I am a 23 year old in the UK starting an isotretinoin course for an acne problem that has plagued me for years.
My acne severity varies wildly & I can be 99% clear one month, but break out awfully the next. I'm lucky enough to not have developed any Cysts but I often have quite a few hard, red nodules.
I have been on every oral antibiotic under the sun. Doxycycline was effective in my teens but practically useless these days. Lymecycline was probably the most effective for me. All of the cycline's gave me no side effects. Erythromycin was useless.
I can also say from my own experience, Benzoyl Peroxide is the best topical by a mile- it can't get to the deeper stuff under the skin, but does wonders for spots nearer the surface of the skin. I've used Quinoderm 5 for a long time. I've had little success with topical retinoids & antibiotics.
My dermatologist has prescribed me a 5-6 month course of 60mg a day. I think this is a little high, at least to begin with, so I'm going with 40mg to start. Being in the UK, I get a 3-month supply for £7.60. I love the NHS. I am 5"11 and 75kg.
Since I've had plenty of experience with most acne products over the years I'd be happy to answer any questions on anything. I'm a patient person and tend to give products a good couple of months before decided if they're useless or not.
Funnily enough nothing is happening yet.
The drug is really kicking in now. I've seen a bit of a flare up but mostly some changes- my skin & lips are now very dry & I haven't seen too many new spots but my existing acne has flared. I think this is probably normal, quite frustrating for the time being, but hoping it will pass soon.
On another note, the amount of pseudo-science on this whole forum is just ridiculous, even for an internet forum. I'm guessing there isn't a lot of moderation. If I read candida one more time my faith in humanity is going to falter.
No massive changes. Very, very few new spots & if they do appear, they're very small. I seem to have the remains of some older & bigger nodules just hanging around & not doing much healing. They're quite red but pretty flat so not too bad, and I think they will eventually go away. Only real side effect is the dry lips still, with small patches of dry skin easily solved with a dab of moisturiser.
For anyone worried about playing sport while on Isotretinoin, I run anywhere from 3-10 miles most days & play a lot of football with no ill effects whatsoever. You do however become ridiculously red, but since you're running about anyway it doesn't look particularly unusual.
Day 32 (probably):
It's a friends' birthday this weekend so been seeing lots of people & going out. I'm actually quite clear at the moment, aside from a few small spots, one of which is right on my lip and although now seems to be dead, has left a massive flaky mess. More frustrating & annoying rather than properly soul-destroying, so it's not so bad I suppose. Hopefully the flakiness will go down a bit before later!
Generally I'm seeing changes quite slowly- or rather it seems slow, but considering I've only been taking the drug just over a month, it's actually been pretty fast. Remnants of a few proper bad-ass nodules from xmas & before still remain but are eventually fading out. It's always a worry that they will suddenly flare up again, but they're doing ok for now.
On the breakout front I only seem to be getting the odd little spot once every 2 or 3 days. Some are under-the-skin and look like they're going to be horrible and scary, but fade away in a couple of days, which is lovely! I haven't had one that's taken more than a few days to go away yet. Absolutely loving Isotretinoin so far- also quite lucky on the side effect front & still only experiencing dry lips and very mildly dry skin. I have a physical job that often means I get a few cuts/grazes/splinters at the end of a shift, and I haven't really noticed skin being any more fragile or longer to heal in general.
On a gross note, I shoved a needle through a big lump under my jaw & it turned out it was quite a sizeable cyst. I actually think it was nothing to do with acne & just a random sebaceous cyst. Anyway, drained all the crap out & now it's nice and flat. Most satisfying thing I've ever done.
Edited by Rorius, 23 February 2013 - 03:15 AM.