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Heinstar

23 Years Old And I Still Get Cystic Acne, Should I Consider Going On Accutane?

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I'm a 23 year old male and I've been dealing with moderate(sometimes close to sever) nodular and cystic acne since I was 15. My acne was at its worst when I was was 16/17 in high school. I now have acne scars left on my face due to the severe acne that I had back in high school. My acne isn't as severe as back in high school anymore but I think that's partly because I've learnt to take care of my skin better. Here's the picture of my skin(it can get a lot worse than this):

My severity of Acne has:

  • lowered my self-esteem
  • made me avoid social interaction(I literally have zero friends right now)
  • made me skip work and school countless times
  • got bullied at school because of my acne
  • resulted me in taking too many vitamin A pills and having pain in my liver when I was desperate in getting rid of severe acne and trying everything over the counter(herbal supplement, vitamins etc.) when I was as a teenager. I think Acne.org didn't exist back then

This is what I'm currently doing to prevent my acne:

  1. Wash the face with Proactiv/The Regimen cleanser, Remove the dry flaky skin caused by BP 2.5% using Proactiv Toner and then apply The Regimen's 2.5% BP twice a day
  2. not touching my acne/nodule/cysts or any part of my face
  3. not letting anything dirty touch my face or neck (e.g. keeping my hair short)
  4. not letting my pores stay clogged for too long with sweat or oil
  5. not exercising. Either the sweat or wiping my face with a towel gives me cystic acne the next day
  6. cover the pillow with a clean towel before bed and sleeping on my back
  7. eating vegetable soup which I cook by boiling Red bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, broccolis, baby spinach/kale, onions, mushrooms and chicken breast every night
  8. supplements (Vitamin D3, Fish oil, Probiotic and occasional multivitamin)
  9. avoiding dairy, wheat and junk food
  10. not drinking excessive coffee

If I don't follow the steps especially from 1 to 6, I get a acne under the skin, nodule or a cyst straight away. I only get acne on my cheeks and neck.

Acne is affecting my life in so many different ways. For example, I never travel with my family anymore because I won't be able to follow my acne prevention routine. I often get bad acne within days after exercising at the gym. I'm not sure if the acne is caused from the sweat or from the towel but I'm always scared of going to the gym because of it.

Recently, my acne has become out of control because we had to move to a different rent after our landlord went bankrupt so my life has been hectic and I didn't have time to wash my face twice a day. While cleaning the house, my face was itchy and I accidentally scratched my cheek. The next day I developed a pustule acne on that spot. What baffles me is that my acne wasn't that bad 2 years ago, but for some reason it's getting worse again.

I really need to figure out how to prevent my acne permanently. Because every time I get a bad acne, I always skip school and work; sometimes for weeks until my acne doesn't look ugly on my face anymore. I know I shouldn't skip school and work but I just can't handle people staring at my acne or looking at me in a peculiar way. When I built courage and went to work with bad acne, the coworker immediately picked up on my acne and started teasing me..

I want to get a laser treatment for my acne scars someday but I don't think I'll ever be able to do it since my acne doesn't seem to be going away and I'm almost 24 years old. I don't know if the dermatologist is going put me on Accutane since my acne isn't extremely severe and I don't really want to go on it either because of the potential side effects. But I may have to since it looks like I'll never be able to grow out of acne.

I know that you should never pop your cystic acne. But sometimes if I don't pop them, it gets bigger and more pustule and won't go away for months. So I sometimes pop them with a sterile needle and apply BP or Betadine on it. Sometimes my cystic acne heals faster this way but other times it becomes uglier, more inflamed and pustule all over again.

So I'm planning on going to a dermatologist soon and ask for a prescription topical cream to experiment on my face. What prescription topical cream(s) should I ask for? Also, could you give me recommendations on how I can prevent my acne/nodules/cysts better than I am doing now? Thank you.

Edited by Heinstar

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As far as topicals go, I think the Regimen is pretty unbeatable.

Topical clindamycin (an antibiotic) works for a while, but your acne eventually becomes resistant to it, so it's a temporary solution. There are a number of products that combine clindamycin and benzoyl peroxide - like BenzaClin and Duac. I am told these work much longer because the benzoyl peroxide prevents your skin from becoming resistant to the antibiotic. Tretinoin creams are popular, but did not do much clearance for me... In my experience, no topical works better and as long term as a ton of benzoyl peroxide (ie, the regimen).

Your dermatologist won't prescribe you accutane because accutane is a last resort and there is a ton of things you haven't tried. He/She will probably prescribe you oral antibiotics. I have had a lot of success with oral antibiotics, but you eventually become resistant to them, too. My dermatologist keeps switching them on me as soon as I start to become resistant. I know it's unhealthy to be on them long term, but so far, I have not had any side effects, and even though my skin isn't perfect, it's a bajillion times better than it was.

A non-medicine tip - a low glycemic load diet definitely helps.

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Go on roaccutane. If you have tried everything else then this should help you. It did wonders for my skin after four months I finished my course and my skin stayed clear for two years. May be starting a second course soon but it is SO worth it. Good luck

Oh and your acne doesn't have to be severe to go on accutane. There are people with acne a lot worse than mine but just like you I have had persistent acne for years and am now 22 years old so it clearly isn't just teenage spots that can be treated with vitamins and over the counter problems. Definitely see your Derm I cant recommend roaccutane more

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I finally got to see the dermatologist last week and he asked me when I started getting acne, how long I’ve had it for and the types of acne creams that I’ve tried and how well they worked. He then looked at my skin and immediately decided to put me on Accutane. I was told to stand on a weighing scale and tell him the weight which was 56.1kg. I also had to get the blood tests done prior to starting Accutane. Few days after the blood test, I received a prescription paper for 20mg of Isotretinoin per day for 6 - 12 months in the mail.
I was surprised to get prescribed Accutane this quickly. I was expecting to get topical treatments before going down the last resort. When my acne used to be much worse when I was 16, the general doctors only prescribed me tetracyclines and advised against taking Accutane. Maybe the dermatologist thinks that it’s okay now since I’m already 23 years old but still getting cystic acne.
I’m glad that I was prescribed a low dosage because I've heard that low dosage is just as effective as high dosage with less severe side effects.
However, after reading about the latest research on accutane, it seems like even the 0.1mg/kg is also just as effective as 1mg/kg. So I could probably get away with just 5mg/5.6mg of Isotretinoin per day since I’m quite skinny.
And apparently, relapse risk is unrelated to the dosage of accutane but it’s to do with age, severity of acne and seborrhoea.
Since low dosages are safer, should I make another appointment and ask my dermatologist what he thinks about dosage of 0.1mg/kg? Or do you think 20mg per day is safe enough for my weight?
Edited by Heinstar

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I've been taking 20mg Accutane a day for the past two days.
Yesterday, I took Accutane for the first time at 3:15pm with fried eggs. Within half an hour, I started feeling extremley irritable and I snapped at my family over small things which is unlike myself. So I drank 1 cup of coffee at 5:00pm which seemed to subside my irritability. But then I started getting moderate migraines from 6:30pm when I was at work. I also started feeling slightly nauseous. The moderate migraine and slight nausea lasted until I got back home at 11:30pm so I had migraines for 5 hours at work. After having a warm shower, the migraine finally subsided.
Today, I took Accutane at 1:15pm. I haven't got any migraines yet so maybe it was caused from interaction with caffeine. I don't know why caffeine causes migraines while I'm on Accutane since they're not supposed to interact with each other. Thankfully, I'm not experiencing extreme irritibality anymore. However, I don't feel right when I'm on Accutane and I can't imagine taking it for the next 6 months, especially since I have work and school. Instead of feeling irritable like yesterday, I'm starting to feel unhappy. I don’t know how other people are able to tolerate such an adverse side effect for so long.
Edited by Heinstar

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I've been taking 20mg Accutane for the past 3 days and I haven't had any migraines since I stopped drinking coffee, I've also stopped feeling irritable. I'm not sure if I'm going to get migranes again if I drink coffee but I'm too afraid to find out. I've decided to see how long I can stay on Accutane. So far, I still don't feel right when I'm on it. Internally, I feel like my body under contant stress. I've also started feeling less emotion and happiness. You could call it depression since I even cried at one point during the day. My cognition and memory has also been negatively affected. My memory became so bad that I became forgetful of the simplest things while working which is scary. From the way Accutane makes me feel, I don't think I'll be able to continue taking it.
Edited by Heinstar

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Do not go to any dermatologist. They will prescribe more of the same old shit that doesn't work effectively: antibiotics, creams, gels, lotions, and cleansers.

Acne is not a bacteria problem. Acne is a dietary problem. I do not understand why people cannot get that through their thick skulls. When people begin to get their shit together, and start supporting their health with good food, their acne will disappear. Until then, they will continue using expensive products that only pumps more money into corporate pockets and leaves them frustrated.

No bullshit.

For 8 months I was strictly ate low-GI, Paleo, no vegetable oils (only coconut and grass fed butter), a lot of vegetables and a little meat and a little fruit (I stopped fruit for a couple of months because of the sugar content). No sugar, no fast food, no caffeine, no nothing. I did yoga almost every day. I never ate like anything unhealthy. It made me so depressed and my acne never got better. I agree, if you haven't tried diet first then that would be a good way to start. But, it does not work for everyone. When I would start letting up and actually once in awhile eating like some chips or candy I would actually feel a lot better because these diets were stressing me out so much. I did not eat candy for at least a year. I am not kidding. I gave it all I had. Before I started on this I still ate what other people call 'healthy', no dairy, no unhealthy oils, no gluten, no sugar, etc. So, it couldn't have been 'you probably ate really bad foods before' mantra.

I went on Accutane 20 mg/ day, I'm about 52 kg now and I was about 45 Kg when I went on it (since I kept dropping on these extremely strict diets). I feel a lot better now, but I don't know, I really wanted to go the 'healthy' way, but I guess I needed help. I still eat very healthy though, and exercise everyday. I food combine too. It becomes a lifestyle after awhile. It's kind of nice though, once you aren't so unbelievably dependent on it. Try accutane if you feel like you need to breath for a bit, (which it sounds like you do) but you should definitely clean up your diet too, you'll need it to help your body with accutane and all. After accutane a good diet is probably a good idea, go see a nutritionist or something.

You should stop stressing about it! Either you take it, and you believe that it will help you or just don't and you try something else. Stress is everything. It will do you no good. Side effects are suppose to be rare, but they happen. You could always go see an homeopath or get 'functional' medicin help instead.

For me, (I'm 20 mg/ day too). I'm a really sensitive person, I had eczema around my eyes for two weeks, I keep flushing, during winter I seem to get dry eyes (really annoying and something that made me wanna go off but it is better now), slightly dry lips, a little eczema on my hands (I haven't even tried to get rid off it though) and then a bit tired, some raving lunatic moments (maybe BC though haha), my marks are more prominent most of the time, and I cry a little bit too much sometimes.

I constantly also worry about side effects, but I decided to go on it, and if I wanna go off it I can. I keep thinking that people have been through chemo and are just fine. This is only 20 mg, and we would be really unlucky if we got anything. And, if we do then no one could have foreseen that.

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I gave Accutane a go for 5 days but my depressive mood, fatigue and mental fog(mostly memory problems) didn't get any better so I won't be able to stay on it for the next 6 - 8 months since I can't tolerate these side effects.
To summerise, the reason why I'm stopping Accutane is because:
  • I already have pre-existing gut issues so there's probably a higher chance of me developing more from Accutane
  • Accutane gave me bloody stools which is a sign that my bowels are hurting
  • I already have IBS-C, redundant colon, slow colonic transit and acid reflux. I don't want Accutane to worsen my gut health even further
  • I can’t put up with the severe depression, fatigue and mental fog caused by Accutane
  • I’ll regret it later on for taking it for longer if I get permanent side effects
  • There’s no guarantee that my acne won't relapse after the 6 months course of Accutane and I might need to go on second course
  • From what I've read, Accutane may alter the brain function in orbitofrontal cortex. I also heard it could damage your hearing and eye sight. It might be cytotoxic. It might cause joint problems later in life(e.g. arthritis). It dries up your insides which has fluid and affects your entire body with retinoid receptors. It's possibly killing brain cells in hippocampus which is theorised to be the reason why it causes depression(it's a chemo drug after all). It decreases DHT and causes other permanent epigenetic changes. It changes hormonal levels(from pituitary gland) and they might become permanently changed depending on person. I could go on and on.
So the negatives far outweighs the positives for me and it just doesn't make sense for me to continue taking it and increase the chance of me developing more health problems.
Like I've mentioned earlier, lower dosage might be more safer and more effective: http://www.bpac.org.nz/BPJ/2013/November/acne.aspx I don't know why my dermatologist didn't start me on the lowest dosage at 10mg especially at my weight at 56.1kg but instead put me on 20mg. It's sad that I have to look up online to find the safest dosage of Accutane rather than trusting the dermatologist that I've paid good money for.
Edited by Heinstar

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I'm going to tell my dermatologist that I’ve stopped taking Accutane and ask for several prescription topical creams for my next appointment(which is what I probably should have done before agreeing to go on the last resort). I've only tried Proactiv, BP 2.5% and Tretinoin cream 0.5mg so far. The topical creams that I haven't tried are:
  • Topical gel
    • Antibiotic
      • Clindamycin
      • Benzoyl Peroxode 2.5%
      • Aczone(Dapsone)
      • Sodium Sulfacetamide
    • Retinoid
      • Differin (Adapalene)
      • Tretinoin 0.5mg (only tried the cream form which is comedogenic so I need to try the gel form as well)
      • Tazorotine
      • Retin-A Micro
    • Combination
      • Duac
      • Benzaclin
      • Epiduo
There's probably more topical creams out there that I'm not aware of. If none of the topical cream works on my acne, then I either have to take antibiotic for the rest of my life or risk my health and go on Accutane again.
But every time I break out and acne pops up from underneath the skin(most of the time, the only way to get rid of it is to pop it with a sterile needle), I keep getting tempted to try accutane again at a lower dosage. I know that I might get even worse side effects if I continue taking it and it could ruin my health/life. But every time I see accutane success story videos on youtube I feel encouraged and less scared...
Statistically, most people with adult acne seem to grow out of it between the age of 24 - 30. I’m almost 24 so there’s a chance that I might grow out of acne in 6 years. But unfortunately, acne is already affecting my life by causing me to skip school and work. So I really need to find something that will prevent my breakout now.
If I ultimately decide to go on accutane again, perhaps I may go 5 - 10mg a day based on this study:

There is little evidence to support cumulative dosing
The duration of treatment with isotretinoin is currently based on the calculated cumulative dose. This method is used because several early studies suggested that relapse one to two years after a single 16-week course of isotretinoin was more common in people treated with 0.1 mg/kg per day than those treated with 1 mg/kg per day.3 This was interpreted to mean that the strongest long-term response from isotretinoin was obtained if the cumulative dose reached 120 – 140 mg/kg.3

Subsequent research, however, has not supported cumulative dosing.3 Long-term follow-up studies show rates of relapse between 40 – 52% several years after treatment.3 These studies have concluded that relapse risk is determined by age, severity of acne and seborrhoea after treatment, but not by daily dose, duration of treatment or cumulative dose.3

Or I could take 10mg or 20mg every other day so that I only have to deal with depression and brain fog three times a week and thus I might be able to put up with accutane for 6 - 8 months while I’m at school and work. But then again, higher dose every other day might cause more side effects so lower dose daily might be better. I need to find the balance between effectiveness and safeness in dosage.
However, I'm still concerned about the permanent changes in the brain from accutane since a 4 week trial resulted in changes in brain metabolism in orbitofrontal cortex according to this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15863802 and the functions of orbitofrontal cortex involves decision making, emotion and motivation which are highly important. So I don’t want my orbitofrontal cortex permanently damaged /altered after going on a course of accutane.
I also don’t want to develop IBS or IBD(Ulcerative colitis/Crohn's disease) which would be worse than persistent cystic acne itself.
There’s several horror stories on youtube where people have developed IBD because of accutane and had to go through colectomy which ruined their life.
Some developed clinical depression after a course of accutane and had to go on anti-depressents and still don’t feel happy like they used to.
And there’s the famous Stefan ray who claims a lot of his health problems stem from accutane that he went on when he was a teenager. He’s still actively trying to recover from various mental and physical health problems caused by accutane.
So I keep coming back and forth between wanting to try accutane after seeing success stories on youtube and not wanting to touch it ever again after seeing horror stories on youtube.
I wish I could pay someone to help me make the decision of whether or not if accutane is right for me and at what dosage I should be taking because accutane is such a controversial drug and I don’t think I can make the correct decision on my own since there’s so many variables involved.
I searched in Google for possible future treatments for acne and I've found the following. But there's no point waiting for them since acne is affecting my life right now.
I can't believe an effective safe treatment for acne still doesn't exist even though it's almost 2015. Accutane came out in 1982, I was born in 1991, it's been 23 years and still nothing. It's almost as if I was genetically destined to take accutane since the day I was born which sucks...
I did a bit of reserach into Minocycline and I've realised that Minocycline isn't as safe as I used to believe it was(although it's still safer than Accutane). I was prescribed 200mg Minocycline for 6 months when I was 18 and I can't be for certain that the Minocycline was the reason why I started having bowel problems but it could have played a role. It seems like cystic acne sufferer's are doomed to have their health ruined by having no other option but to take oral Antibiotics or Accutane which is unfortunate.
Edited by Heinstar

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I truely didn't grow out of acne until I was about 26, It was at it's peak at about 15-18, then died down steadly. You should try Accutane, for a few months if it doesn't work quit.

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So can anyone recommend me a good prescription topical cream for moderate to sever nodular and cystic acne other than 2.5% BP?
My plan is to try all of the best prescription topical creams available and if I still get breakouts of nodular or cystic acne which causes me skip school and work, then I’m going to consider going on 10mg Accutane.
Edited by Heinstar

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Men's daily pack- comes with saw palmetto, multi vitamin, vitamin d pill, l-arginine, and fish oil... It helped balance my hormones and get rid of the cystic acne... Could work for you

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I was totally moved by your first post because it related to me 100%.I just had to comment as it hit close to home for me. I cant tell you how sorry I feel for you right now. I'm 21 and still haven't outgrown acne either. My derm gave me a choice two years ago whether I wanted to go on a low dose of accutane (called this in Ireland) or try more topicals. I told him Id go home and think about it, I was fed up of trying things from him and to be honest I was so incredibly scared of the side effects of accutane. That same day I did my own research online and ended up ordering Dans regimen.I wasn't expecting it to work because my acne was so stubborn (mild-moderate) and I had become so dependent on prescriptions. I've been on it since and can honestly say, two years down the line I'm totally clear aside from a few leftover marks which I call my "battle scars" lmao! Please just give it a try, I know things are going pretty rough for you right now but give it a chance to work. In the end, the regimen saved me (sorry for the cheesyness) but it really did. I too skipped school and college. I thought guys were asking me out as a joke. I became extremely depressed and withdrawn, I had no friends at all. People thought I was being stuck up but I was actually too shy. I got severely bullied. I was too afraid to do anything that drew attention to myself because people would automatically stare me in the face. I ate my lunch in the toilet. -eww and ridiculous looking back. You name it I've done it, but the regimen has given me the confidence to rebuild my life from the ground up. Its been a long and difficult journey but I'm in a place where I'm finally ok with my life. I've started back going to college full time, I've made new friends, I go to parties, my depression and anxiety is gone. You can overcome this! I really hope everything works out for you and if you ever feel like crap just come on here and vent!

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I'm a 23 year old male and I've been dealing with moderate(sometimes close to sever) under the skin, nodular and cystic acne since I was 15. My acne was at its worst when I was was 16/17 in high school. I now have acne scars left on my face due to the severe acne that I had back in high school. My acne isn't as severe as back in high school anymore but I think that's partly because I've learnt to take care of my skin better.

My severity of Acne has:

  • lowered my self-esteem
  • made me avoid social interaction(I literally have zero friends right now)
  • made me skip work and school countless times
  • got bullied at school because of my acne
  • ended up taking too much vitamin A pills and having pain in my liver when I was desperate in getting rid of severe acne and trying everything over the counter(herbal supplement, vitamins etc.) when I was as a teenager. I think Acne.org didn't exist back then

This is what I'm currently doing to prevent my acne(ordered in most importance):

  1. Removing dirt, oil and dead skin cells with Proactive+ Step 1 Skin Smoothing Exfoliator and then applying The Regimen 2.5%BP twice a day
  2. not touching my acne/nodule/cysts
  3. not touching my face
  4. not letting anything dirty touch my face or neck(e.g. keeping my hair short)
  5. not letting my pores stay clogged for too long with sweat or oil
  6. not exercising. Either the sweat or wiping my face with a towel causing irritation or bacteria smearing causes acne the next day
  7. cover the pillow with a clean towel before bed and sleeping on my back
  8. eating vegetable soup(Red bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, broccolis, onions, mushrooms and chicken breast) every day
  9. avoiding dairy, wheat and junk food
  10. not drinking excessive coffee

If I don't follow the steps especially from 1 to 6, I get a acne under the skin, nodule or a cyst straight away. I only get acne on my cheeks and neck.

Acne is affecting my life in so many different ways. For example, I never travel with my family anymore because I won't be able to follow my acne prevention routine. I often get bad acne within days after exercising at the gym. I'm not sure if the acne is caused from the sweat or from the towel but I'm always scared of going to the gym because of it.

Recently, my acne has become out of control because we had to move to a different rent after our landlord went bankrupt and I've been stressed out and didn't have time to follow my acne prevention routine. While cleaning the house, my face was itchy and I accidentally scratched my cheek. The next day I developed a pustule acne on that spot.

I really need to figure out how to prevent my acne permanently. Because every time I get a bad acne, I always skip school and work; sometimes for weeks until my acne doesn't look ugly on my face anymore. I know I shouldn't skip school and work but I just can't handle people staring at my acne or looking at me in a peculiar way. When I built courage and went to work with bad acne, the coworker immediately picked up on my acne and started teasing me..

I want to get a laser treatment for my acne scars someday but I don't think I'll ever be able to do it since my acne doesn't seem to be going away and I'm almost 24 years old. I don't know if the dermatologist is going put me on Accutane since my acne isn't extremely severe and I don't really want to go on it either because of the potential side effects. But I may have to since it looks like I'll never be able to grow out of Acne.

I know that you should never pop your cystic Acne. But sometimes if I don't pop them, it gets bigger and more pustule and won't go away for months. So I sometimes pop them with a sterile needle and apply BP or Betadine on it. Sometimes my cystic Acne heals faster this way but other times it becomes uglier, more inflamed and pustule all over again.

I've ordered The regimen to see if it prevents my acne better than Proactiv. I have a feeling that even with The regimen, it won't completely prevent my acne and I probably still need to combine it with a prescription topical cream.

So I'm planning on going to a dermatologist soon and ask for a prescription topical cream to experiment on my face. What prescription topical cream(s) should I ask for? Also, could you give me recommendations on how I can prevent my acne/nodules/cysts better than I am doing now? Thank you.

I am so sorry for your troubles, sweet girl. :( I understand, completely. It can be such a battle and struggle, so frustrating and hopeless feeling.
This sums up my life with my acne issues, the past several years, I would say about 5 or more.....these are the obsessions that have held me captive.
is it my detergent?
is it my make-up?
is it something in my diet?
gluten?
caffeine?
sugar?
dairy?
red meat?
is it an allergy?
is it a chemical imbalance in my spine?
is it a hormonal imbalance?
is it just simply stress and anxiety?
is it my pillow case?
is it our water? too hard, too soft?
is the air in our home contaminated?
am I washing too little? too much?
am I using the right products? the right cleanser? the right moisturizer?
is this hereditary?
do I need to see a chiropractor and get adjusted?
am I just predisposed to acne?
is it the medications I'm on?
is it a curse or a punishment from God? ...I have seriosuly considered that. :(
So...I had enough. Enough with being a hermit and withdrawing from society. Enough time spent depressed and crying, curled up in my bed. Enough
time spent in the bathroom, over the sink, hunched over at my mirror, for hours each morning and hours at night. Enough missing out on things I
once loved to do, family gatherings, outdoor fun, perusing the mall, sports events, and other activities alike.Enough wasting time obsessing and
picking, when I could be with my husband and children. Enough with all the scabs and bleeding and oozing pus, flaking skin, white-head covered chin,
painful, cystic, infected acne, bee-sting lookin', chicken pox feelin' (pizza) face. :P
I had to make a DRASTIC change, one that SUCKED and HURT and was so freaking DIFFICULT, but I had to in order to pinpoint the problem, to find
the culprit(s) and to get an answer, find a solution once and for all.
So, this is what I did; 16 steps in all...
1. I stopped wearing make-up all together (yes, absolutely humiliating to go out in public with no foundation, but I have to... it's getting easier)
2. I swithched to free and clear, fragrance free detergent
3. I got my heart pumping for at least 30 min a day (yes, sucky, I know, to have to change all lifestyle habits, but very necessary)
4. I used only softened water
5. I did my best at NOT picking.
6. I got rid of all dairy, all sugar, all gluten/wheat, all caffeine, all red meat from my diet (This was/is most awful and torturous...UGHHHHH)
7. I started taking a probiotic, fish/flaxseed oil, vitamins, and turmeric everyday.
8. I started eating small meals/snacks every 2 hours, to keep my blood sugar levels from spiking and crashing.
9. I drank a sh** ton of water with fresh lemon juice and decaf green tea everyday, nothing else.
10. I slept on a clean towel over my pillowcase every night (at least 8 hours of sleep each night)
11. I went on birth control (Ortho-Tri-Cyclen or Yaz are the best, I've heard over and over.)
12. I only washed once in the morning, once at night, no matter what. Gently, with luke warm water. No hot water, no scrubbing.
13. I started saying positive affirmations out loud in the mirror (when self-defeating, negative chatter would fill my head)
14. I read positive, uplifting books, and concentrated on stress relief and deep breathing everywhere I went, continuously.
15. I went to the derm, got on the most gentle cleanser and the most gentle, oil-free moisturizer they had.
16. I mix just a pea size amount of CLAROR 2.5% Benzoyl Peroxide gel (best product ever from Amazon!) with my moisturizer, both day and night, to keep bad bacteria at bay.
Please do these things for a solid 60 days. Give it a shot whole-heartedly. I believe these things would/could cure anyone's acne, honestly, anyone's acne on the face of the planet. I wish you the very best. :)
* If you are concerned with sweat breaking you out....exercise in the morning right before washing your face and do the same at night, then you won't have to worry about sweat, salt, and oils sitting on your skin all day. Sweating actually opens up your pores and excretes toxins, salt and water. So it actually cleans out your pores...just wash RIGHT after!

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For my second appointment, I told my dermatologist that I stopped taking Accutane since I couldn’t handle the side effects which was depressive mood and fatigue. He looked a little surprised that I had depressive mood since he was skeptical about Accutane causing depression.
So I explained to him that I wanted to try the topical gels instead of Accutane and I asked him what kind of topical gels were the best for my acne. He basically said that the topical gels are ineffective for my cystic acne since they won't penetrate deep enough.
But I still tried to get the best prescription topical gel for my cystic acne as well as his opinion all of the Retinoid and Antibiotic topical gels available. So he suggested Epiduo since it has Retinoid and Benzoyl Peroxide combined.
He’s opinions other topical gels were...
Tretinoin - too harsh on the skin so Differin works better for acne.
Isotrex gel - isn’t available in Australia anymore probably due to low demand.
Clindamycin/Clindamycin and BP combo - useless for my cystic acne since it won’t penetrate deep enough.
Aczone/Dapson - He didn’t know about it so I couldn’t get his opinion on it.
After getting his opinions, he again stressed the fact that topical gels are useless for my acne. But I told him that I know it’s helping me because if I don't use Benzoyl Peroxide gel, I would get even more break outs. I tried to get prescription for few more topical gels but he didn’t recommend anything else other than Epiduo.
I asked if I could get a prescription paper for 10mg Accutane if I decide to take it again later on rather than having to make another appointment. But he told me he can’t do that since it’s a serious drug which I understand. I don’t remember exactly what he said but he said something along the lines of how 20mg is a really low dose compared to what he used to prescribe in the past and if I’m getting these side effects already, Accutane isn’t an option for me. He also said that the relapse risk is higher on a low dose which is why he likes to put patients on a higher dose so that the relapse risk is lower and the course finishes faster. So I think he was planning on putting me on a higher dose once I got used to 20mg. Since I couldn't even handle 20mg Accutane, I don’t think Accutane is for me.
When he was about to give me a prescription for Doxycycline, I told him that I prefer not to take Antibiotics since that’s not a good long-term solution for acne. He told me that’s the only option I have left until I grow out of acne. When he mentioned growing out of acne, I wanted to ask him if he really thinks I’ll be able to grow out of acne since I’m already almost 24 but still getting nodular/cystic acne. But I could't ask him that question since he kept on talking over me.
Now that I think about it, perhaps the dermatologist is right. Oral Antibiotic is the only option for me left. Although Antibiotics are unhealthy and has its own risks, the side effects are a lot less severe(at least for me) compared to Accutane. So I guess it’s not such a bad idea to cycle through Antibiotics until I grow out of acne. I’ve taken 200mg Minocycline for 6 months when I was 18 and I could tolerate it and I didn’t have any serious side effects. Although I did develop IBS, impacted colon, elongated colon and gastritis 3 years later which I’m not sure if it is related to the use of Antibiotics.
I’m taking Doxycycline now and I’m not noticing any side effects and it's very gentle on my body. I’m not getting any migraines, depressive mood/thoughts, fatigue or mental fogs like from Accutane. I wish my dermatologist had prescribed me Antibiotics instead of Accutane in the first place so that I didn’t have to suffer. My toenails has become stained even though I've only took Accutane for 5 days and the stain hasn’t faded away yet even though it has been almost a month.
My only concern with Antibiotics is that I’m not too sure if I’m going to grow out of acne in the near future. Two years ago, I actually had less acne break outs and I used to eat unhealthy and only needed to use Neutrogena Deep Clean Foaming Cleanser. But now, no matter how healthy I eat and how much Benzoyl Peroxide I put on my face, I keep getting cystic acne break outs. So my acne isn't getting any better as I'm getting older.
Edited by Heinstar

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I told my dermatologist that I stopped taking Accutane since I couldn’t handle the side effects which was depressive mood and fatigue. He looked a little surprised that I had depressive mood since he was skeptical about Accutane causing depression.
So I explained that I wanted to try the topical gels instead and I asked him what the best topical gel for my acne was. He basically said that topical gels are ineffective for me since they won't penetrate deep enough for my cystic acne.
But I still tried to get the best prescription topical gel for my acne as well as his opinion all of the Retinoid and Antibiotic topical gels available. So he recommended Epiduo since it has Retinoid and Benzoyl Peroxide combined.
He’s other opinion other topical gels were:
Tretinoin - too harsh on the skin so Differin works better for acne.
Isotrex gel - isn’t available in Australia anymore probably due to low demand.
Clindamycin/Clindamycin and BP combo - useless for my cystic acne because it won’t penetrate deep enough.
Aczone/Dapson - He didn’t know about it so I couldn’t get his opinion on it.
After getting his opinions, he again stressed the fact that topical gels are useless for my acne. But I told him that I know it’s helping me because if I don't use Benzoyl Peroxide gel, I would get more break outs. I tried to get prescription for other few more topical gels to experiment with but he didn’t recommend anything else other than Epiduo.
I asked if I could get a prescription for 10mg Accutane if I decide to go on later rather than having to make another appointment but he told me he can’t do that since it’s a serious drug which I understand. I don’t remember exactly what he said but he said something about how 20mg is a really low dose and if I’m getting these side effects already, Accutane isn’t an option for me. He also believes that the relapse rate is higher on a low dose, so I think he was going to put me on a higher dose once I got used to 20mg. Since I couldn't even handle 20mg Accutane, I don’t think Accutane is for me.
When he was about to give me a prescription for Doxycycline, I told him that I prefer not to take Antibiotics since that’s not a good long-term solution for acne. He said that’s the only option I have left until I grow out of acne. When he mentioned growing out of acne, I wanted to ask him if he really thinks I’ll be able to grow out of acne since I’m already almost 24 but still getting nodular/cystic acne. But I gave up on asking that question because he kept on talking on top of me.
Now that I think about it, perhaps the dermatologist is right. Antibiotics are the only option for me at this point. Although Antibiotics are unhealthy and has its own risks, the side effects are a lot less severe(at least for me) compared to Accutane. So I guess it’s not a bad idea to cycle through Antibiotics until I grow out of acne. I’ve taken 200mg Minocycline for 6 months when I was 18 and I could tolerate it and I didn’t have any serious side effects. Although I did develop IBS, impacted colon, elongated colon and gastritis 3 years later which I’m not sure if it is related to the use of Antibiotics.
I’m taking Doxycycline now and I’m not noticing any side effects and it's very gentle on my body. I’m not getting any migraines, depressive mood/thoughts, fatigue or mental fogs like from Accutane. I wish my dermatologist had prescribed me this instead of Accutane in the first place so that I didn’t have to suffer. My toenails has become stained even though I've only took Accutane for 5 days and the stain hasn’t faded away yet even though it has been almost a month.
My only concern with Antibiotics is that I’m not too sure if I’m going to grow out of acne in the near future. Two years ago, I actually didn’t have that much acne break outs and I used to eat unhealthy and only needed to use Neutrogena salicylic acid face wash. But now, no matter how healthy I eat and how much Benzoyl Peroxide I put on my face, I keep getting cystic acne break outs.

what is your diet ? fluoride toothpaste can cause cyst acne too

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I told my dermatologist that I stopped taking Accutane since I couldn’t handle the side effects which was depressive mood and fatigue. He looked a little surprised that I had depressive mood since he was skeptical about Accutane causing depression.
So I explained that I wanted to try the topical gels instead and I asked him what the best topical gel for my acne was. He basically said that topical gels are ineffective for me since they won't penetrate deep enough for my cystic acne.
But I still tried to get the best prescription topical gel for my acne as well as his opinion all of the Retinoid and Antibiotic topical gels available. So he recommended Epiduo since it has Retinoid and Benzoyl Peroxide combined.
He’s other opinion other topical gels were:
Tretinoin - too harsh on the skin so Differin works better for acne.
Isotrex gel - isn’t available in Australia anymore probably due to low demand.
Clindamycin/Clindamycin and BP combo - useless for my cystic acne because it won’t penetrate deep enough.
Aczone/Dapson - He didn’t know about it so I couldn’t get his opinion on it.
After getting his opinions, he again stressed the fact that topical gels are useless for my acne. But I told him that I know it’s helping me because if I don't use Benzoyl Peroxide gel, I would get more break outs. I tried to get prescription for other few more topical gels to experiment with but he didn’t recommend anything else other than Epiduo.
I asked if I could get a prescription for 10mg Accutane if I decide to go on later rather than having to make another appointment but he told me he can’t do that since it’s a serious drug which I understand. I don’t remember exactly what he said but he said something about how 20mg is a really low dose and if I’m getting these side effects already, Accutane isn’t an option for me. He also believes that the relapse rate is higher on a low dose, so I think he was going to put me on a higher dose once I got used to 20mg. Since I couldn't even handle 20mg Accutane, I don’t think Accutane is for me.
When he was about to give me a prescription for Doxycycline, I told him that I prefer not to take Antibiotics since that’s not a good long-term solution for acne. He said that’s the only option I have left until I grow out of acne. When he mentioned growing out of acne, I wanted to ask him if he really thinks I’ll be able to grow out of acne since I’m already almost 24 but still getting nodular/cystic acne. But I gave up on asking that question because he kept on talking on top of me.
Now that I think about it, perhaps the dermatologist is right. Antibiotics are the only option for me at this point. Although Antibiotics are unhealthy and has its own risks, the side effects are a lot less severe(at least for me) compared to Accutane. So I guess it’s not a bad idea to cycle through Antibiotics until I grow out of acne. I’ve taken 200mg Minocycline for 6 months when I was 18 and I could tolerate it and I didn’t have any serious side effects. Although I did develop IBS, impacted colon, elongated colon and gastritis 3 years later which I’m not sure if it is related to the use of Antibiotics.
I’m taking Doxycycline now and I’m not noticing any side effects and it's very gentle on my body. I’m not getting any migraines, depressive mood/thoughts, fatigue or mental fogs like from Accutane. I wish my dermatologist had prescribed me Antibiotics instead of Accutane in the first place so that I didn’t have to suffer. My toenails has become stained even though I've only took Accutane for 5 days and the stain hasn’t faded away yet even though it has been almost a month.
My only concern with Antibiotics is that I’m not too sure if I’m going to grow out of acne in the near future. Two years ago, I actually didn’t have that much acne break outs and I used to eat unhealthy and only needed to use Neutrogena salicylic acid face wash. But now, no matter how healthy I eat and how much Benzoyl Peroxide I put on my face, I keep getting cystic acne break outs.

dude get off the antibiotics and try the 'natural route' instead. You can try doing a IGg food intolerance test (by blood not some weird way) which is fairly expensive but I'm going to do it for my IBS symptoms in January. You can do a hormone saliva test. You need to figure out what is causing this. You can try diet (if you haven't already), this should be your first step. You can try homeopathy (cured my eczema when I was a kid). If you're constipated maybe that is the answer, so try to figure that out first. (I heard that some colon cleanse with psyllium and bentonite clay is great for that - haven't really tried it but some other girl that has pretty severe acne tried it and it worked great for her). I have IBS stuff too but it is getting better (even on Accutane, low does 20mg/day).

Naturally, there is a jungle out there and don't believe every 'naturopathic "doctor" there is, because that is a business as well. But people have gone the 'natural' route and have been really successful too. I think you can do both.

You can also check out http://www.acneeinstein.com/ ... He advocates a lot for green tea and the gut connection, maybe start there.

Whatever you do don't feel like this is ruling your life, I do believe there is an answer for you too you just need to find it.

Good luck!

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@il90, You were totally right. I've officially put my severe acne into permanent remission after juicing vegetables. I no longer have to rely on Doxycyline or Benzoyl Peroxide to control my cystic acne anymore. I can even sleep on my dirty pillow without worrying about getting acne the next morning. I can also go to the gym frequently now since I no longer get breakouts from the sweat. As long as I keep juicing few times a week, my skin seems to stay completely clear. In fact, juicing seems to be a superior treatment for my acne than Accutane, Antibiotics and Benzoyl Peroxide combined!
Why didn't any of my doctors or dermatologist tell me this if they're so called "expert" at treating acne, were they hiding this information so that they can shove drugs down my throat? If I knew something as simple as juicing would cure my acne, I wouldn't even have agreed to take Accutane and risk damaging my brain and body... In fact, I feel like my cognition and personality has slightly changed and I don't feel the same anymore after taking Accutane. I deeply regret taking Accutane and I wish I hadn't.
I knew that the inflammations from my gut were the cause of my acne and I was right all along. This is the reason why I don't trust the doctors, their priority is to push drugs down our throat so that they get money in their pockets and they could care less about other safer alternatives even if it's just as effective.
Not only did Accutane cause severe depression and memory problems while I was on it, but I couldn’t even remember a simple 4 digit number at work which is the reason why I had to stop taking it after 5 days. After I stopped Accutane, my doctor insisted that I should go back on it but I refused and I'm glad I did. The side effects from Accutane was a very traumatic experience for me and if I had the money, I'd sue Roche for ruining so many people's lives.

Edited by Heinstar

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I told my dermatologist that I stopped taking Accutane since I couldn’t handle the side effects which was depressive mood and fatigue. He looked a little surprised that I had depressive mood since he was skeptical about Accutane causing depression.
So I explained that I wanted to try the topical gels instead and I asked him what the best topical gel for my acne was. He basically said that topical gels are ineffective for me since they won't penetrate deep enough for my cystic acne.
But I still tried to get the best prescription topical gel for my acne as well as his opinion all of the Retinoid and Antibiotic topical gels available. So he recommended Epiduo since it has Retinoid and Benzoyl Peroxide combined.
He’s other opinion other topical gels were:
Tretinoin - too harsh on the skin so Differin works better for acne.
Isotrex gel - isn’t available in Australia anymore probably due to low demand.
Clindamycin/Clindamycin and BP combo - useless for my cystic acne because it won’t penetrate deep enough.
Aczone/Dapson - He didn’t know about it so I couldn’t get his opinion on it.
After getting his opinions, he again stressed the fact that topical gels are useless for my acne. But I told him that I know it’s helping me because if I don't use Benzoyl Peroxide gel, I would get more break outs. I tried to get prescription for other few more topical gels to experiment with but he didn’t recommend anything else other than Epiduo.
I asked if I could get a prescription for 10mg Accutane if I decide to go on later rather than having to make another appointment but he told me he can’t do that since it’s a serious drug which I understand. I don’t remember exactly what he said but he said something about how 20mg is a really low dose and if I’m getting these side effects already, Accutane isn’t an option for me. He also believes that the relapse rate is higher on a low dose, so I think he was going to put me on a higher dose once I got used to 20mg. Since I couldn't even handle 20mg Accutane, I don’t think Accutane is for me.
When he was about to give me a prescription for Doxycycline, I told him that I prefer not to take Antibiotics since that’s not a good long-term solution for acne. He said that’s the only option I have left until I grow out of acne. When he mentioned growing out of acne, I wanted to ask him if he really thinks I’ll be able to grow out of acne since I’m already almost 24 but still getting nodular/cystic acne. But I gave up on asking that question because he kept on talking on top of me.
Now that I think about it, perhaps the dermatologist is right. Antibiotics are the only option for me at this point. Although Antibiotics are unhealthy and has its own risks, the side effects are a lot less severe(at least for me) compared to Accutane. So I guess it’s not a bad idea to cycle through Antibiotics until I grow out of acne. I’ve taken 200mg Minocycline for 6 months when I was 18 and I could tolerate it and I didn’t have any serious side effects. Although I did develop IBS, impacted colon, elongated colon and gastritis 3 years later which I’m not sure if it is related to the use of Antibiotics.
I’m taking Doxycycline now and I’m not noticing any side effects and it's very gentle on my body. I’m not getting any migraines, depressive mood/thoughts, fatigue or mental fogs like from Accutane. I wish my dermatologist had prescribed me Antibiotics instead of Accutane in the first place so that I didn’t have to suffer. My toenails has become stained even though I've only took Accutane for 5 days and the stain hasn’t faded away yet even though it has been almost a month.
My only concern with Antibiotics is that I’m not too sure if I’m going to grow out of acne in the near future. Two years ago, I actually didn’t have that much acne break outs and I used to eat unhealthy and only needed to use Neutrogena salicylic acid face wash. But now, no matter how healthy I eat and how much Benzoyl Peroxide I put on my face, I keep getting cystic acne break outs.

dude get off the antibiotics and try the 'natural route' instead. You can try doing a IGg food intolerance test (by blood not some weird way) which is fairly expensive but I'm going to do it for my IBS symptoms in January. You can do a hormone saliva test. You need to figure out what is causing this. You can try diet (if you haven't already), this should be your first step. You can try homeopathy (cured my eczema when I was a kid). If you're constipated maybe that is the answer, so try to figure that out first. (I heard that some colon cleanse with psyllium and bentonite clay is great for that - haven't really tried it but some other girl that has pretty severe acne tried it and it worked great for her). I have IBS stuff too but it is getting better (even on Accutane, low does 20mg/day).

Naturally, there is a jungle out there and don't believe every 'naturopathic "doctor" there is, because that is a business as well. But people have gone the 'natural' route and have been really successful too. I think you can do both.

You can also check out http://www.acneeinstein.com/ ... He advocates a lot for green tea and the gut connection, maybe start there.

Whatever you do don't feel like this is ruling your life, I do believe there is an answer for you too you just need to find it.

Good luck!

You were totally right. I've officially cured my acne through juicing vegetables. I no longer have to rely on Doxycyline or Benzoyl Peroxide to control my cystic acne anymore. I can even sleep on my dirty pillow without worrying about getting acne the next morning. I can also go to the gym frequently now since I no longer get breakouts. As long as I keep juicing, my skin seems to stay clear.
Why didn't any of my doctors or dermatologist tell me this?? If I knew something as simple as juicing would cure my acne, I wouldn't have agreed to take Accutane and risk damaging my brain and body..I knew that the inflammations from my gut were the cause of my acne and I was right all along. This is why I don't trust the doctors, their priority is to push drugs down our throat so that they get money in their pockets and they don't consider other safer alternatives even if it's just as effective.

Really? I'm so happy for you!! I'm also juicing... Have been for about 2.5 months everyday...

I got a pimple (I think), no pus but it is red and in my hairline. Super worried about that.

How did jucing work for you? I'm sure a lot of people want to know. Like, for how long? How much (i.e. a quart or a litre)? What vegetables did you use? Do you still get acne but lesser or did it stop completely, if so, when?

Haha. I'm interested. There isn't a lot about jucing and acne! I like it though regardless it gives me a ton of energy :P

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I've been juicing for 4 weeks. I usually juice 2 - 3 times a week which is enough to control my acne, but obviously it's going to be better if you juice daily.

Juicing seems to be so much more effective in controlling my acne than eating vegetables. Because before, I was eating as many vegetables as I could throughout the day which was very time consuming and I was still getting breakouts here and there. But after juicing, I haven't gotten any breakouts at all and it takes less effort.

I typically juice Carrots, Celery, Red Capsicum, Beetroot, Asparagus and Ginger.

But there's more anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory rich vegetables that you can juice which might help with acne even more.

Some of other good vegetables/herbs to juice are: Turmeric, Swiss chard, Spinach, Tomato, Red Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, Lemon/Lime etc.
You can learn more about the benefits of each vegetables/herbs/fruits here: http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php
Just watchout for goitrogens and oxalates which might be an issue with some people. So go easy on the leafy greens first.
You can learn more about which juicer is right for you here: https://www.youtube.com/user/rawfoods

I think any juicer should work but you'll get more nutrients out of the vegetables with a masticating juicer which is what I'm using. I haven't got any breakouts ever since I've started juicing which I still can't believe it myself considering how severe my acne was.

Edited by Heinstar

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I guess my severe acne must have been caused by my gut issues inhibiting my body's ability to absorb adequete vitamins & minerals to keep my skin clear. Because I've completely stopped juicing vegetables due to laziness and I've been eating pretty unhealthy as well. But since I'm supplementing with vitamins & minerals, I'm still not getting any acne. I don't know which vitamin is helping my acne, but these are the supplements I'm currently taking. Either the vitmains are keeping my skin clear directly, or it's keeping my skin acne free by balancing my hormones. I'm not taking any Vitamin A though since I've become to Vitamin A now after going on roaccutane. Having said all of this, my skin was clearer while I was juicing but the blemishes I get isn't that bad so it doesn't bother me. So in conclusion, juicing keeps my skin 100% clear but supplementing with vitamins also keeps my skin 99% clear of cystic acne. Both work significantly better than antibiotics/topical gels.

Edited by Heinstar

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i am so happy to hear natural ways helped you. what do you mean by juicing? is it juiving without eating any food? i mean what we call detox?

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i am so happy to hear natural ways helped you. what do you mean by juicing? is it juiving without eating any food? i mean what we call detox?

No, just juicing as part of my healthy diet. I've never done detox before.

Haven't been juicing for the past 2 months and eating terribly but I'm still not getting any acne. The only thing I'm doing is supplementing with vitamins & minerals. I still can't believe I've cured my chronic severe acne through juicing/supplementing with vitamins. What was the point of me paying a lot of money to see a dermatologist only to suffer from nasty side effects from roaccutane? I don't even know anymore.

Edited by Heinstar

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Side effects I've experienced from Roaccutane

Day 1

  • Extreme irritability and uncontrollable anger half an hour after taking the first pill. I snapped and yelled at my mom for no reason and I couldn’t control my anger.
  • Migraine and nausea after drinking coffee few hours after taking Accutane which lasted 5 hours.

Day 2

  • Significantly worsened memory, I couldn’t even remember the 4 digit number that I always use at work.
  • Severe depression. I started crying in middle of the day for no reason.
  • Extreme fatigue all day. (E.g. I couldn’t exercise for more than 20 minutes on a Treadmill when I normally exercise for 50 minutes.)
  • Feeling of unwellness like I was dying.

Day 3, 4 and 5

  • Same as day 2
I eventually quit on Day 5 due to not been able to deal with the above side effects.

It's been over 6 months since I've stopped taking Roaccutane and I've noticed a several side effects still persisting:

  • Coffee doesn’t stimulate me as well it used to. Coffee doesn’t provide the same motivation, concentration and energy boost that it used to give me prior to going on Roaccutane.
  • I’ve become a lot more impersonal, apathetic and prone to depression and anxiety. [sSRIs has fixed the issue]
  • I couldn’t concentrate on my studies anymore and I’ve lost motivation to study this year and dropped out of University even though the workload is the same as last year.
  • I don’t enjoy music as much as I used to. [sSRIs has fixed the issue]
  • Both my toenail has been permanently stained.
Edited by Heinstar

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