I'll try to consolidate years worth of history into as smaller as post as possible.
I'm a 23 year old male, 150lbs, living in California. I remember getting my first pimple in the 4th grade. I wasn't really aware of what that meant for me at such a young age. During rest of elementary school, I would occasionally get a few pimples. Nothing too bad at all, it was by far mild. By the time I entered the 6th grade, I had mild-to-moderate acne. I remember being the only one who had acne at such a young age. It definitely made me keep a lot to myself during that year. Thankfully, while my acne never did improve, as middle school progressed, everyone else's skin got worse. At least this way I didn't feel like I was sticking out too bad.
However, by the end of middle school, my acne was terrible. By this time I was getting cysts on fairly regular basis. I would have an uncountable amounts of pimples in any given day. By that time I also was going through the various OTC medicines. Some helped a bit, others didn't really do anything. I remember watching the Proactiv infomercial time and time again. I really thought it was going to fix everything for me. Like I'm sure of many others here, I was severely disappointed with that as well.
By the time I was in high school, I begged my mom to take me to a dermatologist. She finally made an appointment for me, and I remember the excoriating 2 months between the time she made the appointment, until the actual appointment day. I went there several times over a course of about 2 years. We tried various antibiotics combined with topicals. While my skin was improving, I still had very moderate acne. Then came the discussions of Accutane. My mom would not even have the discussion with the derm (uh, what?). So after a very large fight, I stopped asking her to take me to the doctor. That's when I found acne.org and followed the regime for a few years. It definitely helped me out a lot, there's no denying that. But there were several instances I remember going to the school with an extremely bright red face from the BP and moisturizer combined. Extremely embarrassing for someone who was in high school.
Fast forward to a few more years, I entered the workforce. I was still using the regime religiously, and the crazy time commitment that it requires. But after so many years on it, it seemed as if it was losing its efficacy. That's when I decided to go to the derm on my own. Over the course of about a year, we played with Retin A (all the way to the highest strength), with minocycline (later doxy), and Sulfacetamide combined. It worked very well; the clearest I ever was. I did this for over a year. I still had acne. There was no doubt about that, and I would regularly break out.
I moved about 8 months ago. I decided to get a new derm. On my very first visit he had mentioned Accutane, and also let on that I was running out of options. There just wasn't much more left for me. At this point Accutane still scared the living daylight out of me. I was so scared when he mentioned I had very little options left.
He kept me on doxy, Sulfacetamide, and changed the Retin A to Epiduo. We did that for 3 months. It helped, again, I still was breaking out. I got more scared as the dreaded Accutane seemed to loom closer.
We swapped out the Epiduo with Tazorac. I was on Taz for about 2 months, and it was the same story. Again when I got switched, I was so scared. This was my last option. The only thing above this was the highest strength Taz, something he had warned me of. If Taz made things worse, I was officially out of options.
I woke up on Monday morning having two large cysts on my forehead, and several zits around my mouth. After talking with the significant other, I made the decision to go on Accutane. I made an appointment on Monday, for Thursday. And here we are now. I'll post Day 0 (Thursday) as its own day since I had some treatments done.
- Clean & Clear
- Nature's Cure
- Retin A
- Acne.org Regime
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- The-do-nothing-but-wash-with-lukewarm-water "regime"
- Paleo Diet
- Diet changes (no dairy, no simple carbs, no sugars, no soda)
My new regime will be extremely simple (about time!). I'll be using Cetaphil gentle cleanser in both the mornings and evenings. I'll be taking 3 Amnesteem 20mg pills daily, each time with food. I'll be using Cerave moisturizer in the morning, and Cetaphil in the evening. Aquaphor for my dry lips, and then Systane for my eyes since I wear contacts.
I also take Flovent, which is a corticosteroid, with a known drug interaction with Accutane. So I'll be taking a Vitamin D/calcium pill twice daily to help counteract that. I'll also be taking fish oil pills to ensure my cholesterol stays in check.
No alcohol for me, and I will do my best to help keep the fatty foods to a minimum.
Since I am mostly clear now after being on Taz and doxy for so long that, my derm is optimistic that I'll be fine with 4 months of 60mg daily. I've noticed that he has been a bit too optimistic in the past, so I'm not getting my hopes up too much.
I'm not really too worried about the crazy side effects. There's definitely a small concern there, don't get me wrong. But what I am mostly worried about is the IB. I've had acne for more than half of my life (how scary is that when you say it?). And in the past 10 years or so, I can point at only 2 separate 1-week incidents where I was not on anything. And it was not pretty at all. So I am very cautious about the IB, but I will force myself through it regardless of what happens.
I'll try to update as changes come in.
Edited by lookitsme, 19 January 2013 - 03:08 PM.