Accutane as an Adult: The Results

My journey to clearer skin with the use of Accutane has finally come to an end. My doctor placed me on the medication for seven months, and I am now in “acne remission.” I began the first month with a daily dosage of 60 mg, and I spent the rest of the cycle on 80 mg. I’ve never liked taking medication, and I also have a problem with missing doses, but I’m proud of my consistency with the medication. I only missed a few doses throughout the entire seven months.

The first few days were rough for me because I had to adjust to the large size of the pill. I gagged each time, but was eventually able to swallow without any problems. The first two months were the worst for me simply because of the changes occurring. Dryness became a new problem, and I struggled with determining which skincare products worked best for me.

Throughout the entire seven months, there were no suicidal thoughts or hair loss, and I didn’t experience additional sensitivity when I would get my hair relaxed. Still, here are some of the side effects that I experienced:

Sun Sensitivity
I never really had a sun protection plan. My normal life consisted of applying a moisturizer with an SPF of about 25, and that was it. If I stood in direct sunlight a little too long, I’d just get darker without getting burned. Times have changed as I got a sunburn twice on my face, and once on the tops of my feet and hands. I’ve also had heat rashes – something that I haven’t had since my high school all-star band camp days. After a short period in the sun, my skin would become tender and stinging to the touch. Peeling occurred a day or two later, and I got hyperpigmentation around my mouth because of it.

General Sensitivity
I found random scratches on my body because my skin became sensitive to anytime my nails touched it. A few rashes on my hands, arms, and neck appeared out of nowhere, but it wasn’t eczema.

Dryness Everywhere
This was my major issue. My nose, eyes, face (especially around my mouth), lips, scalp, cuticles, and overall body were all dry. One day my eyes were just red. I quickly adjusted to the nose and eye dryness, and didn’t use anything to treat it. I just didn’t notice it after a while. 

My lips got so dry that the skin continuously peeled to the point that I lost my natural lip color and was left with this pink almost raw-looking shade. The lip dryness also sucked because it seemed as though every lip color I owned had a trendy matte finish. The nurse recommended Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm for some relief. and although it does work, I don’t like the mineral oil ingredient that leaves it feeling kind of greasy.

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Accutane as an Adult

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I started seeing a new dermatologist in the middle of this year. My old dermatologist was just that – old. Poor thing had been practicing medicine for 75 years, and I just knew she was going to kick the bucket at any moment, so I had to make the switch to a more “modern” office. We’ve been doing well so far. My new dermatologist and her nurses are very informative. Really, I think she cares more about my skin than I do. After trying various things that hasn’t really worked in my favor, she hit me with a bombshell.

At my last appointment, she walked walk into the exam room, stared me down, folded her arms, and said, “Ooh, I’m not happy with your skin. I think you need to give Accutane a try.” When she suggested it, I immediately refused. Isn’t that supposed to be for suicidal teenagers? I’m a full-grown strong-minded adult; I’m way past the stage of Accutane.

Plus, I hate taking medications. I don’t even like to take aspirin. We discussed it for a while, and I ended up being willing to give it a try, pending any major side effects.

There’s so many loopholes that I have to go through in order to use this prescription that it’s almost ridiculous. Doctors are out here handing out Oxy, Xanax, and codeine cough syrup like it’s candy, but I have to jump through a million loopholes just to get acne medicine. The number one thing that I have to do while I’m on Accutane is not get pregnant. Apparently this medication destroys any possibility of having a normal child. I had to complete this iPledge agreement to agree that I would not get preggers, and that I would use 2 methods of pregnancy prevention. Not only do I have to register with iPledge, so does the doctor and pharmacist that will fill my prescription. Seriously? Is this crack cocaine or what?

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