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First Visit To Dermatologist Tuesday! Advice?

dermatologist accutane regimen acne moderate/severe acne advice aha alpha hydroxy acid

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#1 afwestberry

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

Hi all :) I have suffered with light/moderate acne since I was 12 years old.. I started using ProActiv about age 14. I used it for about 3 years, and it kept my acne under control but didn't give me the clear skin that I wanted, so I did some research and decided to try Murad- which turned out to be in the same boat as ProActiv for me. Then I came across the Regimen. Remember, I suffered for 6 years with only light/moderate acne and dark marks left behind from past bumps. After using the Regimen for about 3 or 4 months, my face has gotten TERRIBLE compared to before. Definitely moderate-severe & break outs only on my cheeks, where I've never broken out before.

So, I've quit the regimen and started using ProActiv again (it was the easiest thing to obtain, hoping it might calm my acne down some) and finally convinced my parents that I needed to go to the dermatologist. I've done a lot of research... and of course, I want to be hasty and skip straight to Accutane. I'm aware of the common side effects, hopefully I'd be able to handle them if they were to pose a problem with me. But from what I've read, my derm more than likely won't want to put me on Accutane...

My biggest question is, what SHOULD I prepare for the dermatologist to prescribe me?
Have you all ever been to the derm, and if so, what was the process of medications they put you guys on? Did they work or did you eventually get prescribed Accutane too?

I know I sound hasty, but I'm 18. I've learned to deal with a few pimples here and there, maybe a worse-than-normal breakout that fades away.. but what is happening to my face now is not something that I can handle lol. Not to be emotional, but its really taking a toll on me and how I feel about myself (I used to feel really good about my appearance, despite the few bumps). Okay, I'm done boring you with background info & my feelings haha. Help me out guys!

#2 Guest_sugarglide_*

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:33 PM

Be prepared for the derm to recommend you some oral antibiotics and a prescription topical. That's what usually is the case if you've never been to a derm or been prescribed anything. Most derms will prescribe accutane as a last resort or if your skin is bad enough.. I went through multiple antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline, spironolactone, orthotricyclen, yaz) and multiple topicals (differin, benzaclin, ziana)... I went to the derm this past Monday and got blood work done to begin my accutane process! so I am waiting a month to go back, getting blood work done, and then i'll be able to begin popping pills! i am super excited and praying that i don't have a bad reaction to accutane. Talk to your derm about it if its something you really have considered.. Do your research ahead of time and talk to your derm and he/she will know what's best.

#3 afwestberry

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 04:40 PM

Be prepared for the derm to recommend you some oral antibiotics and a prescription topical. That's what usually is the case if you've never been to a derm or been prescribed anything. Most derms will prescribe accutane as a last resort or if your skin is bad enough.. I went through multiple antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline, spironolactone, orthotricyclen, yaz) and multiple topicals (differin, benzaclin, ziana)... I went to the derm this past Monday and got blood work done to begin my accutane process! so I am waiting a month to go back, getting blood work done, and then i'll be able to begin popping pills! i am super excited and praying that i don't have a bad reaction to accutane. Talk to your derm about it if its something you really have considered.. Do your research ahead of time and talk to your derm and he/she will know what's best.


I wish I could have started going to the derm a while back! Did any of the prescriptions you took work at all? I just dont want to have to go through the whole process of trial and error before actually getting something that works...

#4 duracell

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:22 PM

yeap. Pills...that's what they gave me when I went... I would recommend going to an aesthetician (You know...those peps that do facials) They usually have a lady who specializes on peps with pimples and in my experience they know and can do more for your skin than a dermatologist. They'll clean your face from dead skin cells and they'll be able to pop some pimples for you (PROFESSIONALLY) They apply heat so they will come out easier and I don't know the terminology but they have so many tools at their disposal to help.

So I guess what I'm saying is that a dermatologist will experiment to see what can possibly be wrong with you and it will take time and money...

an aesthetician on the other hand will work hands on with your face starting on the first day and will be able to you a lot

just my two cents.

plus aestheticans feels less like going to the doctors and more like going to get a massage =D

#5 JWaltersRN

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 05:30 PM

It depends on the Derm and the type of acne you have. My Derm looked at my face and current regimen, and immediately suggested Accutane because of scarring and deep cysts. Im afraid of Accutane, so she pulled it back to Spironolactone 100mg for 1 week, then 200 mg from then on, Differin 3% gel nightly and Salicylic acid peels once per week. Just started, but no new pimples, and my skin feels super soft.

I'm with you, I don't want to wait to see if something works, but I've read alot of bad things about accutane, and then found out that 30-odd percent of people have the Acne come back within a year... after all the blood tests, and birth control needs, and side effects, just for it all to come back, I'm willing to really save it for a LAST RESORT.

Just be open to the conversation, honestly share your thoughts and feelings and you and the Derm can make the right decisions for you.

30 years old
Caucasian Female
Medium Skin Tone
Cystic and Superficial Acne, Whiteheads, Pustules, Blackheads and clogged pores: OH MY!
Severe hyperpigmentation to cheeks and chin

Morning[/]
OCM: 70% Castor Oil, 30% Hemp seed oil, 5 drops Lavender EO (started 11/1/12)
Moisturize with Hemp oil or Say Yes to Carrots SPF 15 moisturizer

Night
OCM: 70% Castor Oil, 30% Hemp seed oil, 5 drops Lavender EO

200mg Spironolactone (started 12/19/12)
Differin .1%
Hemp oil or Emu oil for moisture



Weekly

20% Salicylic Acid Peel (once per week)
Manuka Honey after peel 

Manuka Honey and ginger once per week.


#6 freeas4bird

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:06 PM

See what the dermatologist says first as believe me sometimes the side effects can be very heavy, however do u have any PHOTOS from the past to show how bad you skin can look? When i went to see mine i only had only 3 spots (yep i counted them lol) but when i showed her a photo of a bad week she reccomanded accutane without me mentioning it. One of the questions she asked was if i had used any Gel? i have used RETIN-A but stoped as my skin was falling apart (literally). she suggested i start using it again while on acutane but i refused.
so far i am taking accutane and antibiotics, If u do start that though be prepared your skin WILL GET WORST before it gets better. it can carry on between 1 to 5 months. my face now looks a lot worst then before the meds but i am hoping to see results soon. Not the best look so far though.

Edited by freeas4bird, 13 December 2012 - 06:07 PM.

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#7 Guest_sugarglide_*

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:37 PM

Honestly, none of the prescriptions worked long term for me. That's why I'm resorting to accutane. I took spironolactone for a little over a year which has happened to work wonders for some women, but they usually end up having to take it for the rest of their lives which... is absurd to me.. I can only tell you that it didn't clear me up enough to where i was 100% satisfied (i had taken it in conjunction with minocycline (solodyn).. so towards the end of that course i switched to orthotricyclen for 3 months, then yaz for another couple months.. yaz cleared me up pretty well, but as soon as i got off about a month or two later, my acne was back. and bad. sooo after months of no change to my acne, i decided to see a derm for that accutane!

#8 Brownilocks

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 12:47 AM

The derm will definitely make you try the antibiotic/topical regimen first, as others have advised. For me, the minocycline was a better antibiotic than doxycline and I was on differin topical first then tazorac. I had mod to severe when I first started getting treatment 7 years ago. I got off the mino about 4 years ago and used taz for 5 1/2 years total (was clear this whole time with about 90%-100% clearance!) until it all came back worse than ever this September. Not sure why and neither is my derm, except I was stressing a lot around this time. Either way, I'm on accutane after years of avoiding it and wanting to avoid it because I was scared of the potential side effects and negative hype it gets. I'm glad to be on it now and hope it works for good! Try the topical/antibiotic route first as they will most likely force you to. If you notice it starting to come back just keep going back until you're 100% pleased. My acne is severe, but I've heard that some people with persistent mild to moderate acne are getting prescribed accutane nowadays as well if the other Rx treatments don't eventually (and yes, you will have to run the gauntlet first) produce the kind of clearance that the patient is ultimately seeking. Good luck to you and keep us posted on your progress!! Glad to answer any questions you might have!!! Posted Image

Edited by Brownilocks, 14 December 2012 - 12:54 AM.


#9 afwestberry

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 12:17 AM

Thanks for the advice everybody!! Like I said.. even though I've never actually been PRESCRIBED anything for acne, I feel like I've gone through trial & error enough and just want to get something that works!! The initial breakout phase scares me.. especially if I'm going to have to go through it with several different things in the case that they don't work and I have to switch to something else.

But, wish me luck! Only 1 more day until the derm (no, I'm normally NOT this excited about the doctor lol). I will keep you guys posted on how it goes & my progress!

Oh, and I uploaded pictures from before what I like to call the "breakout of all breakouts" and one from my face now (thank the Heavens for make up lol).

Edited by afwestberry, 17 December 2012 - 12:48 AM.


#10 afwestberry

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:04 AM

Went to the derm yesterday! It was my first visit so I was nervous.. I hear all these stories about how some will just walk in, give you a prescription and be done with you. Not this guy! He was very nice and really seemed like he wanted to help. He laid out all my options, Accutane included and recommended. So of course, I agreed! Now I'm just waiting on this month to go by so I can actually start taking!!

I know there's the IB stage and it takes time to kick in, but my derm seemed so confident in my situation I think it will all be worth it in the end!!

#11 freeas4bird

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 08:25 AM

nicely done, glad he cared, at least u know that he really recommanded what is best for u. make sure u keep a diary and take photos in weekly basis. it will help u see the progress plus it helps a lot to write things down in case it affects u emotionally.
let us know what dossage he gives u.

best wishes with this new journey!!

F.A.B
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#12 afwestberry

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Posted 02 January 2013 - 04:31 PM

Thank you! He prescribed me 20 mg. Two weeks into the BC now, only two more until my journey begins! I'm going to be sure to keep my progress updated on my blog.