This is my first post here, so bear with me! Anyway, I started accutane a little less than a month ago, and I'm a male, 19, and 150 pounds. My acne is by no means severe, or even moderate. I would call it mild, but persistent (my nurse practitioner views accutane as the first-line treatment for practically all acne cases, no matter how slight). I am currently taking 40mg, soon to bump up to 80mg. Within one week of treatment, I noticed that my hair undoubtedly has been shedding. Like most people report, it is much drier and cleaner, which is nice, but the hair thinning and shedding has me concerned. It is diffuse throughout my head, and I am noticing a slight difference in its appearance. I can see through to the scalp, which I could not previously do.
A few months ago I was prescribed Accutane but chickened out for this (and only this) reason. After mustering the courage, I decided to begin treatment. As this was my only real concern, I took careful note of my hair before taking accutane, and I have to say that the strands are noticeably thinner. When I gently rub my hands through my hair, I will get about 20-30 hairs in the sink; some appear cracked in half, others contain the follicle. When I ran this test before treatment, I found about 2-3 hairs tops. I figure with natural day-to-day existence as well as sleep, I am losing about 100-150 hairs per day. This has been my only problem. I can easily handle the dry lips, skin, eyes, and bloody noses.
In the past few days, I have noticed this has only gotten worse. My derm is very condescending about my concerns and always assures me that accutane will not cause noticeable effects to my hair, but I am already beginning to see a change. I am washing it only a couple times a week, and way too terrified to see what would happen if I were to dry it with a towel. I could picture quite a few hairs on my towel after a decent scrub!
My main questions: If I am already experiencing these side effects, which usually are reported late in the treatment, if at all, at a dose half of what I am planning to take, is it worth continuing? From the looks of it, there don't seem to be any effective methods of reducing hair loss, but if anyone has experienced this problem and found ways to mitigate it, please share. Should I ask to go on a lower dose even though this is the lower end of my dosing according to my nurse practitioner? Has anyone gone through noticeable shedding and thinning, then recovered in a realistic time frame after treatment? If it takes a couple years for my hair to come back, then I don't think it is worth it.
I know I sound awfully paranoid, but I am only going by my observations. I am not overly stressed (anymore than any other college freshman during his first round of finals), and I have never experienced any kind of hair loss before. Also, I will promptly disregard any comments attributing this to natural male pattern baldness.
Thanks for any and all advice!