My log is a little late, but better late than never! On May 22, 2013, I began an ultra low dose Accutane experiment supervised by my derm.
A bit about myself before I dive in. I am a 25 year old Korean male. I am 6 feet tall and weigh about 130 pounds. I was born in Seoul, Korea but I moved to San Francisco when I was 6. I am currently in Korea and attending school. Now, the important details about my skin:
I had a lot of acne growing up, especially when I hit puberty. Pretty sure it was hormonal back then since my acne improved as I hit my twenties. However, my face has been a constant oil slick and I had moderate persistent acne. I tried Dan's BP, SA, chemical peels, supplements of all kinds, facials, etc. For all the work and money I put into my skin, none of the products ever cleared me, and if they did it was temporary. My acne just did not go away and my face was an oil slick. In an hour after washing my face, I could see my face shining with oil. Ugh. Well, I had enough and I decided to try Accutane. That was 3 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did for my skin. I had very little side effects (bloody nose, dry lips, a bit of flaking, redness, flushing) but they all went away and it was easily bearable. It was worth the clear skin and no oil! I would go to my doctor and excitedly tell him, "No oil, no oil, no oil!" It was a miracle drug and I was clear by month 2. I was on 60 mg a day for 5 months. A complete course.
Sadly, about 3 months after, my oil started to come back and the acne along with it. You must understand that my oil levels and acne was not as severe as before, but the acne and oil still bothered me. So I went on a 2nd course of Accutane about a year ago. For some reason, the side effects were a lot worse this time. I really thought depression was not a side effect of Accutane but I think now it can be correlated if your skin gets worse. Of course you would be depressed if your skin turns to shit! My lips were dry, my skin was redder than ever, and my skin was super dry. It was a fucking battle for 3 months and then I stopped. I stopped because my skin was clear and the side effects were torture. My doctor says that it was probably because I did not need that much Accutane to control my acne. Truthfully, I had barely any acne (just persistent random whiteheads), but I wanted to take a 2nd course because my oil levels were not to my liking. I was sick of having to wipe away oil every 2 hours and I knew it was the only thing keeping me from clear skin.
Then life found me studying in Korea and it was here that I read a study on ultra low dose isotretinoin. It is a study by Dr. Plewig about ultra low dose isotretinoin over a long period of time. His study states that people with oily skin can control their oil levels and acne even with ultra low doses. Enamored by this theory, I went to a Korean derm (more like family doctor) and I asked if I could get a prescription for isotretinoin. So much easier to get it here and they actually have these mini bottles for low dose Accutane prescriptions! I learned that in Korea, people usually take lower doses for a longer period of time rather than blasting the sebaceous glands in five months. Luckily, my doctor was not new to ultra low dosing as many patients in Korea do this to maintain perfect skin...yes we are very vain. He didn't even write me a prescription but ordered me up a bunch of mini Accutane pills (one pill is 10 mg) and told me to take them as I saw fit. He gave me enough to last me years (cost me less than $100). And I don't have to come in every month for blood work! Yes!
Thus, begins my journey of 10 mg every 7-10 days. More (I will wait more days) if I feel like it, all up to how my skin reacts. It has been exactly 10 days since I started this experiment and my skin is doing very well. Oil levels seem to be the same, no dry lips yet, pretty much acne free, and feeling great.
But this is nothing. I have nothing to offer you guys right now. All I can say is that I am doing this because I feel like ultra low dose Accutane is a viable option for MANY people, but not many people know about it. I hope my log adds to the conversation and sheds more light on this subject. I will keep you guys updated as much as I can and I will keep this log alive until I stop taking this drug. After about a year, I know that I can offer you guys more.
I'd rather not take Accutane, but I also refuse to live more of my days with acne. Acne is not only physically scarring but emotionally and socially unhealthy. It fucking sucks. No one deserves acne, it is bullshit. But listen carefully, I also do believe that the best way to solve acne is not with prescriptions, over the counter fixes, BP, SA, cosmetics, cleansers, lotions, etc. I actually firmly believe that acne is caused by hormones and...what we eat! I could write a damn book about why I believe this is so, but let me just say two things:
1. More people have severe acne now than in the past.
2. Studies have found that indigenous tribes that have not been affected by the Western world have zero fucking acne.
Some people eat food and get fat and diabetes...others get acne. I got acne and oily skin. Even though I am very skinny, I eat for three people and I have had a huge sugar, carb tooth, fat, and meat tooth. I have won many eating competitions. But reading books on Paleo, Keto, Detox, and especially the "China Study", I started to change my diet for the better.
My diet is mainly fruits and veggies. Staying away from eggs, red meat, dairy, sugar, sugary drinks, wheat, breads, cakes, and all that good stuff. I truly believe this has helped me a lot with my general health and even my acne. I like it. It sucks to be nearly vegan but I know it is better for my long term health. If my skin gets clear, it is not only because of isotretinoin, it is also because of my diet. Isotretinoin is my back up and I will try to really live up to the "ultra" in my ultra low dose Accutane experiment.
My face regimen:
I am sick of all these acne cleansers and lotions. They just cover up the problem that is inside our bodies. They do not do anything for the what is causing our sebaceous glands to produce oil and clog our skins. The only thing I do is clean my hands with Dial soap and use lukewarm to cold water on my skin and clean with Cetaphil Gentle cleanser. Nothing else. No exfoliating. I want to do as little as possible. I am just going to control my diet and take isotretinoin every 10 days or more (if my oil levels drop, I might take just one every month).
If you guys have any questions for me, hit me up! My love goes out to all y'all, and a big _|_ to acne. Hehe.
Edited by yunchang, 01 June 2013 - 01:56 AM.