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Boston Shore

32 y/o male - Pityrosporum Folliculitis/Acne on Forearms - Claravis/Accutane Info-log

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Hello all,

I've been suffering from acne/folliculitis for the better part of my late 20s and now early 30s. I didn't really know it was a severe case of folliculitis until I had 3 biopsies done. I've tried just about everything under the sun and my third dermatologist finally had enough and sent me to a dermatology center where 45 different dermatologists & students came in to review both my Pathology report but also to see my skin in person. I felt like a circus animal on display having that many people come in to look at my skin but it made me feel better that my third dermatologist took this seriously and escalated it to that level. 

Pathology report deemed that I have a Perforating Folliculitis consistent with Superfical Pustural Folliculitis. They also noted that Infiltrating Keratosis Pilaris is also possible.

That lab report came from my first dermatologist who put me first on Bactrim and then Keflex, both which have failed. He then told me that this was a 'genetic' thing and that it's been passed down to me. I found this to be nonsense since neither one of my parents or grandparents have this issue. He also prescribed Retin-A cream (Unbelievably expensive even if you have top class insurance. CVS was making me do $70 co-pay!) which I've used for a year but it also failed.

Second dermatologist put me on Fluconozale and Ketoconozale shampoo for a year but that treatment also failed.

Fast forward to dermatologist #3 who rolled in with 45 other professionals = They decided Claravis will have to be my next treatment since antibiotics and topicals failed. They also said I likely have 
Pityrosporum Folliculitis which was confusing because biopsy report said it was Perforating Folliculitis with Superficial Pustural Folliculitis. WTF. Seriously

Here's a list of other things I've tried and which didn't do anything for my acne/folliculitis:

  • Clindamycin (It helps bring them down but I've had to use it for YEARS and it no longer seems as effective.)
  • Erythromycin
  • Keflex
  • Bactrim
  • Hibiclens (expensive, didn't help at all)
  • Ketoconozale Shampoo
  • Salicylic acid
  • Tea-tree
  • Neem (soap & capsules)
  • Benzol Peroxide
  • Mupirocin
  • Doxycycline
  • Various different soaps.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Essentials Oils

I've also tried everything from not drinking booze, avoiding sugar for a year to eating mostly salads and no meat. I'm lactose intolerant so I avoid dairy as is. Diet didn't seem to have anything to do with this which was confirmed by all 3 dermatologists.

It's worth noting that this issue only attacks my forearms, shoulders and upper back. My face is almost always clear, if I get a zit, it's usually near my mouth so I presume it's because of food oils and grease.

My biggest horror is my arms as you can see in the attached photo. I work in a big company and have to present in front of board-room members every week so wearing long sleeve shirts is getting annoying and wearing summer shirts exposes my arms which scream 'LOOK AT THIS' since these red spots are so big and my skin is super light.

I know acne/folliculitis affects many people in different ways but has anyone dealt with it absolutely destroying your arms and back? These things are really painful and super itchy.

I just completed 30 days worth of Claravis (40mg per day) and my skin became super dry (lips are the worst). Other side effects I am experiencing are pressure headache at back of my head (really annoying and painful) and random stomach cramps that last some 10-15 minutes. I am starting my second month today and have four more to go. 

I guess I am looking for some reassurance that Claravis will work and I will again have clean arms and back. This issue has been destroying my self-esteem for the past 5-6 years to the point where I have stopped dating. I've never been depressed in my life but being plagued with this issue in my adult life has been absolutely brutal. 

Thanks for your help, support and comments! I wish you all the best of luck with Isotretinoin treatment.



Edited by Boston Shore
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10 days later.. it's coming out again. I am not sure if this is my IB or just the way it always hits me every 30 days or so.

As you can see in the attached photo, my right forearm is extremely inflamed. Dermatologist said he'd prescribe Clindaymacin to help.

Is this a taste of things to come? I am currently on day 40.


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Hi there, just wanted to say that I also have suffered with folliculitis and also hidradenitis suppurativa (as well as standard cystic acne and also rosacea). Mine has been focused on my legs/inner thighs, though. Accutane is supposed to help with all of this. 

And I think itchiness is definitely a thing. I find I have to moisturize EVERYTHING upon getting out of the shower daily, which I've never had to do in my life.

Good luck! Keep posting updates! 

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bigappleedubs, thank you for your support! 

Itchiness is sadly still occurring on some new red/yellow spots appearing on my upper back and upper arms. I am using Clindamycin to help dry them out but it takes awhile and they're definitely leaving scars I've never had before.

I'm on about day 45 -- doc said liver is all good. Hoping for the best. 

Latest photo is pretty discouraging and it's seriously damaging my self esteem. :new_smiley_18: I find myself turning redder and redder in face but breakouts are still only happening on left arm & upper shoulders/back. I am thankful it's still ok to wear long sleeve shirts and I am really hopeful this is Claravis pushing all the bad stuff out. It's been 45 days and these breakouts have never been this bad. 


Edited by Boston Shore
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Dude! You are the first person I have ever seen who appears to have the same problem as I do! I've had pimiles and red bumps like this all over my forearm and upper arms for about two years ago and have tried all the same things that you have tried. My self esteem I almost feel like is permenantly damaged from years of being afraid of my arms being seen, I used to body build but I stopped once this got bad so I felt like this was ruining my life.
Iv had probably 10 different diagnoses and 20 different meds, all of which you named above that didn't work at all.
I currently am on Claravis and am on more 3rd month, it doesn't go away immediately, actually a month in a had terrible breakouts, 2 months in it started slowing, now three months in my arms are (were) completely clear and smooth  (although covered in scars) until today actually I took off my sweatshirt to find a bumb on my right forearm. I'm pissed but I know this stuff is working and I hope it won't last longer...

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On 3/11/2016 at 8:01 PM, Marko43431 said:

Dude! You are the first person I have ever seen who appears to have the same problem as I do!

Marko -- I wish I could say it's nice to find someone else with the same problem as I do but I feel your pain! Much like you, I've stopped lifting and going to the gym largely because I was told that sweating makes this issue much worse. It sucks because I really love working out. 

Did your dermatologist talk about getting rid of scars after the treatment is over? I know Retin-A is supposed to help with that but I used it before I got on Claravis and it didn't do much for my arms. It did help with my forehead scars though. I know some people suggest laser treatments for clearing up scars but I'm yet to research it further.

How are your side effects besides dryness? I have horrible joint pains and pressure headaches at back of my head. I got 3 more months to go and I really hope this is all leading to promise land.

My biggest fear is finally getting clear skin for a month or so then having a relapse. I'd really love to start going back to the gym but I'm terrified that too much sweating will bring this PF/acne demon back.

Good luck, man! 

  Edited by Boston Shore
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Same feeling, I'm scared this may be a temporary fix... 
But it seems like you are actually experiencing more side effects than I am but it affects everyone differently. I haven't had any joint pain and only a few short lasting headaches.
the only side effect I have is dryness, everywhere but for my face luckily one moisturization per day seems to keep it fine, my nose is extremely dry it is actually the worst part, it bleeds daily. My lips are always chapped and I have cuts on both of the creases on the sides of my lips that have been there for over a month, I'm used to it though at this point the side effects are tolerable.

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I am beyond discouraged and depressed at this point. My left arm is getting worse and worse. Now it's showing up as these big red rash looking things vs yellow/red bumps like before.

Dermatologist said 'oh maybe its bacteria on your arm' and told me to use Benzol Peroxyde to wash. I used it for 5 days and it really dried out my skin. Now, if I try to use it, my arm BURNS like someone set it on fire. If I try to apply Cetaphil, it also burns. If I put Aloe Vera, it stings and burns like hell too.

What the hell is going on? :smileys_n_people_59:

I literally feel like this is hopeless and I've never been more depressed in my entire life.


Edited by Boston Shore
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Hey man, how are you doing with your treatment? I'm on month 6, haven't gotten a single thing for almost 2 months until I woke up this morning with a big red bump on the back of my upper right arm..

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On 5/28/2016 at 7:35 PM, Marko43431 said:

Hey man, how are you doing with your treatment? I'm on month 6, haven't gotten a single thing for almost 2 months until I woke up this morning with a big red bump on the back of my upper right arm..

Hey dude, nice to hear from you. I'm afraid we're in the same zone. It sucks. I woke up last week and noticed a new red bump on my left arm. The same repeating arm from before. I went to see my dermatologist and he gave me some type of injection directly into the spot. He also took a culture test and said it came back negative. |::wall:

I hate how badly my left arm is scaring. I am secretly wishing summer gets over ASAP just so I can go back to wearing long sleeved shirts. Dermatologist set me up with some laser doctor or whatever. I think last resort may be trying to combat this with laser treatments. 

This is beyond frustrating. Wishing you well, man. Keep in touch. Edited by Boston Shore
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Forgot to note -- now that he's doubled my dose (40mg in morning and 40mg at night) my hips/sides hurt like hell. I feel like an old-man when I walk around. I hope this goes away soon and my left arm looks like it's been through the war. 

Edited by Boston Shore
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Hi everyone,

Just thought I share an update after my 5-6 months on Claravis. It's been a hellish roller-coaster for sure, but I can honestly say that Claravis worked on me (for most part). I  don't want to jinx this demon-beast so I should note that I have another month to go which will total 7 months. I am hopeful this issue never again comes back. It's been almost 10 years of this crap and I feel like I'm super close to promise land.

As you can see in my recent photo, no new bumps have risen but they have surely left scars. I'm told scars will 'fall off' but I think this will take at least few years unless I resort to laser correction or something of that sort.

On the photo, you'll see a purplish new scar. This came after I went to see my dermatologist last month and told him I have a new bump. This was the ONLY new bump, mind you, but it just happened to be on the same arm that always been a problem so I naturally got frustrated. Dermatologist then took out some needle and injected me with whatever was inside. It turned the skin FLAT after a week and now looks purple/pinkish but hey.. no new bumps since then. 

I know Web is full of crazy side-effect stories when it comes to this treatment but I honestly didn't feel too many besides the well known ones (dry-lips, get CORTIBALM for it, it's awesome!, dry/flaky face (Cetaphil is your friend!), joint-pains (ah well, it's not crippling or anything), and few pressure headaches that only lasted about a week or two.) -- Again, as far as side effects go, I don't think this was anything earth-shattering and they hurt less than lets say say.. being completely hungover from too much booze. Fair enough?

It's important to note that I didn't really change anything about my diet except cutting out beer. I know Claravis is supposed to be heavy on your liver but I've spent every Friday having drinks (tequila or whiskey) all while having my liver checked every month via my Dermatologist and not once did he tell me to cut back or quit. I don't know if this means I have a liver capable of massive ass-kicking or something else.. B)

Another cool thing to note is that I haven't gotten a single red bump on my face. It used to happen here and there but nothing at all since I started Claravis. I think I noticed one on my forehead but sucker went away under 24 hours. It felt like magic. 

While I'm sorta blah about my scars (being super white and all), I rather deal with fading marks then have to wake up to new itchy red bumps on a daily/weekly basis.

I really hope I'm not jinxing myself with this post. I'll be back next month with another update.

Good luck to all! I'm rooting for you. :smileys_n_people_107:  :D


Success! (FFS please last!!!)



Edited by Boston Shore
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After having clear-skin for only 9 months, the relapse has begun. 3 bright itchy ones on my back. 2 on my shoulder and 2 on my same repeating arm as last time. 

It appears that Claravis only worked for less than a year. 

Words cannot express how much I hate this.

Edit: Three more on the chest. Work is stressful so I imagine that could be causing this, otherwise, Claravis seems to have only worked for a bit. Hard to tell what's true.
Edited by Boston Shore
Relapse. Claravis only worked for 9 months.
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Hey Boston, just stumbled across this searching for a solution as I have the exact same problem that has persisted for roughly 3-4 years now. I noticed there hasn’t been any updates on your journey since 2017 and would like to know how you are doing and if you have solved the problem. I’m 20 years old and am a National level NPC bodybuilder and I too and been put into a state of depression due to this reoccurring thing that covers both my arms/forearms and thighs. I’ve been to 3 different dermatologist over the years and have used every topical and oral treatment in the book. And no treatment has ever cleared my skin for longer than 2 weeks at the max. Most don’t even clear it at all. I also try have resorted to wearing long shirts to try to cover the area and my self esteem is shot down the second I have to wear short sleeves due to me also have light toned skin. We have also determined that these are in absolutely no relation to me shaving or wearing tight/close fitting clothes as I quit shaving altogether for 7-8 months, and stopped wearing close fitting clothes and it still persisted just like it did before. I also don’t ever have pimples or acne on my face, but will have one or two pop up from time to time, but they always go away and never leave scars. I’m at the point to where i don’t care if i have scars on my arms anymore, i just want them to go away because i already am covered in light pink, purple, and white scars from this stuff. I’ve spent countless amounts of time and money to try to fight this and have stopped dating. It has effected my entire social life to the point I’m anti-social in a way. Which is kills me because I love to meet new people and be social. 

The attached photos are some of my rather large ones, but most aren’t usually this large. And I dont have a pic showing my entire arm, but you can see some old ones that have scabbed over and numerous scars in the background of the attached photos. The last photo is the most recent one as was taken yesterday morning when I just woke up to another massive one on my forearm  

Would love to see how you are doing so I can have some hope for the future. Much love! 




Edited by P3yton S
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Hi all, I’m dealing with the same issue. My arms and legs are all scarred up.


ive thought about actually getting hair removal on my forearms thinking it might help.

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I had Keratosis Pilaris on my upper arms and used Amlactin. It went away in a month or two. 

I also used some type of cleanser (I think it was Glytone KP cleanser) but I think it was Amlactin that did it. I can't be sure because I used them concurrently. 

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Hello guys,

I have similar problem.i know it is a long shot but have you ever thought that you have gum problems?

So what I did.

I started swishing 1part hydrogen peroxide 10%vol 3 parts water or go hard core pure hyrdogen peroxyde .

Believe it or not all zits went away.

I still cannot find a doctor to discuss my theory.

My theory is that gum bacteria infiltrated your blood stream and them causes immune reaction that shows up on the skin.

It will not harm you to try.try it for one week morning and evening and see if you will have any effect.at first the body will react radically and then they will start healing.

Please let me know of your results if you try it.

Good luck to all.

I know you said food is not the issue but can you be sure that it is not some sort of gluten intolerance?


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