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My 13 year old daughter is on her 4th month on Accutane and it got really bad--big red marks and huge underneath pimples. Every time it starts to clear up and then overnight it goes bad. Many time effecting a specific area. First the doctor said it was hormonal related to her period--even with the accutane. So after the first month she went on a birth control pill to even out her hormones--been three months--no help. We have tried to stay positive, but she is losing hope--she thinks of herself as not pretty (when nothing can be further from the truth!) Sometimes she gets so frustrated that she pick which makes it worse. She has had acne for four years and tried EVERYTHING and we went to accutane as a last hope. She started at 40mg and has been at 80 mg for two months now. She does get chapped lips, but is not itchy at all. The doctor said we need to extend treatment to 6 or 7 months. He says we will figure this out, but he seems to be stumped. Any suggestions?????? I hope I am doing the right thing for her, but instead of helping I am making things worse. We have spent thousands and thousands on treatments--and I can seem to get her a clear face. (I have acne--many years worth and don't want her going through what I have, you would think medicine has progressed, but it hasn't. Any comments. I appreciate it.

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I know how daunting severe acne can be at twenty-seven so I can't even imagine what your daughter is going through. I am assuming that you have tried the various antibiotics available for acne along with the topical lotions as well? What type of birth control pill is she on? I know that my dermatologist said that there was a new one (Yasim?!) that helped to clear up acne better than orthotricyclin (which I am on).

It sounds as if your daughter is experiencing the same type of cystic acne that I am. I know that more than anything else, shots of cortisone have helped with the size and the swelling of the cysts. Have you tried this yet?

Is it possible that your daughter has not experienced the "initial breakout" that the majority of accutane users experience? If not, this could be the time in her treatment.

Other things that I can recommend are as follows: zinc and ester-c supplements for her skin; use hydrogen peroxide on any open acne lesions; drink a ton of water; use sephora concealer if she is upset about the condition of her skin; and the use of a light moisturizer like cleocin-t and cetaphil. P.S. New shoes and lip gloss always make me feel better about how I look smile.gif

I hope that this helps and, if you haven't already done, perhaps a second opinion is in order.

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My prayers are with your daughter. I know how she is feeling. But, she will come out of this being the bravest 13 year old around.

I have a quick question for the last poster: why would you put hydrogen peroxide on a new lesion? Is this not drying? The skin needs a moist environment to heal and prevent scarring. I didn't know this and would dry out pimples and cysts thinking I was killing the bacteria. What I ended up with was an awful amount of scarring on both sides of my face.

I was just hoping you could clarify this. Thanks wink.gif

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Putting hydrogen peroxide on your face without having an open wound is not a good idea due to the fact that it does dry out your skin. What I have been doing is just taking a dab of it and putting it on anything that has opened (which hasn't been much recently!). I discussed it with my dermatologist and he didn't see any wrong in doing this. He did, however, prescribe a cream that contained an anti-bacterial. I used it several times in places that were healing and also haven't noticed any negative results. I wasn't thrilled with the cream though because it had the consistency of clown make-up and didn't exactly dry transparent.

Noshoes: I would check with the dermatologist before using hydrogen peroxide since GO had a bad experience with it. I don't want to lead your daughter into a worse situation just because something has worked for me.

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I can sympathize with your situation. As a parent I know how hard it is to watch your child go through all of this. I was wondering if your daughter has ever responded to any other oral medication. I have a friend who told me recently that she has been on accutane 3 times and each time she didn't clear up till the 5th month and then she suddently clears. I know hearing she was on 3 times is probably not good news but I mostly wanted to say that it does work eventually. Also, some people do need a second course. Please keep us posted on her progress

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I know how daunting severe acne can be at twenty-seven so I can't even imagine what your daughter is going through.  I am assuming that you have tried the various antibiotics available for acne along with the topical lotions as well?  What type of birth control pill is she on?  I know that my dermatologist said that there was a new one (Yasim?!) that helped to clear up acne better than orthotricyclin (which I am on). 

It sounds as if your daughter is experiencing the same type of cystic acne that I am.  I know that more than anything else, shots of cortisone have helped with the size and the swelling of the cysts.  Have you tried this yet? 

Is it possible that your daughter has not experienced the "initial breakout" that the majority of accutane users experience?  If not, this could be the time in her treatment. 

Other things that I can recommend are as follows: zinc and ester-c supplements for her skin; use hydrogen peroxide on any open acne lesions; drink a ton of water; use sephora concealer if she is upset about the condition of her skin; and the use of a light moisturizer like cleocin-t and cetaphil.  P.S.  New shoes and lip gloss always make me feel better about how I look smile.gif

I hope that this helps and, if you haven't already done, perhaps a second opinion is in order.

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Thanks so much for your replies--just having support really helps! She is taking the new Yasmin bc pill--the doctors recommended it as an aid to acne and they claim no weight gain. She has been on two types of antibiotics the first one she had a weird reaction to (tetrocycline?) and we got her off it right away. Then she went on Minocyline for about 18 months--that took three months to take affect, but it really controlled things for about 1 year (it made the acne manageable). But then it started to lose its effectiveness, from what the doctor said and others on this board--that is pretty normal. We have had shots before--I believe it was cortisone and it helps, but they keep coming back. We were going into the esthetician (sp?) once a week and getting acne facials ,micros, extraction, and shots. The derm was at first all for it and said that was the way to go--(she was on antibiotics too). Then he said with all the work being done on her face it is too much--making it too red and never really clearing up. At first we were going to get the "light "therapy, but then he read some bad things in medical journals about its ineffectiveness and he said we need to go for accutane and try to get ahold of this. We need to hang in there--it is just hard for her. She wants to homeschool and I am thinking maybe I should--but I don't want to isolate her. She does not get teased, but middle schoolers can be so stupid "What is that on your face." Again thanks for those who replied--we are going the course and can only hope and pray. Thanks a million

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Noshoes: I just wanted to respond with regards to getting facials and other anti-acne treatments. When my face first broke out in July, I immediately rushed to the salon to get a glycol peel and facial. The entire process stung my face and this woman was cleaning out my pores and this gook was coming down my face. After it was over, I felt very clean but also very raw. The entire process only irritated my face and made my acne much much worse.

I am not telling you to not go ahead with this type of service. I am just saying that basically everyone in this forum has sensetive skin, and I am sure your daughter is included. Please be wary of these things.

Also, weight gain with most forms of the birth control pill is common during the first couple of months. The weight does come off. I've been on orthotricyclin for two months now and am actually loosing weight. (It might be Accutane or stress).

Good luck with everything!

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Stay away from estheticians. They are not doctors. They may not even be properly trained. I had this horrific experience. I went to an "acne clinic" and the woman squished my face so hard that I cried. She left all these marks on my face. When I went upstairs the owner gasped and so did my mother. But hey, it only cost 100 bucks. Stay away from them! Please. Acne is a complicated condition of which most of these people know really nothing about.

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I think the fact that your daughter has responded to oral medications in the past is a good sign that accutane will work eventually. You might want to have her hormone levels checked by an endocrinologist at some point because this is starting for her so young. She'd have to be off of hormones for a while though.

They only services that ever worked for us were bio-medic plus peels. The squeezing kind always made things worse. The peels were awesome back when antibiotics were working also. Neither treatment worked well alone it seemed.

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i just want to tell you that as a mom of a 15 year old son who took accutane i understand exactly what you're going through. My son was on accutane for 7 months starting last november and completed his course in may. It was a very rough time. He like your daughter did not clear at all until about his fifth month. The doctors extended his course for two more months and he did clear completely. I do believe that he could have benefited from taking it another couple of months. He was totally clear all summer but in september started to break out a bit again. It is very minimal and when he does get a breakout it goes away quickly. We are actually finding that Neutrogena on the spot bp lotion is doing the trick. The doctor has given us samples of Retin A micro and a cleocin-t lotion. He has not used the Retin A at all but is using the cleocin-t. He is finding that the bp is working much better. What is your daughter washing with? I recommend Cetaphil. Also I noticed once my son started using moisturiser his skin started to clear up. I think it was so dry that it was getting irritated. Does she use one? He used something the derm gave him and it did work great. He is getting alittle upset at breaking out again so soon after the accutane but the doctor said with his age he will get those little pimples here and there. He feels it will be treatable. I do feel that my son taking the accutane was the best thing he could have done. He is so confident now whereas a year ago he was getting very withdrawn and moody. I also have a friend that has a 13 yr old daughter (like yours) who was breaking out badly since about 11. She also took accutane when my son did. Her course lasted 10 months! it took a long time to clear. Her doctor would not stop the accutane until she did not have a single pimple on her face. he told my friend that if he stopped while she was still breaking out, he would have to put her on a second course after four months. Well she stopped in july and i just saw her and she looks wonderful! I would listen to the doctor and continue with the course of treatment. Stick with it and be there for her! I feel for you!

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i just want to tell you that as a mom of a 15 year old son who took accutane i understand exactly what you're going through.  My son was on accutane for 7 months starting last november and completed his course in may.  It was a very rough time.  He like your daughter did not clear at all until about his fifth month.  The doctors extended his course for two more months and he did clear completely. I do believe that he could have benefited from taking it another couple of months.  He was totally clear all summer but in september started to break out a bit again.  It is very minimal and when he does get a breakout it goes away quickly.  We are actually finding that Neutrogena on the spot bp lotion is doing the trick.  The doctor has given us samples of Retin A micro and a cleocin-t lotion.  He has not used the Retin A at all but is using the cleocin-t.  He is finding that the bp is working much better.  What is your daughter washing with?  I recommend Cetaphil.  Also I noticed once my son started using moisturiser his skin started to clear up.  I think it was so dry that it was getting irritated.  Does she use one?  He used something the derm gave him and it did work great.  He is getting alittle upset at breaking out again so soon after the accutane but the doctor said with his age he will get those little pimples here and there.  He feels it will be treatable.  I do feel that my son taking the accutane was the best thing he could have done.  He is so confident now whereas a year ago he was getting very withdrawn and moody.  I also have a friend that has a 13 yr old daughter (like yours) who was breaking out badly since about 11.  She also took accutane when my son did.  Her course lasted 10 months! it took a long time to clear.  Her doctor would not stop the accutane until she did not have a single pimple on her face.  he told my friend that if he stopped while she was still breaking out, he would have to put her on a second course after four months.  Well she stopped in july and i just saw her and she looks wonderful!  I would listen to the doctor and continue with the course of treatment.  Stick with it and be there for her! I feel for you!

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Hello. I am another parent. My daughter took accutane for 6 mos, and I'm having the sinking feeling she should have stuck it out another couple of months. She's been off for about 2 months, and she suddenly has all these bumps around and on her nose. It might be due to having gotten sunburned a couple weeks ago, and continuing to be in the sun everyday (she runs cross country, so all the sweating and sun might not be a good thing for her skin). Anyway, her skin is much better than before, but not perfect. She picked at something on her cheek, too, and has a scab there now. This after thousands of dollars and years of treatment, so I know exactly how you feel. My daughter was definitely not clear after 4 mos, but after 6 mos looked good enough to stop. Then, like I said, she had some problems, so if I had it to do again I would have had her stay on it until she was 100% crystal clear. Even if it took 10mos.

With my daughter it also seemed she was breaking out in isolated places, but I had to keep reminding myself (even now) how much worse it was before. Even though she'd get some nasty zits, she didn't have the huge number of bumps on her forehead. Her back, which was awful before, got completely clear (and is still clear). I think the problem is the number of zits has decreased, but the severity of the few she had was real bad (and really noticable). It was like the junk would be concentrated into a few giant zits.

If I were you, I would stop the facials, because I definitely think they're too irritating while on accutane. Then, just hang in there. Some tinted BP to spot treat and cover up the worst offenders can help psychologically. I know it's hard to just go on, but you have to. I drive my daughter to school every morning, and when I see new zits it's really depressing, but I'm trying not to lose it. Cross country is almost over, and hopefully that will help. Also, her skin it not awful, it's just not perfect. I didn't have perfect skin and somehow made it through highschool. I know you always want it to be easier for your kids though. Good luck!

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Noshoes: First of all your posts about your daughter really touched my heart. She should be lucky to have such an involved parent, because many parents just brush off acne as a condition that will go away in a few years. I would also get her thyroid checked, because they usually don't check for that because its an older person's disease and I know when I was 15 and became Hypothyroid, a few months before my skin became TERRIBLE! Just a suggestion. Also if Yasmin isn't effective enough you can try a higher dose estrogen and Spirolactone. Spiro is already in Yasmin, just a small dose. Spiro has cleared me completely. But beware of potassium intake because if in excessive it can be harmful.

Good luck. My prayers are with you.

Also about the hydrogen peroxide, I was going to add I had a mole removed on my back two months ago and the Doctor told me to put hydrogen Peroxide on it daily. Well my complexion isn't too fair but there is a distinct bleached spot. And where some of the peroxide ran down my back is also bleached. So at least this is on my back and not a big deal but on your face could be a COMPLETELY different story.

Take care,

Rae

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Hi boston

My friends daughter was on 80 mgs the entire 10 months! She has been off since end of july. I saw her a few days ago absolutely perfect. No marks whatsoever. She had bad acne on her cheeks, her back, chest, even legs! Her derm told my friend initially she was to be on for 6 months. But after 6 months she had little breakouts - not anything major - but he told her that if he took her off, after 4 months it would come right back. So he ultimately kept her on for 4 more months. My sons doctor initially told us 5 months. After 5 months it was still not clear completely so he added two more months. He was totally clear after that. He started Nov 1 and ended June 1. He was clear for the whole summer until about September when i noticed he started to get little dots on his hairline. The doctor said it was due to sweat. He gave him cleocin-t. However, we just started to put Neutrogena on the spot on them and they dissappeared. He plays baseball and sweats alot and thats when i notice that he breaks out. A few weeks ago, he started to get the red dots on his jaw line. We were freaking out wondering if it was starting up again. He had started to use a new body wash and cologne and i made him stop using it. Well in a few days it cleared up. He continued to put the neutrogena on it and it did go away. whonows - tell your daughter to put that on her new spots. Also the derm told us that because he took accutane, any medications would work better now. Im seeing that happening cause the neutrogena is working just fine. Im also glad to see that im not the only concerned mom out there!

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noshoes- I do not know anything about accutane, but I am just posting to wish your daughter luck. I am a 14 year old boy who is going through the same thing. I just want her to never give up hope and not to affect her life especially when starting highschool. I know what it feels like battling this horrible disease. Well i was just writing to wish you luck and to tell your daughter to not lose faith.

Good Luck!!!

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Thanks for all your feedback--just wanted to keep you updated. Went back to the dermatologist and he increased her dosage to 100mg--I think it is the best thing. He says we have to clear the acne or there is no point. He also ordered for next month her hormone level to be checked at the labs. Several of you mentioned to monitor that--he thought it would be a good idea. We are going to hang in there! I will keep you posted

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