you are required to get bloodwork done, and monthly thereafter to check liver function and other interactions within the body. You also have to go to the dermatologist's office for monthly check-ups in order to get your prescription for the next month, as they only give you one month at a time. You are required to have a program card to identify you in the pharmacist's computer to be able to pick up your prescription, so no one can pick it up but you.
Bith defects are a major concern as well as a slew of side effects, so research and ask lots of questions before making the decision.
My Experience Thus Far:
I have had very minor side effects in the six weeks I have been taking my pills.
The first month a had a headache one evening and some shoulder aches, but they were controlled with Ibuprofen. (You are allowed Ibuprofen for pain and a multi-vitamin for health benefits.)
The second week a had a small amount of purging in my skin, which was not noticeable to anyone but me.
Week three and four I had a massive amount of blackheads all over and around my nose and chin. I squeazed those suckers out and used a lot of toner (even though I shouldn't have) and they went away. This was also when I noticed that I had no oil in my skin anymore. I have no oilyness in my hair since this time and only have to shampoo once or twice a week now. My skin no longer gets shiny since this time and requires daily moisturizing to counteract the dryness.
I immediately started treating my lips with ointments from day one to help with dryness because I had read and heard that the major problem was dry lips. I would say I had mild dryness in my lips from about week two and it has continually become dryer as time has passed. Now that I am on week six, I have a lot of peeling and major dryness that is harder to manage. This is the only discomfort I have.
Some products that are helping me are Skinn Dermapeel for flakes on my face and Bare Escentuals facial moisturizer. I like Philosophy cleanser. Dr. Denese eye cream and Gold Serum are also helping to keep my face from being dry. I am sticking with my Lea Journo hair products and they are working fabulously. For my lips I am using Rose Bud Salve, Eight Hour Cream and Jack Black lip balms.
At this time my face is mostly clear and smooth. The only visible pores are on my nose. I have had a couple pimples on my jaw line and they take a lot longer to heal than before and I think will leave scars. I will deal with those after my treatment.
I will post again in another month or so.
** I could not get a good before and after picture. On camera my skin always looks smooth, so I will be unable to post comparison pictures.