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under the pink

WOMEN only (sorry guys) on 2nd round of Accutane

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I wanted to talk to the ladies only b/c our hormones are so different than men's hormones.

Any ladies out there on a 2nd round of Accutane or have already done a second round? How did it turn out?

I'm about to start my 2nd round. I'm so down because I took Accutane over 9 years ago and had perfect skin after it. LITERALLY perfect skin. I was on 20mg/day for 5 months, I was 16, 5'2" and 95lbs. My skin stayed this way til around Thanksgiving 2008.

I just went off of birth control last November after being on it for a few years. Previous to this I had gone on and off of birth control with no problems, no side effects, no acne. NOTHING. This time when I went off my skin got INCREDIBLY oily and I started breaking out on my chest (that's new) and my face. I didn't think anything of it at first because it seemed normal. But now my break outs are cystic again, they don't go away from months at a time and they are very very painful. I have about 20 active, painful to the touch RED zits on my face. It's full force cystic acne again :(

Honestly I'm not really nervous about the side effects of Accutane. I was already on it and I barely had any. I guess now I'm just worried about taking it again-- what if it doesn't work? What if I take it and my acne comes right back? I'm just in a state of shock that it's happening now. I can't handle any more disappointment. Would love to hear some of your experiences with your 2nd round of Accutane and beyond.

Thanks

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I wanted to talk to the ladies only b/c our hormones are so different than men's hormones.

Any ladies out there on a 2nd round of Accutane or have already done a second round? How did it turn out?

I'm about to start my 2nd round. I'm so down because I took Accutane over 9 years ago and had perfect skin after it. LITERALLY perfect skin. I was on 20mg/day for 5 months, I was 16, 5'2" and 95lbs. My skin stayed this way til around Thanksgiving 2008.

I just went off of birth control last November after being on it for a few years. Previous to this I had gone on and off of birth control with no problems, no side effects, no acne. NOTHING. This time when I went off my skin got INCREDIBLY oily and I started breaking out on my chest (that's new) and my face. I didn't think anything of it at first because it seemed normal. But now my break outs are cystic again, they don't go away from months at a time and they are very very painful. I have about 20 active, painful to the touch RED zits on my face. It's full force cystic acne again :(

Honestly I'm not really nervous about the side effects of Accutane. I was already on it and I barely had any. I guess now I'm just worried about taking it again-- what if it doesn't work? What if I take it and my acne comes right back? I'm just in a state of shock that it's happening now. I can't handle any more disappointment. Would love to hear some of your experiences with your 2nd round of Accutane and beyond.

Thanks

Well, I can't really offer any encouragement personally about a second round working, because I'm just getting ready to start my second round on Monday (after a long time in between like you, my first round was like 11 years ago). But I just wanted to say good luck, I am also hoping for the best this time. Going off birth control may have had a different effect on you now since your hormones may have changed over the years. But I would think chances are if it worked for you the first time, it will work for you again!! One thing I have read a lot about is that the higher dosage or at least reaching a good cumulative amount for your weight decreases the chances for a relapse. I am going on a more aggressive dosage this time to hopefully kill it for good.

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What b/c were you on out of interest?

I was on Dianette for many years for acne, but every time I came off it I got terrible breakouts -- much worse than it had ever been before Dianette. They would go away when I went back on Dianette. Because of my terrible mood swings on the pill it was not a permanent solution for me. Indeed, it's not a permanent solution for anyone as you can hardly stay on the pill for your whole life, can you?

I heard a British dermatologist, Nick Lowe, talking on the radio about the relationship between b/c and acne in young/middle-aged women (here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2009_04_tue.shtml). He said that many women get outbreaks after being on the pill. To my mind, GPs need to realise that b/c is not a viable option for treating acne, and that it may induce it further.

As for encouragement, I completed a course of roaccutane in April (my first) and SO FAR it has kept my acne at bay (fingers crossed, touch wood, hocus pocus etc). I'm convinced that this acne was exacerbated by b/c. I don't know if you can apply it to every single case of hormonal acne, but it seems to have worked for mine.

My problems now are hair loss and keratosis pilaris (bumpy face), both of which came on months after finishing roaccutane. I would never consider another course of roaccutane purely because of the stress that these side effects have caused me over the past month. If they go away I will consider myself lucky to have escaped worse side effects, without sounding too preachy.

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indygal: are you keeping an accutane journal? if so i will follow you! i'm very interested to see how it turns out for you/us. :)

since the first round of accutane i've also gained a significant amount of weight-- 20 lbs. i wonder if that has anything to do with it? i only weighed 95 lbs during my first course and now i'm about 118. hormone changes, getting older, metab changes, weight changes seem like all things that would effect sebum/acne in a 25 year old female PLUS going off the pill after years. right? at least my acne is nowhere near as bad as it was when i was 16 (i'm positive this is due to the first course of accutane.) and make up is much better these days so i don't feel totally ugly all the time!

girlafraid: i was on ovcon 35 at first, went on and off with no problems. then i was on loestrin fe 1/20-- went on and off with no problems. then finally i got back on the pill-- yaz-- and stayed on it for several years. this time when i went off i got the cystic break outs and they've gotten increasingly worse each month. it's been almost a year off the pill now and it's really bad.

i thought i would wait it out but my skin is starting to scar and the break outs are getting worse and lasting longer. i'll note that while i was on these different pills, i never had ANY problems with my skin.

i am also afraid of the hair loss. i feel like if it's not one thing (acne), it's going to be something else (hair loss). feeling super pessimistic and down these days about the whole process of trying to get clear-- you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. i'm going to try to stay positive because i had no hair loss at all the first time... but if i see major signs of this during this 2nd course, i'll probably stop.

thank you both for your support! i really appreciate it :)

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indygal: are you keeping an accutane journal? if so i will follow you! i'm very interested to see how it turns out for you/us. :)

since the first round of accutane i've also gained a significant amount of weight-- 20 lbs. i wonder if that has anything to do with it? i only weighed 95 lbs during my first course and now i'm about 118. hormone changes, getting older, metab changes, weight changes seem like all things that would effect sebum/acne in a 25 year old female PLUS going off the pill after years. right? at least my acne is nowhere near as bad as it was when i was 16 (i'm positive this is due to the first course of accutane.) and make up is much better these days so i don't feel totally ugly all the time!

girlafraid: i was on ovcon 35 at first, went on and off with no problems. then i was on loestrin fe 1/20-- went on and off with no problems. then finally i got back on the pill-- yaz-- and stayed on it for several years. this time when i went off i got the cystic break outs and they've gotten increasingly worse each month. it's been almost a year off the pill now and it's really bad.

i thought i would wait it out but my skin is starting to scar and the break outs are getting worse and lasting longer. i'll note that while i was on these different pills, i never had ANY problems with my skin.

i am also afraid of the hair loss. i feel like if it's not one thing (acne), it's going to be something else (hair loss). feeling super pessimistic and down these days about the whole process of trying to get clear-- you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. i'm going to try to stay positive because i had no hair loss at all the first time... but if i see major signs of this during this 2nd course, i'll probably stop.

thank you both for your support! i really appreciate it :)

I haven't started a journal yet, but I probably will considering the amount of time I spent on this website these days lol.....anyway, I have read a lot of posts about changes in BCP and hormones causing worsening acne and since you noticed that's when changes were happening with your skin, I bet that has something to do with it. I personally haven't taken BCP for years but my skin has just freaked out on me the past several months (I've always had problems with my skin but it's getting ridiculous again). Funny too you mention makeup, I've been on makeup alley tonight reading reviews lol. I have a bunch of red marks from stuff healing, along with actives, and trying to find something with a little more coverage that's not HORRIBLE for my skin. I look at the personal accutane logs all the time too, so if you have one/are starting one, I'd be interested to hear how you're doing too....

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Oh, and I'm sure like every other woman on the planet taking Accutane ;) , I worry about the hair loss thing too and have been researching that a little. Some of the tips I've seen are to try and not wash/blowdry/use drying products on your hair everyday...this one will be hard for me, I wash my hair every morning and blowdry/use a flat iron. Try and keep your hair and scalp as moisturized as possible basically.....

Also I've seen that a lot of gals take biotin supplements (which is just a B vitamin, supposed to be good for healthy hair and nails). I'm not a big supplement person, but I started taking one today after asking my derm if it was OK....hth.

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Yeah, I will let you know if I start one or not! I'm leaning on the 'no' side because I'm easily anxious and I don't want to over analyze the process. I've been through Accutane before and there was no acne.org at the time and I survived just fine. On the other hand, I know how priceless some of these blogs have been for me, so maybe I should.

Not sure what you currently use for make up, but seriously Bare Essentials has been amazing for me. I usually apply Purpose moisturizer first (if my skin is dry from BP or other topicals) but I try not to because since my acne has come back, my skin just HATES moisturizer. Most days I just use the powder and I feel good to go. It's not a miracle by any means, but it alleviates the red look which I think is 90% of the problem.

I was going to attach a pic but I couldn't find any good ones that illustrate how noticeable my acne is. I will take some pics for you and post them later. :)

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Some of the tips I've seen are to try and not wash/blowdry/use drying products on your hair everyday...this one will be hard for me, I wash my hair every morning and blowdry/use a flat iron.

Me too. AND I hightlight my hair! I'm going to go back my original color (once I get the OK from my derm to proceed with Accutane) b/c I don't want to make it worse. I will miss my blond locks in the meantime :( My derm appt is Sep 3rd. Wish me luck! This is not the same doc I had before, so I'm nervous.

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Some of the tips I've seen are to try and not wash/blowdry/use drying products on your hair everyday...this one will be hard for me, I wash my hair every morning and blowdry/use a flat iron.

Me too. AND I hightlight my hair! I'm going to go back my original color (once I get the OK from my derm to proceed with Accutane) b/c I don't want to make it worse. I will miss my blond locks in the meantime :( My derm appt is Sep 3rd. Wish me luck! This is not the same doc I had before, so I'm nervous.

Yep, I highlight too. Just had it done actually. I only get a little bit of highlights though, so hopefully that won't be a big deal. As for the other post on makeup, I have used mineral makeup for a few years now too and while I do like it, the coverage is just not cutting it these days and I'm afraid it will look too powdery/dry on Accutane. So I'm going to try and go back to a light weight liquid with maybe a little mineral powder on top to set it. Definitely wishing you good luck, post back with how your appointment goes! Two more days for me and I should start on Monday. I am really hoping the fact that I've been using a prescription retinoid for about 6 weeks will lessen the intial breakout, but am not expecting any miracles lol. But the retinoid breakouts have been pretty awful, it really does bring everything to the surface. I'll be stopping that this weekend.

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I was on Dianette for many years for acne, but every time I came off it I got terrible breakouts -- much worse than it had ever been before Dianette. They would go away when I went back on Dianette. Because of my terrible mood swings on the pill it was not a permanent solution for me. Indeed, it's not a permanent solution for anyone as you can hardly stay on the pill for your whole life, can you?

This is EXACTLY what happened to me.

I had moderate acne from about 12yrs old, was put on dianette at 17, it didnt cure my acne but improved my skin a lot. My skin was totally clear at 20 and my doctor suggested i come off Dianette as it wasnt great to be on it for a long time.

I changed to a normal pill...4 months later, for the first time in my life, I got cystic ance. Very very severe. I quit my job and would not leave the house, I was very depressed.

I went to the doc who refered me to a dermatologist, to my doc I explained the only change had been the pill, he put me back on dianette.

My derm appt wasnt for 3 months and by this time the Dianette had cleared my skin, just the odd spot now and again, so when I went to the derm appt, they WERE going to give me accutane but as my skin had cleared they didnt, so I was sent away to let the scars heal..I still have them.

For two years my skin was 90% clear on the dianette, then the cysts started coming back through, although only one or two at a time, and at certain times of the month.

I was put on very anti b's alongside the dianette, tetracyclines etc, topical treatments, ntohing cleared it.

Only now at 27 have I finally been put on accutane. I am still on the dianette because although I wanted to come off it when started the accutane, I of course had to be covered by contaception beofre starting my accutane course, so I am now on dianette AND accutane.

i NEVER had severe or cystic acne before coming off Dianette, and on two other occasions when I had to come off it my skin went VERY bad again, not a coincidence.

I hate Dianette though, like you it gives me mood swings, and also no sex drive and so on, not good. I FEEL a lot better when Im off the pill, unfortunately then the cystic acne starts and then that feel good feeling soon disappears.

Im hoping accutance sorts me out for good because I cant remember NOT having acne or ever having a day where i didnt have to put foundation on. So hoping for the best!! :surprised:

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Oh my

I wish I read these message boards before I casue this mess ti myself.

I think I'm an expert in Accutane since I have been on it for 10 years....hold on dont freak out

I've had acne since 13 ,tried everything and finally was put on accutane 10mg for 6 months it really helped as I had severe acne everywhere my face and body but not cystic at all.

however after 1 year the acne came back,went to another Derm and they told me the dosage wasnt enough,put me on 40mg for another 6 months and this time clear skin lasted for 2years ,eventually came back but nothing like before.I did some blood tests and turend out my Dheas was abit high so my Dr soggested BCP dianette for 6 months .

dianette was fine for couple of months but by the end of 6 month the acne was coming back and I just couldnt deal with the acne nightmare again.from then I thought the only thing that reallycure me was accutane,I kept myself on maintenance dose 1 pill,20mg every 3 sometimes even 5 weeks and I was fine,totally clear until 2 years a go Imoved to Canada and was very stressed out.so ocassionally I had take 20mg for 2 weeks ,that acutually happened 2 times when I had a bad breakouts from going out and drinking.

anyway I'm 25 and las Dec after I told my new Derm I've been on accutane for 10 years she was shocked and asked meto stop it.she stold me 20mg one every 3 weeks would do nothing and its all in ur head....WELL HELL IT WASN'T

the acne came back and she put me on Yaz (bcp),stopped the pill due to severe side effects,the next 2 months on diane 35 and it cleared my face but I started developing cystic acne on mybck Istopped the pill again due to extreme side effects,I had rashes,muscle and joint pain,anxiety nothing like I could hold on to it.

5 months past and I had svere cystic acne on my neck,jawline and back which I never had before these BCPs .changed my diet, did everything to avoid Accutane but it was just getting worse,

so now after 8 months of battling with acne and not taking accutane,all the Derms agreed that I need to take another course of accutane and probably be on mainteance dose until mybody adjust itself when I get older.

I fucking cried after all these months of hell,not going out and all the red marks on my back and face ,NOW I have to take accutane again.why did I even listen to them in a first place.

stopping accutane for me was a huge mistake.and starting Bcps was even worse.

sorry if it was long ,

but I jsut wantto say finish you course of accutane but if you dont want to get acne again either dont start Bcp after or if you are on it stay on it untill you wanna ttc.

anhy change of hormones are gonna mess upwith accutane results.

oh btw do not take take high estrogen bcp while youare on Acuutane ,trust me it will destroy your liver

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but I jsut wantto say finish you course of accutane but if you dont want to get acne again either dont start Bcp after or if you are on it stay on it untill you wanna ttc.

anhy change of hormones are gonna mess upwith accutane results.

Yup! Unfortunately it looks like we ALL figured this out the hard way. :( I'm not taking the pill during my next Accutane course because I'm getting the copper IUD in 3 weeks. I really believe that being on hormones long term is what has caused my flair up and I would never ever recommend anyone with bad skin be on the pill. This, of course, is one of the most annoying things for younger women on Accutane because it's mandatory for them now. (This was NOT the case when I took Accutane almost 10 years ago).

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