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May

accutane: how bad are the side effects?

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i was wondering when you took accutane before did you get other lesions besides cysts, and did accutane help clear them and they also didn't come back for a few years

Ahh... it's a bit hard to remember. I think that all my acne was of the cystic variety and that i didn't get "normal" pimples or blackheads. My face, neck, chest, shoulders and back were all effected by large deep cysts. The Accutane did clear almost all of my body acne btw, it only effects my face and chest now. The cysts disappeared and were replaced by "normal" acne for a few years, generally tied to my menstrual cycle, but after a year or so, the cysts returned, becoming more frequent.

what kind of acne are you getting now?

Now i have several severe cysts on my face and chest as well as "normal" lesions.

it sounds like it helped alot fro you before and now years later it isn't as bad, so maybe it will help again.

Oh, there is no question in my mind that it helped, and that my acne is better than it would have been without it. I just question whether the level and duration of improvement were worth the misery of the treatment itself.

are you male or female> female maybe hormone options too.

I'm female. You mean birth control pills? The ones i've tried haven't done anything for my skin, the brand that's recommended for acne (orvo tri cyclin or something like that) upset my mood and made me bleed constantly, one long never ending period gross.

Did your doctor say anything postive if you were to take it accutane again?

Well, at the time he said i could do another treatment if needed. Until recently i haven't considered another course of Accutane since i found the experience so traumatic, if i decide to i'll have to find a new doctor since it has been more than a decade and i've moved etc.

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I have been on accutane for nearly four months. It has been difficult to deal with the side effects. Mainly, I have been in a constant battle with dry skin, chapped lips, and aching joints. My skin has gone up and down. Really clear to horribly broke out, I think that is the worse part of it. I get excited that it appears to have worked only to wake up the next day with a huge breakout.

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Sara,

Hi! How bad was your acne prior to taking accutane and have you noticed any clearing of clogged pores, blackheads, etc. How long are you going to take it? I feel the same way about the breakouts. I have been taking accutane for two months and haven't noticed anything except drier skin/lips and more breakouts. Do you have any scarring from taking the accutane as opposed to if you hadn't taken it?

Judy

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spirit,

have you noticed any signs of improvement?

what did your doctor tell you?

do your whiteheads look like under the post "what are these"

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Hey Guys,

I've been on accutane for almost two months...and i have definetely noticed an improvement in the general oiliness, clogged pores, and blackheads on my skin. My skin just looks a lot cleaner in general. HOWEVER....i'm still getting the breakouts....about once a month....and they are REALLY annoying. Apparently this is normal for about the first 4 months of treatement though. They do clear up a lot quicker than before too. So, I guess we just have to hang in there!

May

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I stopped taking bcp that I had been on for nearly 6 years, almost immediately I started breaking out. Stopping the bcp's was a huge mistake and really messed with my hormones. I had no acne previously, the bcp's were probably keeping acne away. Things are mild, I guess in comparison to others, but horrible to me, since previously I had clear skin. Tomorrow is my next visit with my derm. Months 3 and 4 were pretty good, so good news to you, I guess. Just the last week of the forth month things went crazy. Holiday stress, work stress, closer to my period. I don't know why things changed, but I hate it. I am worried that the accutane won't work. Or that I'll lneed to go another round. Previous to prescribing accutane for me the only other thing we tried was a round of both topical and oral antibiotics. Accutane wasn't a last resort for me. Accutane was what we tried right after two weeks of the antibiotics. I feel that I was a poor choice in the patient selection in hindsight. I think that since I had already restarted bcp that it would have been just a matter of time before things cleared on their own. (with a little help from the pill) My skin has been worse since starting accutane then it ever was before. I do have two tiny, ice pick scars on my face. Mainly the tone is very uneven with large reddened areas. I hate this. I feel terrible and let down.

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For anyone who has used Accutane in the past: Is it normal to experience a worsening of breakouts in the initial phases of treatment? The way things are looking now, I'll probably be starting Accutane in a few weeks; I'm curious/apprehensive. Thanks in advance.

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For anyone who has used Accutane in the past:  Is it normal to experience a worsening of breakouts in the initial phases of treatment?  The way things are looking now, I'll probably be starting Accutane in a few weeks; I'm curious/apprehensive.  Thanks in advance.

yes, it's very common and as long as you don't screw with your skin you shouldn't have any scarring. don't mistake red marks for scarring because they will appear darker while on accutane. it's due to the thiness of you skin caused by rapid sloughing.

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I have been on accutane for nearly four months.  It has been difficult to deal with the side effects.  Mainly, I have been in a constant battle with dry skin, chapped lips, and aching joints.  My skin has gone up and down.  Really clear to horribly broke out, I think that is the worse part of it.  I get excited that it appears to have worked only to wake up the next day with a huge breakout.

i feel for you sara. you're a classic case of the female with rollercoaster hormones. that's why bcp worked so well for you because it totally regulated your estrogen levels. now that you're off of it you're becoming aware of how closely-related your breakouts are to your hormone fluctuations. i've known a few woman who have had this condition acutely and accutane didn't work as well for them as it worked for people like me with highly persistent moderate acne. if you're in the fourth month i would say stick with it until the course is through and then if you continue to have problems go back on bcp.

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Willis,

The whiteheads and blackheads I have don't look like the picture. They are like hardened clogs of oil basically. I have only noticed improvement of the overall oiliness of my skin. My doc just says it's normal for the breakouts to be occurring. I asked him if the oil clogs that come out of my skin are going to leave scars and he says that your skin is like fabric, it will eventually smooth out. I hope so since they leave little tiny holes where the clog was!

Sara,

I feel the same as you do. I used to have clear skin except for the occasional pimple here and there before the big hormonal change or whatever it was. Now, since being on accutane, I have cystic breakouts, clogged pores (large ones), and shallow scarring from some of them! I don't know what to think or do anymore! Will accutane work or is it making things worse? I wish I knew that answer. In the meantime, I think I will start taking the Yasmin bcp to see if that helps the breakouts. Which bcp were you using for the 6 years?

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hey rap,

i know that a few months after accutane, the oil comes back. but i heard that the pore size comes back a little smaller than before accutane. do you know if this is true ? thanks

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I just wanted to add that many people see the best results from Accutane AFTER they are done with the course of medication. So don't fret if you can't see improvement yet. While i was on the drug, i had frequent breakouts at first, (and yes, that's very common, don't fret about it either, think of it as flushing the breakouts) and they became less severe as time went on. They were at an alltime low about 2 months after i was done with the first course of medication, and the improvement lasted about a year before the breakouts began to become gradually more severe.

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Here's a question for anyone; I don't know if this can be answered or not because I think the effectiveness of a drug like Accutane has to do somewhat with each individual's body chemistry, but... I know Accutane works best for cystic acne, is that right? Does the severity of one's acne have anything to do with how effective the treatment is, for example is there a difference between how one with severe cystic acne is affected as opposed to one with moderate acne? Again, I don't know if that can be answered or not, since everyone seems to have different results with the drug anyway... Need some reassurance. I'll be starting the drug most likely in a few weeks, and I'm worried about, well.. being worse off than I was before treatment (I've got moderate acne)... probably paranoid... Thanks much to anyone who can offer their thoughts.

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I know it probably won't make you feel better, but during the first months of treatment, it is very common for acne to become more severe before you see improvement, so if this happenes to you, don't freak out. The good news is, people who go into it with less severe acne are much more likely to experience full remission of their acne after the treatment is over. However, as you noted, it effects everyone differently. If you are going on Accutane, the best advice i can give is to drink lots and lots and lots of water and stock up on moisturizer, body lotion, eye drops and lip balm. And if the side effects are depressing you, talk to someone about it, and remember that it's temporary and that you are likely to see a drastic improvement after you are done, at least for a while.

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hey rap,

i know that a few months after accutane, the oil comes back. but i heard that the pore size comes back a little smaller than before accutane. do you know if this is true ? thanks

i've had slight reenlargement of some of the pores around my nose but that's it.

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Here's a question for anyone; I don't know if this can be answered or not because I think the effectiveness of a drug like Accutane has to do somewhat with each individual's body chemistry, but...  I know Accutane works best for cystic acne, is that right?  Does the severity of one's acne have anything to do with how effective the treatment is, for example is there a difference between how one with severe cystic acne is affected as opposed to one with moderate acne?  Again, I don't know if that can be answered or not, since everyone seems to have different results with the drug anyway...  Need some reassurance.  I'll be starting the drug most likely in a few weeks, and I'm worried about, well.. being worse off than I was before treatment (I've got moderate acne)... probably paranoid...  Thanks much to anyone who can offer their thoughts.

this is really the million dollar question. the first person i ever knew who took accutane had the most severe acne i'd ever seen and experienced complete remission to this day. he finished his course over ten years ago. i and many others on the other hand with only mild to moderate persistent acne have experienced only temporary remission. roche doesn't even know why there are variances in its effectiveness. i'd say it's due to a combination of hormone production intensity, environmental factors to a small degree and the specific structure of your sebaceous glands and facial pores. in other words... i wish i knew.

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hey rap, i know its a mystery oh how people stay clear when there oil comes back. one thing I was wondering if you knew anything about wheather or not the pore size comes back the same or i heard that the oil gland comes back smaller ?

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hey rap, i know its a mystery oh how people stay clear when there oil comes back. one thing I was wondering if you knew anything about wheather or not the pore size comes back the same or i heard that the oil gland comes back smaller ?

your pore size after taking accutane will always be smaller than it was before treatment. i'm pretty sure the size of your sebaceous glands will always be smaller as well. slight reenlargement may occur.

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I was on triphasil-a great tricyclic, that I believe had FDA approval to claim that clearing the users skin was a good side effect. My insurance company will only let me be on a generic now. If I want something different than the Trivora then I have to make up the cost differences between the two and then some. I spend enough on dr's bills and rx's, so no thank you. Good luck with Yasmin, I've heard good things from others. You will probably experience the same too.

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i was wondering if anybody know if accutane has any effect on enlarged pores. after the course is done do they look as enalrged before treatment? thanks

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accutane is supposed to shrink the size of sebaceous glands (pores) so I would think that if yours are large they should reduce in size during treatment (that is why skin gets so dry, the pores are smaller therefore producing less oil) and continue to be smaller after treatment.

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has any one noticed a differnce months or years after accutane if you are as oily than before? i know they say the sebum baseline goes back to normal levels. thanks

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i'm on my 5th week of accutane. looks like i'm still getting a few new ones here and there but not like i had around both sides of the lower chin.

what does everyone use to wash their face and how much change did any of you do with your washing routine. less/more washing, diff soap?

i used to wash 3X a day w/ a salicylic acid wash from dermalogica. now i cut it to 2X but during the afternoons i feel like an alcoholic wanting to wash my face again. my derm says to use dove but i juse purpose. i was thinking about dermafina http://www.dermafina.com/main.html anyone here of this stuff? i guess its like proactive but instead of benzo they use salicylic acid.

anyway, i get the chapped lips, lower back pain.

last question, is it bad to take multi vitamines while in accutane? i just started taking a mens multi vitamine and 200 mg of vitamine e. i read in a few posts that it may be taxing on your liver.

thanks in advance for any input.

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I avoided any soap with alpha- or beta- hydroxy acids. They made me dry and peel like crazy. I switched to a couple different soaps until I found Shi Kai. It is a natural product and doesn't produce the dryness that the Accutane will exacerbate. A washing in the morning and then before bed are adequate. Dirt isn't the cause of acne anyway so more washings won't help the acne to disappear.

Do NOT take a multi vitamin containing vitamin A. Vitamin A will increase the side effects. Vitamin E should be fine.

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