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Extra repeats- when to stop?

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Hi everyone.

I'm from Australia, where the accutane experience has been vastly different for me than for the majority of posts I have read. On my first dermatology appointment, I hadn't even sat down before the dermatologist told me I needed to be put on accutane. Mind you, I have only moderate acne (but i had tried everything else ie antibiotics, spirinolactone, the pill, more antibiotics, natural supplements). He told me bloodwork was advisable at the start of the course, but not necessary if I was too freaked out about needles. Which I was. And there are no requirements for ongoing bloodwork thoughout the course. He told me he had never had a patient with severe side effects and had no reservations or concerns about prescribing me the drug.

Anyhow, despite my moderate acne, accutane took a very long time to kick in, and made things a lot worse in the meantime (I didn't want to leave my house). But I had faith, mainly because of what i'd read on these forums. I was only meant to have an initial consultation then a checkup, then i was free to finish my course with no further appointments. At the checkup, my derm gave me an extra repeat. Because my skin reacted so badly, I had an extra appointment too, where he gave me two more repeats, and told me to take them if i needed them, but it was up to me.

So here is my question: I have finished my initial course and taken one extra repeat. Basically, I am clear but it doesn't look like i am because now I have dry patches on my face that look like acne :P. However, every few days I'll still get a pimple on my neck just below my jawline (this was always the worst area for me, and usually the last area to clear from what i've read). I am afraid that this means acne is still in my system (so to speak) and will come back soon after I stop taking accutane. But, as of my last repeat, I have started getting terrible excema everywhere, which is quite unsightly. So, I have two extra repeats on top of the extra one i have already taken, should I finish up, or take more? As the dermatologist said... It's up to me :think: . Any opinions?

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If I were you I'd go to a doctor and request a blood test before you do anything else. How long have you taken Accutane? If it's under 7 months I'd try another month.

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Thanks for your reply :) I have had blood tests throughout the whole thing... self imposed! Everything is fine. I've had a very good run up until now. It's like my skin has had enough and is showing me through excema. I've been on for about 5 months, but at 60mg. I guess another month wont hurt... except it is about to become summer and i can't go out in the sun for more than 4 minutes without getting horrifically burnt... no matter how much sunscreen I wear.

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Excema is a side effect of isotretinoin. You have to look upon this problem with a cost/benefit perspective. If the acne bugs you more than the side effects, which judging by what you say is itchy, flaking and dry skin, no sunbathing and a poor self esteem, then you obviously should do another one.

Personally, the psyche have been the worst part of it all. I`m in the absoulte final part of my first cycle. I did not go to school pretty much at all because I just didn`t feel to, and we don`t have to meet up either - we only have to do the exams. I`ve participated in a lot of social activities, though, and being social with the people you love makes you forget about the weird things going on in your head.

I`ve felt ugly throughout the whole cure. I am not one of those with severe acne, I just had a big breakout once in a while during autumn/winter, and I was getting sick of feeling that I did not have my skin under control. I also had the occasional pimple every once in a while (1-3 pimples at all time), and this too bugged me.

From the second/third week, my skin have been looking flawless, and people have made remarks about it. No matter what they say, I still feel ugly. I am not one of those who people consider ugly at all, I`ve dated models, and in general very popular girls. Actually, a model asked me last night about whether or not I wanted to go out on a date, which kind of shocked me - as my mind was made up about the chances of seeing her again. I was convinced that she thought I was nothing to write home about, so asking her about seeing her again would most likely end up with me making a fool out of myself. I am still questioning why the hell my mind gets so ruined by this drug.

During my cure I`ve had nightmares. I don`t know whether or not it was the drug, or the fact that I was worried about the drug, but the third night I had my first nightmare. The theme in the nightmare was suicide. I remember that I woke up in disbelief. I know suicide is a serious matter, but the fact that I was dreaming about something that never even have been a thought in my mind, made me realize that I was doing a drug that litteraly had its toll and control on me. I am glad that I had this experience, as it made me respect the drug, and made me prepared.

This came out way longer than I expected it to be, but my main point is: Even though you might feel horrible, feel ugly and also be less attracted to social activities because you are afraid of what others are thinking of you - you should take the plunge, do social activities, go to school if needed, otherwise the drug wins over you.

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If I were you I'd go to a doctor and request a blood test before you do anything else. How long have you taken Accutane? If it's under 7 months I'd try another month.

I'd seriously suggest staying on it for 7 months. Two more months of hell are worth long term clear skin. The side effects will go away once you stop taking it.

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Thanks everyone, I've decided to take one last extra repeat, just to be on the safe side. Sun burn here i come :(.

Lyinginthebed, that's one of my biggest concerns too... that now my skin is clear, i'll find something else to have low self esteem about, and i wont have any improved confidence as a result. Thankfully, being clear has increased my confidence, though not as much as i thought it might. The excema would be worth it except I probably dont need this final repeat (it's surplus to my course), so I don't need to put up with the excema really. Good luck with the end of your course. I think we people with low self esteem like to pin it on or looks... but I suspect there are some deeper self worth issues at work within us... which kind of sucks ey.

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