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I am 35, female - started getting moderate acne about 2.5 years ago. I need some advice on where to go next! My doctor has given me a referral to the hospital for Roaccutane (I am in the UK) and I don't know whether to take it or not. I am obviously, very worried by the potential side effects. Also, it seems that most people have to take it more than once. I have two small children and am very worried about how the side effects might effect my ability to look after them. However, having acne is making me seriously depressed and anxious. The appointment is in 4 weeks, so at least I have a bit of time to weigh up the options.

I have tried antibiotics, Duac and Differin. I am now back on Tetralysal (5 weeks ) and seeing no effect. When I was on Duac and Differin my skin became very smooth but I still go on average about 1 large blemish a week - which would take 1 month to go down. I used Duac for about 6 months and then added the Differin, which I used for about 3 months - I stopped both because my skin was so sore and red. Now I am off the Duac/Differin my skin is covered in blackheads and bumps and worse than ever before.

Currently I am on Tetralysal and have been using Cane and Austin Acne Pads (2% Salylic acid and 5% Glycolic) for 2 weeks.

Should I take the Roaccutane? Continue with what I am doing? Try Differin for longer and accept the redness? Try Dan's regimen? I seriously don't know what to do. I know everyone is different, but I really would value an opinion or two!

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Also, it seems that most people have to take it more than once.

I really don't think this is the case. Have you noticed that the people who say "[Ro]Accutane didn't work for me, what now?" generally haven't posted for months... or years since they announced they were going on the drug? If they didn't get a recurrence of symptoms, they probably would have stayed away forever. And with a 70% remission rate after the first course, I think it's safe to say that most of the success stories are simply moving on with their lives.

Not to push the drug, but I think you may have been getting the wrong impression. I believe there are serious consequences of a course of [Ro]Accutane, but I also believe there is a good chance for success.

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Also, some people who have acne eventually come back after a first course of accutane have it come back milder than it was before they went on and a second course of accutane might knock it out even further. If you're really nervous about accutane, an anti-androgen like spironolactone (brand name Aldactone) might help, you could ask your doctor about that. The most common side effects of spironolactone are breast tenderness and menstrual irregularities. The most common side effects of accutane are dry lips and skin. The scarier side effects of accutane, in my understanding, are rare.

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Also, some people who have acne eventually come back after a first course of accutane have it come back milder than it was before they went on and a second course of accutane might knock it out even further. If you're really nervous about accutane, an anti-androgen like spironolactone (brand name Aldactone) might help, you could ask your doctor about that. The most common side effects of spironolactone are breast tenderness and menstrual irregularities. The most common side ef33fects of accutane are dry lips and skin. The scarier side effects of accutane, in my understanding, are rare.

Very good advice.

Two choices: hormonal approaches to treatment or Accutane.

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I know exactly how you feel. I'm 44 and at the beginning of this year my skin broke out like crazy. I tried everything, even the hormonal drugs like spire and yasmin. I finally decided to try accutane, and after one month, I'm so glad I did. It's working! And, I have 2 little girls, and I'm a much happier Mommy, now that I'm not ashamed to show my face. Good Luck!

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Hi everyone - thanks for the comments. I am fairly sure that my acne isn't hormonal because I had a hormone test at the beginning of all this and I was told that my hormones were completely normal and that if anything I was producing slightly less testosterone than normal!Also , I have to steer clear of all the birth control/ hormonal options because of a strong family history of blood clots etc. (my mum died from a stroke). I also took the pill when I was alot younger - not understanding the family history implications - and suffered from terrible chest pains and muscle cramps. Having said that, my skin was also perfect at the time - but it's not really a road I can travel.

I have started using a Panoxyl 10% Benzol Peroxide wash once a day which seems to be helping with the congestion. Am thinking of using either the Duac I still have or some 2.5% BP in the evenings. A last desperate attempt!

I think if none of this has improved by the time of my appointment I will probably bite the bullet and take the roaccutane - but I am very very scared!

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Your welcome...I know how scary this is...but I guess all you can do is get all of the information. I suggest you at least get the ball rolling and tell the Derm your interested in starting accutane because in the US at least they make you wait one month until you can start. You can always change your mind if your skin clears during that time. Or, I'll be done in July, and I can tell you how I did. My biggest fear is aging because of dry skin, but so far, applying creams works perfect.

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Hi Susie - I'd love to know how you get on! I have an appointment on 5th May which I have waited 2 months for. I think things will move fairly fast after that. I have been using the 2 months to try and make a last ditch attempt to sort it out. However I have been a bit of a headless chicken - jumping from one product to another in a state of panic. I now have 3 weeks to go and am back on the BP for the time being. Honestly, I feel like I need someone to take me in hand and tell me what to do because I have been completely hopeless at dealing with all of this....!

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Id love to help anyway I can. I had to wait a month before going on accutane, and I tried everything, so I know how you feel. I actually got off the birth control they prescribed form the acne, because I felt like it contributed to the problem. Then I asked them to prescribe Spirolactene, to see if that would be the answer for me. It didn't hurt, but not sure it helped. I stopped that when I started accutane. Then I did a 3 day apple fast, and that helped a little. The only topical that helped me at all is the Mario Berdesque pink drying cream. Not sure if your familiar with it.

Anyways, I'm in my seconds month of accutane. The side effects are minimal, and they seem to be easier as my body gets used to it. I still break out a little, but nothing like before. I am very careful about taking care of myself, so if you are like me, you will be fine. I have no depression what so ever. My hair is very different, I don't wash it much because my scalp is not producing oil. Im stilling having cocktails, but only on the weekends.

I'm taking 40 mg of Claravis...I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any questions.

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Also, if your not already taking vitamins, try that now, and you can continue that if you start accutane. Good ones for hormonal acne....acidophilus, vitamin D, E, fish oil, and C. Sometimes, diet and vitamins can be the answer.

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I am 35, female - started getting moderate acne about 2.5 years ago. I need some advice on where to go next! My doctor has given me a referral to the hospital for Roaccutane (I am in the UK) and I don't know whether to take it or not. I am obviously, very worried by the potential side effects. Also, it seems that most people have to take it more than once. I have two small children and am very worried about how the side effects might effect my ability to look after them. However, having acne is making me seriously depressed and anxious. The appointment is in 4 weeks, so at least I have a bit of time to weigh up the options.

I have tried antibiotics, Duac and Differin. I am now back on Tetralysal (5 weeks ) and seeing no effect. When I was on Duac and Differin my skin became very smooth but I still go on average about 1 large blemish a week - which would take 1 month to go down. I used Duac for about 6 months and then added the Differin, which I used for about 3 months - I stopped both because my skin was so sore and red. Now I am off the Duac/Differin my skin is covered in blackheads and bumps and worse than ever before.

Currently I am on Tetralysal and have been using Cane and Austin Acne Pads (2% Salylic acid and 5% Glycolic) for 2 weeks.

Should I take the Roaccutane? Continue with what I am doing? Try Differin for longer and accept the redness? Try Dan's regimen? I seriously don't know what to do. I know everyone is different, but I really would value an opinion or two!

I don't know if this is too late of a response but I'm sort of new to the org. Definitely not new to having acne though so I thought I'd put my two cents in.

Now, let me start off by saying that acne is a very personal affliction and what works for one person will be detrimental to others. Some people can cut out gluten and their skin suddenly clears. Others can eat Mcdonalds every single day and wash with only water. For some, BP and other topicals are what keeps their acne at bay.

What you have to keep in mind though, is that Accutane is a chemotherapuetic drug. It was not created to treat acne but because a side effect of the medication was clearing patients skin, doctors begin prescribing it for the treatment of acne. In addition, it was prescribed only to those severe acne sufferers. Cystic, nodular acne that consumed one's entire face or large regions of their body. The sad thing, though, is it seems that now any one with a mild case of acne and a neighborhood dermatologist can get their hands on this drug. And while so many of these individuals claim it has cleared their skin with their onlyside effect being dry/chapped lips and flaky skin, it's hard to say if there has been irreparable internal damage. Many people don't feel any of the possible ailments until years down the line. And they certainly don't attribute said ailment to their course on Accutane.

I'm not a doctor and I don't claim to have all the knowledge in the world on Accutane. In fact, at one point I begged my parents to let me take it. I figured, if my Dermatologist recommended it, my acne must have been bad enough. Looking back now though, I know my acne was not severe enough to be placed on Accutane. Sure, it might have cleared my skin but there is no way I should have been eligible to take the drug. My acne was confined to my cheeks and chin, no where else on my body and it was not cystic or nodular.

There are so many other options out there and just when you think you've tried it all, trust me, you haven't. There are so many holistic options as well as SAFE medications and topicals you could try. Especially for someone who is a mother with young children, Accutane is just simply not worth the risk. Stop worrying so much about your acne and just enjoy your family. Again, I know there are so many Pro-Accutane users who will swear by the drug and say that it helped them reclaim their lives and maybe they didn't experience any of the life-altering side effects. But that's not to say it can't and won't happen. Is it really worth the risk? Is the trade off really that great? Think about it. Is having clear skin (and many Accutane users need multiple courses so this is not a guarantee) going to improve your quality of life if it comes with developing a psychological illness? Is it worth developing Crohns disease, IBS, blindness, joint damage, chronic fatigue, liver damage and so many more SEVERE, LIFE-ALTERING side effects?

If you ask me, the answer is hell to the no.

Edited by ihavetaste

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Hi Ihavetaste! I have not gone on to Accutane so far. I have delayed my appointment at the dermatologists until mid- June. I have basically decided to give retinoids a really good go before I even start considering Accutane - this means at least 6 months of regular use. I know now that I previously gave up on Differin far too soon (after 3 months). I have also realised that it was the combination of Duac and Differin that made my skin burn - Differin without the Duac is fine for me. I am planning on introducing BHA/salylic (bad spelling) acid into my routine I need to feel safe in the knowledge that I have exhausted all other possibilities before I consider Accutane. I will go and see the derm in June to get his opinion - but I will be waiting until October/November before I even think about taking Accutane. Like you say, the side effects - possibly long-term are not to be taken lightly.

Currently I am on week 12 of Tetracyline (oral antibiotic) and week 6 of Differin (retinoid). My skin is pretty awful but I am determined to see this through.

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