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Accutane And Hair Loss: Does Biotin Do The Trick?

#accutane #differen #retina #solodyn #epiduo #acne #myexperience #biotin

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#1 mysterygirl123

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 09:18 PM

I'm fifteen years old and have suffered from moderate-to-severe acne for the past two years. It's definitely genetic, seeing as my mom went through the same thing in her teenage years, but I'm hoping I can still speed up the process. I started seeing a dermatologist about a year and a half ago, and since then I've tried everything--literally everything. Almost every acne-fighting product available-both oral and topical- from Proactive to Persa-Gel to Clearisil to Solodyn to Minocycline to Doryx to Differen to Retin-A to Epiduo to every single Nuetrogena and Clean & Clear product ever made. You name it, I've tried it. With several of the medications I did see temporary improvement, but nothing significant or worth the never-ending effort and stress. I have extremely sensitive skin and I have to constantly worry about what I'm putting on my face/letting touch my face/eating/etc,. 

 

My dermatologist put me on Loestrin (birth control pills) about 4 months ago, while also continuing my solodyn (80 mg per day) and topical Epiduo. But I didn't see much improvement, so about a month ago she recommended Accutane. I went through the process (blood work, forms, pregnancy tests, you know the drill) and finally began taking Absorbica (isotretinoin, a brand of Accutane) two days ago. I've heard a lot of rumors about the extreme side effects of Accutane, and stocked up on chapstick, Blistex, and 30 years worth of Cetaphil moisturizer. I also read a lot of peoples' experiences that included a painful, awful, absolutely hellish initial breakout and that kind of scared me. However, my derm told me that since I've already been on Retin-A, which I believe is a form of isotretinion, I have already experienced that initial purging for the most part. Can anyone confirm that?

 

Also, I know Accutane can cause hair loss/thinning and I already have thin hair, so I'd like to take a supplement for that, possibly Biotin or some form of Vitamin B. But I've read that Biotin can cause severe breakouts/acne even in people who generally have good skin. Is that the case, or should taking Biotin while on Accutane be fine? If not, are there any other supplements/special hair care treatments that anyone recommends? All suggestions welcome, thanks so much for reading!



#2 londoncat8

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 07:15 PM

Biotin  should be taken in high doses to make a difference, about 15,000-20,000mcg. I never took it with accutane but I took it 1 month after I finished the course when my hair was falling out with the speed of light. I took it for 6 months to see improvements. I am still taking it 1 year past the treatment although my hair does not fall that much at all now. I have never heard from anyone who used biotin that they were breaking out while taking it. All the best to you!



#3 Like Moonlight

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 07:36 PM

Hey, I can confirm from my use another members usage that being in retin a prior to accutane does NOT stop the IB. I wish that were the case, it would have saved me lots of pain and hours in the mirrior covering those bad boys up. I was on retin a for 7 years with not much luck and my skin purged pretty darn bad. The breakouts are differnt though. I was purging out white heads by the minute. I would get 15 to 20 in a day. Everytime I looked in the mirror you would see new acne and the next day mainly those whiteheads would be gone the next day, then a whole new batch would roll in the next day. Crazy! But that's not everyone. Some people get lucky and hopefully you are one of them.

As far as the biotin I did take it during my course. From day one I started a few different supplements. Biotin, fish oil, and vitamin b12. My hair stayed in decent shape during my course, dry as all hell mind you but it wasnt falling out. Once I finished my course on the other hand my hair started falling out like crazy. With every shower I would lose hundreds of strands of hair. I stepped up my biotin intake once that started and after about 3 to 4 months my hair stopped falling out at that alarming rate. It never has returned to its normal thickness though, no one else could notice my hair thinning, thank god I was the one who cleaned out the shower drain. Ick!

#4 mysterygirl123

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 09:33 AM

Biotin  should be taken in high doses to make a difference, about 15,000-20,000mcg. I never took it with accutane but I took it 1 month after I finished the course when my hair was falling out with the speed of light. I took it for 6 months to see improvements. I am still taking it 1 year past the treatment although my hair does not fall that much at all now. I have never heard from anyone who used biotin that they were breaking out while taking it. All the best to you!

 Thank you! I'll give it a try, hopefully it will work!



Hey, I can confirm from my use another members usage that being in retin a prior to accutane does NOT stop the IB. I wish that were the case, it would have saved me lots of pain and hours in the mirrior covering those bad boys up. I was on retin a for 7 years with not much luck and my skin purged pretty darn bad. The breakouts are differnt though. I was purging out white heads by the minute. I would get 15 to 20 in a day. Everytime I looked in the mirror you would see new acne and the next day mainly those whiteheads would be gone the next day, then a whole new batch would roll in the next day. Crazy! But that's not everyone. Some people get lucky and hopefully you are one of them.

As far as the biotin I did take it during my course. From day one I started a few different supplements. Biotin, fish oil, and vitamin b12. My hair stayed in decent shape during my course, dry as all hell mind you but it wasnt falling out. Once I finished my course on the other hand my hair started falling out like crazy. With every shower I would lose hundreds of strands of hair. I stepped up my biotin intake once that started and after about 3 to 4 months my hair stopped falling out at that alarming rate. It never has returned to its normal thickness though, no one else could notice my hair thinning, thank god I was the one who cleaned out the shower drain. Ick!

 

That's good to know--thank you! I've been on Accutane for about 5 days and haven't noticed anything yet (my skin has actually cleared up a bit but that may just be the initial placebo effect). A few whiteheads have come up but not more than anything normal for me. I'm just ready to be completely clear!!! And thanks, I've been taking my usual multivitamin and vitamin C but I think I'll add in fish oil and a biotin/vitamin B supplement as well. Thank you so much! I hope my hair doesn't get too bad. Are there any shampoos or conditioners that you used that might help? 


Edited by mysterygirl123, 09 December 2013 - 05:30 PM.


#5 Like Moonlight

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 11:28 PM

I didn't find any shampoos or conditioners that helped. What I did was stopped washing my hair as often. Which is easy to do on accutane. Your oils dry out your hair pretty soon. I could go 5 days without washing hair. And I used those days the best I could being gentle with my hair. Conditioning the hell out of it and letting that stay in throughout a bath so my hair could get some hydration. I used no more tangles to make sure I was pulling out more hair than nesscessary. Wore my hair in a braid and was just gentle with it. I combed not brushed. All of this helped me.

#6 mysterygirl123

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 09:58 AM

I didn't find any shampoos or conditioners that helped. What I did was stopped washing my hair as often. Which is easy to do on accutane. Your oils dry out your hair pretty soon. I could go 5 days without washing hair. And I used those days the best I could being gentle with my hair. Conditioning the hell out of it and letting that stay in throughout a bath so my hair could get some hydration. I used no more tangles to make sure I was pulling out more hair than nesscessary. Wore my hair in a braid and was just gentle with it. I combed not brushed. All of this helped me.

 Thank you, that's good to know! It's been 11 days I haven't noticed any dryness yet of the skin, face, or hair--and only mild chapped lips which are normal in this weather. I haven't had an IB, but my skin seems to have relapsed into the state it was in before I started taking solodyn and loestrin orally about 5 months ago. I've generally had pretty mild acne where all it took was a little concealer to cover it up, but now my blemishes are more raised and noticeable. I guess I could sum it up in saying that the degree/severity of the breakouts are the same, but the breakouts are more widespread and in different places than usual. Is that what an IB is?



#7 sunsetblvd

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 02:26 PM

I didn't find any shampoos or conditioners that helped. What I did was stopped washing my hair as often. Which is easy to do on accutane. Your oils dry out your hair pretty soon. I could go 5 days without washing hair. And I used those days the best I could being gentle with my hair. Conditioning the hell out of it and letting that stay in throughout a bath so my hair could get some hydration. I used no more tangles to make sure I was pulling out more hair than nesscessary. Wore my hair in a braid and was just gentle with it. I combed not brushed. All of this helped me.

Similarly to you my hair loss didn't begin until after my treatment was over. It's been a month and half and I'm getting really worried because it has only gotten worse. How much Biotin did you take on a daily basis? And even though your hair never returned to it's original thickness did some of it grow back? Thanks! 



#8 oli girl

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 06:26 PM

I noticed you mentioned you were taking a multivitamin.....It is advised to not take any vitamin or excess Vit A while on Accutane since it is a derivative. Vit A overdose can cause hair loss also. You also want to make sure whatever fish oil you take it is NOT cod liver oil which is loaded with Vit A.



#9 Like Moonlight

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 11:57 PM

I didn't find any shampoos or conditioners that helped. What I did was stopped washing my hair as often. Which is easy to do on accutane. Your oils dry out your hair pretty soon. I could go 5 days without washing hair. And I used those days the best I could being gentle with my hair. Conditioning the hell out of it and letting that stay in throughout a bath so my hair could get some hydration. I used no more tangles to make sure I was pulling out more hair than nesscessary. Wore my hair in a braid and was just gentle with it. I combed not brushed. All of this helped me.

Similarly to you my hair loss didn't begin until after my treatment was over. It's been a month and half and I'm getting really worried because it has only gotten worse. How much Biotin did you take on a daily basis? And even though your hair never returned to it's original thickness did some of it grow back? Thanks! 

I took the recommended dosage on the bottle, I can't remember what MG or anything right no but I took one pill a day. My hair has since grown back yes. What are you doing to combat the hair loss your experiencing?

I didn't find any shampoos or conditioners that helped. What I did was stopped washing my hair as often. Which is easy to do on accutane. Your oils dry out your hair pretty soon. I could go 5 days without washing hair. And I used those days the best I could being gentle with my hair. Conditioning the hell out of it and letting that stay in throughout a bath so my hair could get some hydration. I used no more tangles to make sure I was pulling out more hair than nesscessary. Wore my hair in a braid and was just gentle with it. I combed not brushed. All of this helped me.

 Thank you, that's good to know! It's been 11 days I haven't noticed any dryness yet of the skin, face, or hair--and only mild chapped lips which are normal in this weather. I haven't had an IB, but my skin seems to have relapsed into the state it was in before I started taking solodyn and loestrin orally about 5 months ago. I've generally had pretty mild acne where all it took was a little concealer to cover it up, but now my blemishes are more raised and noticeable. I guess I could sum it up in saying that the degree/severity of the breakouts are the same, but the breakouts are more widespread and in different places than usual. Is that what an IB is?

That could be your IB. Most people notice a purging that happens with their skin though. This doesn't sound like what's happening with you though. You are only 11 days in at this point so it's very possible that the IB is still to come.
My IB did not start until 4 weeks in and I swear it continued for 2 months after that. I was breaking out like crazy but my acne was coming to new areas where I did not have any issues prior. Like most of my acne was my cheeks and chest and back. Once I started tane my body acne cleared right away. My cheeks exploded during my IB. Once all that healed my acne stopping forming on my cheeks for the most part. What then started was the break outs all over my jawline! I've never broke out there before and my forehead started to break out as well. That went on until months 5. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere all my acne stopped and healed and I was clear for the rest of my course and then till 4 months after...

#10 sunsetblvd

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 01:00 AM

Like moonlight: currently I'm taking biotin and milk thistle and I plan on getting taurine and red wine extract. I only wash my hair twice a week with a herbal sulfate-free shampoo. The two doctors I consulted both said this side effect is temporary but that's hardly reassuring with all these horror stories of people never getting their hair back.

#11 Like Moonlight

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:46 AM

Like moonlight: currently I'm taking biotin and milk thistle and I plan on getting taurine and red wine extract. I only wash my hair twice a week with a herbal sulfate-free shampoo. The two doctors I consulted both said this side effect is temporary but that's hardly reassuring with all these horror stories of people never getting their hair back.


Most people's hair does grow back. In most cases it is temporary hair loss. I know that's not all that assuring. I'd like to be able to tell you it w for sure thing but it's not as you see with other users.

#12 sunsetblvd

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:41 AM

Yeah hopefully I have some luck. After a month and a half my hair is already noticeably thinner to me. In six months or year I couldn't imagine how it will look. Is anyone familiar with topical steroids for hair growth?

#13 Like Moonlight

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 02:04 PM

Yeah hopefully I have some luck. After a month and a half my hair is already noticeably thinner to me. In six months or year I couldn't imagine how it will look. Is anyone familiar with topical steroids for hair growth?


If you notice that your hair is noticeably falling out, I suggest stopping the medication while you have the chance. I know that's not what you want to do, but you have to weight the options here, no hair or acne? There are other choices for acne. Hair loss isn't as easy to deal with ya know. Not a lot of treatments out there that are a guarantee. Anyway if I would have noticed my hair falling out at the rate it was after my course, I would have stopped. At that point I thought accutane was my only way to treat my acne. I did get clear. 4 months later I started breaking out. I flipped out and went to my obgyn the second I could get in. I asked to try spiro out, there is a member on here that goes my green gables and she gives really amazing information about hormonal acne and always suggests spiro if accutane fails. So I figured why not what's it going to hurt and with my hair loss after stopping accutane I did not want to get back on accutane. My ob had no issue prescribing it. I didn't think it was going to work, because I never thought my acne was hormonal at all. I started the spiro and I've never looked back, I'm completely clear and I love the stuff, no side effects at all. So really if you notice your hair falling out at a rate your concerned about, which my guess is you already are since your posting here lol. Try spiro. I'm a advocate for accutane I really am, it has worked wonders for people that had no hope otherwise. Sometimes it is the right answer for people. For me it was. I'd just never do it again after the side effects I had.

#14 sunsetblvd

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 10:33 PM

Yeah hopefully I have some luck. After a month and a half my hair is already noticeably thinner to me. In six months or year I couldn't imagine how it will look. Is anyone familiar with topical steroids for hair growth?


If you notice that your hair is noticeably falling out, I suggest stopping the medication while you have the chance. I know that's not what you want to do, but you have to weight the options here, no hair or acne? There are other choices for acne. Hair loss isn't as easy to deal with ya know. Not a lot of treatments out there that are a guarantee. Anyway if I would have noticed my hair falling out at the rate it was after my course, I would have stopped. At that point I thought accutane was my only way to treat my acne. I did get clear. 4 months later I started breaking out. I flipped out and went to my obgyn the second I could get in. I asked to try spiro out, there is a member on here that goes my green gables and she gives really amazing information about hormonal acne and always suggests spiro if accutane fails. So I figured why not what's it going to hurt and with my hair loss after stopping accutane I did not want to get back on accutane. My ob had no issue prescribing it. I didn't think it was going to work, because I never thought my acne was hormonal at all. I started the spiro and I've never looked back, I'm completely clear and I love the stuff, no side effects at all. So really if you notice your hair falling out at a rate your concerned about, which my guess is you already are since your posting here lol. Try spiro. I'm a advocate for accutane I really am, it has worked wonders for people that had no hope otherwise. Sometimes it is the right answer for people. For me it was. I'd just never do it again after the side effects I had.

I actually finished my course of accutane almost 2 months ago. My skin is clear, the hair loss is really my only issue.



#15 Like Moonlight

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 11:32 PM

Ooh I see. Now I remember reading that :) my hair took a couple of months to stop falling out. I am still getting regrowth now.

#16 oli girl

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 10:04 PM

You can read Lamarr1986 posts on topical steroid use for hair loss. There is actually a hair loss thread around here. I'll have to find the link. I do know that Lamarr has other issues and after many years has dropped the topical steroids, but does use and suggest lasers. He suggest Steroids for short term use. He developed Alopecia though which is listed as a side effect of Accutane.

 

Good Luck

 

It won't let me paste a link, so go to the search bar above and type in hair loss and then it is called answers my doctor gave me on hair loss.


Edited by oli girl, 18 December 2013 - 10:07 PM.


#17 sunsetblvd

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Posted 20 December 2013 - 11:49 PM

Thanks for the info Oli girl. I'm actually quite familiar with that thread as this hair loss thing has been driving me crazy for weeks. I've probably read most of it to be honest. I know you've been in this community for a sizeable amount of time and are really knowledgable on accutane induced hair loss. Did you ever experience re-growth? Do you recommend anything? I don't know how much longer I can watch my hair fall out, it's driving me insane lol.

#18 mysterygirl123

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 07:51 PM

I noticed you mentioned you were taking a multivitamin.....It is advised to not take any vitamin or excess Vit A while on Accutane since it is a derivative. Vit A overdose can cause hair loss also. You also want to make sure whatever fish oil you take it is NOT cod liver oil which is loaded with Vit A.

I didn't know that, thank you so much! My multi vitamin has 50% of the recommended amount of vitamin A, so I'm stopping that immediately. I've been taking vitamin C as well, (I have for the majority of my life) but is that okay to continue with? And also, what are the negatives of taking excess vitamin A while on accutane besides hair loss? And thank you! Haven't started fish oil yet but I'm looking into it.

 

It's been almost a month since I started accutane and I think I'm having my IB now, but I'm not sure. My skin hasn't been particularly dry, but the inside of my nose has been extremely dry, raw, and painful. My hair has become drier, but I'm kind of glad because it's generally been on the oily side. Also, I've experienced AWFUL lower back pain (which I believe is a side effect of accutane?) and that's made it difficult to drive and even sleep comfortably. As far as my acne itself, I have breakouts all over my face that aren't too difficult to hide with a good deal of make up, but much, much worse than I tend to have.

 

Also, I've had two persistant sores (or maybe they're cysts or something similar?), one on each corner of my mouth. They are very red and painful, impossible to conceal, and not exactly attractive. I've had them for about two weeks--thankfully I'm on my winter break so I can let my skin rest a bit--but I've had to cancel several auditions and things so they're a bit of an inconvenience. But then again, I guess acne is an inconvenience in general, so I 'm just trying to get through it all. Thanks so much for the suggestions everyone! Any advice on these particular things?


Edited by mysterygirl123, 29 December 2013 - 07:56 PM.


#19 oli girl

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Posted 29 December 2013 - 11:13 PM

Vitamin C should be okay! I would take some Vitamin D (Vitamin A & D compete and Accutane is known to deplete this) and magnesium and possible you could try either fish oil (without retinol/Vitamin A/Cod Liver oil) or hyaluronic Acid as Accutane is known to deplete this. Some have tried chondroitin or something like that. Be careful with the fish oil, some on and who have had persistent side effects after Accutane have had issues. Just keep check.

I would do crunches to and stretching for the lower back pain along with Vit D and such.  Accutane has profound effect on the bones and muscles and states so in the rx information. For some this goes away after treatment and for others it doesn't.

Excessive Vit A can cause a lot of things, it has the same effect on bones, dryness, hair loss, mental issues etc....

 

As for the lips possibly angular chellitis??? cold sores??? Not sure what exactly it is, could ask the derm and maybe some antibiotic lip ointment from over the counter.

 

Good Luck



#20 mysterygirl123

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 12:50 AM

Update, I did some research and I think the sores on the corners of my mouth might be angular cheilitis, which I've read can often be caused by Accutane. Is anyone familiar with this who can suggest some remedies??






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