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Aloe Vera, Benzyl Peroxide, and Accutane

Hi everyone. This is my first post but I've suffered from acne for a while. Brief history:

I'm 19, I started getting acne when I was 14, tried a bunch of different things from OTC prodcuts to Retin-A Micro to Benzaclin to the Acne.org BP gel to minocyclines and now bactrim ds. Most things worked well for a while and then stopped working. The Bactrim worked great starting last summer but I think my body has become resistant to it seeing as after being clear all school year with nothing but washing my face and occasionally moisturizing, I broke out pretty badly this summer.

I would say I have moderate acne. Not severe, but stubborn, on my cheeks, temples, and occasional forehead.

I started using Benzaclin again last week to control this breakout. I use it twice a day, it's helped bring it down a bit. I ordered FOTE aloe vera after reading a thread on here, I was wondering if it's okay to use with Benzaclin? Some people said it worked great, others said it caused them to break out more. Also, would I put the Benzaclin on first at night and then the aloe vera or the other way around?

I'm also going to the dermatologist next week (after making the appointment in Apriil when the meds started wearing off....grr....) and I was considering asking to go on Accutane. She had suggested it before but my mom and I agreed we should try something else first. Now, being almost 20 (and having to deal with interviews for internships this coming spring) I would rather look like a young professional than a kid still in high school, heh. I'm also sick of treatments that work for a while and then quit on me. I've probably got more resistances to different antibiotics at this point than is really good for me, lol.

Is Accutane worth it for me? What are the hassles associated with it (btw, I'm a guy, do I have to do the iPledge? I promise I wont' get pregnant)? Is the photosensitivity so bad I couldn't go to the beach/play basketball outside? How long does treatment last? How long until I would start seeing results? Also, I noticed you can only get pills for 30 days at a time, I go to school about 3 hours away from home and don't have insurance at school. Would I have to come home often to see my dermatologist?

Kind of nervous about posting here, but thanks.

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Update:

I tried some FOTE Aloe Vera...it feels like it dried my face out even more. And I woke up this morning with my face all red, like it's been sunburned. I assume that's the opposite effect of what I want, so I'm stopping.

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hey there! don't be nervouse about posting here, everyone's really nice and extremely helpful! you've come to the right place!

honestly, it sounds like accutane would definitely be worth it for you. i had acne kinda like yours where it wasn't bad, just stubborn and wouldn't respond to anything.

the side effects really aren't that bad for most people. they vary with each person but it's mostly just dry skin, chapped lips, maybe a few nosebleeds, aching joints, etc. for me, they were really really mild and really worth it to go through in exchange for clear skin. i'm not sure if you have to go through iPledge, because i'm a girl, but i'm sure someone else will answer that question for you.

as for the photosensitivity issue, most people i know who are on accutanec don't notice their skin to be any more sensitive to the sun. so as long as you wear sunscreen (which you should be doing anyways) you shouldn't have to worry about being in the sun to participate in all your regular activities.

treatments usually last from 5-6 months sometimes less. the time that it takes to see results varies for each person, but most tend to see their skin really start to turn around after the 1st or 2nd month.

as for the derm question, i'm not sure how to answer that. do you have a derm in the area of your school that you could get it from? you might have to come home to get it, but i don't know. and yes, sadly you can only get it in packs with 30 because the derm usually likes to check up on you each month and you have to get blood drawn just to make sure everything is alright.

if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask! that's what these boards were created for. good luck and i hope everything works out for you!

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Thanks sunkist. I appreciate the welcome :) . I've decided to go on Accutane, I think it's worth it. I'll talk to my derm about the school thing, maybe we can figure something out (worse comes to worse I can come home for one night a month). Only thing is I wonder how bad the drying out will be, as I don't have oily skin/hair (i.e. I can go a week without washing my hair if I so choose), so it's probably going to be pretty dry.

I go to the derm on Wednesday, I think I'll start a log then.

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Welcome to the board!!! By all means post...it helps so much. There is so much knowledge and experiance on here that it really helps along the way. I am finishing my accutane treatment (on my last month). I have had great results. Although results and side effects vary, I am quite pleased. I am 37 yrs old and never had acne until my 30's. I tried everything and my own personal decision was to go on accutane. Discuss it with your derm and your mom. It is a personal decision but you will know when it is time. It is the ultimate option. As far as benzaclin...I loved it but it too stopped working for me so on to the next topical I went. I wish you luck and never hesitate to post and ask questions. You will find that the people here are just like you and everyone is more than willing to help and encourage you.

Good luck!!

Angela

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