My Accutane Journey: Month 3

My Accutane Journey, Month 3 Update

it’s official – I’ve hit the halfway point of this Accutane journey! It’s crazy to realize it’s the downhill stretch from here. My dermatologist said that this 3/4 month point is where I should start to see a lot of real breakthrough with my skin.

If you’re new to The Southern Sooner and have not seen my previous posts regarding acne/accutane, check them out here!

coping with chronic acne  |  my decision to start accutane  |  accutane, month one  |  accutane, month two

I know that this is now my fourth post about Accutane, but while doing some side effect research (to make sure the side effects I am experiencing are a possible result of Acctuane, not something else!) I came across a summary that does a great job at explaining how Accutane works and what it is it’s doing to fix the problem – in case anyone is interested (via facingacne.com):

“Every case of common acne begins with an event known as retention hyperkeratosis. For reasons that researchers do not yet understand, the linings of a pore in the skin start to produce cells at an unusually fast rate. They begin to tighten the pore so that sebum cannot drain.

After a few days to a few weeks, these additional cells in the lining of the pore are shed so that younger cells beneath them can come to the surface. They form a clump in the pore that blocks the flow of oil and traps acne bacteria. The immune system attacks the bacteria with inflammation, and makes the pore even tighter so that a whitehead or blackhead forms, or the lining of the pore begins to break down, causing a pimple.

Sometimes there is also hyperkeratosis of the skin surrounding the pore. Skin can grow over the pore, trapping sebum and acne bacteria inside. The immune system continues attacking the bacteria, destroying more and more healthy skin tissue until a cyst or a nodule forms under the skin.

Accutane reverses this process by making hyperkeratosis less “hyper.” It reduces the production of an enzyme called telomerase, which repairs cellular DNA. Without the action of telomerase, cells die more quickly and can be flushed out of pores and off the skin. It also activates a gene that codes proteins to make neutrophil-gelatinase associated lipocalin, an enzyme that breaks down the “glue” that holds clumps of dead skin cells together inside pores and on the skin. Pores begin to open from the inside out, spilling their contents on the skin. The chemical changes induced by Accutane are temporary, but clearing of the skin may be permanent.”

Here’s what month 3 did for me:

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THIS POST IS NOT A PROMOTION FOR ACCUTANE. ACCUTANE IS A SERIOUS DRUG WITH SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS AND IS NOT FOR EVERYONE. I AM ONLY LOGGING MY EXPERIENCE (AFTER YEARS OF OTHER, SAFER TREATMENTS) FOR THOSE THAT ARE TRYING TO DO RESEARCH TO MAKE THEIR OWN PERSONAL DECISIONS REGARDING ACCUTANE. TALK TO YOUR DERMATOLOGIST.

This post includes affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I will earn commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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progress

honestly, in these last couple of months progress has been sure, but slower/steadier. there haven’t been huge jumps between month to month, but between when I first started and now, it’s clearly an improvement! but as I mentioned above, my dermatologist said that this month + next is going to be where I start to see the real breakthrough and clarity. all I have to say is, I’m so ready!

 

side effects

  • dry/sensitive eyes
  • increased redness (after washing face, physical activity, exfoliating, etc)
  • itchiness – neck, jaw, hips, scalp
  • sensitivity to sunlight (not that I’ve been spending too much time out in the sun lately, but I spent 30-45 minutes at the dog park with Arlyn and I definitely burned on my cheeks and forehead. sensitive to touch, the peeling sucked)
  • dry, flaky skin – corner of mouth, hands, elbows, arms

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products

as far as products I have found to alleviate side effects, here’s what I used during month 3:

  • CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – a little goes a loooong way with this tub of moisturizer. It’s a thick, non-greasy texture; I primarily use it on my face, but it was great for my hands when I had my eczema breakout. It’s fragrance-free so it won’t irritate your skin.
  • CeraVe Hydrating Cleaner (not good for removing makeup)
  • Seacret Mineral Rich Refining Toner – I’m a consultant for Seacret and this is one of the (many) products I find myself turning to. Their toner helps me ensure that I’ve cleaned off all the makeup and dirt from my face after cleansing. It’s full of minerals from the Dead Sea, balances pH levels, evens skin tone, and hydrates (thank youuu aloe vera + chamomile!) Plus it’s paraben free.
  • Seacret Direct Mineral Mud Soap (good for eczema)
  • Equate Dry Eye Relief Lubricant Eye Drops
  • Arbonne Perfecting Liquid Foundation SPF 15

I will be including good sunscreens once the warmer weather started to finally come through and I inevitably spend more time out in the sun! For right now, foundations with sunscreen work for me just fine!

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7 thoughts on “My Accutane Journey: Month 3

  1. When I had super bad dryness around my lips, oddly enough what I found worked for me was the Cortisone 10 Ointment (not the cream). I’d slather it on when nobody else was going to see me and it ended up helping!

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    1. hi there! yes, during the first month or so I had some pretty extreme mood swings that were far out of my norm. but I haven’t experienced any worsening of my anxiety or any developing depression/thoughts of suicide. definitely talk to your dermatologist about the possibility but it isn’t normally a first resort – I was on antibiotics and other milder medications for 8 years prior to starting Accutane. hope this helps!

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