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I've had bad acne for a long time now, and being a freshmen in high school, you can probably imagine how stressful it is for me.

I've tried a lot of products, including over-the-counter ones, and a few my dermatologist recommended (which I started going to about 2 months ago), but nothing worked. They all irritated my skin, or dried it a great deal, so I'm guessing I have very sensitive skin, and I am now at the point in which I don't even look at myself in the mirror, because doing so makes me feel sad, although I know it shouldn't.

I'm still deciding on whether or not I should start with accutane, which my dermatologist recommended and referred to it as 'a brilliant drug,' but first, I have some questions.

1. Is only the pill required for this treatement? Or are any other products needed? And how many times a day will I have to take it?

2. How big are the pills? I have a bit difficult time swallowing most. :s

3. What's the chance of the awful side effects I heard of occuring? This is the main reason why I'm doubting whether or not I should start on this.

4. Will the initial breakout happen for sure? Or does it only happen for some people? I don't think I could handle my skin being worse than this, honestly.

5. Is there a big chance of this not working on my acne?

6. Can other products be used to calm the redness and reduce irritation when the initial breakout starts?

I know some of these questions are a bit... dumb, for lack of a better word... but I'm still very ignorant and curious, while scared a bit about this drug.

Thank you.

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Welcome to the only internet forum that you never wanted to join. I know what you mean about the mirror thing, i never look in the mirror before i leave the house, only at night.

As for your questions well il try my best but im sure some people will disagree. First off he pill is all you need, although some people feel that viatamin supplements ease the side effects.

As for the pill size well im not sure if it differs for brands but mine is pretty managable and easy to swallow. I never used to be able to swallow things, but when i was given a prescription of antibiotics for my acne i suddenly found it much easier. Im sure that the motivation of getting your acne dealt with will hlep you get over it.

As for the chances of succes, well i gues that depends on what u class as success. Ask your derm about these things, but i think accutane helps (to varying extent) over 90% of people.

The side effect issue is also going to be tricky...there are people here who may tell you that accutane is a miracle cure, and how it has no side effects (other than dry lips/skin). Then there are others who suffer hair loss, depression and joint pain. Your best off asking your derm about the probabilites of experienceing any of these things as it depends a great deal on your dose.

The intial breakout (IB) is unfortunately pretty common i think. Most but not all people experience some worsening of their acne during the first few weeks, and possibly when their dose is increased.

I dont know much about the products to clam redness. Ive heard aloe vera oil is good, but i cant honsetly beleive it will make much difference. I have senitive skin too and for the first 2 weeks my face was itchy and red to the point where i wondered if this was a good thing. Now though things have calmed down and i noly get red when im exercising, stressed or embarresed (i did that before tane).

Hope this helps....IMO i would go for tane.

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1) How many times a day? Depends on what your derm tells you.

You should also get a cleanser such a Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (bar form or liquid form), a moisturizer with SPF (Cetaphil Lotion w/SPF15), chapstick (Aquaphor, Blistex, or Carmex), and eyedrops for dry eyes (Systane, visine..).

You can find all of the above mentioned products in most drug stores..

2) Not too big. Mine are about this long: ||||||| and this wide |||||

3) The bad side effects are very, very uncommon. The common side effects are dry skin, lips, and eyes.

4) The initial break out IS common. But do not let this keep you from Accutane. Trust me when I say that it is for the the best. You will have clear, beautiful skin after your course.

5) No. It works like 99.9% of the time. It's the best acne treatment available hands down.

6) Just stick it out. A moisturizer will help the dryness, but you shouldn't use topicals to help the initial breakout.

Any other questions?

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Thanks a lot, both of you. That calmed me down a little bit.

I guess I'm the most worried about the initial break-out now. :s

Routhman, can you please elaborate on the products you suggested? What are they for?

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I started accutane about 3 weeks ago, and I was incredibly worried about the IB. I was fortunate enough to not really suffer from one, because I think a lot of the pre-tane anxiety I was feeling over not using a sufficiently effective acne treatment was causing my acne. That is to say, once I started accutane, I felt so relieved to be on the acne "wonder drug" that I was free of my acne-causing anxiety.

My worst side effects are the dry skin around the chin, mouth and nose area. To treat this, I use aloe vera gel every morning, as well as Cetaphil lotion (arguably one of the best moisturizers money can buy), which I reapply over the course of the day. I also use the best chapstick I can find, which is currently Aveeno Intensive Relief Therapy. I typically reapply it around once every half hour (yeah, it's a lot, but it's worth it).

Based on my experience, I highly suggest giving Accutane a try so long as you're aware of what can happen and are prepared for it. The IB may be bad, but keep a stiff upper lip and get through it -- TRUST me, it's worth it. I'm clearing up already and feel better than I have in ages.

If you decide to do it, stay aware of what your body is telling you, and stay aware of your emotions. If at any point you get genuinely uncomfortable with the therapy, then just stop and tell your dermatologist.

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Thanks a lot, both of you. That calmed me down a little bit.

I guess I'm the most worried about the initial break-out now. :s

Routhman, can you please elaborate on the products you suggested? What are they for?

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Thanks a lot, both of you. That calmed me down a little bit.

I guess I'm the most worried about the initial break-out now. :s

Routhman, can you please elaborate on the products you suggested? What are they for?

Indeed, I can...

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (bar form or liquid form)- Of all the dust and bacteria you encounter throughout your day, you should always wash your face. Cetaphil's gentle cleansers are gentle enough that, even with sensitive skin, you should be able to use them twice daily.

Cetaphil Lotion w/SPF15- Your skin will get dry and you will have photosensitivity while on Accutane, which basically means you'll get sunburned pretty easily. You should use a moisturizer with SPF to prevent/treat both of these.

Aquaphor, Blistex, or Carmex (chapsticks)- While on Accutane, your lips will get very dry. Chapstick will be your best friend for the months that you're on the Accutane. Always carry it with you.

Lubricant eyedrops- Like your skin and lips, your eyes too will get dry. But lubricant eye drops can fix this.

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1. Is only the pill required for this treatement? Or are any other products needed? And how many times a day will I have to take it?

I take two Amnesteem pills a day. I also take one 400 IU Vitamin E tablet, as well as four 1g fish oil tablets (2 in the morning 2 @ night) to ensure maximum absorption and to help with sore joints.

2. How big are the pills? I have a bit difficult time swallowing most.

Mine are a little bigger than a peanut, I guess.

3. What's the chance of the awful side effects I heard of occuring? This is the main reason why I'm doubting whether or not I should start on this.

Listen to your derm and read up some of the potential side effects here, so at least if they do happen, take them seriously and know what to do to stop them dead in their tracks. Some recommended, but not always agreed upon precautions are: avoid vitamin A since accutane is packed full of the stuff, wear sunscreen, don't drink, take fish oil for your joints, take it easy with high impact physical activity, etc.

4. Will the initial breakout happen for sure? Or does it only happen for some people? I don't think I could handle my skin being worse than this, honestly.

My derm pushed and pushed me to take anti-biotics when I went in for my first consultation, so they could get me started on something while I was waiting for my first blood test results. They were trying to get me to avoid the IB altogether. I choose not to do this, but you could always ask about this or some other treatment so that any acne that surfaces during the first two months will be taken care of right away.

5. Is there a big chance of this not working on my acne?

?? No idea.

6. Can other products be used to calm the redness and reduce irritation when the initial breakout starts?

See above. I also used a little bit of Dan's gel when things got really bad, but for the most part, I had decided to go on Accutane so I wouldn't have to worry about any other kind of acne treatment, ever. So for the most part I just toughed it out and eventually things started to calm down.

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1. Is only the pill required for this treatement? Or are any other products needed? And how many times a day will I have to take it?

you just take the accutane pill for the acne treatment, but you will need other products like moisturizer and chapstick you will also need to be on birth control if you are female. a lot of people take supplements like fish oil or vit e, stuff like that IMO they aren't really necessary, i just took the accutane pill and it was good enough. you may need some motrin or something occasionally though if you get a headache or sore joints.

2. How big are the pills? I have a bit difficult time swallowing most. :s

the aren't too big, there like normal sized capsules.

3. What's the chance of the awful side effects I heard of occuring? This is the main reason why I'm doubting whether or not I should start on this.

i wouldn't worry two much, the two main side effects are depression, which almost never happens, and if it does you can stop just stop taking accutane, and birth deffects, which are easily preventable. other than that blood tests will detect elevated triglicerides or liver enzymes. these levels return to normal once the drug is stopped, and dermatoligists almost never have to stop treatment for these reasons.

4. Will the initial breakout happen for sure? Or does it only happen for some people? I don't think I could handle my skin being worse than this, honestly.

no, it will not happen for sure, most people don't get an IB, and if they do it is usually mild, there are some cases where it can get quite bad though. if you are worried about an IB ask your derm for an antibiotic to take during the first part of your treatment.

5. Is there a big chance of this not working on my acne?

no, there is a very high chance that it will work extremely well.

6. Can other products be used to calm the redness and reduce irritation when the initial breakout starts?

you should use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer. if you need to, exfoliate flakey skin gently with a washcloth. you can take an antibiotic to prevent an IB if your doctor prescribes one.

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1. Is only the pill required for this treatement? Or are any other products needed? And how many times a day will I have to take it?

you just take the accutane pill for the acne treatment, but you will need other products like moisturizer and chapstick you will also need to be on birth control if you are female.

2. How big are the pills? I have a bit difficult time swallowing most. :s

the aren't too big, there like normal sized capsules.

3. What's the chance of the awful side effects I heard of occuring? This is the main reason why I'm doubting whether or not I should start on this.

i wouldn't worry two much, the two main side effects are depression, which almost never happens, and if it does you can stop just stop taking accutane, and birth deffects, which are easily preventable. other than that blood tests will detect elevated triglicerides or liver enzymes. these levels return to normal once the drug is stopped, and dermatoligists almost never have to stop treatment for these reasons.

4. Will the initial breakout happen for sure? Or does it only happen for some people? I don't think I could handle my skin being worse than this, honestly.

no, it will not happen for sure, most people don't get an IB, and if they do it is usually mild, there are some cases where it can get quite bad though. if you are worried about an IB ask your derm for an antibiotic to take during the first part of your treatment.

5. Is there a big chance of this not working on my acne?

no, there is a very high chance that it will work extremely well.

6. Can other products be used to calm the rednes

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Thanks a lot, both of you. That calmed me down a little bit.

I guess I'm the most worried about the initial break-out now. :s

Routhman, can you please elaborate on the products you suggested? What are they for?

Indeed, I can...

Cetaphil Gentle Cleanser (bar form or liquid form)- Of all the dust and bacteria you encounter throughout your day, you should always wash your face. Cetaphil's gentle cleansers are gentle enough that, even with sensitive skin, you should be able to use them twice daily.

Cetaphil Lotion w/SPF15- Your skin will get dry and you will have photosensitivity while on Accutane, which basically means you'll get sunburned pretty easily. You should use a moisturizer with SPF to prevent/treat both of these.

Aquaphor, Blistex, or Carmex (chapsticks)- While on Accutane, your lips will get very dry. Chapstick will be your best friend for the months that you're on the Accutane. Always carry it with you.

Lubricant eyedrops- Like your skin and lips, your eyes too will get dry. But lubricant eye drops can fix this.

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