Accutane Month Five – December

[MONTH FIVE]

Dose – 20mg everyday but 40mg on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

My dermatologist said that in order to have flawless skin (I’m actually ok with how it is now, but he’s determined) I should go until the end of January (6 months). The difference between 5 and 6 months isn’t that substantial to me so I’m following through with the ‘full’ regimen. Thankfully skin has fully recovered from the horrendous month three and I can finally continue to see my progress (which seems to have plateaued).

[SYMPTOMS]

Dryness – Around mouth as usual, along with small patches on eyelids, chin and jaw. The backs of hands and nose are suffering from extreme dryness (no flaking).
Joint Pain – Less in hip joints (stopped working out because of scheduling).
Depression – None
Nausea/Vomiting – Some headaches and nausea mostly at night
Allergies – None
Breakout – Very minimal. Now it’s extremely small bumps that don’t come to a head, only on my forehead.

The newest thing I’m dealing with is the backs of my hands being extremely dry. It’s so bad that you can even see the hair follicles dying and darkening. At first I didn’t even notice it and would apply hand sanitizer throughout the day. But by about the second day of sanitizer + dry skin I began to get chemical burns on the back of my hands. They’ve mostly recovered, with the help of a heavy duty dry skin cream (Eucerin – see monthly products) over the course of 2-3 weeks.

There’s also been some intense nasal dryness. And I haven’t really figured out how to prevent the bloody noses, besides getting a humidifier.

Here’s what my skin is looking like at the moment.

[cheek]

SIDE PROFILE

So as you can see I’m suffering from discolouration on my cheek. It hasn’t even been extensively dry/flaky there so I’m not sure how long it will take to return to normal. I’m wondering if a chemical peel might be something my dermatologist will consider recommending after I finish my Accutane regime. There are some issues surrounded people of colour and peels though, so that’s something to be wary of.

[forehead]

forehead discolouration accutane month 5

This is where I’m experiencing the pinpoint sized bumps. I don’t know if you can really see them in this picture. Besides that I haven’t had any pimples or cystic acne appear on my forehead in the last 2 months.

[lips]

With Nivea Honey & Milk balm on top.
With Nivea Honey & Milk balm on top.

My biggest struggle by far has been dealing with chapped lips and peeling skin around and directly below the lip line. What I’ve learned is, no matter what, DO NOT rotate your lip balms. Once you have a product that works for you buy 2-3 of the same thing for your purse/work/locker/whatever and don’t stray from it. I wish I could say that I use a lip scrub daily or once a week and don’t pick at my lips. But it’s literally impossible on Accutane, anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. The Nivea balm I use is the best at reducing the appearance of all the lovely little lip flakes.

Alyssa’s anecdote time: My mini vaseline was running low at work so I took a Rosebud Salve with me one day. I didn’t notice at first, but it made my lips and surrounding area extremely red. I think it actually started to burn the skin because the next day it was peeling and trying to heal with clear liquid. I was able to heal it overnight with my saviour prescription of Lamasil and Hydrocortisone.

[MONTHLY PRODUCTS]: 

Eucerin Skin Calming Daily Moisturizing Creme. I really only bought this because I was already at Shopper’s Drug Mart and they didn’t have the Avène TriXèra cream that I love (discontinued or renamed?). I dislike how thick it is and the scent does nothing for me. It does a better job at keeping my skin hydrated than many other creams but it feels very heavy on the skin. I hate to think about applying makeup on top of this so I usually only apply it at night.

Emu Oil I haven’t needed this one as much because I no longer have any major dry spots that I’m trying to buff away. However, I do use this at night before applying the Eucerin in order to keep my skin extra hydrated overnight.

Humidifier, now I don’t actually have one of these because I haven’t had the opportunity to go out any buy one. But I have to say, if you’re planning on taking Accutane during the winter months and you live in a cold environment you definitely need this. My nose has been so dry at night and I’ve been suffering from nosebleeds, which I haven’t gotten since I was in elementary school. I would greatly benefit by buying one.

Nivea Natural Honey & Milk Lip Balm is the best lip product I think I’ve used whilst on Accutane. It comes in a stick form and doesn’t have nearly as much ‘slip’ as the fresh products. It has very little fragrance which is best for chapped lips.

Bioderma Atoderm Cream sample was given to me by my dermatologist. It is a lightweight cream, completely in contrast to Eucerin. I used it morning and night for about a week and was completely in love with it. The only reason I haven’t repurchased a larger size is because I’m working through some other moisturizer samples. This would definitely be in my top three accutane products though.

Fresh Seaberry Oil I got this as a sample from Sephora on December 27th and I’ve been using it twice daily since then (12 days). It is by far my favourite product to keep my skin hydrated. When I wake up in the morning my skin feels even less tight than when I use the Bioderma cream. I’ve become one of those annoying people who mixes oils. When Emu Oil is combined with the Seaberry it becomes much easier to spread over the face. Plus the scent (musky yet now overpowering) is very soothing.

Note: I know the perscription for Lamasil/Hydrocortisone is meant for allergies and angular cheilitis but I’d inquire with your derm about what the benefits might be to chapped lips. Because applying this nightly to mine has stopped my chappedness in their tracks.

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