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Second round of Accutane - any advice?

First off my background:

35 y/o male, from Denmark.

In august 2008 I started my first accutane treatment. After having endured with spots since I was around 12, I had reached the conclusion, that they weren't going to go away by themselves.

I eat no candy, very little fat and generally live rather healthy. I remember the doctor stating that my blood samples showed numbers that were shockingly good, liver like a new born etc.

Anyway, my acne had become worse. My problem is generally cysts, that appears in the chin, jawbone, neck and cheeks. I don't get too many "normal" pimples or zits, but since the cysts are the worst, I finally jumped the accutane boat.

The doctor started me on 40mg per day. Within the first few days I started getting dry skin, ie. chapped lips etc. Somewhat annoying, but I could live with that. I also had somewhat worse skin after a week and it took a few weeks for it to return to normal.

And that was pretty much all that happened. After three weeks, nothing really changed. My cysts didn't go away, and I didn't get more. Actually, the only sign of me taking Accutane was the dry skin. Nothing else.

After about six months, the treatment had ended and the doctor thought it showed great results! Uhm, no doc, it hasn't helped at all. To be honest, I'm not sure he even looked much and anyone who has had cystic acne know how painful (physically and emotionally) it is. They take forever to go away and there is really nothing you can do. In the end he told me that maybe I needed more than one treatment, but I had to give it a few months more to see if the skin would clear up some more.

Well, today I once again have a big developing cysts on the jawbone, a large pimple on my upper lip, one on each cheek and one on my chin.

They appear on areas with facial hair in 95% of all cases, which have triggered the thought that maybe kill the hair sacks would help. I've heard of electrolysis, but I'm not sure that'd help. At least now my beard can hide some of the cysts/zits.

Now I've contacted the doctor again and I'm to have blood samples taken again. We'll start the first month with 40 mg again and if blood levels are still fine - which they were the last time, why not even start at 60 or 80mg right away - the dose will be upped.

The question I have for you is this:

Have any of you had to take two accutane treatments, before seeing any improvement? Am I wasting my time trying again? If it didn't really work the first time, is there any reason to try again? Am I just grasping at straws? Yes, I am somewhat desperate. It seems like I am the ONLY one with these problems, at least around me. I commute by train so I see loads of people every day, but I have never seen people with cystic acne. Normal teenagers with pimples, sure, but that usually go away. Mine, however, hasn't. I feel frustrated. People around me eat whatever they want and get zero pimples, I fight a constant battle, no matter what I eat.

When it's bad - like today - I take days off from work. I HATE having to do that, but I can't force myself outside. It's tormenting my life. Sure, there are periods that aren't so bad, but that is perhaps 2-3 days per month. The rest of the time I get 1-2 new ones per day.

And for the record: I've tried just about every other method/treatment. They haven't help either. I can only remember one time I had clear skin for almost a few weeks, when I had been very sick and lost about 8kg weight because I couldn't keep anything down. I suppose that "cleansed" my body, but soon after, the problems return.

I wash regularly, keep good hygiene, use mild skin products and generally treat my skin fairly good. But GOD, I only have one unfulfilled wish in my life, and that's clear skin. Sounds over-dramatic? Perhaps, but the fact is that I'm happy with all other aspects of my life. Sure, I'm single at the moment, but no doubt a clear skin would have me start dating again and be good at it because of a better self-esteem. But now? Not likely. I don't think I could live with anyone, the way my life is now. Acne was no doubt one of the key factors for my old relationship dying. My frustrations and lack of being sociable was severely inhibiting the relationship, as my girlfriend was very sociable and I wasn't. Because of the damn acne.

I still pray - even though I'm not really a believer - that my acne problems go away. Some say they might go away in a few years, but I'm starting to have my doubts. And who can blame me?

I'll report back, as the treatment goes on.

Thanks for a great forum

Kindest regards,


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