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*Dean*

My Face Needs Help, Acne is Destroying It

Hi guys,

I just registered, simply because I am a 13 year old male that has horrible teen acne, and unlike many of my peers, it isn't caused by bad hygiene. I have tried close to everything, I have tried Minocycline, simple daily washing with MANY different soaps, proactiv, benzoyl peroxide, differin, and now I am on a topical medication called Retin A Micro, and it is working better than anything else I have tried, but it hasn't taken it away completely, not even close, but it is notably better.....I have no idea what I am supposed to do.

The acne I have is severe, from what I can see. The "zits" that I have do not go away for about a week, and they are constantly forming. I am not sure exactly how I would classify them, but I have an assortment of whiteheads, blackheads, pustules, and what I think may be cysts or nodules, but I am honestly not quite sure what they are. I'm posting here because I think I could classify it as "severe".

My mother is going to be taking up a hollistic regimin while I am using Retin A Micro, and the natural cure will involve dieting (My diet is rather healthy, I limit junk food, I don't eat fast food very often anymore, I eat healthy meals, and I don't eat too much at all) where I completely cut sugar, stop using processed sugar, and start using things like raw sugar, and things like that. Probably there will be limits to dairy as well.

The other half of it involves getting vitamins, mostly A and B vitamins, to regulate the oil glands, thus, hopefully, limiting my acne. I would also have topical treatments, and the usual washing of my face, etc.

My hair is short, which should help a little, and I am using a Proactiv treatment, the sulfur mask, which is the only thing in the package that helped notably.

My acne will not go away, and I am extremely depressed about it, school is starting rather soon, and I don't want anybody to see me like this. Please, assitance is needed, and I am desperate just to get this monster off my face, scarring has already occured on my temples after only one or two severe outbreaks that just lasted seemingly forever, and actually hurt. It was as if I scraped up my face, right on my temples, the entire area was bubbled, and now it's gone, but scarred, and appears to be still there at a lower magnitude.

Thank you in advance, I am glad to finally find a community that might be able to help me, and I have often thought about starting up my own free website to help people just like this, but it seems as though somebody has beaten me to the idea, which actually makes me happy rather than sad. :)

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What you need to do is get on accutane.

You can read up all you want about the harmful side effects but basically the end results are : it works.

And personally the only side effects I've had is dryness, which should be temporary.

Ask me any questions. I will seriously talk to you or your mom on the phone if it takes that to convince you to see a derm and (pressure them to let you?) take accutane, because that will save one more soul.

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As mentioned, you can do some research on Accutane (isotretinoin), however , it is usually reserved as a last resort drug and while many do not suffer serious side effects, its usage should be taken very seriously with full consultation with your parents and your dermatologist.

With your mom taking the holistic approach, I am not sure if she will be happy with that approach.

You can and probably should ask your dermatologist for a bit more help in treating your acne.

First, retin-a micro is a retinoid and it is very good, however, many consider Tazorac to be the strongest retinoid. You may want a switch there.

Second, many people benefit from a combination treatment that involve 3 approaches to treating acne.

1. retinoid (night)(this in general help keep your pores clear) Tazorac, Retin-A Micro, Differin

2. topical antibacteria (day) (kills bacteria in clogged pores) Current approach is usually a topical that combine 2 medication, benzoyl peroxide and clindamycin. These go by the name of Benzaclin and Duac)

3. Oral antibiotic (may be birth control pills). These are systematic drug and while has its side effects, are often very successful in treating and giving other medications an upperhand in treating acne). Many people such as myself have been on antibiotics for over an year or more tho many derm will use it short term (3 months course) to help get acne under control so that other medications will keep it clear.

A treatment involivng these 3 mechanism to treat acne is usually tried before accutane, tho each dermatologist and patient is different. Again, accutane is deservedly call the miracle drug but you need to fully discuss your alternatives with family and doctors. There are scare mongers around here that will tell you all these scary stories but there are also people who advoacate accutane ASAP (irregardless of prior treatment or the seriously of their condition... many would recommend it even for mild acne sufferer) because it is so effective. The data do not lie, over 5millions prescription written (and that's a few years ago) and over 90%+ success rate or so... but there are alternative and people ARE able to maintain healthy skin these alternatives.

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Careful, accutane is very expensive. I don't think it would be within the financial reach of an average 13-year old. Not to mention the derm appointments...

Yeah, but I think you need accutane. Most people only report dried skin and lips and a bit of stiff joints. Nothing too serious.

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Accutane is only $15 a month copay if you are insured. You only have to go to the derm once a month and you get one quick poke where they draw blood.

Personally I haven't even had any stiff joints.

As far as being holistic, kindly tell your mom to shove it because the best years of your life are coming up and you don't want to spoil them. You're gonna have health problems when you're old anyways.

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Well, I was betting on Accutane eventually. After all, the only thing that seems to be helping me is Retin A, which is, after all, related to Accutane because they are both derivatives of Vitamin A. The Retin A has helped a lot, and lately, I've been having a better time with my face, I haven't had a breakout in probably a week.

Is this the kind of "turning point" where the Retin A just completely destroys my acne?

I hope it is, quite obviouisly. Also, I understand the hollistic approach may not be the best approach you can take, simply because I have tried a few "cures" before, and they did absolutely nothing, not strong enough.

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Guest ThereIsHope

Try taking B5. When I started to consider accutane, I started taking 10g of B5 and its helping alot!! No need for accutane anymore. :D

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your situation is exactly like mines age (im 15 in october),diet/hygenie, ect.... im on almost 2 months of accutane... best thing i ever did. although the initial breakout made it worse. im only recovring from it now.

want me to make gallery unprivate again so u can see what may happen acne wise to you (although everyone is different).

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If you do go ahead with accutane, I reccomend you ask your derm for Prednisone for a week's taper dose coinciding with the start of the tane, it is known to lesson itinital breakout.

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I think Accutane is great BUT it does have alot of side effects so it needs to be considered carefully with a derm. For younger patients I would also ask about whether there are any concerns re not growing after Accutane. Its been mentioned as a possible side effect a couple of times on this board.

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Acutane is very serious stuff. And you can never be sure that you aren't experiencing results of the side effects for years afterward. I had two courses of Acutane when I was 22. I'm now 43 and I still have acne problems. They usually are pretty well controlled, but I've been using Proactive for 7 years. Now I tried something new and I'm back to square one.

Anyway, Acutane was so drying that I had to quit wearing contacts later. I now have extremely dry eyes, in fact they produce almost no tears. The doctors say that I don't have Sjogren's which is an autoimmune disorder that attacks the tear and saliva glands, but it sure feels like I do. I wonder if I have side effects from the Acutane still.

I'm very frustrated with my skin, wondering if I'll ever grow out of the problem. I'm not willing to go back to something like Acutane because of such serious problems I've had. I still get a few deep cysts now and then, got one coming out on my chin right now.

It sure would have been nice for Acutane to be the answer for the rest of my life, but it didn't work that way. It sure isn't something that you could be on for years on end, so is it just a temporary fix? Not really, it did improve my skin for a while. I guess my hormones are going crazy since I'm not in perimenipause. That doesn't really help.

On another note, has anyone tried the new ZENO? Wondering if it is worth the $150 to get it.

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Shirf:

How long had you been on accutane and what mg's?

It has worked well for everyone I personally know who went on it. Three of us, all at 60 mg for 5 months and 6 months.

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How long had you been on accutane and what mg's?

I think five months the first time, only two months the second time. I don't remember anything about the dosage, and since I've moved many times since then, I'm not in touch with my original derm. I was in Detroit at the time, and I found that the water might have been one of my biggest problems. After moving away and no longer drinking that horribly chlorinated lake water my face cleared some. I remember going to the clinic to get blood tests every month to make sure I wasn't having liver trouble, and I'm sure they did a pregnancy test too. Acutane is known to cause birth defects.

It has worked well for everyone I personally know who went on it. Three of us, all at 60 mg for 5 months and 6 months.

It did do some good. I stopped getting numerous deep cysts on my cheeks, only had small blemishes around my hair line, forhead, and a few around my nose-chin area. I pretty much could live with it since it wasn't anything like it had been. Now years later, I'm still getting blemishes in the t-zone and on my hairline and behind my ears, but I also get a deep cyst once in a while which reminds me about those awful years.

I was willing to do just about anything to get some improvement in my face. I still try lots of different things, but I haven't seen a dermatologist in years. I got really tired of the antibiotics both oral and topical, the different topicals like Retin-A that really irritated my very sensitive skin (I'm a natural red head with fair skin that burns easily, not a good combination with Retin-A). What really makes it difficult now, is suffering from acne that is like a teenager while also getting wrinkles and white hair (red heads grey white). I'm pretty sure that if my hair wasn't so white I'd still be carded buying beer.

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I've been on most every topical, antibiotic, etc. for acne since I was your age. I even tried accutane at 18 (now almost 24). The accutane did improve my skin about 80% while I was on it. However, it was not even near 100% and the acne came back shortly after. Also, I did have the usual side effects: VERY dry skin, terrible chapped lips, some redness, joint pain, etc. I'm sure you've read the horror stories about hair falling out and the like. Perhaps those side effects do occur sometimes, but you're probably safe.

However, don't underestimate the "usual" side effects. If accutane was guaranteed to cure acne, my opinion might be different. For me, it was more pain than it was worth and in the end didn't improve my condition in the long term.

What did work: changing my diet, suplementing with vitamins/herbs, drink lots of water, CSR. I would be happy to help you with the above including details if you want. I've gotten it down to a science where it's not really a sacrifice anymore. I've pretty much found substitutes for all the foods I loved to eat - and I actually like the substitutes better. Basically, diet/suplements/lifestyle changed my acne from severe to mild/moderate. CSR is doing the rest.

I'm not trying to say that a burger from McDonalds is going to give you a zit and I know that there is no conclusive evidence linking food to acne. However, I think that's a personal thing and it's different for everyone. Clearly if we have acne then something is a little out of balance in our bodies (perhaps a different something for everyone). If we can get back into balance, the acne subsides.

Please let us know what you decide and if you would like any help. I am happy to go over a specific diet/suplement plan with you based on your needs/symptoms - that goes for anyone reading this too. Take care.

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I do not recommend it....I tried it and after several months the acne came back...i regret having ever taken it...Not to mention what it does to your insides....yikes!

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I agree. Accutane can be torture while you're on it and there's no guarantee it's going to work. See my above reply for some possible alternatives and excerpts from my accutane experience 6 years ago. Good luck in whatever you decide!

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