Just a quick entry to update you all on the state of my skin one week into taking 20mg of isotretinoin per day.
As is the case with many isotretinoin takers, my skin is going through the adaptation-to-foreign-chemical-substance-in-body motions. In less diplomatic language, my skin’s in full “getting worse before it gets better” mode. This is extremely common and can last from a week or two to a month or two in duration, depending on the individual.
The first time I took isotretinoin in 2008, my skin went south for about two weeks before rapidly getting better. dom, on the other hand, has not seemed to have that dip in performance – check out her Adult Acne Diaries series for more information.
My skin feels a little more raw despite using my ultra-gentle Avene cleanser, the area around my eyes feels slightly more delicate, and some cystic acne and comedones that were just forming beneath the skin’s surface are emerging with great gusto. My back appears to be calming down a tiny bit (small victories!), but my chest is a minefield of tiny, irritating comedones that seemingly appeared overnight.
Side effects wise, my eyes and lips are starting to get a bit dry, but it’s nothing that eyedrops and lip balm can’t handle. Additionally, on the bright and chirpy side, I’ve not experienced any flaking or dryness because my skin is so oily to start with.
In general, I feel fine and I am supplementing my treatment with plenty of hydration and a few runs here and there to help get the heart pumping and get back to an acceptable state of physical fitness.
This is indubitably the least fun part of the process, but necessary evils must be persevered through. Ain’t no mountain high enough, right? Also, I’m pretty certain that my skin will show improvement over the coming weeks, and will keep you all posted. Thanks for reading 🙂
Edit: And in the spirit of sharing (and inspired by dom, who bravely put up photos of herself) – here are two shots of the right side of my face. Taken fresh after post-run shower, no makeup, no retouching. Warning, cystic acne up close is not a pretty sight.
As you can see, the inflammation is not terribly flattering and there’s an appearance of textural roughness from all the scars (both superficial and underneath the skin) that are still healing. Again, this is the not-fun part of the isotretinoin journey – but let’s hope that the photos I’ll put up as the weeks go by will demonstrate marked improvement!