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Accutane Advice? (Mild Acne)

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Hi all,

I'm being faced with the prospect of Accutane and I'm getting a lot of conflicting advice from family members, reading online and what my derm says so I'm hoping for some advice from some of you who actually have experience with this drug.

I'm 19 and have been suffering with acne for around 6 or 7 years now. It started quite mild and progressively got worse up until being around 15/16 where I was getting not only whiteheads and angry red spots on much of my face and sides of my neck, but also getting painful cystic acne on my shoulders and chest. Of course, I tried everything and got as far as being offered accutane but thanks to a very unfriendly derm, I was scared off and never tried it.

Since then my skin has calmed down a lot. My shoulders and chest are clear (only scarring remains), my forehead and much of my face is clear though I do still get breakouts particularly around my mouth and on the side of my neck. After living with it for years, I decided to go back to a different derm and see if we could at least treat some of the scarring. To keep things short, he's suggested straight away that I use accutane before looking at treating any scarring since I've tried over the counter stuff (washes, creams) and 1 type of antibiotic and he's worried about any further scarring should I have a bad breakout.

The idea of possibly having completely clear skin is incredibly exciting but I'm no idiot. I know that accutane is a powerful drug and I'm a little worried that I was recommended it within a few minutes of my first appointment with him. I'm particularly worried about the side effects especially if my skin is going to get much worse because right now I think it's quite good aside from 5 or 6 spots that pop up every couple of days.

Thoughts on this? Is my derm just trying to rush me onto the treatment and is accutane really a good idea for mild acne?

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I can't tell you how long I've dealt with acne. I tried like 4 or 5 different prescription topical and oral treatments and countless over the counter regimens. There are several dermatologists at the practice I go to and the first one immediately recommended Accutane. My acne wasn't considered severe by any means but it was very persistent and would flare up worse sometimes than others. I refused to go on it because of the bad stories I've heard and was not excited about the monthly lab work at all. So that is when I tried the 4 or 5 different prescription topical medications and oral medications. Tried all of that for over 2 years. My acne improved with minocycline and differin taken at the same time. Ultimately though my skin started not responding after a while. I finally started seeing another derm within the practice and decided to go ahead and try Accutane at his suggestion. I started out on 20mg for the first 2 months and then went up to 40 mg the third month. I ended up with some rare side effects around that time(blistering form of athletes foot with a bacterial infection that's common with that type of athlete's foot and I got a corneal ulcer right after the athlete's foot) and had to go off of it for 3 weeks and my derm decreased my dosage to 30mg for a month to see how I tolerated it and after that I've been on 40 mg. I'm currently in my last month of treatment and will be finishing up around thanksgiving. Even with those rare and NOT fun side effects, they were only a speedbump I am so happy I did Accutane. There is a HUGE difference in my skin and it's actually clear! I would do it again if I needed a second course. I hope my experience helps you!

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