I'm so sorry that my post came off as negative! I completely agree that Accutane is the best option out there at this time. Nothing is perfect - but this is pretty darn good.
I just wanted to point out that for a lot of people, especially women, hormonal therapies can be quite useful, even with Accutane. Since you posted this in the hormonal forum, I assume people battling hormones are reading it, and for some of them hormonal therapies (like BCP or spiro) may offer a more long term solution.
Women with hormonal acne are notorious for relapsing after Accutane. For me, Accutane was a miracle that helped me get everything under control. However, after Accutane, my acne returns without maintenance through BCP. I might be able to achieve the same maintenance through low dose Accutane, and I would consider this if I have any more issues in the future. But, the research on long term BCP use is better for now and gives me great results.
Your post really appealed to me, because I have been frustrated lately with all the high dose recommendations on this forum. So many posts talk about taking high daily doses when there is no research to support that this is better. Even the research on high cumulative doses is shady, and everyone on here that's into that quotes the exact same study, as though one study is a guarantee. It's not even a great study because the high dose people were on the drug for longer, so it raises questions about whether or not the dose, or the length of time are responsible for the effect (less relapse).
So I LOVE that you are on here asking us to reconsider our ideas about dosing and how we use Accutane. I just want to stress that Accutane isn't always a 'cure' or 'the only cure'. I say this not to discourage people from taking it, but to encourage them to consider it in different ways. Some people might benefit more from a long term low dose course, or from intermittent courses, or from even using it with something else, like a hormone therapy.
Everyone seems to think that you're just supposed to blow your body away with it, and then you're 'cured'. I liked your other post where you mentioned post-Accutane maintenance, and that it may involve continuing to use a topical or other preventative measures. I think I got a little defensive here because you specifically posted about hormonal therapies, which have been a god send for me for maintenance after Accutane, and kept me as clear as I was while on it. BCP also keeps me not oily, so Accutane is not the only thing to combat that, either. Everyone is a special flower - there is no 'one size fits all' method for controlling acne.
So I think some of us who have had great success with hormonal methods don't like the blanket statement that Accutane is the only or best way all the time. But I am not riled up, I assure you! I have really loved your posts, and I am super glad that there is someone on here with a strong voice supporting low dose Accutane. My derm (who is very opinionated, and pretty funny sometimes) said that the high dose craze is just a result of our Western society thinking more and fast are always better. We don't like to do things low and slow! I predict that in the next 5-10 years we will see a ton of research supporting low dose long term courses. The drug companies would surely love it if we could keep people on Accutane for way longer, and find other ways to use it successfully where it has failed in the past. It's win-win.
Thanks again for your posts. It really is something to think about.
Thanks Kim28. I guess I just felt a little attacked... becuase if you knew me you would know I have a huge heart and truly only want to help. I could have just gone on with my life with my clear skin and said "too bad to all those people out their suffering". But I honestly think every single time I see someone with acne that there is no need for them to suffer. I swear this is the reason I work in the field I do. I just want to single handedly help every single person and clear them up. no need to go thru 1/2 your life (like I did) with acne. It's possible to get clear.
Only reason I came in the hormonal forum is becuase I did all the hormone treatments too. BCP, Spiro, Vitex, Progesterone cream, DIM, Saw Palmetto, gosh... I could go on & on and on! I still take DIM & Calcium D Glucarate. I have estrogen dominance and I still try to balance that with these suppliments. I take Zinc every day too. But no matter what I did I still had bad cystic acne.
When I took Spiro it made me so depressed that I was on & off of antidepressants. Even put on antopshycotics (abilify ect) becuase I was suicidal. I'm 100% convinced this was all caused by the Spiro. My BF at the time can attest. I was soooo happy when I went off BCP then my face went crazy so I started Spiro 200mg. My face was sooooo clear and perfect but my mood went whacky almost within a month of being on Sprio and I sprialed down hill over a few years. Even dropping down to 100mg. He begged me to stop the Spiro but I was in a cloud of denial. I argued "NO....My skin is clear and that's all I care about". I was dilousinal. I suffered for so long. Finally dropping down to 50mg. I felt sorta better & got off of my antidepressants but my acne was back. I went on like this for a couple years.
I spent So much Time & Money on all these hormonal treatments. Went to esthetician school & started working in dermatology. I have learned so much. I started low dose accutane and stopped the spiro. I feel amazing! I'm back to my normal happy self. My friends and family can not believe the change in my personality and mood. It's like a switch was turned back on.
So Sprio may work for many.... but I came here to share my story of that it didn't work for me.
It's very difficult to control your hormones. They Will fluctuate thru-out life no matter what you do. Nothing you can do about that. But you can control your oil. This was my original purpose for the post.
It's not for everyone. But it may be for some.
Thx for responding the way u did. I only want to help. That's all.