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dancedivine

2 Weeks In & My Hair is Falling Out! Should I Quit?

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Hey, guys. I'm a 32 year-old female & I've been battling acne for half of my life. I did two courses of accutane years ago, but I can't remember how long I did each course. I know that I never completed one because I always ran out of insurance for one reason or another. Anyway, here I am again - back on the Accutane bandwagon.

I have now been on Accutane for a little over 2 weeks (40mg per day). Until now, my only symptom was chapped lips. But, two days ago my hair started falling out - big time. It scared me, really. I just washed my hair & after I combed through it, I couldn't believe the amount of hair hanging from my comb. It really scared the crap out of me. This morning, after I washed my hair, the same thing happened. Now, I am freaking out. I have very fine hair, so there is no way I can continue to lose this much hair. Just today, I made an appointment with my hairdresser so that I can shorten my hair to lessen the emotional "blow." Of course, this means I will be cutting several inches off my hair & I am really disheartened by this. But, I'll get over it... It will grow back eventually.

Anyway, I am definitely going to call my doc in the morning. But, I just don't know what to do at this point. If I quit now, will I continue to lose hair? Have I totally screwed myself? I am just so bummed because I was really looking forward to starting accutane so I could finally have clear skin & now I am losing my hair & considering quitting the accutane... So, instead of long hair and clear skin - I am now looking at short, thinned out hair & just as much acne as before. I am almost regretting ever trying this stuff to begin with.

Any comments will be appreciated.... I'd love to hear about others' experiences with this problem. Thanks!

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I've been sitting here all day trying to figure out if I need to quit this stupid drug... But, I just went to wash my face & realized I've got another cyst coming in. (I'm sure it's associated with the initial breakout period, but still.) So, I impulsively just took today's dose of Accutane. I am SO SICK of being plagued with acne. I just don't know what I'm going to do about this hair loss thing. I wish there was an easy answer.

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I'm sorry to hear of the situation you're in. I strongly suggest you call your derm and discuss what options you have to combat the hairloss if you wish to continue taking the Accutane. I fear that the hair loss will only get worse.

There are many threads about Accutane and hair loss; do a bit of searching and you'll find hopeful and not-so-hopeful stories.

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For Accutane induced hair loss, it is usually Telogen Effluvium, Chronic Telogen Effluvium or Diffuse Alopecia Areata. Since your body is so sensitive to accutane then I will suggest you to stop taking it and hope that your hair loss will recover with time.

Personally, I do not feel that there is a need for you to discuss this issue with your doctor regarding whether you should stop taking accutane or not. The reason is because most doctor will assure you that Accutane induced hair loss is temporary only and it will all grow back after you are done with your course, but this is not always the case.

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I just wonder if lowering my dose to 20mg would make any difference? On one hand, I'm thinking the damage has already been done. Isn't it true that once this Telogen Effluvium has begun, you're pretty much stuck in it for the duration - regardless of the initial "shock?" So, regardless of if I was on Accutane for 1 week or 6 months, the Telogen Effluvium would be the same, right?

I'm not sure if I would be better off to quit now, or keep going (if the damage has already been done).... This is a very hard decision.

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If it was in fact Telogen Effluvium then rest assure that you will definitely recover within 8 to 12 months.

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Heres my advice.... Drop the tane (atleast for the moment). If the hairloss stops (the likely hood of which will be higher if you stop now) then you could always re start in a few months time at a much lower dose....

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Whats more important to you? having a full head of hair or being rid of the pusfilled cysts on your face thats been bothering you half your life. most likely your hair will return to its former condition after your done taking accutane, but then again...it might not.

should make a decision in consult with your doc. what ever you chose to do i wish you good luck with both your skin & hair.

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Thanks, guys. My doc never called me back... So, I'm making the executive decision to throw the stuff away. My husband supports me on this 100%. He really doesn't think my acne is "that bad." I guess it's not bad enough to deal with hair loss & whatever other possible toxicity this stuff will cause my body. So, I guess it's back to the regimen for me - globs of benzoyl peroxide twice a day. It just sucks to have to worry about wrinkles and zits all at the same time.

I think I need to go on some kind of detox diet to get this Accutane out of my system in the meantime...

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Thanks, guys. My doc never called me back... So, I'm making the executive decision to throw the stuff away. My husband supports me on this 100%. He really doesn't think my acne is "that bad." I guess it's not bad enough to deal with hair loss & whatever other possible toxicity this stuff will cause my body. So, I guess it's back to the regimen for me - globs of benzoyl peroxide twice a day. It just sucks to have to worry about wrinkles and zits all at the same time.

I think I need to go on some kind of detox diet to get this Accutane out of my system in the meantime...

No need for a detox diet. Accutane leaves the system fairly quick and all chemical traces are removed, it's the impact it has on gene supression amongst other things that is in the hands of the gods and cannot be controlled. I'm sure you'll make a full recovery and WELL DONE on making the best most logical decision of your life....for it could be worth your life.

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Um what has hair loss got to do with life and death? I also don't like how you guys are writing about all the gene expression or gene suppression things, its not as easy as you think it is and till it has been really proven that accutane stops gene expression, I don't think its a good idea to go spreading around that accutane can suppress the genes. It may or may not but till its proven, dont go around saying that it definitely causes gene dysfunction.

Dancedivine- I respect your decision on stopping accutane but you should discuss with your doctor somehow, maybe the both of you can work out a solution. Its a good idea to stop now but do contact your derm as soon as possible and tell him you decide to stop.

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Um what has hair loss got to do with life and death? I also don't like how you guys are writing about all the gene expression or gene suppression things, its not as easy as you think it is and till it has been really proven that accutane stops gene expression, I don't think its a good idea to go spreading around that accutane can suppress the genes. It may or may not but till its proven, dont go around saying that it definitely causes gene dysfunction.

Dancedivine- I respect your decision on stopping accutane but you should discuss with your doctor somehow, maybe the both of you can work out a solution. Its a good idea to stop now but do contact your derm as soon as possible and tell him you decide to stop.

She did call her derm, her derm never returned her call, so she made the decison to quit. Which is good. For some hairloss is not worth a clear face.

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Um what has hair loss got to do with life and death? I also don't like how you guys are writing about all the gene expression or gene suppression things, its not as easy as you think it is and till it has been really proven that accutane stops gene expression, I don't think its a good idea to go spreading around that accutane can suppress the genes. It may or may not but till its proven, dont go around saying that it definitely causes gene dysfunction.

Dancedivine- I respect your decision on stopping accutane but you should discuss with your doctor somehow, maybe the both of you can work out a solution. Its a good idea to stop now but do contact your derm as soon as possible and tell him you decide to stop.

She did call her derm, her derm never returned her call, so she made the decison to quit. Which is good. For some hairloss is not worth a clear face.

Yep I know, I just say contact her derm and tell him as a form of respect. Maybe they can even work something out. It wouldn't hurt right?

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What's up Dancedivine.. Brand new here and just came across your thread, sounds like we are experiencing similar problems. I just posted in Andy's thread, "The info he got from his Doctor about hair loss" but I want to paste it here for you to check out. I'm glad you've decided to throw out your accutane. I really hope that you recover quickly from your shedding because I'm having a very difficult time dealing with it. Please keep us posted on how things are coming along and I'll do the same.

Anyway, here is my post from the other thread..

Just looking for a little advice from the Varsity Team over here battling this DAMN hair loss. I'm a 27 year old male. I took accutane when I was 16 with no adverse side effects other than the usual drying out. In February 09 I decided to try some low-dose accutane to combat some moderate acne. I decided to try 10mg a day in order to reduce possible side effects like hair loss. Well to my surprise about a week into my regimen I started shedding quite a bit in the shower. I was bummed but thought, "Well, it's just a little bit, I've got some thick hair. I'll keep with the regimen for at least a month." A week later it was getting worse so I decided I better quit it all together. So my second course of accutane of 10 mgs a day lasted exactly 2 weeks. It is now 9 weeks since my last pill of accutane and I'm still shedding hair at an alarming rate. Been counting the last few days and range between 150-200.

My question to all of you who have dealt with this is should I take some serious action right now with prescriptions like minoxidil or steroids? Will it cease soon naturally due to the low dosage and short duration or is that irrelevant? I've been taking copious amounts of zinc, biotin, vitamin c and I haven't seen any help at all. It's becoming quite noticable in the sun and when my hair is wet.

Another important question is when did most of you start to see some regrowth. I went to a derm Monday and she saw nothing new which really scared me. I will mention it is diffuse effluvium style but seems to be a bit more prevelant across the top of my scalp..

All feedback is appreciated! Thank you all so much and I hope things are looking up for all of you in this horrible fight.

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Thanks for the replies... I finally talked to my doc today & she told me that if I was going to lose my hair, I was going to lose it at whatever dose I was given. So, it didn't matter that I was on 40mg. If I would have been on 10mg, I would have lost the hair just the same. And, it doesn't matter that I've stopped the meds either. It's kinda like being on a roller coaster... Once you're on it, you're on it for the duration of the ride. So, the hair loss could last a while.... I just got myself a haircut & some rogaine. We'll see if it helps at all! I have an appointment with my derm next week. So, I'll get all my bloodwork, etc & then tell her that I'm sticking with topicals from now on.

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