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Bitten The Bullet

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Hi all. :) Obviously I'm new here, so to introduce myself; I'm a 23 year old male, living in the UK. I've suffered from acne since I was 14 years old, and it didn't become severe and cystic until I reached age 19. Since then I've tried many forms of medication, various Benzoyl Peroxide creams, various Antibiotics, different face washes, drinking lots of water, eating healthy etc. I've yet to experience major success with each of these treatments, although they have all helped keep things somewhat under control.

I started on Lymecycline about 15 months ago, and that a fairly positive effect. After a couple of months my skin looked better than it had done for several years. Still oily of course, with blackheads etc, but the red cysts were almost gone completely. Being the type of person who does as much research on the internet etc as possible, I had read about bacterial resistance, and after 6 months or so, I noticed my skin started breaking out occasionally. About 5 months ago I stopped taking the antibiotics since my skin had become quite bad once again. I spoke to my GP and he suggested changing to Oxytetracycline. Whilst being off the antibiotics for a week, my skin broke out to a new level, and my back became completely covered in hundreds of new red spots. I assume this was due to my immune system being on holiday whilst the antibiotics killed the bacteria, and not being able to cope with the sudden absence of the medicine. The new antibiotics began to kick in after a few days, and after a month my skin was looking much better again, but far from the excellent condition of 6 months before.

After a few more months without significant improvement, I requested to be referred to the local dermatologist, who strongly recommended putting me on a course of Isotretinoin. Having read many horrors stories regarding this drug, I was initially reluctant, but decided to go ahead with it. So here I am, on day 2 of the drug, with a 30mg daily dosage. Being the slightly paranoid person I am, I've spent a good few hours recently browsing various videos and stories on forums. I'm not gonna lie, this drug sounds mega scary. The "negative accutane experiences" thread in this forum sounds particularly terrifying. Anyway, if anyone has any advice it's extremely welcome, and I'll update this thread with my symptoms and experiences as it happens. As of right now, I'm not really noticing any effects, possibly my skin has become a little sensitive, but that could just be placebo at this stage. :)

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Congrats on starting accutane! I am currently a 23yr old female in the uk, and my experience sounds pretty similar to yours (I didnt start getting bad cystic acne til in my very late teens).

I wouldnt worry too much about all the scary accutane stories. US doctors appear to dose much higher, and often if you read peoples stories carefully they say things like 'by month 3 I couldnt get hard, but I carried on taking it anyway', erm, why?

Just listen to your body and if you think something is wrong, go to the drs!

I hope it goes well for you. I will follow this thread and look forward to hearing about it. :)


Started (Ro)Accutane :)

Month 1- 20mg

Month 2- 50mg

Month 3- 50mg

I literally do not care what you think about accutane, it was MY choice to take it, respect that.


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Thanks for the advice. :) Yeah it sucks to have gone through the late teens and get the severe acne just as all your friends are growing out of it as I'm sure you can relate!

I've been reading / watching more positive experiences to the drug today, which has helped reassure my decision to go through with it. I agree though, as long as I stay aware of any changes and monitor things closely things should hopefully be fine.

It feels like things are starting to calm down on my back, even though it's only day 3. That could just be a response from my immune system taking over from where the antibiotics left off, who knows. I guess I shouldn't expect improvements for many weeks at least.

BTW do any moderators want to move this topic? I see there is a section specifically for accutane logs - http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php/forum/36-accutane-logs/ which I guess this thread is better suited to.

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A quick update for day 5. Last night it took me forever to fall asleep - I think it ended up being 3 am or something. I had an itchy scalp and my face was burning up. I've been breaking out pretty badly the last couple of days, especially around the chin area. Can't remember the last time I've had to deal with so many pimples in the morning though. Not cool! Surprisingly, I'm not experiencing a huge amount of dryness yet, my lips are fine, although my eyes feel a little drier than normal. My hair is still fairly greasy though. I guess this is normally the worst phase of accutane in terms of breakout, so I'll just have deal with it and assume it will eventually improve.

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Day 13. My skin has been pretty dry now, and has been flaky for several days. I've got pretty bad dandruff, and my eyebrow hairs seem very prone to falling out, lol. Feels like I'm raining flakes and loose hairs at the moment. I was getting insane itchiness throughout my scalp, and was using a mosturizing spray to relieve it which helped a little, but I changed Shampoo a few days ago from L'Oreal Elvive Anti-Dandruff Intensive to Simple Rich Repair, which has massively helped get rid of the itching.

Generally though I've been having to apply moisturiser on a lot of skin which would peel / chap a lot without it, including chapstick on my lips, although it's easily manageable. The bit which has sucked lately is my breakout. My chin area has been the worst, and it's only now that it seems my skin is starting to ease off from producing pretty massive, hideous deep cysts. Most are now scabbing over / drying up, so I'm hoping the worst is over.

Fortunately I'm not experiencing any more serious side effects such as aching joints, sore muscles, depression, impotence etc which is good!

Edit: Almost forgot, I had a nose bleed while in bed this morning, fortunately I woke up as soon as it started (no idea how), and it wasn't severe anyway.

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Another thing, regarding nose bleed prevention, I've read several posts on here suggesting the use of some Vaseline in the nostrils to help prevent nose bleeds. However I've seen some articles which claim this is dangerous and puts you at risk of lipoid pneumonia - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/petroleum-jelly/an00947

Surely the risk is pretty low though?

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I think the risk is linked to the vaseline moving its way into your lungs or something. Realistically that isnt going to happen unless you put a tonne up and sniff a lot. You literally only need to put the tiniest bit of vaseline up your nose to help.


Started (Ro)Accutane :)

Month 1- 20mg

Month 2- 50mg

Month 3- 50mg

I literally do not care what you think about accutane, it was MY choice to take it, respect that.


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I think the risk is linked to the vaseline moving its way into your lungs or something. Realistically that isnt going to happen unless you put a tonne up and sniff a lot. You literally only need to put the tiniest bit of vaseline up your nose to help.

Fair enough, thanks for the assurance.

So I'm a month and 6 days into treatment, and thought I should post an update. A couple of weeks ago up to now my skin etc has been surprisingly settled, of course there are still new cysts forming most of the time, but they dry up quickly and don't last long. One thing I am liking is how all my blackheads are slowly coming out. Sometimes I'll scratch at them and they will just fall out. Since changing shampoo and using conditioner dandruff has gone away almost entirely which is great.

I visited the dermatologist last week for my first month's checkup, and she seemed happy with the progress. My dosage is now double what I started with, so 60mg a day, which is a normal thing to do. I felt a bit rough for the first few days, so not sure if the increase was to blame, but really things are very manageable at the moment. The only issues I have are normal things, such as slightly reddish skin, dry lips. However! Not sure how to put this, but I have had some slight rectal bleeding a few times after having a dump, but I think this is just dryness and seems to be cured with moisteriser.

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Update: Today I received a phone call from my dermatologist, who basically phoned up to report that my liver enzymes are higher than expected. She asked if I've been drinking alcohol, and I haven't, so she's reduced my dosage down to 20mg (since I only have 20mg tablets and 40mg may be too high) for a few weeks while I have another blood test taken. I'm hoping things settle down / sort themselves out, since the prospect of spending another 5 more months or so on this stuff doesn't sound fun.

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Update, I relocated to another county in February, and ran out of tablets in early March. This meant I had reached 5900mg total dosage, which is around 80% of the recommended 120mg / kg dose. I had planned on getting prescribed new tablets to finish the course, however I only managed to get an appointment booked just last week. The dermatologist decided since I had been acne free for over 3 months that it wasn't necessary to continue.

So the end result of this is I've not had any new pimples or acne of any sort for nearly 4 months, which is awesome. No lasting side effects either! Still got a fair bit of scarring on my cheeks though which is annoying, but it's slowly fading a little. :)

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So overall would you say the accutane was worth it?, i'm about to start a course

Update, I relocated to another county in February, and ran out of tablets in early March. This meant I had reached 5900mg total dosage, which is around 80% of the recommended 120mg / kg dose. I had planned on getting prescribed new tablets to finish the course, however I only managed to get an appointment booked just last week. The dermatologist decided since I had been acne free for over 3 months that it wasn't necessary to continue.

So the end result of this is I've not had any new pimples or acne of any sort for nearly 4 months, which is awesome. No lasting side effects either! Still got a fair bit of scarring on my cheeks though which is annoying, but it's slowly fading a little. smile.png

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So overall would you say the accutane was worth it?, i'm about to start a course

Update, I relocated to another county in February, and ran out of tablets in early March. This meant I had reached 5900mg total dosage, which is around 80% of the recommended 120mg / kg dose. I had planned on getting prescribed new tablets to finish the course, however I only managed to get an appointment booked just last week. The dermatologist decided since I had been acne free for over 3 months that it wasn't necessary to continue.

So the end result of this is I've not had any new pimples or acne of any sort for nearly 4 months, which is awesome. No lasting side effects either! Still got a fair bit of scarring on my cheeks though which is annoying, but it's slowly fading a little. smile.png

Absolutely yes for me. My only regret is that I didn't take it a few years ago!

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