I took these pictures on September 9th, right around my three month mark of being on Accutane. As you can see, my skin hasn’t improved much. I still have new breakouts and the redness is pretty bad.
However, in the beginning of July, my skin (pictured below) was the worst I had ever seen it in my life.
(Peep my chapped lips)
This was about a month and a half into the process and to say I had a flare up is an understatement. I’m not exactly sure why I’m smiling. I think I was squinting from the sun and couldn’t really see my phone??? I wanted to get pictures in the sunlight because obviously it is the best light source to show the reality of my skin.
Although today my skin is still pretty bad, it has definitely improved. During my last appointment, my doctor upped my dosage again despite thinking I would stay at the previous dosage for the remainder of my treatment. Since I still have fresh breakouts, she decided to go stronger. Part of me was, and still kind of is, doubting the capability of the medication, so I was happy she acknowledged the slow improvement.
Since I began the medication, I have definitely felt a little off. My mood hasn’t been the most positive and I feel myself getting angry very easily. It seems like my tolerance and patience for any little thing no longer exists. These could be a result of job stress, my long commute, and my living situation so it wouldn’t be fair to put the blame completely on the medicine.
My lips became chapped basically on day one. None of the usual lip balms worked at all. Not Burt’s Bees, not Blistex, not Chapstick, not Vaseline, not Aquaphor, not Avon, nothing. Not even lanolin, used mostly by breastfeeding mothers for chapped nipples, could hydrate my lips. Thankfully, a fellow Accutane-r recommended Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm to me. It works wonders! I can only find it on Amazon so I have been buying three sticks every six weeks. I keep one at my bedside, one on my desk at work, and one in my purse. It has been my lifeline and life is super unpleasant if I don’t have it on me.
Aside from my lips, other noticeable dryness is above my eyelids which is pretty random to me. However, I was warned not to wax my eyebrows so that makes more sense now. My chin has been really dry, which is reassuring since it is my most problematic area. I have noticed that my face has been really itchy, especially my forehead. I would assume this is because of dry skin but having the constant urge to scratch my face is pretty weird. I also have really dry patches right below my elbows but no other dryness anywhere else on my body.
Although I have my doubtful moments, those I know who have completed the treatment reassure me that it will work. It better freaking work! The amount of money I have put into this is unbelievable so it would be devastating not only for my face but also for my bank account if I don’t have clear skin in the end.
I am in my fourth month and I am hoping that my entire treatment is done by the end of the year. I am trying to stay positive about the effectiveness so it helps that I do see minor results.
It was silly of me to expect that I would have clear skin by now. I understand that it is a process and that I need to be patient. In Jersey and Philly, we had been saying “trust the process” about the Eagles for as long as I have been alive. We finally were able to justify the process on February 4th, 2018 when they became Superbowl Champions for the first time in history. So I’m going to take some inspiration from my favorite team and trust my own process. Hopefully I get my well-deserved win just like the birds did.