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Low My Experience Of Low Dose Isotretinoin Over High

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#1 Samcro

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 04:35 PM

I had begun to post a blog re: my experiences with Isotretinoin but being very lazy, had not updated it much at all.  So here I would like to provide my many years worth of experience of the medication, at varying doses etc, in the hope that it will help one of you out there.

 

I am a 29 year old male, weighing approx 80kg.

 

I first broke out with sever acne at the age of 15-16 and did all the usual things that teenages do with problem skin, clearsil, Benzoyl Peroxide etc, but of course to no effect.  I saw my local doctor and was prescribed a range of antibiotics and creams, but also to no effect.  My acne was very severe but not the cystic kind.  My face, neck, chest, back, and ass, were all extremely oily and covered in red bumps and stereotypical pustules.  I was quite easily one of the worst cases of acne at my entire school.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you what effect this has on ones confidence, social skills and general lust for life.  I hid as much as possible, avoided schoolmates by taking quiet routes to class, stayed late after the bell to avoid seeing people on my walk home, avoided all eye contact, stopped going out to social occasions, feined illness regularly on days which I deemed not worthy of going outside looking like I did; my mood bordered on suicidal and I could see no way out.  I became extremely paranoid about everything that touched my face.  I would need to wash whenever I came home from being outside, a few times a day at school, after every meal, and so on.

 

So....time to ride the tane train.  The dermatolgist, after himself trying various antibitoics on me decided it was time for Isotretinoin.  I began taking a course of 60mg for 6 months, with a further 3 month extension - I think I weighed a little less than I do now (80kg), but not much, and was 17 years old.  The Result - magic!  The side effects I remember were pretty harsh, lips in particular..I remember having nose bleeds frequently in class etc.  But the results were phonomenial and could not be argued with.  My skin on all parts of my body had completely cleared.  Even the blackheads on my nose had completely cleared.  My skin was better than other students who had had no trace of acne even.  It felt fresh, entirely soft and non greasy.  I was eccstatic.  I began getting a lot of attention from girls, people suddenly responded to me, wanted to be around me and began inviting me to various social gatherings.  Things were back on track and I could get on with my life.

 

BUT

 

Around 3 months after my treatment had ended I began getting the condition again, on all aforementioned areas, apart from, for some reason, my neck, which remained relatively clear.  I can't tell you how much of an impact this had on my whole character and disposition.  I relapsed into a depressive state.  The girls who had shown interest in me gave me a look of either horror or just pity.  People stopped talking to me, other kids called me names.  It was grim.  I often wished I hadnt had the remission days.  To have normal functioning skin, to be proud of it and then to have it all suddenly ripped away, felt so cruel and unfair. 

 

So what happened next?  I could no longer see my dermatoligst as my father had decided not to cover my medical insurance, and was instructed at the time by a GP that I should not take anymore as it would damage my liver etc.  I generally slipped into dispair and searched for a range of other products to help me for the next 10 years.  I did EVERYTHING, all varities of facial washes and exfoiliants, tea tree oil, witch hazel, african black soap, lemon juice, retin A cream, light and laser thearpy, antibiotics, drastic changes in diet, benzoyl peroxide, zince supplements, Vitamin B5, Ibuprofen etc etc etc etc.

 

After costing me a 5 year relationship with my partner and dropping out of university after 4 years of study, I decided it was time to try Isotretinoin again.  At this time I could now afford the treatment and was determined to rid myself of the disease.  I managed to get an appointment, at great cost, with my former dermatologist, whom still had my records.  At this time I was now 27 years old.  The course we both decided on was 40mg for around 15 months I think it was.  During this course, my back, chest and ass completely cleared...with only just a few blemishes, hardly noticable, occuring from time to time on my face.

 

After a few months or remission, I began breaking out again, this time just on my face and ass.  I returned to my derm and began an 80mg course, with the intention of taking it for 16-24 weeks.  At week 8 however my derm decided that the drug was not 'working' for me and told me to go cold turkey for another 8 weeks before seeing him again for a different treatment.  I was pissed off.  To have have to go through all the side effects 80mg brought for nothing.

 

I sought out a competing derm for a second opinion, at great expense.  He prescribed me a low dose treatment of 3 20mg capsules of isotretinoin a week, with some hydrocortisone cream for dry patches.  I have now been on this treatment for close to a month and i can report, it is working wonders.  I have very few side effects and next to no active acne.  My lips are slightly more chapped than usual but nothing major.  My skin seems to be on the mend.

 

Please feel free to drop me a message if you have any questions, enquries.  I'd be happy to help.

 

Regards,

Rob

 

By the by, these are products I have used and found effective during treatment:

 

Dry eyes - Murine dry eye redness and irritation drops

Lips - Aquarphor, Vaseline, Dr dans lip balm

Dry skin - Cetaphil and hydrocortisone cream

Active bumps - ibuprofen gel



#2 ughhhhh

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Posted 26 June 2013 - 05:01 PM

Hydrocortisone cream will thin your skin when used for long periods of time, often permanently. I really recommend using just plain old lotion for your dry skin. Other than that, I'm glad it's working for you.



#3 BlueMoon3

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 11:25 AM

Hey,

 

Your post was very informative. I went on Roaccutane at the age of 17 after trying everything under the sun, and it seemed to help wonderfully. My skin was beautiful and oil-free for a good two years. My acne is slowly creeping back, though, and it is destroying my self esteem. I have seriously been considering another course of Roaccutane.

 

As my acne isn't as bad as it was back in my teens (I am 21 now, so it has been three and a half years since Roaccutane), I was wondering if it would be effective to try a mild dose of Roaccutane. I can't remember the amount of mg I was put on (I have a feeling it may have been 50mg at the highest) back in my teens, but I was on this drug for six months, and I don't think it was long enough. My skin had cleared, but I might have benefited from another month or so. 

 

Anyway, I have tried a lot of remedies to deal with my current flare-up, but non have helped tremendously. I am very skeptical about antibiotics, OTC creams and prescription lotions. The only thing that worked for me was Roaccutane. Obviously, if I could find something else JUST as effective with less health implications, I wouldn't be hesitating. I don't know of much, though, and I'd absolutely love to have my post-Accutane skin back. I suffered from painful joints, tiredness, a slight low mood, chapped lips, digestion problems and rashes on my arms when taking Roacctuane. Nothing terrible, but perhaps a mild dose wouldn't be too harmful this time, and would help to fight my acne. I'm honestly so stuck and I need help! I can't make a decision, as I keep reading about all these post-Roaccutane horror stories, and I keep wondering whether I should just stick with it and wait it out. The longer I wait, the more acne I experience, and the worse my scars will become. 

 

Any side effects or long-term effects that you've noticed since Roaccutane? Did your mild course give you as many side effects, and is a milder course safer? Thanks.



#4 13yearsofAcne

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:30 PM

At this time I was now 27 years old.  The course we both decided on was 40mg for around 15 months I think it was.  During this course, my back, chest and ass completely cleared...with only just a few blemishes, hardly noticable, occuring from time to time on my face.

 

After a few months or remission, I began breaking out again, this time just on my face and ass.  I returned to my derm and began an 80mg course, with the intention of taking it for 16-24 weeks. 

 

Holy cow, are those dosages and durations for real?



#5 Samcro

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:31 PM

Yes



#6 Samcro

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 12:49 PM

Hey,

 

Your post was very informative. I went on Roaccutane at the age of 17 after trying everything under the sun, and it seemed to help wonderfully. My skin was beautiful and oil-free for a good two years. My acne is slowly creeping back, though, and it is destroying my self esteem. I have seriously been considering another course of Roaccutane.

 

As my acne isn't as bad as it was back in my teens (I am 21 now, so it has been three and a half years since Roaccutane), I was wondering if it would be effective to try a mild dose of Roaccutane. I can't remember the amount of mg I was put on (I have a feeling it may have been 50mg at the highest) back in my teens, but I was on this drug for six months, and I don't think it was long enough. My skin had cleared, but I might have benefited from another month or so. 

 

Anyway, I have tried a lot of remedies to deal with my current flare-up, but non have helped tremendously. I am very skeptical about antibiotics, OTC creams and prescription lotions. The only thing that worked for me was Roaccutane. Obviously, if I could find something else JUST as effective with less health implications, I wouldn't be hesitating. I don't know of much, though, and I'd absolutely love to have my post-Accutane skin back. I suffered from painful joints, tiredness, a slight low mood, chapped lips, digestion problems and rashes on my arms when taking Roacctuane. Nothing terrible, but perhaps a mild dose wouldn't be too harmful this time, and would help to fight my acne. I'm honestly so stuck and I need help! I can't make a decision, as I keep reading about all these post-Roaccutane horror stories, and I keep wondering whether I should just stick with it and wait it out. The longer I wait, the more acne I experience, and the worse my scars will become. 

 

Any side effects or long-term effects that you've noticed since Roaccutane? Did your mild course give you as many side effects, and is a milder course safer? Thanks.

Hello Blue Moon,

 

Thank you for your message.  I entirely empathaise with your situation, nothing worse than having a relapse occur.  I currently see no side effects taking 1 x 20mg isotretinoin capsule every two days, (my doc prescribed it for 3 a week but I find this method better personally).  I do not have acne on my body and get only a few bumps here and there on my face.  But I am seeing more and more improvement as time progresses.  If you would like my advice, from my experience, personally I could not recommend this low dose method enough to you!  I however did do a high dose of 80mg for 8 weeks, which may have done a lot of the 'graft' work of really getting in my system - after that I went down to the course described above.

 

My biggest point of advice is DO NOT delay, and get the 'tane, it will work.  The dosage is all down to your choice really, obviously the lower the dose, the longer you will have to take it, but then the side effects are near non existant.  I was however defo suprised by how well I am responding to such a low dose!

 

Please feel free to add me or drop me a message if you would like me to answer any further queries.  Be more than happy to help.

 

Best of luck to you

 

Regards



#7 13yearsofAcne

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 01:09 PM

Hey

 

Really interested in your experience as I've done / do a similiar thing. Is your derm private or NHS?



#8 Samcro

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 05:23 AM

Hey,

 

Both derm's I've seen are private.  Costs more obviously but I find it invaluable being able to see him at a drop of a hat.






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