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Hello,

Prior to going on accutane I discovered this forum and it helped and relaxed me about my decision to place myself on accutane. However, one common complaint that I often came across while on here was how people would stop going on after their acne or spots cleared up. This, not surprisingly, held true to me as well! But I would like to not become another statistic so I am giving the community a chance to ask some one who has started and finished accutane, and find out what exactly it is like.

I am hoping this gains some popularity, and helps ease a lot of fears about the drug, and its reputation. My goal is to help as many as possible.

My (brief) story:

I am a male, 20, living in the northeast US, and going to school I have played hockey my entire life, and have always been generally active. My skin has always been a major confidence killer for me, until accutane.

  • Mild spots started in grades 6-8, carried into H.S. and gradually became more severe, however not scarring.
  • In H.S. I developed very red spots along my jaw and "T" zone that were very embarrassing
  • These tended to clear up in the summer, but never completely.
  • Beginning of my Sr. year my Derm recommended Accutane but my mother was too scarred to allow me to go on it.
  • After H.S. spots still persisted, generally 3-5 on my face, ranging in all sizes.
  • Went to my G.P. and way placed on Doxycycline-Mono, after a week long allergic reaction to Monocycline.
  • Doxy cleared it but not fully, typically I had one spot on my face, rather consistently
  • After a year and a half on doxy my body built a tolerance to the meds and they stopped working
  • Placed my self on accutane in December of 2013
  • Finished accutane in July of 2012

Please feel free to ASK ME ANYTHING!!!!

I am here with the only goal of helping as many people as possible.

I look forward to your questions!!!!

(ps I work form 8-5 so any questions asked will not be answered until I get home)

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How much did it take for your red marks to clear up / fade a lot ?

Did you experienced some minor shallow scarring / enlarged pores that got better / refilled after the treatment ?

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How did you start accutane in 2013 and finish in 2012? Which spell did you use?

-_____-

2013-2014, my mistake

You weren't monitored by a doctor?

I was monitored by my dermatologist, sorry by "placed myself on accutane" I meant that I went to my dermatologist and told him I wanted to go on the medication and he gave me the prescription.

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How much did it take for your red marks to clear up / fade a lot ?

Did you experienced some minor shallow scarring / enlarged pores that got better / refilled after the treatment ?

1) To explain the length of time it took for red spots to fade away I will give you an example of the average spot on my face during my time on accutane. So if I woke up with a spot (Day 1) it would stay inflamed and active until about Day 3, and from there it would slowly fade. Around Day 10 the spot would have gone away on its own (w/o squeezing or popping it). However from Days 10-20 a red hazy circle would remain slowly fading. This red circle was not very focused or definitive, so I did not really care too much about it, it did not bring down my confidence or anything; so mentally it was as if the spot was completely gone.

However, there is a catch. Towards the end of my treatment, when I was taking a much higher dose, I would get maybe one spot a month. It would come and go in maybe a day or two, BUT a series of dry skin circles would remain where the spot was, so I had to use aquaphor at night only. I would lather it on so the area was well moisturized and then in the AM would apply just some general moisturizing lotion. I would repeat this for maybe 3 days and by then it was completely gone.

2) I have zero scarring from acne/accutane. But I do have about 5-6 scars from chicken pox when I was younger.

My pores are completely clear (just looked in the mirror), the pores under my eyes, to either side of my nose are larger, but they are flesh colored so they do not stand out at all. Actually my pores were the first thing to clear up, if I remember correctly, with in the first two weeks, maybe even with in the first week! It is a little hard to remember.

I hope I helped you out a little! I know asking strangers questions is not the most enjoyable thing, but if you have any more questions, please feel free to ask!!!

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hey man just looking for some advice! i took accutane 20mg a day for 12 months and my face was completely clear at the end of the treatment, just had some PIH ive been on it 6 weeks and my forehead has like 50 little bumps which are itchy, and i have little whiteheads appearing on my cheeks. should i consider a second course?

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hey man just looking for some advice! i took accutane 20mg a day for 12 months and my face was completely clear at the end of the treatment, just had some PIH ive been on it 6 weeks and my forehead has like 50 little bumps which are itchy, and i have little whiteheads appearing on my cheeks. should i consider a second course?

Hmmm, although I am no expert or dermatologist, PIH is normal and will go away. But I did go to your profile and read some of your recent posts, it seems that after your accutane course you started going on some cream's and washes. That coupled with the give or take 50 little red bumps and itchyness could it be possible that it is not acne at all and possibly an allergic reaction?

If you do think it is acne though, and I were you, I would not hesitate to go on a second course. Aside from the dry skin, I enjoyed my course, the medicine gave me a calming feeling, that for once my spots were going to go away, opposed to creams or anti-biotics where there is only a chance they would work.

Hope I helped out a little!!!

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Hey, I just recently started Accutane.. coming to the end of my second month. But I'm having CRAZY side effects with my lips and can't seem to tolerate even minor dosages.. I'm on 30mg daily now and I almost need to be bumped back down to 20mg. My lips get tiny little blisters all over them and then they all slough off leaving very raw skin (derm says it's a reaction to the med, not cold sores or anything like that). Do you have any suggestions for lip care/treatments? I've tried aquaphor, Dr dans, hydrocortisone ointment, desonide ointment (stronger steroid), nivea, something with Shea butter and other random 'good things', plain old Vaseline, neosporin lip treatment, and I don't even remember what else. I literally carry like 3-5 products on me at all times. I've read things about using emu oil, regular neosporin, actual lotions.. but idk how I feel about putting some of that on my lips. Thanks!

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Hello,

When do you think you experienced total clearing I'm coming up to 2 months on 60 a day not had one since my IB started wks 2-4 in, but last wk broke out in 3, don't get me wrong they're nothing like normal but it's annoying and can't help but feel negative.

Nicole the side effects are hitting me hard too, just so numerous and annoying, think it's being exasperated by the heat in the UK at the mo, we don't do air con!!! The BEST thing I have found for lips tho is NIPPLE CREAM, the brand I use is Lansinoh! my friend who's just had a baby recommend it. Literally the only thing that works and keeps mine in check. I really struggle with the skin from my lip line to a couple of mm's outwards tho, fine when not a work but it's difficult to moisturize that part with make up on.

xx

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Hey, I just recently started Accutane.. coming to the end of my second month. But I'm having CRAZY side effects with my lips and can't seem to tolerate even minor dosages.. I'm on 30mg daily now and I almost need to be bumped back down to 20mg. My lips get tiny little blisters all over them and then they all slough off leaving very raw skin (derm says it's a reaction to the med, not cold sores or anything like that). Do you have any suggestions for lip care/treatments? I've tried aquaphor, Dr dans, hydrocortisone ointment, desonide ointment (stronger steroid), nivea, something with Shea butter and other random 'good things', plain old Vaseline, neosporin lip treatment, and I don't even remember what else. I literally carry like 3-5 products on me at all times. I've read things about using emu oil, regular neosporin, actual lotions.. but idk how I feel about putting some of that on my lips. Thanks!

Hello, sorry for the delay, I have been out of town! Anyways my lips fluctuated greatly from day to day, but as my dosage increased so did the severity, my first week on accutane I used Jojoba oil (forgive if I misspelled it) and I HATED it, it was terrible for me. I would apply it and about 20 minuted later it felt as if it had stripped my lips of all moisture. So I went to the pharacy and bought the largest aquaphor jug I could, it was like $20 and that lasted me my entire duration. However, I was terrible at applying it, and it ended up smearing all around my lips and looked horrible, greasy and would reflect light like nothing else.

So when ever i went out in public I would go into the bathroom and do it in front of a mirror, and wipe off any excess with a paper towel, it seemed to help.

The only other thing I ever used was Avon Moisturizing Lotion, nothing fancy, it was actually is my mothers. I really cannot go that in depth about it because I really dont know if it worked or not, as I only used it a handful of times.

But I am sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time with the lips, they were my biggest pain as well. I hope you find something that works, maybe just go for the most aggressive moisturizing products on the market and hope! Haha. On a side note, none of the products I used made my lips feel moisturized, they were always still very chapped, red, and slightly split. I just kind of dealt with it, the biggest thing was just looking forward to the end of my treatment.

I hope you do find a product that works well...or well enough! haha

Hello,

When do you think you experienced total clearing I'm coming up to 2 months on 60 a day not had one since my IB started wks 2-4 in, but last wk broke out in 3, don't get me wrong they're nothing like normal but it's annoying and can't help but feel negative.

Nicole the side effects are hitting me hard too, just so numerous and annoying, think it's being exasperated by the heat in the UK at the mo, we don't do air con!!! The BEST thing I have found for lips tho is NIPPLE CREAM, the brand I use is Lansinoh! my friend who's just had a baby recommend it. Literally the only thing that works and keeps mine in check. I really struggle with the skin from my lip line to a couple of mm's outwards tho, fine when not a work but it's difficult to moisturize that part with make up on.

xx

My face cleared up kind of right from the start, the number of spots I had steadily went down. I would say around month 3-4 I had nothing on my face. But would get maybe one a month and that was it. I never had cystic acne though, only very persistent mild-moderate for 5 years, what my derm said was that I would be an easy patient because the spots were not deep but just rather numerous.

If you are like me, then things should start going away soon. If your spots are deeper then I am sorry but I am probably not the best person to ask. Sorry!

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I'm thinking of going on accutane as well nervous of the more serious side effects:( I get anxiety just thinking about it

I had the same problem before I went on the medication, truthfully this forum did not really help ease my fears haha, neither did anything else I read or watched. When I went in for my pre-accutane consolation with my derm, I asked him about the side effects and he said that he has treated 3000+ people with accutane and that only the most severe patient he ever had experienced any issues with the more severe side effects. And the side effect she had (I think it was a stomach problem) went away within 6 months of finishing the treatment.

In short the only side effect you will have is dry skin, that is unavoidable, however the rest are extremely rare. Every prescription has rare and severe side effects but for some reason I do not know Accutane has this reputation of this horrifying drug. Speaking from my personal experience I have NO permanent/severe side effects, and I am confident that if you go on accutane you will not either!

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Hey thanks for responding no mine sound exactly like yours this time they've come back.

I did used to get nodular acne but after the first two rounds I would only ever get one of those once or twice a year say if I was really stressed. No this time they're just numerous resistant, very large/swollen white heads. TBF I've not had any of those and what I had last week are what I would call normal spots that most girls might have if they're hormonal. They're going to gone now though so fingers and toes crossed it was just a blip.

Oh 13 going on 30 I would certainly recommend you do it, I had a horrible time at the beginning of the year on tetrytcylcines which ended up in me being hospitalised and needing accupuntcure and physio, and that wasn't even a rare side effect it's one in 1000 which is quite a high occurrence and guess what my acne barely improved. Whilst the side effects to accutane are numerous for the most part they're just weird and annoying and the lips can get a little bit painful if you pick - they aren't going to put you in hospital though. I think for a lot of people it just feels really heavy as like the acne they're visible and need managing. But it's only 4-6 months so you just gotta dig deep have a little cry every now and again and push through it - because they're gonna work a million times better than anything else in the end. xx

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Thank you for responding! I've been using the aquaphor lip balm stuff but I've been reading a lot of other people's posts where they said they used aquaphor in a tub.. is this like the lotion form of it? Do I not need the actual lip one?

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Thank you for responding! I've been using the aquaphor lip balm stuff but I've been reading a lot of other people's posts where they said they used aquaphor in a tub.. is this like the lotion form of it? Do I not need the actual lip one?

Nope, it was just the vaseline form of it. It is the same product that are in the little tubes, they usually come in a two pack for like $7, but just a larger quantity of it. The only down side of the large tub was it gets kind of dirty, so you have to clean it out with like a paper towel frequently.

http://www.walgreens.com/store/c/aquaphor-original-ointment/ID=prod6054521-product

Here is the link to the exact product I used.

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