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I have an important QUESTION....

Hi everyone,

I have a question....

For starters, to give you some background history on myself, I have had face and body acne since age 8 to present day. I just turned 23, therefore my long battle with acne has lasted a full 15 years, thus far. During the past 2/3rds of my life, I have visited a dozen dermatologists and have, regrettably, wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars on useless acne products that NEVER even remotely worked. (With the exception of Dan's Regimen program. I've been on it for two years now, and, even though I still have bad acne, it has helped a little.)

Just recently, my latest dermatologist conducted a "culture" on a bacterial sample she extracted from one of my pimples. The lab work results indicated that my acne is produced by a powerful resistant form of bacteria called Serratia. After having found that out, I immediately ran a search on google, and, apparently, from the information I gathered, Serratia is such a powerful bacteria that our government even tested it to use as biological weaponry years ago. So, that just further goes to prove how powerful a bacterial specimen it is.

Because of this new discovery in my case, my dermatologist said people like me, whose acne consists of Serratia, our only hope is Accutane. She wants to put me on it next month.

But here's my problem... in spite of all the potential side-effects I've studied about regarding Accutane, there is only one that scares the bajesus out of me, which is HAIR LOSS. I have been to a couple of message-boards where people claim Accutane has destroyed their lives because it either A) made them almost entirely bald, or B) made massive chunks of their hair fall out.

To me, even though living with acne is hell, I don't want to correct one problem only to trade it in for another; get clear skin, but then permanently lose my hair.

So, my question to you all is: Have any of you, or anyone you know of, ever experienced slight hair thinning and/or massive hair loss while taking Accutane? And, if so, was it permanent, or did your hair ultimately come back over time?

That's the only worry I'm grappling with that's making me apprehensive about taking Accutane. Any replies or advice on the matter would be highly appreciated.

Thank you!

Christi

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I doubt many of the people here on the CSR have done Accutane, or else it's unlikely they'd be on the CSR. There is, however, a prescription sub-forum which will probably get you many more responses.

http://www.acne.org/messageboard/index.php?showforum=4

You'll probably have better luck there.

Thanks for your help! I'll repost my message there and see if anyone can answer my question.

Thank you again,

Christi

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Actually I know of several of us who have taken Accutane, but are now on the CSR because the acne returned. Dan, myself, and another member called Celebration. There are others I'm sure, but us 3 I know of for sure.

I did not have any hair loss at all on accutane. I took it for 6 months, I think it was 40 mg. (not positive, it's been so many years I have forgotten).

The only thing is that Accutane isn't always a cure, frequently the oily skin and acne can return. So just keep that in mind. But if your acne is caused by a bacteria that nothing else will treat, I'd for sure think about Accutane.

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Hi!

I took about 40 mg af accutane for 4 -5 months in 2001. I helped lessen my acne on my face a lot and got rid of it completely on my back and shoulders. It also stopped my face from being oily permananently! It actually gets kind of dry now. My hair is very thick and i did notice that it thinned it out a bit, but it never made it fall out in chunks! It is thinner than it used to be, but is still totally normal.

Hi everyone,

I have a question....

For starters, to give you some background history on myself, I have had face and body acne since age 8 to present day. I just turned 23, therefore my long battle with acne has lasted a full 15 years, thus far. During the past 2/3rds of my life, I have visited a dozen dermatologists and have, regrettably, wasted thousands upon thousands of dollars on useless acne products that NEVER even remotely worked. (With the exception of Dan's Regimen program. I've been on it for two years now, and, even though I still have bad acne, it has helped a little.)

Just recently, my latest dermatologist conducted a "culture" on a bacterial sample she extracted from one of my pimples. The lab work results indicated that my acne is produced by a powerful resistant form of bacteria called Serratia. After having found that out, I immediately ran a search on google, and, apparently, from the information I gathered, Serratia is such a powerful bacteria that our government even tested it to use as biological weaponry years ago. So, that just further goes to prove how powerful a bacterial specimen it is.

Because of this new discovery in my case, my dermatologist said people like me, whose acne consists of Serratia, our only hope is Accutane. She wants to put me on it next month.

But here's my problem... in spite of all the potential side-effects I've studied about regarding Accutane, there is only one that scares the bajesus out of me, which is HAIR LOSS. I have been to a couple of message-boards where people claim Accutane has destroyed their lives because it either A) made them almost entirely bald, or B) made massive chunks of their hair fall out.

To me, even though living with acne is hell, I don't want to correct one problem only to trade it in for another; get clear skin, but then permanently lose my hair.

So, my question to you all is: Have any of you, or anyone you know of, ever experienced slight hair thinning and/or massive hair loss while taking Accutane? And, if so, was it permanent, or did your hair ultimately come back over time?

That's the only worry I'm grappling with that's making me apprehensive about taking Accutane. Any replies or advice on the matter would be highly appreciated.

Thank you!

Christi

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how in the world do you start having acne at the age of 8?

i've never heard about that before.

but yeah, just take accutane. if you notice too much hair loss, then stop. if it's just a little, hair will grow back, no problem.

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how in the world do you start having acne at the age of 8?

i've never heard about that before.

Perhaps it's a rare occurrence, but it definitely happened in my case. For instance, when I was in 3rd grade (at 8 years of age), I was a member of the school little league drill team. Annually, just before the new drill team season started, all the girls would go to the local wavepool so we could have some free time set aside to have fun and meet new girls on the team, etc. And even then, I was the only one who wore a shirt over my bathing suit because I was so embarrassed about the acne on my upper arms and shoulders. It was light acne at first, and it didn't become moderate 'til about 2 years later, around age 10. It got very, very severe when I turned 14 -- ever since then it's been nonstop, although it has improved a little over the last 2 years, but not much.

I have another quick question....

I just read Acne.org's list of potential Accutane side-effects. It mentioned one that I had never heard of before, which was the yellowing of one's teeth. However, it failed to state whether the discoloration of the teeth is a permanent side-effect or only temporary. Does anyone know? (Because I can handle side-effects that are temporary. I'm a fairly patient person. On the other hand, if it's something that will be permanent, as in forever and ever and ever, that doesn't sit well with me and I start to have second thoughts whether to try Accutane or not.) I have naturally very white teeth, and, again, I wouldn't want to trade in one problem for another; get clear skin, but then be stuck with very yellow, unhealthy-looking teeth. I know that probably sounds silly and stupid on my part, but it's true.

Have any of you, or anyone else you know, ever experienced discoloration of your teeth while taking Accutane?

I'd appreciate any feedback on this. Thank you, in advance.

Actually I know of several of us who have taken Accutane, but are now on the CSR because the acne returned. Dan, myself, and another member called Celebration. There are others I'm sure, but us 3 I know of for sure.

I did not have any hair loss at all on accutane. I took it for 6 months, I think it was 40 mg. (not positive, it's been so many years I have forgotten).

The only thing is that Accutane isn't always a cure, frequently the oily skin and acne can return. So just keep that in mind. But if your acne is caused by a bacteria that nothing else will treat, I'd for sure think about Accutane.

Thanks for the feedback, Brandy.

I'm really hating having to be on birth control before I'm able to go on Accutane. My derm. said it's a new requirement that just began this year, all females have to be on birth control at least a month prior to beginning their first course of Accutane. Not too fun. All the hormonal crud gets me moody. I've never been a moody type of person until I started taking Yasmin BC -- but, if that's what it takes.

I can't wait 'til this is all behind me once and for all. GLORY BE THE DAY....

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Thanks for the feedback, Brandy.

I'm really hating having to be on birth control before I'm able to go on Accutane. My derm. said it's a new requirement that just began this year, all females have to be on birth control at least a month prior to beginning their first course of Accutane. Not too fun. All the hormonal crud gets me moody. I've never been a moody type of person until I started taking Yasmin BC -- but, if that's what it takes.

I can't wait 'til this is all behind me once and for all. GLORY BE THE DAY....

Different types of birth control have different effects on different women... Perhaps you should try a different brand of birth control that makes you less moody, like Ortho Tricyclen Lo.

Just a thought. Good luck and I wish you the best with the accutane!

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"I have naturally very white teeth, and, again, I wouldn't want to trade in one problem for another; get clear skin, but then be stuck with very yellow, unhealthy-looking teeth. I know that probably sounds silly and stupid on my part, but it's true.

Have any of you, or anyone else you know, ever experienced discoloration of your teeth while taking Accutane?

I'd appreciate any feedback on this. Thank you, in advance."

I'm not sure if it is permanent, but you can always get your teeth whitened. either professionally or by using OTC whitening products. I wouldn't worry too much about this side effect since it can be easily fixed.

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Serratia marcescens can respond to antibiotic therapy targetting gram negative bacteria, you might want to consult your dermatologist about it.

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Serratia marcescens can respond to antibiotic therapy targetting gram negative bacteria, you might want to consult your dermatologist about it.

Hi Madworld,

Are you sure Serratia can be treated via antibiotics? My dermatologist has put me on numerous antibiotics (such as doxycycline, minocycline, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, etc., to name just a few among others), yet my acne has never responded to any of them.

Thanks for the feedback, Brandy.

I'm really hating having to be on birth control before I'm able to go on Accutane. My derm. said it's a new requirement that just began this year, all females have to be on birth control at least a month prior to beginning their first course of Accutane. Not too fun. All the hormonal crud gets me moody. I've never been a moody type of person until I started taking Yasmin BC -- but, if that's what it takes.

I can't wait 'til this is all behind me once and for all. GLORY BE THE DAY....

Different types of birth control have different effects on different women... Perhaps you should try a different brand of birth control that makes you less moody, like Ortho Tricyclen Lo.

Just a thought. Good luck and I wish you the best with the accutane!

Hi, thank you for your message. Although, I have already tried Ortho Tri. That's what a dermatologist of mine (years ago, when I was around 17) briefly had me on for my acne to test whether or not my acne was hormonal or not (which it wasn't/isn't). Even though OT didn't get me moody, it did cause the hairs along my hairline to thin-out considerably, so I was quickly taken off it. I had shed a hefty amount of hair while taking it.

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hi, i cant help but notice your reluctance about taking accutane, but i guess it IS better to be safe than sorry.

the majority of the side effects listed only affect a minute of the population who take accutane, but are still included as side effects. while on accutane, my i did not experience hair loss or yellowing of the teeth (my teeth were sorta yellow to begin with :boohoo: , but i fixed it with some whitener stuff from my dentist). the main side effects you should worry about are : dry skin and nose bleeds.

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hi, i cant help but notice your reluctance about taking accutane, but i guess it IS better to be safe than sorry.

the majority of the side effects listed only affect a minute of the population who take accutane, but are still included as side effects. while on accutane, my i did not experience hair loss or yellowing of the teeth (my teeth were sorta yellow to begin with :boohoo: , but i fixed it with some whitener stuff from my dentist). the main side effects you should worry about are : dry skin and nose bleeds.

Hi Stee, thank you for your advice. However, I have to admit, the thought of dry skin and nose bleeds don't necessarily bother me at all because they're not permanent side-effects. The permanency of a potential side-effects is the only thing I'm concerned with.

As a side question: Does anyone know if a dermatologist has a way of verifying you're taking the oral medication they prescribe? Can they check what's in your system when they take a "culture" sample, for example? Just curious because I have been experiencing such negative and bothersome side-effects while taking Yasmin BC, I'm contemplating whether I should quit taking it. But I don't know if that's such a wise idea because then I might blow my chances at taking Accutane since females HAVE to be on birth control prior (and during) their entire course of Isotretinoin treatment -- no ifs, ands, or buts about it. :(

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As a side question: Does anyone know if a dermatologist has a way of verifying you're taking the oral medication they prescribe? Can they check what's in your system when they take a "culture" sample, for example? Just curious because I have been experiencing such negative and bothersome side-effects while taking Yasmin BC, I'm contemplating whether I should quit taking it. But I don't know if that's such a wise idea because then I might blow my chances at taking Accutane since females HAVE to be on birth control prior (and during) their entire course of Isotretinoin treatment -- no ifs, ands, or buts about it. :(

I'm not aware of them testing to make sure you take your birth control. What types of side effects are you experiencing, if that's not too personal? They could be temporary due to the fact that you just started this specific birth control, but I don't know for sure. Try researching the temporary side effects of starting a birth control pill and also for what reasons a woman is required to be on birth control while taking accutane (other than affecting a respective pregnancy). You may find some information that will help you with your decision.

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Hi Madworld,

Are you sure Serratia can be treated via antibiotics? My dermatologist has put me on numerous antibiotics (such as doxycycline, minocycline, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, etc., to name just a few among others), yet my acne has never responded to any of them.

Even though Serratia marcescens related infection is an indirect cause of prolonged antibiotic use, it should respond to alternative antibiotic treatment.

http://www.dermnetnz.org/acne/gram-negativ...lliculitis.html

Gram-Negative Folliculitis can occur alongside with regular acne, so accutane might be a your best choice here.

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Hi Madworld,

Are you sure Serratia can be treated via antibiotics? My dermatologist has put me on numerous antibiotics (such as doxycycline, minocycline, ciprofloxacin, azithromycin, etc., to name just a few among others), yet my acne has never responded to any of them.

Even though Serratia marcescens related infection is an indirect cause of prolonged antibiotic use, it should respond to alternative antibiotic treatment.

http://www.dermnetnz.org/acne/gram-negativ...lliculitis.html

Gram-Negative Folliculitis can occur alongside with regular acne, so accutane might be a your best choice here.

Hey, thanks, Madworld.

That's all very insightful and eye-opening information. I couldn't get the link you posted to download, though. It kept timing out. However, I was able to google "Gram Negative Folliculitis," and from what I read, sadly, it sounds like I could have that additionally in conjunction with Serratia.

I agree with you, because, the more I learn, the more it seems to be that my dermatologist was correct to assume that Accutane is my only hope at this point.

Thanks again for the info. I had never heard of Gram Negative Folliculitis until I read your post.

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I know this will seem totally random, but, since this thread is on the subject of Accutane, does anyone here remember when Jessica Simpson admitted in a couple of interviews that she took Accutane to get her skin clear? Then, out of nowhere, a few months later, she signed a contract to be one of the spokespeople for "ProActiv." Talk about deceptive advertising...

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I haven't finished reading all of the replies, but Superfly, you know not what you speak. I was on Accutane twice and re-educating myself about it for a possible third go when I lucked upon this site. Accutane is not a miracle cure all as some on here believe it to be. My first time on it cleared my acne for about 4 yrs or so and the second less time. Anyone who considers it should read everything they can about the possible side effects.

To answer this posters original question. I did not have a hair loss problem. I have always had very thick hair and still do. I did have other side effects that were more serious than that. I was terribly constipated (I know TMI :redface: ) and terrible back pain. This back pain was so bad that if I sat down in the floor for more than a couple of minutes, my back would be stiff and hurt. It would 'catch' at unexpected moments and almost drop me to my knees. I decided to end my second course of accutane due to these issues. Then my acne was getting bad enough that I was actually considering it again! :wall: Thank God I found this website while researching accutane.

Accutane is not something to take lightly. You must go forward with all of the facts you can find. Good luck with whatever decision you make.

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Hi IWUNDERU, thank you for your feedback.

I suppose one positive aspect that came of it was that it initially cleared you up for 4 years. Personally, I would be on cloud 9 if I could take a break from my acne for four years. I've had it for 15 years straight, since I was a child, so a break -- even if it wasn't permanent and took no more than a 4 year hiatus -- would be pure Heaven to me. In spite of your good luck the first go around, I'm sorry to hear you had such a regrettable and painful experience while on Accutane the 2nd time. I know that must have been hard for you.

Unfortunately, though, I think I've been backed into a corner and HAVE to take Accutane, whether I experience side-effects or not, since I have Serratia (and possibly "Gram Negative folliculitis") which is primarily only capable of being treated by Accutane. I don't feel I have much choice in the matter as far as my case goes.

In any event, I truly wish you the best of luck and hope you find something that works for you and helps to alleviate your suffering. Acne is both physically and psychologically painful, and those who have never lived through it will never know the misery they've been spared. I'm not trying to throw us all a pity party or anything, but, I think the majority of people would agree, living with acne is no joy ride. :(

What is the average dose of Accutane most people get put on? Does anyone know? I just found out the other day that my derm. wants to put me on 40 mgs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that considered a fairly low dose? I've heard of many people who are taking 65-80mgs. My acne is pretty resistant, I wonder why she only wants to put me on 40mgs. :think:

I'll ask her why the next time I see her.

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Hi!

I took about 40 mg af accutane for 4 -5 months in 2001. I helped lessen my acne on my face a lot and got rid of it completely on my back and shoulders. It also stopped my face from being oily permananently! It actually gets kind of dry now. My hair is very thick and i did notice that it thinned it out a bit, but it never made it fall out in chunks! It is thinner than it used to be, but is still totally normal.

Here's the search-link that caused me to and take concern with the Accutane/hair-loss connection: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=...utane+hair+loss

Hopefully I'm worrying for nothing.

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