Hi, we are parents (u may not want to listen to us-we are mid 50's ) of 2 girls (our first is age 20) and our youngest is 14. Some background first, my husband's side of the family has a history of acne; moderate to severe. My wife's side has very mild acne. We are both hispanic so the hyper-pygmintation is an issue b/c we have darker skin. As to us as adults and for our children, we tried EVERYTHING out there for our acne. Ointments/antibiotics/home remedies, i mean everything! Nothing worked. With that being said, here is what we can tell you about our experiences for our children who took and are currently taking acutane: IT WORKS! But, you and your PARENTS NEED to educate yourself about this drug and the range of possible side effects.
1. Research this post and get facts about what to expect. here is the link to the page to read first before taking acutane. i wish we would have had this web site when my oldest took acutane. http://www.acne.org/...ge-information/ THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT LINK! READ IT! UNDERSTAND THE CALCULATIONS!
If this link doesn't work, search " acutane dosage".
2. After you read the do's and dont's figure out what is the best time period to start. Duh, my 14 yr old just started her 5 month course in Nov 20 2012 and this is really important. For example, she had to take a private school entrance exam and we never figured the acutane could affect her ability to focus. So make a 5-6 month plan.
3. Make sure your dermatologist, not a regular DR, knows their stuff! Acutane is based on the cumulative intake; your body weight is what determines how much you can take. KNOW WHAT YOUR INTAKE SHOULD BE! If your derm doesn't discuss this in length with you plus any possible increase or decrease in dosage that you can take during a course of acutane, FIND A NEW DERM!
4. SIDE EFFECTS. Each person varies. For our girls, my 14 yr old is in good health, weights 50kilgrams (you need to know how to convert) and is on 40mg of acutane for a 5 month course. She is very athletic; she plays club volleyball and this is intense! Here is what she is experiencing: Extremely sore knee joint pain; back pain; initial headaches which went away; on going rashes on elbows and hands; and we believe an inability to focus like she could before starting acutane (hence, time it with your school plans). Dry lips and eyes (she wears contacts), dry body. Nobody tells you this, but your skin becomes really tender and sensitive; like babyskin so be extremely gentle: FOLLOW THE REGIMEN for washing; 10 seconds to wash and no more; very gentle foam cleanser AND USE NO OTHER ACNE PRODUCTS! Your skin cannot handle it. Ok out of room but will post a second link with what to expect.
Well, if you got thru that, here is what you can expect: remember, your derm will really focus on the pregnancy issue, liver issues, cholesterol etc. Yes these are all extremely important but they won't tell you the side effects or really how to handle the course of treatment so continue to post questions. Here are the answers your seek
1. YES there will be an initial breakout (IB). My oldest daughter didn't have one but my 14 yr old after 3 months continues to have good and bad days. So expect things to get worse before they get better. i have read it can take up to the entire course before it kicks in.
2. As to the hyperpygmintation, for my 20 yr old, WOW, as best as we can recall, after 6 months, she was 100% clear and soft as a baby's bottom.Today, at age 20, you would never know she ever had any acne; her skin is so beautiful as parents who suffered acne, it makes us feel so good that we could do this for her.
3. Your course of treatment, figure it out! Question your derm, but 4-6 months seems to be the norm. Here's the issue: The shorter the course, the higher the dosage. I don't think my 14 yr old could have handled a higher dose than 40mg. Only you know how much you can handle. Start low and if necessary build up; that's what we are considering for months 4&5 for our 14 yr old. Her 1st mo was w/o food, this meant about a 50% absorption rate; thereafter she took with food. That's how it's supposed to be taken with food. We think our derm knows what he is doing b/c 1st mo at 50% w/ later increase in mos 4-5. will get her the cumulative amt she needs.
4. Results. Who knows; each person varies and it takes time to build up the cumulative amt in your body for it to work; have patience b/c it is worth it!
5. Is acutane worth it? ABSOLUTELY! But, you need to do more research on this site; for example we forgot to mention our 20 yr old suffered from depression after taking it; we never made the connection until years later with the help of websites like the one DAN THE MAN has made here. It is a serious drug, but if taken with proper medical derm advice and educating yourself of the wide range of effects it can have, you can do it! It can be life changing. read the blogs and good luck if u go for it!