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My Cure - When Accutane Didn't Last

accutane spiro acanya spironolactone birth control vitamin d saw palmetto vitamin d3 zinc makeup

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#1 RightMeow

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 05:53 PM

Hi, just stopping by to share my story.

I'm a 22 year old female that struggled with acne since age 13. I've been to numerous dermatologists and have been prescribed everything from antibiotics, retin-a, aczone, tazorac, birth control, and finally Accutane.

The Accutane worked beautifully (I was also taking Aleese (BC) at the same time). Once I stopped my Accutane cycle (6 months 80mg I think?), my skin stayed clear. That is until exactly 1 year when it came back just as bad as it was before.

So, my dermatologist recommended a second trial of Accutane. I was all for it! Same situation, my skin stayed clear for exactly 1 year. But then my acne came back, again!

Wouldn't you know - I was put on it a third time. This time, within 3 months of my Accutane trial, I had to stop taking it. I was having such intense bladder pain and was diagnosed with something called, Interstitial Cystitis. Unfortunately, IC is somewhat of a mystery (they don't know what causes it). Since Accutane has such a bad reputation, I just knew that taking Accutane possibly a 4th time was out of the question due to the fact that it may make my situation worse.

When I had to stop my Accutane, the only thing I was taking was my Aleese (BC) and Acanya (Topical). Thankfully, my skin was still clear at this point because the Accutane was still lingering in my system.

June:

Posted Image



Unfortunately I knew my acne would be coming back soon, like it always had. Sure enough, a few months later my skin was breaking out. A few whiteheads, but a BUNCH of them felt deep and under the skin, especially around the jawline.



August:

Posted Image



So I searched and religiously read these forums in order to figure out what exactly would help me.

I found out a few things:
1. Birth Control - I was on Aleese but read that Ortho TriClycen was so much better for acne.
2. Spironolactone - It decreases androgen which can improve acne.


So with this information, I went to my dermatologist. She prescribed me 50mg Spironolactone and Ortho TriClycen (Tri-Spintec is the generic version which I take).


My regime then:
Spironolactone (50mg - once a day)
Tri-Sprintec (birth control - once a day)
Acanya (Topical - once a day before bed)
Cerave Foaming Cleanser (Twice a day)
Cerave Lotion (under makeup)

After 1.5 months of taking this combination, I saw 50% improvement but not 100% clear!


I continued to read acne.org and found out:

1. Vitamin D3 - I read multiple articles where women swore that Vitamin D3 cured their acne. If you google, you will find similar results.
2. Saw Palmetto Extract - Slightly decreases androgen (I figured it could boost my Spironolactone).

New regime:
Spironolactone (50mg - once a day)
Tri-Sprintec (birth control - once a day)
ADDED: Vitamin D3 (5000IU - once a day)
ADDED: Saw Palmetto Extract (320mg - once a day) [Automatically comes with Zinc in it as well - 30mg]
Acanya (Topical - once a day before bed)
Cerave Foaming Cleanser (Twice a day)
Cerave Lotion (under makeup)

And wouldn't you know it? It's like my skin got a BOOST! Weeks later, Clear skin!

Posted Image



Now, I know I literally have a cocktail of pills. Who knows - maybe it's just the Spiro/BC mix and the vitamins have nothing to do with it...But I finally found something that is working for me! I have no idea which pills are making the biggest difference in my skin, and I may eventually try weening some out and seeing what happens. But for now, I am working on healing my acne scars that you presently see in the above picture.

Even though I never had severe acne, I felt like I had moderate acne for most of my life and was never clear. I felt hopeless when I thought Accutane was the only cure.

That's basically it! Thanks for reading my long post Posted Image

(TL;DR) Regime:
Spironolactone (50mg - once a day)
Tri-Sprintec (birth control - once a day)
Vitamin D3 (5000IU - once a day)
Saw Palmetto Extract (320mg - once a day) [Automatically comes with Zinc in it as well - 30mg]
Acanya (Topical - once a day before bed)
Cerave Foaming Cleanser (Twice a day)
Cerave Lotion (under makeup)

Edited by RightMeow, 07 November 2012 - 09:23 PM.


#2 ches888

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 09:36 PM

Wow great to hear your success. I'm gonna try my second course of Accutane next month. I hope my acne won't come back after the course. If it will, probably will try Spiro.

Edited by ches888, 08 November 2012 - 09:36 PM.


#3 Livetoregret

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:26 PM

Hold up - you took 3 6 month courses at 80mg?

#4 RightMeow

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 02:43 PM

Hold up - you took 3 6 month courses at 80mg?


Yes, 2 full trials. The 3rd one being interrupted when I started having health issues. Of course, they started me on 40mg (a month or two?) then went up to 80mg. (40mg twice a day) You wouldn't believe the amount of times I heard from Dermatologists "Third times a charm!"

I think the biggest problem that I had with Accutane was that I thought it was the ONLY "cure". My skin looked awesome on it. Once I completed my trial, it stayed flawless.. until exactly 12 months later. Every time it would come back exactly the same. When it came back in August 2012, if I hadn't nipped it in the butt it would have gradually gotten worse.

I'm glad I found out about Spironolactone, I think it plays a big part in this role. When I suggested it to my dermatologist, she stated "Well, I CAN put you on it if you'd like. I usually only prescribe it to my female patients who are 40 years old or above." So it's not something that is widely suggested. They'd rather push retinoid creams on you which cost $40 a tube. Haha. Spiro costs $5!!

Also - switching my BC from Aleese to Tri-Sprintec played a major role as well (for me).

I think the vitamins just give it a boost. I think the vitamins on their own wouldn't have cured me.

Edited by RightMeow, 12 November 2012 - 02:47 PM.


#5 Livetoregret

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:45 PM


Hold up - you took 3 6 month courses at 80mg?


Yes, 2 full trials. The 3rd one being interrupted when I started having health issues. Of course, they started me on 40mg (a month or two?) then went up to 80mg. (40mg twice a day) You wouldn't believe the amount of times I heard from Dermatologists "Third times a charm!"

I think the biggest problem that I had with Accutane was that I thought it was the ONLY "cure". My skin looked awesome on it. Once I completed my trial, it stayed flawless.. until exactly 12 months later. Every time it would come back exactly the same. When it came back in August 2012, if I hadn't nipped it in the butt it would have gradually gotten worse.

I'm glad I found out about Spironolactone, I think it plays a big part in this role. When I suggested it to my dermatologist, she stated "Well, I CAN put you on it if you'd like. I usually only prescribe it to my female patients who are 40 years old or above." So it's not something that is widely suggested. They'd rather push retinoid creams on you which cost $40 a tube. Haha. Spiro costs $5!!

Also - switching my BC from Aleese to Tri-Sprintec played a major role as well (for me).

I think the vitamins just give it a boost. I think the vitamins on their own wouldn't have cured me.


Wow I cant believe you've taken that much without severe side effects - you haven't experienced anything?
Your skin looks amazing btw I dont think you need it

#6 This is my name

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

i had never heard about saw palmetto's effects for hormonal acne. i might have to try this now because i have been suspecting that my acne is hormonal. also i am reading that it's good for oily skin and male baldness, so i think i might have to try it! my skin has been very oily lately and i've been losing my hair for a little while, so what else do i have to lose?

#7 kellbell842

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:12 AM

hey guys! I just finished my accutane course 1 month ago and LOVED my skin. My acne was only mild before i started, but very persistant. I stopped my birth control pills about 3.5 months ago (month 3-4 of my accutane course) as I was not having sex. My skin was phenomenal on accutane, but now, only one month after, Ive had a breakout (one cystic acne on cheek, bumps around chin). I ran to my derm begging to go back on, but she said I should go back on birth control and that should settle the problem (as my acne wasnt too severe in the first place).
After I stopped my birth control, I had one heavy period and have missed ever since. 3 missed periods, and now a breakout post- accutane.

I am planning to go back on birth control on wednesday when i see my OBGYN, but am nervous because birth control didnt help BEFORE the accutane.

please, any advice!

#8 emmatorrens

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:16 PM

Hiya, can I just ask, did you ever get acne on your forehead? You look amazing by the way. I'm so jealous!

#9 SebumSucks

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:28 AM

It's probably the vitamin D3 that did it. 4 weeks ago I started taking it and it has cured me after 22 years of acne/oily skin hell. (I have also been on Accutane 3 times). Anyway, acne sufferers need to try Vitamin D3. Almost everyone is deficient in Vitamin D so you should be taking it anyway for general health and to lower your risk of cancer and bone ailments, etc. Take over the counter D3, anything from 1000IU to 4000IU is considered safe.