My Accutane Journey: Month 1

Month 1 of Accutane: DONE. Here’s my monthly mugshot!

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So because this medication doesn’t work like instamagic, you might not notice much of a difference in my Month 1 photo. You may in fact notice that my face is redder than usual and that I’m experiencing a breakout. This is supposedly normal when you’re starting Accutane as you’re switching up your cleaning routine and as the medication is starting to dry out your face and take effect.

As for the side effects that come with Accutane, they haven’t been bad AT ALL. The “worst” thing has been that my lips are super chapped. Aquaphor has really helped with this. I have been applying Cerave cream to my entire body most mornings, but right now it seems that I don’t have to do it EVERY DAY to avoid dryness and itchiness. I’m sure that, once winter arrives, I’ll have to make it a daily thing. I’ve also noticed a little dandruff in my hair, but it isn’t terrible. My doc recommends using Head and Shoulders every other day to help with this. My face also becomes irritated when I wash it. This is perfectly normal and I’ve switched to using Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.

Yet another side effect is that I am somewhat constipated. Not because nothing is there, but because Accutane dries you out pretty much everywhere, it affects the lubrication factor. I mentioned this to my doc and she honestly seemed impressed that I told her this with a completely straight face and without a hint of embarrassment. Sorry if this is TMI, but I am not embarrassed by medical information like this. Stool softener has helped with this unexpected side effect.

Thankfully, I have not been experiencing more depression or suicidal thoughts, which can be also side effects of Accutane. Thank God. I don’t need any more of that.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that my face doesn’t get oily midday. I always have some shine going on only a few hours after I’ve put on makeup. I am so self-conscious of this and have asked my husband to photoshop the resulting glare out in pictures of me. It makes me feel gross. And because I tend to produce more oil naturally, I find it necessary to shower every day. And if I shower the night before, I usually feel gross as soon as the next morning. So again, Accutane seems to be helping with this, because it essentially shrinks your oil glands. I’ve also been sweating less!

The best part about Accutane? It (in generic form) is SO CHEAP. One of my main concerns when I started this journey was, “OMG this is a SERIOUS drug, it’s going to be SO EXPENSIVE.” And I only eventually agreed to try it because I was out of options and figured I’d be spending MORE on skin care and cosmetics over my lifetime than during this six month “investment.”

And how much is my monthly prescription?

20. Fucking. Dollars.

This is about a third to a fifth of what I spend each month on cosmetics alone, never mind skin care.

So only about 5 more months to go. Yayyyy!!!! I’m looking forward to having clearer skin and not spending so much on cosmetics and skin care products.

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