If you follow me on Instagram you probably already know what this post is going to be about:
After nine months of being on Accutane, I am finished.
#facetofacefriday: I know this is generally a weight loss related hashtag… But I felt it fit more than #transformationtuesday or something like that. Plus it’s not Tuesday. But… I needed to use a hashtag like that because I’m obnoxious haha. Anyway, at the beginning of this year, one of my goals was to post a ‘before and after’ post on Instagram… Again, more on the weight loss side of things. 2016 had other plans for me and within the first three months my life had been completely upended and I was struggling with, well, everything. In March I went to see a dermatologist and I was prescribed Accutane. This was something I had always refused to do because I had heard all the horror stories and knew some of the terrifying side effects. Even though I’ve dealt with acne for over 12 years I felt it wasn’t worth it… Until this year because I just really needed a win. And nine months later I think I got it. The picture on the left was taken on March 22nd 2016, the day I started Accutane. On the right is yesterday, the day I finished. Even if it’s not quite what I expected, here’s my 2016 #beforeandafter. Thank you so much to everyone who supported me through this journey (from check ins with @al3xithymia to @ericayvonne_ filtering the heck out of our pictures to hide the hot mess that Accutane was turning my face into)… Because as cheesy as it is to use #accutanejourney… It truly was one. Even though I apparently don’t have a problem with posting super unflattering pictures and spilling my guts on YouTube or my blog, doing so on Instagram was quite the internal struggle for me… But here we are! I’ve been posting monthly (ish) updates on ehdreeahnah.com if you want to check out the process and I’ll have the final(!!!!!) one up on the 22nd. Thanks for reading this super long caption… If you’ve gotten to this point, you’re a star! ☺️⭐️
The last month has probably been the most I’ve experienced in terms of side effects. In combination with a really early winter, my skin has started to get dry and flaky. I still have super dry eyelids, which I had last month as well. Otherwise, most of the dryness is on my arms and legs. I needed to repurchase an exfoliator to manage this, in combination with regularly using body butters. My hair has also been extremely dry and my scalp has been really sore. I’m really glad that the majority of my Accutane experience took place over the spring and summer, as this process during the winter would have been pretty miserable.
So on Thursday, December 15th 2016 I took my final dosage of this nine month course of Isotretinoin.
And I was sad.
Sad? What the heck, man?
Maybe the connotation of sad is a bit too strong, but I wasn’t feeling super excited like most people I’ve seen who finish their treatment. Maybe because I didn’t have a brutally horrible experience on the medication or was afraid that everything would come back with a vengeance as soon as I wasn’t taking the pills every morning.
One of the things with Accutane is that there’s no real “typical” experience. The synopsis of everyones story is the same: I took this medication to get rid of my severe acne; but each story, from beginning to end, is different from one another. I talked about this quite a bit in the video I posted last time but as valuable as it is to watch videos and read blog posts on peoples experiences with Accutane, their unique experiences can’t be taken as guidelines to how yours will be. Everyone reacts differently to the medication and although the majority of the time it will “cure” their acne, there are the exceptions where it doesn’t work. There are people who have to do courses of Accutane multiple times, while others have it work perfectly after just a couple months. Some people don’t even have ideal results until AFTER they stop taking the medication.
My results weren’t crazy right off the bat. In fact, it was only in the last month or two where I would have blemish free skin for more than a couple days. When I went for my most recent dermatologist appointment I was hoping to do another month and up my dose just in case, but my doctor said I was done.
At the appointment I was prescribed a topical cream to use as a maintenance method while the Accutane is leaving my system (it’s called Differin, for reference) and she also recommended a night cream to help with the redness and scarring. I think I’m going to wait until the new year to start that kind of stuff, though.
I’ve been off Accutane for a week now. It’s weird not taking it every day, and as I’m “detoxing” I’ve had a couple blemishes pop up. They don’t look or feel like ones I got pre-Accutane or even while I was on the medication but apparently for some people it’s normal to have mini-breakouts while the medication is leaving your system.
I have another dermatologist appointment in March (almost exactly a year from when I had my first one!) to see how everything is going, so fingers crossed I go back into that office with clear skin!
Looking back, I think I had a pretty good Accutane experience. I mean some things were pretty brutal, but I was seeing everything through “if I get clear skin, it’s worth it” goggles. I have noticed that my hair has thinned a bit, although not to the point of bald patches or anything worrisome.
These posts have covered pretty much everything I have to say! If you would like more information, have any questions, or would like me to cover something that I have missed — let me know!!
So after nine months, nine blood tests, ten dermatologist appointments, fifteen boxes of Epuris brand Isotretinoin… this is the end of my 2016 Accutane Journey. Hopefully it’s the end of acne for me, but only time will tell! Thank you for checking in on these posts and I will write an update after my dermatologist follow up in March!
Merry Christmas, everyone!