chicanery

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  1. Hey.. I appreciate the reply and it is true that it is rarely permanent, but this is definitely not a mild TE. It is true that a lot of girls experience mild hair loss and freak out because it looks like a LOT when you have long hair. However, I genuinely have had atrocious hair loss and for a long period of time, which has resulted in me losing 60% (that figure is also not pulled out of nowhere like you see on some posts.. it’s very clear, looking at my scalp, that I’m missing over half of my hair). I didn't document it properly from the beginning as I didn't want to even think about suffering from this Accutane side effect. It was always my one big fear... so ignored it when it started, but I've been losing hair heavily/moderately since May (around then). It's now Feb and I have 40% of what I had before. Sure, some people look like they have a healthy amount of hair with the amount that I have, but I had VERY thick hair and hence do not feel like myself at all. But yeah – I wanted to respond to clarify to any readers that Accutane may cause a mild TE, which won’t be a huge issue, but it can also cause a severe TE like it has done to me. Hopefully I will recover, but all I can say is that this issue has caused me an insane amount of stress this year. I don’t regret Accutane right now, as my skin was so bad and nothing else was working, but I am just gutted that I was one of the few to suffer from this severity of hair loss when I was so, so worried about it in the first place. Mainly, I’m scared for the future.. 2 years down the line when I’m 21. Either my hair will be back and this will be a distant memory, OR I will be a shadow of my former self with severely thin hair.. and it’s looking like it’s 50/50 right now. It’s horrible because you just don’t know with TE. After all, it's just a word used to describe "losing an abnormal amount of hair".
  2. Aah sorry, just saw this!! My skin is definitely oilier than it was a couple months ago... I've been off accutane for 6 months so I'm hoping it won't get much more oily than it is now. IMO the oil = acne, at least for me. My hair is still shedding and is becoming really thin, how is yours doing? Do you think you're definitely in full recovery mode?
  3. Hey, so glad that you are in full recovery!! I do feel like Accutane normally causes a bad TE, not the permanent hair loss that people worry about. (Assuming they're not prone to genetic hair loss). It seems that most people with Accutane TE suffer, some really badly, but then they recover. Having said that, I am still really struggling with mine.. I have pics on my main hair loss post, and you can see that my hair is looking pretty awful. I have truly lost 60% and am still shedding, moderately on some days but heavily on others. I had the most amazing hair.. cant look at old pics, it's too depressing. God, I would do anything to be able to shower and not sit pulling out clumps from my thinned out hair for hours after. Some days I lose 100 and am convinced it will be over in 2 months, other days I seem to lose 300 and am reminded that it is still a huge issue for me. I’d love to know your time frame as I have been off Acc for 5.5 months. I’m now hopeful that I will fully recover and in a few years time hair loss will be a distant memory, but that doesn’t make it any easier especially since I am now feeling that my hair is “thin” after 8+ months of heavy-moderate (recently moderate) loss. I desperately want to be in full recovery by summer. How long have you been off Accutane for? How many months off it did it take you to see normal shedding??
  4. Hopefully it will just improve for you from now on, and going off the BC won't cause another TE!! There is no reason to assume it will - ofc we are so aware of TE-causing medications because of our experience with Accutane, but I know so many people who have dieted, gone on/off several BC pills, etc. and they haven't ever experienced hair loss issues. Yes omg - mine is such a rollercoaster too. The past month, I've felt that it has slowed a *little* (even though I don't want to jinx myself!). I mean, I am still shedding an abnormal amount of hair, but I have to remind mysef that 4 months ago I was just pulling handfuls of hair out throughout the day.. it was really horrendous. I do feel like my shedding will resolve itself in the next 6ish months, and I'm hoping it will, but it's hard to deal with because I am just beginning to feel that my hair is "thin". Now, even pulling out one handful of hair after the shower feels like a joke since I have 40% of what I had before. It definitely HAS improved, though.
  5. No problem :). Yeah, you NEED to be taking accutane with at least 20grams of fat, so google how much fat different foods contain so you ensure that you're absorbing the drug. An example of a good breakfast would be 1 egg and 1 small avocado. Butter is good too.. you could have a fried egg and buttered toast instead of the avocado. Same with oil - olive oil is high in fat. I know it can be annoying getting enough fat, but it's worth it. Good luck
  6. Hey guys! I’ve been off Accutane for 5 months and am very happy with my skin. Even though I do get some acne, I never have more than 3 spots on my face and it always tends towards clearness, which is what is so important to me. Before Accutane, my skin was horribly oily. It was so annoying for me and I detested it more than I could ever put into words. Now, my skin is about 30% as oily as it was before, if even that. It is just totally normalised, and I feel so blessed. Given that I am 5+ months off Accutane, is it likely that my skin will stay at this level? Or should I expect my face to be an oil slick again in a year? I hope not, because IMO very oily skin = acne, in those of us prone to hormonal acne. If my skin stays like this in terms of oiliness, I actually feel like I have a shot at maintaining fairly acne-free skin for several years if not forever. Thanks J PS. By the title I mean cured from oily, oily skin, not from acne obviously.
  7. Hey - yeah, the same happened to me. My skin fluctuated a lot on accutane, and at points I felt self-conscious not wearing makeup even after my skin had initially cleared. It's normal bc it takes time to really work on the sebum levels/pores/everything else. I'm 5 months post accutane and I love my skin now, even though it's not at all perfect like it was on accutane.. It is (touch wood) "normal", and if I get 3 spots they will actually heal and I won't have any for a few weeks. So, in other words, it is "under control", which is what you really want accutane to do for you. It is likely that your skin will seem to get worse off the drug, but I don't necessarily think that you're doomed if it does. There are horror stories online that will tell you that if your skin breaks out at all after coming off it, then it will surely soon be as bad as it was before the course, but I know people IRL who had severe hormonal acne that has been permanently controlled for accutane.. it really does alter your skin permanently. I mean, at 5 months post acc, my skin is 20% as oily as it was before so I am BLESSED as I hated my oily skin. I really hope I don't have bad acne ever again but who knows.. Just keep taking it (with as much fat as possible so it's absorbed!!) and don't think about it or your acne. I'm sure you'll have consistently amazing skin by the end of the course, and hopefully it will remain that way for years. But do look after it when you come off Accutane! Use a topical for life (Epiduo is the best), and eat healthily.
  8. Hey!! Oh my god, I am so happy to hear that you're improving, honestly!! Did you experience the "initial Rogaine shed"? This makes me hopeful because I feel like rogaine wouldn't stop hair shedding caused by accutane, and would only help the regrowth, so maybe this means that your accutane TE is resolving itself after so many months. How many months has it been since you started losing hair heavily? x
  9. Unhappy is an understatement! I am reaching the point where my hair is badly thinning. Here are some pics I took yesterday - some are of my hair wet and some dry. It obviously looks worse wet, but now it's looking pretty bad dry as well. Ugh.
  10. Warning - negative post! Heavy, heavy shedding.. what else is new. My hair has been destroyed by accutane. I think I'm so upset now bc I always thought "this will at least be turning round by Xmas" since I stopped taking accutane in August. Here I am, 5 months off it, and it's honestly just getting worse and worse and is in NO way "turning round". I would not wish this on anyone.. hair is so core to your self-image, your ego. My skin is great, and I am TOTALLY not taking that for granted because I'm all too aware that my hormonal acne will probably come back and be a huge point of insecurity in the next 1-3 years, BUT I feel like a lesser version of myself with this hair issue. I don't feel embarrased yet, as I don't look "balding", but I don't feel anywhere near as good as I felt before this issue. Mainly, there is just so much fear, because this is so, so out of my control. I don't want to start hair loss meds, as I feel like my body just needs to recover from this. But I have pretty bad anxiety to begin with, and this is destroying me. I try so, so hard not to think about it, but every time I untie my hair and lose clumps of it, or wash my hair and see hundreds of long, medium-length and tiny hairs scattered all over the bathroom, I am forced to remember that I might literal balding by summer. I don't want to mae ANY summer plans, trips away to desticals with friends etc., because I won't want to go away or be with people if I still have this issue by summer (bc by then I will have 20% of my existing hair) - not being melodramatic, you only have so many hairs on your head and I am losing 300+ a day and all my regrowth AND I seem to have areas in the front where no regrowth is occurring). I don't even know what to say or do - I'm just gonna continue with my life, and focus on studiying. But I hope that people see this, and that maybe it makes some people rethink accutane. Again, it IS a miracle drug for bad acne, but any of you could in theory experience this.
  11. Hey, I luckily didn't experience any eyelash/eyebrow issues, but I've experienced HEAVY, awful hair loss since accutane. I'm now nearly 5 months off the drug (I took 40mg for 8 months) and I've lost 40-50% of my hair, with no sign of it stopping. Here's my log. /topic/363864-my-f19-accutane-telogen-effluvium-journey-pics/?do=embed">
  12. Accutane and being in the sun

    Hey - I shouldn't say this, because it's really bad advice health-wise, but I tanned very well on accutane (naturally, though, I wouldn't have done sunbeds!!). I wore SPF 50 constantly, which you have to do if you're out in any sun on accutane. You have to constantly be applying it. But I was able to sit out in the sun in Spain/Greece, properly tanning a few hours at a time, and had a great colour all summer. I tan really easily and because my skin was so, so flawless (end of accutane, aah I miss that level of beautiful skin lol) I felt more confident than I have ever done in my life. This was before my hair statted properly thinning from the accutane as well, so I had all my hair, and tanned/flawless skin. However, I wouldn't recommend sunbeds.
  13. Hey guys, happy new year! I'm gonna keep posting about my hair here, just so that anyone else who suffers from Accutane related hair issues in the future actually has a long, fully documented bit of anecdotal evidence with pics, including how the situation is 1yr down the line etc. There is nowhere near enough of that on the internet - only people posting in panic + never returning (I suspect a lot of them got their hair back, which is why they don't post bc they are no longer in need of reassurance lol). My skin now: My skin is beautiful from accutane. I thought it was getting bad again at one point a couple of months ago, but I've reverted back to very clear skin with never more than 3 spots. They are always around my jawline, which points to excess testosterone (I am taking spearmint, hopefully it'll keep my skin good but who knows).. I'm nearly 5 months off accutane now, and have NO other side effects apart from my hair loss. My hair: obviously unhappy with this issue still. It's such an unfortunate side effect, especially when you used to be known for having the most beautiful, long, luscious hair ever. But as long as it stops in the next few months, I dont think I will get so bad that i'm self-conscious going out. I'm PRAYING that is the case, anyway. I'm still losing regrowth as well as a lot of long hairs. I honestly don't know how I have any hair left, the amount I lose whenever I wash my hair and the next day (I wash it every 3 days, so regular trauma ). It looks so thin when it's wet, but somehow I manage to volumise it and it still looks like normal hair when I'm out. You wouldn't meet me and think I had thin hair, but you wouldn't think I had nice hair either (and I used to get so many compliments on my hair). It's extremely significant loss, guys. I cannot stress that enough. If any of you are considering a cutane, realise that you COULD lose 60% of your hair like me. I don't care if people say it's a rare side effect - it has happened to me lol. Supplements - I'm taking 600mg of iron a day, along with zinc, spearmint (for my skin), biotin, 5000iu vitamin D3 and B12. I'm trying to eat as much protein as possible, bc I'm a vegan and it's essential for hair growth.
  14. End of December, and I'm shedding extremely heavily. The shedding seems to be getting worse and worse, back to how bad it was in September/October. I now fully regret going on accutane, hate how my hair looks in a ponytail and am terrified for the future months. Really don't know what to do. This is showing NO sign of stopping or slowing down, and I'm nearly 5 months off accutane.
  15. I have some acne coming back, but it is in no way "taking over" like my acne before accutane. I am taking spearmint capsules (2 times a day) because I am certain my acne is hormonal, and spearmint is really meant to lower testosterone levels. Idk if this will even work, but figured I needed something to help my acne internally.. it's more for peace of mind than anything else lol. I just HOPE that the spearmint won't contribute to another cycle of hair loss, but I've one enough reading and I really think that this is unlikely. So I'm gonna kep taking it lol. How is your skin??? And ahahah so true about us becoming experts. I wish I could approach my subjects with this much dedication and thorough research lool I see this opinion a lot but are you sure? How would I "remove it"? I personally believe that it is out of my body as I am experiencing no dryness/any of the other side-effects. I think hair follicles just take a while to recover.
  16. Hey!! Would you consider taking maybe 100mg of iron a day permanently, just once in the morning? I v much suspect that you need to actually supplement, since you're mainly veggie and are clearly prone to iron deficiency and you obvs don't wanna be exacerbating your hair issue! It is a pain though - and I hate that I can no longer drink coffee in the morning now that I'm taking iron, bc it cuts the absorption so much. It’s really good that you can force yourself to eat red meat, because heme iron is sooo much more easily absorbed than non-heme. Even though it’s so against my love for animals, I WISH I could force myself to eat a couple of steaks a week right now, just in terms of upping my iron to help my hair.. but I physically could not do it ://. I'm taking 600mg of iron a day w vitamin C, so I'm hoping my levels up quickly. Then, I rly wanna stay on about 100-200mg (basically for life) because I clearly have some issues with iron/my diet. Omg, good luck coming off the pill! This must be so scary for you, but I guess it’s a nice idea that your hormones will be returning to their natural levels. Plus, if you’re gonna suffer from post-BC telogen effluvium, maybe it’s better that it happens now instead of in 4 years when your hair will (hopefully) be much thicker again?
  17. Spironolactone caused hair loss

    Guys - do any of you know what hormone causes Spiro hairloss?? I am taking spearmint and am confident that it will help my skin/hormones, as my acne is so based on my over-production of oil, but I don't wanna experience hair loss (Accutane has fucked up my hair beyond belief already). Is there a chance that spearmint's androgen-lowering properties could cause hairloss???
  18. Accutane Concern

    It could be due to the accutane, I experienced some stomach cramps. Make sure you're eating it with a lot of fatty food though, which is essential for absorption (and should help lessen pain). However, IMO 80mg is wayyyy to high for someone your age, and even for most ppl. 40mg began really take its toll in my body. I wouldn't have finished the course on 80mg. If you can tolerate it then fine, but the second u can't, go back down to 40.
  19. Update - blood tests came back and my iron ferritin levels are extremely low (at 11). My thyroid is working fine :). I am a vegan and have v heavy, frequent periods so the iron issue was no surprise. I was supplementing with 15mg a day of iron, but I clearly need more and have been told to take 600mg a day in the form of iron pills. Accutane has obviously caused the majority of my hair loss (the derm is not escaping that one so easily, lol), but maybe extremely low iron is causing all my regrowth to fall out. I'm so, so unhappy with this, though, as it will take at least 4 months to get my iron to 50-75, which my derm matter-of-factly told me is the range you need to reach for "normal hair growth". I'm amazed he never thought to test my blood for iron, given I had so many blood tests while on the drug. I WISH i had thought to get tested and gone on iron over the summer, when my hair loss properly started. Who knows whether I'd be suffering so much with my hair if my iron was in the 50-75 range before going on accutane. I mean, 11 is shocking lol. No wonder I'm severely tired the whole time and get so many headaches. All I can do is focus on upping my iron with these pills + continue eating protein.
  20. I honestly can't really tell - my hair does fluctuate between different rates of shedding, as some days are devastating and others are just quite bad, but in general I don't think it has slowed down much :((. Omg this is my worry!! My hairline really seems to be receding.. not drastically, but I have lost so much hair around there and can't see much regrowth! i'm hoping it's just diffuse hairloss, however, that is more apparent at the front. I guess I'll see in a few months. Thanks.. I really hope your situaton sorts itself out or at least improves in the next efw months, and will def be checking up on ur journey!!! Here's an update guys (14th of Dec 2016): As you can see, I still have a more or less "decent" head of hair. You wouldn't see me and think I had something serious wrong with me. However, I have gone from having extremely luscious thick hair to quite thin hair. The pic of me holding my ponytail shows ALL I have. I honestly had at least two, probably three times that amount before. I have lost SO much density, guys. I cna't stress that enough. You can see my balding hairline and some short regrowth, along with how much my scalp shows through when I part my hair at any point on my head. I know this may look normal but it is extremely far from my normal, and I can only hope that more regrowth is gonna come in and actually GROW instead of falling out. The last pic, showing the central part of my hairline, is the worst . Of course I have no before pics to show you guys, but I can tell you that I have NEVER seen my hair looking anything like that before.
  21. I had no idea accutane could cause alopecia areata, and that diagnosis still sounds quite vague. Ugh, I'm trying to stay positive because there is literally nothing I can do, but it's so hard and I literally spend about 1hr a day frantically googling about TE, reading the same 20-30 forum posts, all of which lack any follow up posts or news on the person's case. I'm only feeling slightly less bad about my current hair because I realise that I am still within the "normal" bracket. So, instead of breaking down and crying about my hair now, I'm crying w fear about how it will look in 3 months if this shedding doesn't slow down. :((( It's hard not to feel a huge sense of injustice, though. I have honestly lost 50% now... comparing my ponytail size to how it was, and pics etc. In terms of dealing it, I guess I'll have to use those hair fibres/powders if my scalp starts showing through.. but if it gets THAT bad, I will be so depressed.
  22. Accutane IB

    The "skin purge" idea has some scientific backing, but to be honest, it's not well understood or necessarily even legit. Even with topical retinoids.. if your skin is well looked after, there's no real reason why you should experience a big "purge" for weeks on end. My derm told me that acne very rarely causes the "initial breakout" that people talk about so much online, and that people mistake their normal cystic acne for an accutane-induced breakout. I broke out during the first 4 months of accutane at 40mg, but it wasn't more so than before, and to be honest my skin was 50% better after the first month. I didn't have any IB, just the drug took 4 months (ish) to give me really good skin. It really is a miracle drug in terms of clearing up your acne, my god... after a few months, assuming you take it with fat (so important), you'll wash your face and be utterly amazed at your skin. It gives you the most glowing, pore-less, incredible skin that you can imagine. However, it's left me with heavy, heavy hair loss. I've been off it for nearly 4months and I'm shedding so much. I've lost a good 1/3 of my hair, if not quite a bit more. In no way do I want to put you off or scare you, but this traumatic side effect is really affecting me and everyone taking accutane should be warned that, yes, it is an amazing drug, but that you could v well be left with this issue. I don't regret taking accutane, but as a young girl who had stunning hair before and is now thinning badly, I honestly feel like I've traded one issue in for another. Plus, my acne is hormonal so it's coming back as well which is great !!!
  23. Saw Palmetto for girls - need advice!!

    Thanks for replying, I took SP for the first time and have had a severe migraine for 2 days with the worst aura/visuals that I've ever had. Definitely not an option for me lol! I haven't had allergy tests, but I'm certain I have high androgen levels, and am now gonna try spearmint bc it does seem to alleviate/even cure hormonal acne and oily skin in a lot of women. I'm taking 800mg a day in capsule form. Have you tried spearmint?
  24. Yeah that's such a tricky situation... and it must be frustrating, because even though I'd say your hair loss is down to Accutane, who knows if your slow recovery is due to BC/the BC is causing a constant but low-level amount of shedding. Are you losing a lot of regrowth too? That is what kills me... every time I shower I lose about 50 tiny 1-3cm hairs. I mean, derms can deny all they want but this points to chronic TE or even a permanent change to the length of anagen cycles, both of which will leave me thinning badly for years. I canot see how this shedding is gonna stop in the next couple of months. I know this is a sensitive topic, but at this point, is your hair still "normal" or is it obvious that you're suffering from a hair loss issue? I don't mean compared to your previous hair, but in terms of other comparing urself to other women/being on public transport etc. It's easy to forget this but a LOT of people naturally have very thin hair.. I can think of several female friends I have that are in the peak of health without any hormonal/hair issues, and they have glossy, nice hair, but hair that is way thinner than mine is even now. One of the prettiest people I know has really fine, thin blonde hair that forms a tiiiny ponytail when tied up. Even though this journey is heartbreaking and absolutely the worst thing I've been through tbh, it massively helped me to "come out" to myself as someone with a hair issue. Sure, it makes me cry to see pics of my hair last spring, but now I've given up on being someone with that "lovely hair", bc I simply no longer have it. Now, I'm okay with having average to slightly thin hair, as long as I look "normal". As long as you wouldn't look at me and think I had a severe balding issue. I am p sure that I'm 2-3 months of heavy shedding taway from looking like I'm visibly balding. Just have to PRAY that is slows down.
  25. Hey guys, So, 4 months after accutane my cystic acne is slowly coming back on my jawline, 100% pointing to an excess of male hormones. I'm a 19 yr old girl. My skin is ridiculously oily too. I really want to lower my androgen levels without going on the pill, BEFORE my skin becomes really bad again. I suffer from quite bad migraines and my biggest fear is having a stroke or developing a blood clot, so the BCP is a definite no-no. 1. The research I've done suggests that Saw Palmetto is totally safe in terms of blood clots/increased risk of stroke, because it doesnt include estrogen like the combined BCP does. Is this correct? I DON'T want to be risking any of that. 2. Saw palmetto definitely won't cause female hair loss, right? I am suffering from bad accutane hair loss and don't want to compromise my recovery or cause more hair issues. 3. People talk about taking SP for breast growth.. if it doesn't increase estrogen or put you at risk of blood clots, then HOW does it do this? What hormone is it altering that would cause breast growth? I really don't want to be taking anything estrogenic. I just really want to sort out my hormone issues without (hopefully) going on spiro, as the frequent urination side effect isn't something I want to deal with long term. Thanks guys!