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Miss Josette

Persistent acne for nearly 13 years

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I haven't been on here in a while. Frankly, I've been too busy to worry about acne, and I've just been using foundation on a daily basis to make my skin look decent...but now that things are settled again, I realize that I have to do something about my face. It has flared up again very badly, and it's not just spots, it's spots that are very red and angry looking. My cheeks are broken out again, when before they were starting to clear. I know some of it's the heat and humidity, but it's too severe to be completely from that alone....

Thing is, I'm just exhausted. I've tried over the counter products, prescription creams, antibiotics, restrictive diets.....nothing works. I keep myself very clean, change my pillow case once a night.....try to go to bed before midnight and sacrifice my creative spark that happens late in the evening when I would rather be up doing things.... I've watched what I've eaten, given up foods...... I just sacrifice and sacrifice in futile attempts to clear my skin and I never gain anything from it. I'm tired of sacrificing. I'm tired of sacrificing life's enjoyments because of my stupid skin that never clears no matter what I do or don't do.

I've been considering looking into accutane....Accutane and and maybe an endocrinologist are the only two options left for me. I refuse to try anymore antibiotics like the one I used to take (all it did was mess up my digestive system, IMO). I refuse to worry about when I go to bed. I refuse to obsess over my diet. I refuse to be afraid to put on make-up.

I'm tired of being a slave to my skin.

I'm not sure I can get accutane.... Not because my skin isn't severe (it isn't, but it I've had persistent acne for over half of my life, and often times it can become moderate rather quickly with no warning). I really, really don't want to get on a BCP. I'm thinking an endocrinologist might be a better idea. Maybe try something like spiro.....

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Have you considered allergies? Tried zinc? Green Tea? What kind of diet? Is you skin very oily?

I had acne for 30 years, and took all kinds of antibiotics, topicals and accutane without any results. The worst of the cystic acne I used to get turned out to be an allergy to oranges. Later I tried zinc and saw palmetto and my skin got a lot less oily and my face mostly clear. Then I cut out sugary drinks and snacks and cut back on simple carbs in general, and my face has been completely clear ever since.

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Sorry to hear you're going through all of this, Josette. I'm an older adult who gets cysts, but very little "surface acne". Most of my acne issues are deep into my skin.

I have been on Accutane a few times, and was on maintenance Accutane for awhile. I'm currently on Accutane again.

Personally, I love it. Yeah, there are side effects to be concerned about, but I've never been sorry that I've taken it. My skin has improved greatly, and I feel so much better about the way I look.

Different dermatologists look at Accutane prescribing differently. One derm might think you don't need it. Another derm might think you would be a good candidate for it. If your acne is causing emotional issues, has been treated in other ways with little or no success, and you are willing to "do what it takes" to be on Accutane (not become pregnant, go in for regular blood-work, etc.), then there's a good chance you can be rx'd Accutane.

Unfortunately, for me, Accutane helped when I was on it and for several years afterwards---but then the cysts would begin to creep up again and drive me nuts. That's why I have been on a few courses of this. I go to a dermatologist who has been with me for a good part of this "journey," and she knows and understands my personal acne history.

I think the biggest trick is to find a compassionate dermatologist. Some derms just want to treat only the worst cases of acne they've ever seen, and if you're not one of them, well then you can forget getting Accutane. But then there are some WONDERFUL derms, like the one that I go to, who can see each patient as an individual, and how this patient's acne affects his or her life.

Maybe you can check around with friends and see if anyone knows of a compassionate derm in your area?

My first derm would only use Accutane as a last resort. He tried to talk patients out of Accutane. He brought in the worst looking acne pictures in the world, and mentioned that "This is a patient who needs Accutane." In other words, if your face doesn't look just like this (which mine didn't) then don't bother. So I continued trying all other types of treatments--antibiotics, topicals, Aldactone, etc. Those didn't take care of the situation. So I finally went into the dr. with an assertive attitude--kind, but assertive. I listed out all the treatments I'd tried. I mentioned the emotional toll that acne took on my life. I mentioned the research I did on Accutane. I listed the various awful potential side-effects that might be caused by Accutane, and let him know that I was willing to take that gamble. I mentioned that I would use as many birth control methods as he wanted me to use while on Accutane. I even promised him that, God forbid that anything would ever go seriously wrong with me while on Accutane--that I would not sue him nor sue the manufacturers of Accutane. I would accept full responsibility for everything. Yes, I was that desperate, but the doc could see that I was sincere and serious about this.

I was rx'd Accutane, and it totally changed my skin--and my life--for the best. Not "for the better," but for the best! The more my face cleared, the better I felt! No more deep, painful cysts! No more feeling so embarrassed about my skin! (OK, a little embarrassment due to some scars, but oh well.) Taking Accutane totally improved my skin and my life!

We all know that Accutane isn't for everyone, and that there are serious potential side effects from taking it. But so often those potential side effects are magnified, and scare drs. away from rx'ing it, and scare patients away from taking it. But for some of us, this has been the wonder drug that changed our lives for the better!

So think about this, and decide if it's worth it to you to take the Accutane gamble. Then communicate your desires and your reaoning to your dr., and see what he/she says.

hth,

dsal

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i've been on 3 courses of accutane. i personally consider it to be a treatment of last resort because of its serious side-effects.

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Miss Josette, you say you had digestive problems from antibiotics. What kind? Did it go away after stopping antibiotics? Was it because of oral antibiotics or topical? I use benzaclin which is 1% antibiotic so your response would really help me out.

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my acne has also been pretty bad - and i tried everything! nothing worked! but a firned of mine told me about this stuff she was using for wrinkles (yeh, cos u get heaps of wrinkles at 24!!)

anyway, i gave it a go - it is a 30 minute non surgical facelift system -and i have been using it for about a month now and i am thrilled to say that it has cleared my face completely! i cant believe it - even my boils have gone (they are a result of a acne treatmetn gone wrong - it caused boils from all the chemicals in it!!)

i got mine from www.nhtglobal.com/petrina and orderd it off there - they offer a 30 day money back or something like that - not toos ure cos there is no way i am parting with mine :-)

it is all natural ingredients and isn't tested on animals either!

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I believe it was the minocycline (Sp?), which is an oral antibiotic. I can't really describe it, I just don't think I digest food as well as I used to. It seems I have more stomach problems after eating, no matter what it is I eat. It hasn't gone away.

alternativista - The thing with me is, I've never eaten something without stopping, like you did with the oranges. Everything that I've eaten I've done without for a fashion, so I can't imagine what it could be if it was a food allergy. I'm consistent with certain foods, but I can also tell you a time frame when I didn't eat them (due to experimenting), and I still had acne during those times. That's why I can't see how it could be a specific food or ingredient.

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I believe it was the minocycline (Sp?), which is an oral antibiotic. I can't really describe it, I just don't think I digest food as well as I used to. It seems I have more stomach problems after eating, no matter what it is I eat. It hasn't gone away.
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I believe it was the minocycline (Sp?), which is an oral antibiotic. I can't really describe it, I just don't think I digest food as well as I used to. It seems I have more stomach problems after eating, no matter what it is I eat. It hasn't gone away.

Activia Yogurt! You need to try that! It will help to regulate your digestive tract, and will provide the probiotics that may have been destroyed during your antibiotic therapy.

dsal

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I believe it was the minocycline (Sp?), which is an oral antibiotic. I can't really describe it, I just don't think I digest food as well as I used to. It seems I have more stomach problems after eating, no matter what it is I eat. It hasn't gone away.

alternativista - The thing with me is, I've never eaten something without stopping, like you did with the oranges. Everything that I've eaten I've done without for a fashion, so I can't imagine what it could be if it was a food allergy. I'm consistent with certain foods, but I can also tell you a time frame when I didn't eat them (due to experimenting), and I still had acne during those times. That's why I can't see how it could be a specific food or ingredient.

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I think my skin would react quickly enough for me to able to recognize a connection. For example, on the meal & a half or one meal a day, my skin cleared up in mere days, so fast it seemed like it was overnight.... I've never seen anything like it before or since. And it wasn't just clear of spots, it was the best my skin has looked probably since I was born. I could turn my bright bathroom lighting on and look at it and it was absolutely amazing.

It was nuts, seeing my skin like that, really.

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I think my skin would react quickly enough for me to able to recognize a connection. For example, on the meal & a half or one meal a day, my skin cleared up in mere days, so fast it seemed like it was overnight.... I've never seen anything like it before or since. And it wasn't just clear of spots, it was the best my skin has looked probably since I was born. I could turn my bright bathroom lighting on and look at it and it was absolutely amazing.

It was nuts, seeing my skin like that, really.

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I wasn't eating dairy (unless you count the amount of milk in a biscuit), sugary foods, nuts or fruits, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, red meat

I was eating: biscuits (which contain wheat a tiny amount of milk), white meat like chicken and turkey and fish, vegetables.

I'm not eating dairy now. I don't eat sugary foods on an even remotely regular basis. I avoid high fructose corn syrup when I can, which is 98% of the time. I'm still not drinking any caffeine. 1I do eat fruit, but not a huge variety, mostly strawberries and apples. I'm still eating my white meat, like chicken, turkey and fish, and I still don't eat red meat. I'm still eating a variety of vegetables. I eat regular Cheerios, which I've been eating for about a year and a half now after avoiding cereal for several years (I use rice milk). I've had some pumpkin pie recently, but I was breaking out badly before that.

I don't think it's the food. I do, however, wonder if my digestive system has something to do with it.

But I've also had a horrible year. My mother died very suddenly at the beginning of the year and I've had to move into a new house after several months of worrying about whether or not my old one would sell. My skin stayed very good throughout the first couple of months, and then it went to hell, and it's not really recovering.

My acne always looks inflamed/irritated, and is usually red with the occasional white head.

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I wasn't eating dairy (unless you count the amount of milk in a biscuit), sugary foods, nuts or fruits, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, red meat

I was eating: biscuits (which contain wheat a tiny amount of milk), white meat like chicken and turkey and fish, vegetables.

I'm not eating dairy now. I don't eat sugary foods on an even remotely regular basis. I avoid high fructose corn syrup when I can, which is 98% of the time. I'm still not drinking any caffeine. 1I do eat fruit, but not a huge variety, mostly strawberries and apples. I'm still eating my white meat, like chicken, turkey and fish, and I still don't eat red meat. I'm still eating a variety of vegetables. I eat regular Cheerios, which I've been eating for about a year and a half now after avoiding cereal for several years (I use rice milk). I've had some pumpkin pie recently, but I was breaking out badly before that.

I don't think it's the food. I do, however, wonder if my digestive system has something to do with it.

But I've also had a horrible year. My mother died very suddenly at the beginning of the year and I've had to move into a new house after several months of worrying about whether or not my old one would sell. My skin stayed very good throughout the first couple of months, and then it went to hell, and it's not really recovering.

My acne always looks inflamed/irritated, and is usually red with the occasional white head.

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I wasn't eating dairy (unless you count the amount of milk in a biscuit), sugary foods, nuts or fruits, caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, red meat

I was eating: biscuits (which contain wheat a tiny amount of milk), white meat like chicken and turkey and fish, vegetables.

I'm not eating dairy now. I don't eat sugary foods on an even remotely regular basis. I avoid high fructose corn syrup when I can, which is 98% of the time. I'm still not drinking any caffeine. 1I do eat fruit, but not a huge variety, mostly strawberries and apples. I'm still eating my white meat, like chicken, turkey and fish, and I still don't eat red meat. I'm still eating a variety of vegetables. I eat regular Cheerios, which I've been eating for about a year and a half now after avoiding cereal for several years (I use rice milk). I've had some pumpkin pie recently, but I was breaking out badly before that.

I don't think it's the food. I do, however, wonder if my digestive system has something to do with it.

But I've also had a horrible year. My mother died very suddenly at the beginning of the year and I've had to move into a new house after several months of worrying about whether or not my old one would sell. My skin stayed very good throughout the first couple of months, and then it went to hell, and it's not really recovering.

My acne always looks inflamed/irritated, and is usually red with the occasional white head.

I had persistent acne for 20 years. I went on accutane last Aug. I was completely clear by the 3rd month. I have not had a breakout in over 9 months.

The side effects were mild and completely worth it. I know I did much more damage to my body with continued use of antibiotics than I did with a 6 month course of accutane.

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ScoobyDoo,

Your situation sounds like mine. I'm 36 years old and have struggled with acne for about 13yrs. I would describe my acne as mild/moderate. It's now the worst its ever been. I've never been on antibiotics for acne because I don't see the point in killing all the healthy bacteria in my body. I'm at the point now that even I, who will not take a pill for anything cause I hate taking pills, am considering taking accutane. I just don't think my derm would prescribe it for me.

I was just wondering did you take a birth control while you were taking accutane? If you were are you still taking it? Do they make you take a birth control while you are taking accutane even if there is absolutely no chance of getting pregnant as in my case? Sorry if you're not female then obviously you cannot answer these questions. Thanks.

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ScoobyDoo,

Your situation sounds like mine. I'm 36 years old and have struggled with acne for about 13yrs. I would describe my acne as mild/moderate. It's now the worst its ever been. I've never been on antibiotics for acne because I don't see the point in killing all the healthy bacteria in my body. I'm at the point now that even I, who will not take a pill for anything cause I hate taking pills, am considering taking accutane. I just don't think my derm would prescribe it for me.

I was just wondering did you take a birth control while you were taking accutane? If you were are you still taking it? Do they make you take a birth control while you are taking accutane even if there is absolutely no chance of getting pregnant as in my case? Sorry if you're not female then obviously you cannot answer these questions. Thanks.

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I don't know why I think my derm wouldn't prescribe it. I've had 3-4 appointments with her and she's never mentioned it. I've never really mentioned it either because I haven't started considering it until recently. She usually asks me if I want to use antibiotics and I say no. Then she asks me if I want to use birth control pills and I say no. Then she says ok we'll do it topically then and gives me some crap to put on my face that doesn't work. You're lucky your derm suggested it. I live in Canada so I don't know if the derms here would prescribe it if your acne is not severe or what.

Regarding taking hormonal birth control while taking accutane, it really isn't necessary with me. I am completely abstinent. I won't be having sex anytime in the next century so I wouldn't be using any condoms or foam. So what would I say in the event that I would actually get the accutane and they want to put me on hormonal birth control because I don't want to take it and it's completely unnecessary?

I don't know why I think my derm wouldn't prescribe it. I've had 3-4 appointments with her and she's never mentioned it. I've never really mentioned it either because I haven't started considering it until recently. She usually asks me if I want to use antibiotics and I say no. Then she asks me if I want to use birth control pills and I say no. Then she says ok we'll do it topically then and gives me some crap to put on my face that doesn't work. You're lucky your derm suggested it. I live in Canada so I don't know if the derms here would prescribe it if your acne is not severe or what.

Regarding taking hormonal birth control while taking accutane, it really isn't necessary with me. I am completely abstinent. I won't be having sex anytime in the next century so I wouldn't be using any condoms or foam. So what would I say in the event that I would actually get the accutane and they want to put me on hormonal birth control because I don't want to take it and it's completely unnecessary?

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I don't know why I think my derm wouldn't prescribe it. I've had 3-4 appointments with her and she's never mentioned it. I've never really mentioned it either because I haven't started considering it until recently. She usually asks me if I want to use antibiotics and I say no. Then she asks me if I want to use birth control pills and I say no. Then she says ok we'll do it topically then and gives me some crap to put on my face that doesn't work. You're lucky your derm suggested it. I live in Canada so I don't know if the derms here would prescribe it if your acne is not severe or what.

Regarding taking hormonal birth control while taking accutane, it really isn't necessary with me. I am completely abstinent. I won't be having sex anytime in the next century so I wouldn't be using any condoms or foam. So what would I say in the event that I would actually get the accutane and they want to put me on hormonal birth control because I don't want to take it and it's completely unnecessary?

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Even though you're abstinent, you'll still need to use an additional method of birth control. I'm pretty sure that the only way you could get out of using bc is if you've had a hysterectomy. Even an abstinent person can become pregnant. You can become pregnant without any...uh..penetration. And, a pregnancy could occur from--goodness, I hate to even say this--from being <gulp> raped. In other words, you could end up pregnant even though you thought it wasn't an option, and then the baby could be deformed and have other health issues. That's why they insist on 2 bc methods.
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I agree with you Miss Josette. I want to take accutane but I don't want to take the birth contol because it is completely unnecessary. I know the possibility exists that one could get raped and get preganant but if that were to happen I would get the morning after pill and I wouldn't become pregnant in the first place.

But don't they make you take it? They must test you or something to see that you are taking bc?

For those of you out there who have taken accutane and a bcp did you stop taking the pill when you stopped taking the accutane? Did you begin to break out after you stopped taking it?

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