I know it’s been a while since I’ve updated you all on my Accutane journey, but I felt as though my results had remained stagnant so I felt that it would be a bit boring to hear me saying the same things over and over again every few weeks or so. However I feel it’s been long enough that I could update you all again about my experience with Accutane. If you’re interested in how my first few weeks on the drug went, or just about the drug in general I’ve made some previous posts which you can view here, here and here.
If you’ve been with me on my journey then you know that my Dermatologist has been easing me into my full prescription, meaning he started me on a rather low dose of 20mg twice daily, and then the following month he upped my dose to 30 mg twice a day, and now for the past two months I’ve been at 40mg twice a day.
As for my symptoms, I’ve found that they’ve stayed pretty much the same once my body adjusted to the drug, after about a month and a half. I still have rather dry skin, though it’s not uncomfortable. As long as a follow a daily skincare routine I don’t get any flaky or itchy dry patches. I have however experienced much more dryness in my nose, so it’s become very important that I use Vaseline every night, otherwise I wake up with a slightly bloody nose. I’ve also noticed my hair is much drier and I can go longer without washing it than normal, and have it still look as if I just washed it. Which is awesome when I heat style it because the style lasts longer.
Another, more recent, symptom I’ve noticed is that when I wash or brush my hair I’m noticing more hair in the brush and in the drain. Before I went on Accutane I was reading other people’s experiences with the drug and some people did notice considerable hair loss. And while I don’t notice a loss of thickness when I brush my hair or when I put it up in a pony tail, I just notice it in my brush.
I know many other people who take Accutane can also experience mild to very severe muscle and joint pain, thankfully I haven’t experienced any extra soreness other than what is cause when I work out (not as often as I should!). I’m also not excessively thirsty, though I’m not sure if that’s just because I’ve become accustomed to my thirst and it’s just become normal or the drug is no longer effecting my thirst.
And of course it wouldn’t be a proper Accutane post if I didn’t mention the dry lips. Thankfully for me I only need a thicker lip balm, chapstick and those kinds of lip balms are too thin for my lips, but I haven’t needed prescription level moisture or any super crazy medicated balms. I’ve found that something like Carmex or the Smiths lip balms (I really love the strawberry one!) works perfectly fine for my lips. As long as I keep something like that handy I find my lips do not get chapped or dry. However if I forget some kind of lip balm my lips become chapped within the hour.
But probably the most notable side effect of being on Accutane is perfectly clear skin. I cannot remember a time since middle school that I’ve had clear skin. So roughly 8 years of struggling with acne. Meaning no budding spots, no healing spots and no active ones ether. When I touch my skin it’s not oily or bumpy and when I make facial expressions I can’t feel the remnants of a pimple. The only imperfections on my skin now are the healing acne marks, which thankfully, are flat and easily covered with makeup. Each time I look at my skin in the morning I’m still surprised at how clear it is, because somehow over almost a decade of nothing every really working for a long time I had mentally just assumed I would always have acne, would never have perfect skin. Now that isn’t to say I have perfect skin now, far from it. But my skin is the best its been in I can’t even remember how long. Each time I bring this up to my mom she always wonders why we didn’t do this treatment before hand. But if you’ve read my other Accutane posts you’ll know it’s become quite difficult to get on this medication for some people, and most doctors won’t prescribe it unless you’ve tried just about every other option available.
So in short I love my skin right now, and the very minimal side effects are beyond worth it to finally be able to go out in public without a scrap of makeup on and not be constantly worried and self conscious of what others are thinking of my skin. I felt so insecure with my skin that I felt I couldn’t go out in public, unless it was to a friends house (though even then I was tempted to through on some foundation and mascara), without a full face of makeup on. I’m still not as confidant without makeup as I am with it, but it’s a far cry from how self conscious I used to be about my skin.
Whew that was much more long winded than I intended this post to be! So if you made it this far, congratulations! Thank you everyone who has read all these posts, and I hope that to someone they’ve been helpful in some small way. Until next time . . .