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BRmass25

AT THE POINT OF ORAL MEDS. ACCUTANE vs. ANTIBIOTICS (PLEASE HELP!)

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Hello all. I'M BR AND I HAVE ACNE! haha I feel like I'm at an AA meeting...

Anyway, first time posting. I've been reading this board for a little while and you all seem to be very smart, caring, and well informed people. I feel as though I may have learned much more from what I have read here than in a doctor or dermatologist's office and I thank you all for that.

SO withough further brown-nosin...

MY ACNE STORY:

Kicked in when I was about 13.

Age 13 - 15: Typically, started mild, nothing to worry about. A few little choppy waves in an otherwise perfectly calm sea.

High School: Gettin' stormier. BRING ON My BEST BUDS THE BIG OL' PUSTULES and VERY OCCASIONAL CYSTS! All activity located on the areas directly to the bottom corners of my mouth. Between the cheek and the chin. I call this area "no man's land".

College: 4 Year storm. The bottom half of my face constantly looks like someone sprayed strawberry jam at it through a screen door. PUSTULE and RED MARK CITY. No man's land is lookin grim. Graduation marks start of CHEST ACNE.

Now (age 24. 25 in a month): Calmer in no man's land (thank f'n god)...but steady. Lots of blackheads. A very big pore heavy facial texture. Still getting PUSTULES...alwaus PUSTULES...always in the same place...I'd say about 5-10 monthly. The kind that are super obvious and leave big ol' red marks. Looks real awkward cause the rest of my face is pretty much clear. Chest has gotten BAD.

Pustule heavy, raw, and quite painful because they're right on my chest bone. Feels like rice crispies under my shirt.

Meds I've tried:

OTC:

Proactive

Oxy PB products

Murad (someone's a sick puppy)

clearasil sasilyc acid

Grandpa's soap

clearasil sulfur Adult acne treatment

Prescription (solo and combination therapies. Followed accordingly for the appropriate time):

Retin A

Benzaclin

Differin

Tazorac

Clindamycin

Tetracyclin

Glycolic Acid

Azelex

Sulfur pads

Where I stand now: I have mild to moderate acne on my face and moderate and painful acne on my chest. I am noticing small raised scars on my jawline. In the long awkward journey to self comfort, acne is my final frontier. Increasingly, as more and more of my peers stop having any acne, I have been getting more and more psychologically distressed and less and less patient to the point where right now its just plain old unpleasant. And its not more from the fact that I'm different from my peers. Its basically the fact that this is not how I want to look as an adult. My mental image of myself and physical image of myself aren't matching.

I feel uncomfortable around my girlfriend and my friends sometimes (shadows and darkness are my friend after shaving). I am starting to feel UGLIER than most people. I am developing poor body image. I am SERVERELY pre-occupied by acne. 20 - 30 trips to a mirror per day. It is IMPORTANT to me that I change my acne condition.

I believe in the active ingredients in medications. I am not going to try Uncle Jimmy's brand 2.5% Benzol Peroxide body wash after Auntie Betsy's brand 2.5% benzol peroxide body wash failed. I don't buy that diet effects my acne. I have ate like utter crapola and have ate on a wholistic vegan diet and have even ate "liver concious" and it has not made a bit of difference. I never drink or smoke or do drugs or steroids. I also just plain old won't go in for the over the top natural stuff. I'm sorry, no offense, but I won't do stuff like rub a melon on my face and sleep with honey on my chest. I might taste and smell delicious...but I strongly doubt it would change my acne.

I am at the point I feel where I need to do oral meds. I have educated myself well.

I am wondering whether I should do antibiotics or just go for accutane. Personally, I think I would be happier doing accutane than I would antibiotics. I know it will probably be rough on the tane'. Fully aware of all of the side effects. What I am caught up on is what I have gathered about antibiotics. It seems that there is a large chance of bodily resistance after a time and then a downpour of stronger more aggressive acne which leads to antibiotic jumping which leads to accutane. Why not cut out the middle man?

I know that accutane is not a garunteed cure. But it seems that if tane doesn't work at least my acne won't be "supercharged" like after an antibiotic. Or could it?

Please, share stories, knowledge, etc. Especially if you are a case like me. All greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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The other antibiotics you did were only topical versions then? Personally, I'm not a fan of oral antibiotics for acne, as they didn't help me. Actually, 3-4 rounds of Accutane didn't either, but I digress. If I was you, I'd go to a well-respected derm who has experience with acne clients and get his/her opinion on which route to take. It seems like a lot of people respond well to Accutane, so my vote is to cut to the chase and go for that. What is your current regimen, btw?

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You seemed to have tried everything!

IMO, oral antibiotics are more for teenagers who have crazy hormonal body changing acne and would like to control the breakouts for a few years until their bodies level out. It's more of a bandaid than a solution because antibiotics will stop working after some time (1 year).

Talk to your derm. Because of your age, you may be a good candidate for Accutane. I think the success rate is 60% for totally clear and 90% for at least a whole lot better.

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My situation is similar to yours: I have had acne for over ten years but am a little older than you are (27). Personally, I decided against Accutane (so far at least). Nevertheless, I would NOT recommend oral antibiotics either. With Accutane you at least have a chance of getting rid of your acne. With antibiotics, you are only acne-free as long as you take them and even that might wear off. I see no point in oral antibiotics at all (maybe as a short term remedy for teenage acne or for transitional periods until topicals work).

I asked pretty much the same question on this site. "Should I take Accutane?" You will get replies from people telling you to "go for it" and from those who tell you that it will f*** up your body. In the end, it all depends on whether a) your derm agrees on Accutane and b) whether you are willing to take the risks.

I know its tempting to ask a question like this on a website and, after all, that's what this website is for. However, you should listen to yourself and what your "stomach tells you" (German proverb, I am sure you get the meaning if there isn't even a similar one in English). Don't decide on the basis of what people on this site recommend for you personally since you will find those people that would take any medicine without thinking about it but also those that even oppose taking aspirin.

I know I am contradicting myself here in first telling you not to take antibiotics and then telling you to not listen to what people recommend but - without speaking in favor of or against Accutane - it is a tough decision to make and one that WILL have consequences (which might be either good or bad). If you really need advice concerning your personal situation, ask your family and friends about what they think you should do. Of course, in our (acne sufferers) opinion, they cannot relate to what we go through. On the other hand, they have a more objective standpoint. When I told my friends that I am thinking about taking Accutane, some were like "What the hell do you want to take that risk for?" and others were more positive.

Anyways, I am getting into my own story here and am starting to talk drivel... Whatever you do, make sure you are 100% positive that this is what you want to do (be it "going for it" and taking the risks or continuing with topicals/nothing and being unhappy w/ acne). You can't undo whatever it is Accutane might do to your body neither can you relive the years you lost due to worrying over acne. This is your decision in a nutshell.

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Thank you very much for the replies. I truly value them. It seems that we're on similar modes of thinking about the problem. That makes me feel good.

My current regimen is 3 months on benzaclin (mornings) and tazorac (evenings) with cetaphil face wash and moisterizer. Not really cuttin' it as per usual.

Yes I have only done topicals over the years. I have yet to put something in my mouth for acne.

So I have another question to ask of you:

I'm seeing a brand new derm in 2 weeks. I can't go to my old one because I have moved 5 hours away. What's it like bringing up Accutane to a dermatologist when you don't have nodular/cystic servere acne? Is it something where they take a look at you in your current condition and ink up their "ACCUTANE DENIED" stamp to go across your mild acne covered forhead? How much do they base on current condition? Because as every acne sufferer without constant severe acne knows we all have good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...

Obviously, I have a history of failed medications to back up my cause. But could they be like, "sorry, son, you've just got acne you're gonna have to live with because it doesn't look bad enough to me!" I mean, is it possible I'll have to get into a fight with this dude/dudette? Am I really going to have to stress that they're not the one wearing my face and body. I AM.?

Please share experiences. Especially if you were prescribed accutane and you definately DIDN'T have severe nodular/cystic acne.

Thanks!

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What country do you live in? I guess that makes a big difference. From what I have seen on this website, derms in the US seem to be less reluctant to prescribe Accutane. I have been to about 6-7 derms in the last ten years and only one offered to prescribe Accutane. Strangely, that was after seeing her for the first time. Also, everybody I know who has taken Accutane got their prescription from her. Other derms told me they would never prescribe it for me...

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What country do you live in? I guess that makes a big difference. From what I have seen on this website, derms in the US seem to be less reluctant to prescribe Accutane. I have been to about 6-7 derms in the last ten years and only one offered to prescribe Accutane. Strangely, that was after seeing her for the first time. Also, everybody I know who has taken Accutane got their prescription from her. Other derms told me they would never prescribe it for me...

This is a good point. Call the derm's office and ask if they prescribe Accutane. Many don't because they need some sort of special permit in the US. I think it's nice to have it as an option. There are effective laser treatments for acne too, but in the US, insurance usually doesn't cover it. Accutane is typically covered.

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What country do you live in? I guess that makes a big difference. From what I have seen on this website, derms in the US seem to be less reluctant to prescribe Accutane. I have been to about 6-7 derms in the last ten years and only one offered to prescribe Accutane. Strangely, that was after seeing her for the first time. Also, everybody I know who has taken Accutane got their prescription from her. Other derms told me they would never prescribe it for me...

This is a good point. Call the derm's office and ask if they prescribe Accutane. Many don't because they need some sort of special permit in the US. I think it's nice to have it as an option. There are effective laser treatments for acne too, but in the US, insurance usually doesn't cover it. Accutane is typically covered.

Very interesting...I did not know that there were derm offices that can't prescribe accutane.

Just so we're clear though...I am a candidate for accutane based on the non-responsiveness of my condition correct? Derms do understand that? They would take into account that I'm 25, it psychologically bothers THE HELL outa me and that basically I think I've used every damn topical med in the book?

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What country do you live in? I guess that makes a big difference. From what I have seen on this website, derms in the US seem to be less reluctant to prescribe Accutane. I have been to about 6-7 derms in the last ten years and only one offered to prescribe Accutane. Strangely, that was after seeing her for the first time. Also, everybody I know who has taken Accutane got their prescription from her. Other derms told me they would never prescribe it for me...

This is a good point. Call the derm's office and ask if they prescribe Accutane. Many don't because they need some sort of special permit in the US. I think it's nice to have it as an option. There are effective laser treatments for acne too, but in the US, insurance usually doesn't cover it. Accutane is typically covered.

Very interesting...I did not know that there were derm offices that can't prescribe accutane.

Just so we're clear though...I am a candidate for accutane based on the non-responsiveness of my condition correct? Derms do understand that? They would take into account that I'm 25, it psychologically bothers THE HELL outa me and that basically I think I've used every damn topical med in the book?

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I'm 37, and I just started accutane yesterday. I would like to encourage you to be bold about your treatment history, emotional affects, and desires for treatment with your doctor. Your dermatologist is there to serve you. I have been fortunate in that my derm has been working well with me. As a female, the whole process is cumbersome (iPLEDGE). I'm really investing myself in this course of treatment, because I've suffered so long with acne, and like you, with poor results. Antibiotics had no affect in my case.

Best of luck with yours.

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im 27 and antibiotics did nothing for me.

went on accutane and ive been clear for 6 months. no sides effects apart frm dry lips and skin.

the stuff is great just wish i had taken it sooner

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ive used both antbiotics and accutane, and antibiotics are only effective while they take them. the minute you stop taking, you're skin breaks out 10 times worse than before. that was my experience anyways. although accutane is stronger and more effective while you're on it, it has more dangers and side effects, but once i stopped, it kept me clearer for maybe a few months before i started breaking out again. but it did come back.

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Thank you very much for the replies. I truly value them. It seems that we're on similar modes of thinking about the problem. That makes me feel good.

My current regimen is 3 months on benzaclin (mornings) and tazorac (evenings) with cetaphil face wash and moisterizer. Not really cuttin' it as per usual.

Yes I have only done topicals over the years. I have yet to put something in my mouth for acne.

So I have another question to ask of you:

I'm seeing a brand new derm in 2 weeks. I can't go to my old one because I have moved 5 hours away. What's it like bringing up Accutane to a dermatologist when you don't have nodular/cystic servere acne? Is it something where they take a look at you in your current condition and ink up their "ACCUTANE DENIED" stamp to go across your mild acne covered forhead? How much do they base on current condition? Because as every acne sufferer without constant severe acne knows we all have good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...

Obviously, I have a history of failed medications to back up my cause. But could they be like, "sorry, son, you've just got acne you're gonna have to live with because it doesn't look bad enough to me!" I mean, is it possible I'll have to get into a fight with this dude/dudette? Am I really going to have to stress that they're not the one wearing my face and body. I AM.?

Please share experiences. Especially if you were prescribed accutane and you definately DIDN'T have severe nodular/cystic acne.

Thanks!

Let's see. . . neither derm I saw in my teens thought my acne was bad enough for Accutane initially. The derm I saw later eventually saw how my skin just didn't really respond to anything he was giving to me, so he actually brought it up to me. I ultimately did three courses of Accutane over the course of several years, of which the last one was a low-dose course. I think I was 24 when I took that last course. It seemed like I would clear up for a while after taking a course and then it would return within a year. It did get rid of whatever cystic acne I had, but not the hormal whiteheads, pustules, and papules I had (still have). For me, what ultimately helped the most was BCP (Demulen) and spironolactone, and then just Yasmin BCP alone (which basically combines the properties of spiro with BCP's.) (Can't take it now, though, since I'm trying to get pregnant.)

Anyway, if I was you, I'd sign a release to your old derm to have your records faxed to the new derm before your appointment so that the new derm can see exactly what your old derm has tried with you. THen when you bring up Accutane to him/her, s/he will have a truer understadning of your backgound and what you've tried and not tried so far.

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Thank you very much for the replies. I truly value them. It seems that we're on similar modes of thinking about the problem. That makes me feel good.

My current regimen is 3 months on benzaclin (mornings) and tazorac (evenings) with cetaphil face wash and moisterizer. Not really cuttin' it as per usual.

Yes I have only done topicals over the years. I have yet to put something in my mouth for acne.

So I have another question to ask of you:

I'm seeing a brand new derm in 2 weeks. I can't go to my old one because I have moved 5 hours away. What's it like bringing up Accutane to a dermatologist when you don't have nodular/cystic servere acne? Is it something where they take a look at you in your current condition and ink up their "ACCUTANE DENIED" stamp to go across your mild acne covered forhead? How much do they base on current condition? Because as every acne sufferer without constant severe acne knows we all have good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...

Obviously, I have a history of failed medications to back up my cause. But could they be like, "sorry, son, you've just got acne you're gonna have to live with because it doesn't look bad enough to me!" I mean, is it possible I'll have to get into a fight with this dude/dudette? Am I really going to have to stress that they're not the one wearing my face and body. I AM.?

Please share experiences. Especially if you were prescribed accutane and you definately DIDN'T have severe nodular/cystic acne.

Thanks!

Let's see. . . neither derm I saw in my teens thought my acne was bad enough for Accutane initially. The derm I saw later eventually saw how my skin just didn't really respond to anything he was giving to me, so he actually brought it up to me. I ultimately did three courses of Accutane over the course of several years, of which the last one was a low-dose course. I think I was 24 when I took that last course. It seemed like I would clear up for a while after taking a course and then it would return within a year. It did get rid of whatever cystic acne I had, but not the hormal whiteheads, pustules, and papules I had (still have). For me, what ultimately helped the most was BCP (Demulen) and spironolactone, and then just Yasmin BCP alone (which basically combines the properties of spiro with BCP's.) (Can't take it now, though, since I'm trying to get pregnant.)

Anyway, if I was you, I'd sign a release to your old derm to have your records faxed to the new derm before your appointment so that the new derm can see exactly what your old derm has tried with you. THen when you bring up Accutane to him/her, s/he will have a truer understadning of your backgound and what you've tried and not tried so far.

You know...the more I think about it...I'm starting to have a hard time with the notion of being DENIED accutane at this point in my life. I'm not living with mommy anymore. I have an apartment, a girlfriend, a job with my own personal parking space. If I want a chance at a face free of fucking slimey pustules before I hit 30 I think I should be allowed that!...

sorry...I've just had a "bad shave"...shit is RAW, SON! Hahaha re-goddamn-diculous...25 years old and still looking like I'm coming out from 10th grade gym class. I wanna drop my topicals in the toilet...but that would probably be bad for the environment...so I'll hang onto em...

I don't know man...I'm 25, you know? Some of you are far far older. We've LIVED like people LIVE (for the most part). Don't you think at that point there shouldn't be a question of how you think you look and how a dermatologist or a doctor think you look? We've learned responsibility at this point in our lives. If we do X then Y could happen. Well thats life! Consent form. Signed. Case closed.

Sorry...bad shave...

When I'm frustrated my eloquence tends to go out the window...as does many other things...

ACNE EH?? EH??? SUCKS RIGHT?? RIGHT??

man that derm is gonna get a piece of my mind lemme tell ya...

maybe I'm typing on the wrong board...anyhoozle...g'night!

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It's hard to condone either medicines because they can both have negative effects. Having said that and using both, I strongly lean towards Accutane. If your acne has been persistent since your early teens and now you're 25, you're a good candidate for it. From what I've read on acne.org, Accutane is wonderful for chest and back acne.

Edited to add: My derm offered me Accutane on my first visit due to my age and the list of products and medications I've tried over the years. My acne wasn't horrible because I was already taking stuff for it, but it wasn't non-existant either. I turned it down then to try a relatively new antibiotic, but caved after 3 months. Hopefully, your derm will not deny your request. Best wishes!

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Thank you very much for the replies. I truly value them. It seems that we're on similar modes of thinking about the problem. That makes me feel good.

My current regimen is 3 months on benzaclin (mornings) and tazorac (evenings) with cetaphil face wash and moisterizer. Not really cuttin' it as per usual.

Yes I have only done topicals over the years. I have yet to put something in my mouth for acne.

So I have another question to ask of you:

I'm seeing a brand new derm in 2 weeks. I can't go to my old one because I have moved 5 hours away. What's it like bringing up Accutane to a dermatologist when you don't have nodular/cystic servere acne? Is it something where they take a look at you in your current condition and ink up their "ACCUTANE DENIED" stamp to go across your mild acne covered forhead? How much do they base on current condition? Because as every acne sufferer without constant severe acne knows we all have good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...and good weeks and bad weeks...

Obviously, I have a history of failed medications to back up my cause. But could they be like, "sorry, son, you've just got acne you're gonna have to live with because it doesn't look bad enough to me!" I mean, is it possible I'll have to get into a fight with this dude/dudette? Am I really going to have to stress that they're not the one wearing my face and body. I AM.?

Please share experiences. Especially if you were prescribed accutane and you definately DIDN'T have severe nodular/cystic acne.

Thanks!

Let's see. . . neither derm I saw in my teens thought my acne was bad enough for Accutane initially. The derm I saw later eventually saw how my skin just didn't really respond to anything he was giving to me, so he actually brought it up to me. I ultimately did three courses of Accutane over the course of several years, of which the last one was a low-dose course. I think I was 24 when I took that last course. It seemed like I would clear up for a while after taking a course and then it would return within a year. It did get rid of whatever cystic acne I had, but not the hormal whiteheads, pustules, and papules I had (still have). For me, what ultimately helped the most was BCP (Demulen) and spironolactone, and then just Yasmin BCP alone (which basically combines the properties of spiro with BCP's.) (Can't take it now, though, since I'm trying to get pregnant.)

Anyway, if I was you, I'd sign a release to your old derm to have your records faxed to the new derm before your appointment so that the new derm can see exactly what your old derm has tried with you. THen when you bring up Accutane to him/her, s/he will have a truer understadning of your backgound and what you've tried and not tried so far.

You know...the more I think about it...I'm starting to have a hard time with the notion of being DENIED accutane at this point in my life. I'm not living with mommy anymore. I have an apartment, a girlfriend, a job with my own personal parking space. If I want a chance at a face free of fucking slimey pustules before I hit 30 I think I should be allowed that!...

sorry...I've just had a "bad shave"...shit is RAW, SON! Hahaha re-goddamn-diculous...25 years old and still looking like I'm coming out from 10th grade gym class. I wanna drop my topicals in the toilet...but that would probably be bad for the environment...so I'll hang onto em...

I don't know man...I'm 25, you know? Some of you are far far older. We've LIVED like people LIVE (for the most part). Don't you think at that point there shouldn't be a question of how you think you look and how a dermatologist or a doctor think you look? We've learned responsibility at this point in our lives. If we do X then Y could happen. Well thats life! Consent form. Signed. Case closed.

Sorry...bad shave...

When I'm frustrated my eloquence tends to go out the window...as does many other things...

ACNE EH?? EH??? SUCKS RIGHT?? RIGHT??

man that derm is gonna get a piece of my mind lemme tell ya...

maybe I'm typing on the wrong board...anyhoozle...g'night!

It's ok. I understand. I only resigned myself to life with acne after I had my son at the age of 31. Before then, I kept htinking I would "outgrow" it. Go for the Accutane. Everyone deserves a chance at clear skin. ;)

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