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An Introduction & History

Posted by unicorntears, 20 November 2012 · 578 views

accutane roaccutane tretinoin retin-a duac minocycline history

I started getting mild acne when I was roughly 13 years old. It gradually became more moderate and persistant, but was limited to my 't-zone'.

During this period, I tried all the supermarket acne products (Clearasil, Cetaphil, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, etc.) as well as your less run-of-the-mill brands (Mary Kay, Ultraceuticals, Paula's Choice, etc.) and many of the natural treatments (lemon and honey, aspirin mask, vitamin e, jojoba oil, etc.).

Some of these products moderately improved the condition of my skin, but none of them ever cleared me.


Around the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009, I went to the doctor for an unrelated issue. However, he commented on my acne and asked me what I was doing about it. So we explored some options and he decided to put me on an antibiotic: minocycline.

I was on this for a total of 8 months with a moderate improvement in my skin condition. But I still wasn't completely clear.


Now armed with a referral from my doctor, I visited a dermatologist in early-February 2010 and was prescribed Roaccutane.
I was on 20mg per day for 6 months and was clear by the end of it. If any of you are interested, here's a video I took on the 11th May 2010, 2 days after my 18th birthday and roughly 3.5 months into the course. As a side note, I haven't had any blackheads since this course. Anyway, I stayed clear...


...until March 2011 when I started breaking out again quite severely, this time around the 'hormonal areas' of the face. I visited my old doctor and he wrote me another referral to a dermatologist without a moment's hesitation. Around April 2011, I was put on some topical treatments: Retin-A (tretinoin) and Duac. We'd considered another course of Roaccutane but 1) didn't want to reinvite such a strong medication to my body so soon after my first course, and 2) wanted to see if the topicals would help me.

They did, a little bit.

In around August 2011, I started my second course of Roaccutane.
This time, I started at 20mg per day, and moved up to 60mg per day half way through the course.


I finished my second course of Roaccutane in around February 2012. Once again, I was clear. On my last visit to my dermatologist, he wrote me a prescription for 5 repeats of Retin-A (tretinoin) to use post-course, if necessary. I filed it at the back of a drawer.

I'd get the occasional blemish that faded relatively quickly.


In September and October 2012, I experience minor breakouts on my lower cheeks. I freak out, I know where this is going.
I haul out the masks, the creams, the tea tree oil laced humidifier. I realise I'm probably treating my skin a little too harshly.

In mid-November 2012, I fill my Retin-A prescription. At the time of writing, I've been using it for 5 days.
My skin broke out terribly two days ago along my forehead and temples. I'm hoping this is just the initial breakout and/or purge.

I'll keep y'all updated from this point on, perhaps with pictures if I feel up for it.


P.S. I hope this doesn't serve as discouragement re: Accutane; it's still one of the best decisions I've made and I have no regrets.
Unfortunately, I seem to be one of the minor few that didn't find a permanent cure in it.

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