Posts Tagged 'balm'

After!

After 5 months of treatment, I made it.  Although I’m posting these pictures a couple days before I’m officially off of Accutane, the condition of my skin won’t vary much, and I actually have time to post for once.

Since this is the official, “after” post, I want to recap my experience as a whole.  Before starting treatment, I was somewhat apprehensive, because of all the press the negative side effects of Accutane gets.  But, after starting treatment, and seeing the results, I would definitely do it again, and I believe I made the right decision.  Aside from the compliments I get on the improved condition of my skin, I also saved my skin from major scarring, which would be expensive to fix, if even possible to fix in the first place.

However, I can’t say the journey to this point was easy.  The constant dryness, sensitivity to sunlight, and paper-thin skin were definitely hurdles I had to overcome.  Waking up every day feeling dry and cracked isn’t pleasant, but can be managed.  If there’s one piece of advice I can give, it is to moisturize.  Use Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, or whatever else works with your skin, and keep up with the lip balm. When I’m without Carmex for more than a couple hours, my lips become dry and cracked and red.  Also, treat yourself to a nice pair of sunglasses, it definitely helps the sensitivity to sunlight a lot.

Overall, I think Accutane is a worthwhile medication that should be taken by those who need it.  Talk to a dermatologist, see how bad your skin really is.  For me, antibiotics and topical medications weren’t effective.  But maybe for you, that’s all you need.  If so, then you’re lucky, and you should count your blessings.  But, if you’re like me, and nothing has worked, the dermatologist may suggest Accutane.  If they do, and you have nodular acne, then I wouldn’t hesitate to take it.  Accutane is a wonderful medication, but only for those who’ve tried everything else.

Finally, if you have any questions regarding my personal experience with Accutane, leave a comment or email accutaneadventure@gmail.com.

Without further ado, here are the “after” photos:

Week 10.5 (Day 67)

Well, it’s been awhile.  I’ve been crazy crazy busy with school, cross country, and everything else, so I decided that after about 5 weeks off I should at least take a set of pictures and give an updated status.  Okay, so my joints hurt; a lot.  But, I’m running a lot too, so we’ll see how much my joints hurt once cross country ends at the end of October.  Next, my dosage is still at 60mg, and my bilirubin levels are still elevated, but at the same elevated level, so it’s fine.  Carmex is the best lip balm, it’s worked very very well so far, I can’t get enough of it (literally).  Also, I think my face has cleared up a fair amount.  Given, this is the first set of pictures since week 5/6, so there should be some major clearing, but for comparison, I put week 1’s picture at the top and week 10,5’s picture on the bottom (week 10.5 is the blue shirt).  Also, the full week 10.5 gallery is at the bottom per usual.

DSC_0002Week 10.5

Week 4 Already!?

Well, it’s the beginning of week 4 today.  I think there is some improvement in the quality of my skin based on the pictures.  As for side effects, I have lots of back pain and shoulder pain and that stuff (probably from cross country) and my lips are chapped beyond belief (probably also because of cross country, and the fact that I can’t find Carmex lip balm anywhere, so I’m using this Blistex complete moisture stuff).  But overall, it’s doable, although I think I must have an abnormally high tolerance for pain.  So without further ado, here are the pictures from the end of week 3/beginning of week 4: (As always, click any of the small pictures for a larger version)

Week4F

Day 13: The Pros and Cons of Sun Exposure

Today was a beautiful day outside, nice and sunny, not as hot as it has been, but still really, really nice.  So, I went to Portsmouth, NH with my family, and we went kayaking.  Sounds great, right? Well, it was, but the sun wasn’t so great.  I applied my normal 30SPF sunblock on my body and my Aveeno 70SPF face sunblock as usual, before we went outside.  I also applied lots of lip balm, and brought it with me (the only thing I brought on the boat ;)).  Most of the kayaking was great, but near the end, I felt this burning pain on my face and on my body that wouldn’t go away. It felt like I was getting a sunburn before my eyes, I could feel the heat from the sun.  Also, to make matters worse, I didn’t bring my sunglasses out of fear that my month-old RayBan aviators would find their demise in the ocean.  So, along with my skin crisping up, my eyes were almost shut, and my face was incredibly dry.  When we reached the shore, I ran to the car, put my sunglasses on, sat down, and then changed my clothes.  Upon later inspection, I didn’t really burn badly at all, it just felt like I was burning.  But, like I felt, my face was so so so dry.

Overall, it was a nice day.  Next time, though, I might take a bit shorter of a trip on the water, because my skin is definitely affected by Accutane.

My New Favorites

After my lip balm fiasco yesterday, I went to CVS this morning and picked up two more tubes of Blistex Complete Moisture lip balm. I love this stuff.  I went through a whole tube in a week, but as Napoleon would say, “my lips hurt real bad.”  So, I officially like the Blistex Complete Moisture lip balm the best.  However, I was also looking for a remedy for the cracks and the burning and all that fun stuff.  So I turned to Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment (jeez, I should buy stock in Blistex or something).  This really soothes and heals the lips, but because it doesn’t have a sunscreen, use it when you’re going to bed or if you’re going to be out of the sun.  But I think with these two products, I’ll have fully (or as close to fully as possible) moisturized lips during my Accutane treatment.

Day 9: Lip Balm Emergency

I ran out of lip balm.  Earlier tonight, I went to twist the bottom of the tube of Blistex Complete Moisture Lip Balm and it wouldn’t turn.  I almost died.  My lips became very dry about 15 minutes after I stopped using the lip balm, and I had to take some of my grandmother’s vitamin e cream—god only knows if that’s safe for my lips.  It helped hold me over until I returned home, where my emergency backups (Carmex and Burt’s Bees) were waiting.  I have to say that the Carmex is a bit stingy, I can definitely feel it on my lips.  I’d assume that the Burt’s Bees is the same.  I have to go to CVS tomorrow to buy more Blistex (probably at least two containers).  But this definitely shows me that using lip balm is imperative, so don’t leave home without it!


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