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Need Some Support! Is It Time For Accutane?

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Hello All,

First a little bit about myself. I'm 20 years old, a girl in college, and I have suffered with moderate cystic acne for the past 7 years. It's never been bad enough for a derm to warrant giving me accutane, but the topcicals (and other treatments) I've used are:



-adapalene cream






-mint tea

-vitamin B5

-cod liver oil

-fish oil

And there may be more I'm not thinking of. For two years (from age 17 - 19) I used duac and the retin-a with GREAT results. My skin was super clear, and the cysts were finally gone.

But something changed. In the past few months I have been BOMBARDED with cysts. If you get them you know how painful they are, and how deeply they hurt your face, and self-esteem for that matter. I've been so depressed this summer that I've spent most time in my house and started turning down social events. I just feel hideous and like I shouldn't even go out... And college starts for me again in about two weeks! My roommate has flawless skin and is in a sorority, and I'm going to be over here looking like pizza face...

I'm going to see my G.P in a few days and I feel ready to beg him for accutane. I'm tired of waking up everyday terrified to see the mirror. But that's not for a couple of days, and not to be melodramatic, but I honestly don't know how to cope with my face until then??? :(.

Do you guys think it's worth begging for accutane? I don't have the amount of cysts that severe acne patients suffer from, but currently I have four active cysts. Two on my chin, one on my cheek and one on my nose. All about the size of a deeply knotted dime.

Is this enough to warrant accutane? Can my GP even prescribe it?....I've tried so much already I don't know what else to do... I feel like giving up. My face has taken over my life and it's miserable. I've honestly never felt so depressed in my life, it's like trying to fight a losing battle....

I've been a lurker on here for a long time, I could really use your all support!

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You should post pics. Accutane is now used for acne that has been resistant to other treatments so if you've tried all the above, you may very well be a canidate. Have you given thoughts to hormonal means such as spiro or birth control if cysts are your main problem?

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Hi Allegra77!

Don't give up! It sounds like the type of acne you had was similar to mine. It wasn't severe but it was bad enough to cause stress and frustrations when getting ready to go out in public.

Last month I finished 6 months on Roaccutane. I would definitely recommend it. It wasn't an easy journey but well worth it as all my active spots are gone and my skin feels so smooth (it still weird to feel my own face without bumps!).

Of course your Derma will know best when he looks at your skin. But if you've exhausted all your other options, you should definitely make it clear that you're ready for the big guns. :) best of luck!

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Are you in the UK? If so, you are almost certainly a candidate for dermatology referral. I've only tried 3 of the treatments in your list and my acne is moderate (not cystic, just inflamed) and still I was referred and am now on Roaccutane. It all depends on the GP of course, but your acne doesn't have to be severe for a referral - it just has to be moderate and you have to have tried at least one antibiotic/topical combination for at least 3 months. They take psychological effect into account to, and by the sounds of it your acne is affecting you greatly. All of these make you a good candidate for Roaccutane, though it's all your choice. Personally, I wasn't even expecting to be referred, but my GP suggested it before I did which took me by surprise but ultimately I'm glad she did because I know my skin will soon be so much better, something I've wanted for so long.

In the UK a GP can't prescribe isotretinoin; you have to be referred to an outpatient dermatology unit, usually at a hospital, where you'll have a consultation with a dermatologist consultant. The whole process took me 3 months from referral to prescription, but this depends on your area and waiting lists, etc. An alternative is going private, which would have far shorter waiting lists but will cost you.

I can't speak of anywhere else because I only have my own experience to go by. Ultimately, don't lose hope. You WILL find something to clear your acne

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Thanks for the replies everyone, after hearing back from you all I'm feeling more hopeful.

@leelowe I would post pics, but I'm a little too embarrassed to put pics of my broken out face on here just yet...I have considered Spiro, but the thought of being on a hormone altering drug for life kind of scares me... I know accutane has a lot of side effects, but what appeals to me is that it's not a lifetime commitment.

@lyanna you know exactly how I feel it sounds like! I'm really hoping I too can wake up confidently with clear smooth skin one day!

@the-entertainer I'm also hoping that the doctor will take into account how many topicals I've tried. I actually live in the US, but I'm not sure if gp's here can prescribe accutane either.

For both of you, did you find that accutane caused a bad skin purge? I've heard this can happen and it scares me just a little

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You've tried nearly everything and nothing has helped clear your acne, this means your doctor should refer you to a dermatologist who will probably offer Accutane straight away or might possibly want to try you with some antibiotics first.

I took Accutane and it works very well. Sure you’ll get a few side effects but nothing that you won’t regret once all of your acne and marks are gone .

I can understand fully how you feel - but I once thought that my acne would never go - and it did thanks to accutane. I still get the occasional outbreak but nothing serious, and I may even take it once again to fully stop the smaller outbreaks if needed (im currently taking antibiotics) and will review taking accutane after this spell. Don't let it worry you, because once you take accutane your spots will be gone, your face will repair itself and you'll have totally clear skin.

Edited by acnegone5
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Hi, my diet is almost entirely whole foods, vegetables and whole grains with the occasional yogurt thrown in. What diet changes could I need to make?

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There are two things you would need to prepare, 1. clindoxyl gel 2. skinoren. Morning: clindoxyl gel apply thin film over face. Night: clindoxyl gel apply thinly on face followed by skinoren (magic tool) apply two pea size (3-D small) on face. To clear before college starts may seem challenging but hope you preserve with this method. It might take 3-4 weeks to see results.

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