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Going On Accutane Could Use Some Perspective - My Story

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#1 cityof96

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:34 AM

Hi Everyone,

I am a 24 year old male. I had bad acne when i was 15-18 years old about a 7 out of 10 (7 meaning, on my cheeks and forehead, nodules, cysts and regular pimples, didnt want to leave my house!). I went on proactive around 19 and started using cliondoxyl gel at about 22 and since then my acne has been a 2/3 out of 10 - meaning I break out here and there, 1 or 2 big pimples, nothing serious, nothing that id complain about.

I recently broke out again and its been worse than ever. 8 or 9 out of 10 - severe acne. cysts, nodules everything all over my face. i believe there was a reason why this happened (stopped clindoxyl, new product clogged my pores). my face has been purging for 2 months now and it looks like my face MAY be back to a 2/3 out of 10 ( mostly mild sometimes moderate acne) in a few weeks (right before i start accutane).

What I'd like to know is:

1. How bad was your acne when you STARTED accutane (you can sort of use the rating scale i went with above and give a description on your acne)

2. Did you have a intital break out when you went on it? If yes, how long did it last.

3. How many months did it take for your skin to become CLEAR. and how many months did you take accutane for.

4. Weight and dosage info would be great as well if you can provide it.



Even if my face goes back to 2/3 out of 10 mild acne. id like to take accutane so that I dont ever break out like this again - as i do have acne prone skin. I am just curious if having mild acne before going on accuntane will make you have less of a break out and/or help it clear up sooner than later. I have heard of people clearing up in a month (aunt), 3 months, 4 months etc. but id like to give myself a good comparison so I can see what i may be up with when taking this. I have a lot of important events coming up in Nov/Dec and would hate for my acne to be worse due to accutane then it is now. I know some may say it depends on the person, and i completely understand that but regardless i'd like to just make a comparison for my own peace of mind. lol

I'd love to hear your responses about your own story and people you know.

Your help is greatly appreciated!! Thank you very much!

#2 ajab561

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:18 AM

For my first course last year:

1. Pretty bad body acne...probably a 7 or 8. Face was not good but not horrible..maybe a 3 to a 4.

2. Yes, I had a pretty bad initial breakout that caused some really inflamed/cystic acne on my chin area. It did not last long, however. Maybe a few weeks to a month.

3. I was very clear between month 3-4, took for a total of 6 months.

4. 150 lbs and 80 mg/day.

Second course, which I started a couple of weeks ago:

1. Acne is much better than before my first course, just not where I would like it to be. Body is a 4 to 5, still getting some painful cysts on my back. Face is pretty good, a 2 probably, maybe a 3 at times.

2. I've only been on my second course for a couple of weeks, but I don't expect a bad initial breakout with this course. I have had a few more pimples on my face than normal, but I can't say that it's my initial breakout. It might just be that I stopped my acne cleanser and switched to CeraVe while on Accutane.

3. Haven't been on it too long like I said, but I expect to be clear in just a couple of months since it's my second course and it doesn't appear that I'll be getting a bad initial breakout.

4. 145 lbs and 80mg/day

Given your circumstances, I would definitely go ahead and do the course of Accutane. It's really hard to say if/when your initial breakout will occur and how severe it will be. Everyone is affected my the medication a little differently. For me, a little bit of suffering is totally worth the dramatic results in the end. Good luck!

Edited by ajab561, 14 September 2012 - 10:21 AM.


#3 cityof96

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:49 AM

@ajab561 thanks for sharing your story and providing insight!


Good luck on your second course!

#4 Quiescence

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:59 PM

1. Please see picture here for how bad it was... not sure out of 10!
http://www.acne.org/...-proof-in-pics/

2. I'm not sure as my acne went in waves when I was on accutane, but you can see here day 8-20 was pretty bad, maybe that was my IB?

Posted Image

3. Day 96 apparently.... was clear from then onwards!!

4. Took it for nearly 5 months (133 days). Was on 0.5 mg/kg first month, 1 mg/kg thereafter, I only just reached my mimimum dose. (I'm about 60kg so was on 30mg then 60mg)

Hope that helps! x x

Edited by Quiescence, 15 September 2012 - 05:02 PM.


#5 becky lou

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 12:48 AM

Wow Quiescence! What an awesome idea to keep track of how many spots you had. Now I'm wishing I'd done that too, lol!

1. How bad was your acne when you started?
Mine wasn't very bad, I'd say it was about a 2-3 out of 10. I didn't have any cysts or anything, but the zits I did have were very inflamed and deeply painful, and every single one left red marks behind. My acne was mostly on my cheeks but some had started to pop up on my forehead too. (The reason my derm decided to put me on Accutane despite it being pretty mild was that my acne was unresponsive to every other treatment we'd tried and it was also starting to scar.)

2. Did you have an initial breakout?
I'd say yes, but it wasn't awful. My derm put me on an antibiotic for a month before I started taking the Accutane to try and combat the IB, so that might explain it. Mostly my skin got really bumpy and I had blackheads all over my forehead and around my nose. That only lasted about two weeks before everything worked itself out. Hopefully you'll be as lucky as I was, or you won't get one at all!

3. How long did it take to become clear?
I was completely clear in month 3. Every now and then I'd get a spot but it was nowhere near as inflamed as my zits used to be. My course lasted 6 months.

4. Weight/dosage info
I was 125 lb and they started me off with 40mg a day for two months, then I was bumped up to 80mg for the rest of the course.


I hope I could be of some help :)

#6 Quiescence

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 01:22 AM

Wow Quiescence! What an awesome idea to keep track of how many spots you had. Now I'm wishing I'd done that too, lol!


Haha thanks.... i'm so geeky!! Gave me something to focus on through the long slog of accutane... on days where I thought I wasn't getting anywhere it helped me see i was progressing

Congrats on your course are you still clear now?

x x

#7 becky lou

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 02:35 AM

Congrats on your course are you still clear now?


Yep! I've still got quite a lot of red marks and general redness in my skin but it definitely beats waking up to a new pimple every morning. I do get some spots around that time of the month but they go away within a day or two. I took a peek at your success thread and your skin looks incredible now! We finished our courses around the same time-- I finished mine in mid-May. Hope we both stay clear (:

#8 cityof96

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 08:53 AM

Quiescence that is an amazing log! I should probably do that as well to track my treatment. Thank you for sharing your story with me along with the pic, it does help. Seems like we have similar type of acne, and its good to see what you were able to clear up in 3 months time!

Becky Lou thank you as well for responding. I am glad to hear that the IB was only about two weeks and the antibiotic helped. I am currently on Sulfatrim. and it has helped my acne quite a bit. so i am glad that once i go on it theres a good chance my IB wont be as bad.



For both of you... when you had your IB was it only in the areas where acne was when starting accutane or did you break out in previously clear areas too?

#9 Quiescence

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 10:29 AM

For both of you... when you had your IB was it only in the areas where acne was when starting accutane or did you break out in previously clear areas too?


I never ever broke out anywhere apart from my cheeks... if it really was an IB then it was just the same areas x x

#10 cityof96

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 11:43 AM


For both of you... when you had your IB was it only in the areas where acne was when starting accutane or did you break out in previously clear areas too?


I never ever broke out anywhere apart from my cheeks... if it really was an IB then it was just the same areas x x


Thats good to hear, thanks for the quick reply!!

#11 cityof96

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:53 AM

can anyone else share their experience?

#12 Juicelittle

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 08:34 AM

1. How bad was your acne when you STARTED accutane (you can sort of use the rating scale i went with above and give a description on your acne)

not too bad, bout 3/10

2. Did you have a intital break out when you went on it? If yes, how long did it last.

i started with accutane 10mg for 10 days, before that, my acne was mild, just some small whitehead pimples on my cheek, then increased to 20mg for bout a week, sucks, it went very BAD, 10 deep cystic on cheeks or so. now im on 40mg a day and i ve taken accutane for 25days, no more new cystic, my skin still doesnt change much, but the acne heals fast
3. How many months did it take for your skin to become CLEAR. and how many months did you take accutane for.

i do many research bout isotretinoin and most of patients have IB at the first or 2 months. you have to take Isotretinoin at least 18-20 weeks
4. Weight and dosage info would be great as well if you can provide it.

me : 19, female
103 pounds= 47kg. 40mg ED

Edited by Juicelittle, 12 October 2012 - 08:35 AM.