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Hi there, 

So, I'm new to this whole accutane business and I have asked all my questions to my google search bar, and to no avail, have received 0 reassurance or certainty in the answers I have found. So, here we are. Welcome. 

What's my story? Well I've suffered from hormonal and genetically induced acne since about the age of 12 or 13. It started as localized breakouts mainly in my T-zone (forehead, chin and multiple blackheads on the nose). Those on my forehead and chin were often cystic, large and painful. I'd only have maybe one or two at a time though, along with an array of smaller bumps and nodules all over the rest of the area. My cheeks and jawline though were basically clear and smooth my entire life. 

That was, until I started taking a birth control pill last December. I was getting frustrated with the persistency of my acne, and had heard that a birth control pill could help relief the severity and consistency of my breakouts. I started on Lolo and it gave me the worst rashes on my face! It was red and itchy and painful and it was the first time I had experienced acne and rosacea on this area of my face (lower jawline, either side). 

After this initial experience I was horrified and immediately stopped taking the drug, as I also had read that that particular pill was known for causing inflammation of acne. I then proceeded to move onto Yaz. Fellow acne soldiers, I'm sure you have heard of this birth control, as it is very popular as a means of acne treatment (actually marketed more as such, rather than a method of contraception). I was more optimistic about this one because of the research I had conducted, but to my disappointment, failed also after a grave 3 months. 

Lastly, I chose to resort to a more generic pill, known as Alesse. Alesse is your basic beginner birth control, no crazy hormone levels or specific purposes. And this worked great for about 2 weeks. I have no idea if it actually even did anything, but there was a brief period in the summer that my complexion, while still dotted with scars and patchy red spots, was basically bump-free. This only lasted a short while though, until I began to breakout again in the lower half of my face and cystic, under-the-skin, painful zits on the sides of my cheeks. These continued into later months and unfortunately, became a new reality. 

At this point, I was basically ready to give up. The only thing left to try was Accutane. I had been begging to be perscribed accutane from the beginning, when topical cream after topical cream continued to have no impact on my skin. When the Doc finally gave me the thumbs up I literally could've wept right there in his office. 

My sister had a great experience with Accutane a little less than a year ago. Suffering from extremely severe cystic acne covering most of her face from a young age, she started on Accutane in the 10th grade and saw improvements almost immediately. I was inspired and, jealous of course. 

Anyways, back to now. I am currently on Day 44 of my Accutane treatment of 30mg a day, once a day. I started on 20mg, 10mg twice a day for the first month. For the first week or so, I saw no differences in my skin. Everything seemed fine, my lips had begun to become slightly dry, but nothing major. Then progressively after Day 11, my skin condition started to worsen. Redness on my chin increased, as well as either sides of my jawline and cheeks. Large, red and extremely painful. I was (and continue) to wake up with multiple WHITEHEADS all over the lower half of my face. They are all popping out of my skin, and I pick them constantly - which I know is a terrible idea, but I actually can't leave the house with it's visible disgusting head on my face. 

Now reaching Day 44, my condition only continues to worsen, or just remain the same day by day. This is worse than I ever anticipated, and the acne I am dealing with now is much worse than what I started with. I am experiencing slight dryness of my lips and slight dryness of the skin on my face, but otherwise, no other symptoms. I am 19 years old, 130lbs or around 60kgs I believe. I wash my face twice a day with Cetaphil sensitive cleanser and moisturize immediately after with the Cetaphil moisturizer as well. I use aquaphor for my lips occasionally. 

Does anyone have answers? I'm looking for anything. The condition of my skin is affecting my every day life and causing me to neglect all activities I would've otherwise been involved in. I am so unhappy with myself, I struggle not to break into tears every time I look at myself in the mirror too long. Am I not taking a high enough dosage if I'm not really experiencing the side effects? How long will this last? I don't know what else to do at this point, but this is my last resort for clear skin so I KNOW I can't give up. But any information that may reassure me or inform me more on my situation and exactly what's happening would be fantastic. Sorry this is so long winded, I've never really put it down in words before. Anything is appreciated. Thank you. 

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Well, you are already on day 44. Judging by your dedicated lengthy post, I think it's reasonable to assume you will complete all 180 days of treatment. Your acne will more than likely be mostly gone by the end of treatment. As far as dosage is concerned and progression prognosis, those sound like questions you should direct to your dermatologist.

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10 hours ago, accutanerookie said:

Hi there, 

So, I'm new to this whole accutane business and I have asked all my questions to my google search bar, and to no avail, have received 0 reassurance or certainty in the answers I have found. So, here we are. Welcome. 

What's my story? Well I've suffered from hormonal and genetically induced acne since about the age of 12 or 13. It started as localized breakouts mainly in my T-zone (forehead, chin and multiple blackheads on the nose). Those on my forehead and chin were often cystic, large and painful. I'd only have maybe one or two at a time though, along with an array of smaller bumps and nodules all over the rest of the area. My cheeks and jawline though were basically clear and smooth my entire life. 

That was, until I started taking a birth control pill last December. I was getting frustrated with the persistency of my acne, and had heard that a birth control pill could help relief the severity and consistency of my breakouts. I started on Lolo and it gave me the worst rashes on my face! It was red and itchy and painful and it was the first time I had experienced acne and rosacea on this area of my face (lower jawline, either side). 

After this initial experience I was horrified and immediately stopped taking the drug, as I also had read that that particular pill was known for causing inflammation of acne. I then proceeded to move onto Yaz. Fellow acne soldiers, I'm sure you have heard of this birth control, as it is very popular as a means of acne treatment (actually marketed more as such, rather than a method of contraception). I was more optimistic about this one because of the research I had conducted, but to my disappointment, failed also after a grave 3 months. 

Lastly, I chose to resort to a more generic pill, known as Alesse. Alesse is your basic beginner birth control, no crazy hormone levels or specific purposes. And this worked great for about 2 weeks. I have no idea if it actually even did anything, but there was a brief period in the summer that my complexion, while still dotted with scars and patchy red spots, was basically bump-free. This only lasted a short while though, until I began to breakout again in the lower half of my face and cystic, under-the-skin, painful zits on the sides of my cheeks. These continued into later months and unfortunately, became a new reality. 

At this point, I was basically ready to give up. The only thing left to try was Accutane. I had been begging to be perscribed accutane from the beginning, when topical cream after topical cream continued to have no impact on my skin. When the Doc finally gave me the thumbs up I literally could've wept right there in his office. 

My sister had a great experience with Accutane a little less than a year ago. Suffering from extremely severe cystic acne covering most of her face from a young age, she started on Accutane in the 10th grade and saw improvements almost immediately. I was inspired and, jealous of course. 

Anyways, back to now. I am currently on Day 44 of my Accutane treatment of 30mg a day, once a day. I started on 20mg, 10mg twice a day for the first month. For the first week or so, I saw no differences in my skin. Everything seemed fine, my lips had begun to become slightly dry, but nothing major. Then progressively after Day 11, my skin condition started to worsen. Redness on my chin increased, as well as either sides of my jawline and cheeks. Large, red and extremely painful. I was (and continue) to wake up with multiple WHITEHEADS all over the lower half of my face. They are all popping out of my skin, and I pick them constantly - which I know is a terrible idea, but I actually can't leave the house with it's visible disgusting head on my face. 

Now reaching Day 44, my condition only continues to worsen, or just remain the same day by day. This is worse than I ever anticipated, and the acne I am dealing with now is much worse than what I started with. I am experiencing slight dryness of my lips and slight dryness of the skin on my face, but otherwise, no other symptoms. I am 19 years old, 130lbs or around 60kgs I believe. I wash my face twice a day with Cetaphil sensitive cleanser and moisturize immediately after with the Cetaphil moisturizer as well. I use aquaphor for my lips occasionally. 

Does anyone have answers? I'm looking for anything. The condition of my skin is affecting my every day life and causing me to neglect all activities I would've otherwise been involved in. I am so unhappy with myself, I struggle not to break into tears every time I look at myself in the mirror too long. Am I not taking a high enough dosage if I'm not really experiencing the side effects? How long will this last? I don't know what else to do at this point, but this is my last resort for clear skin so I KNOW I can't give up. But any information that may reassure me or inform me more on my situation and exactly what's happening would be fantastic. Sorry this is so long winded, I've never really put it down in words before. Anything is appreciated. Thank you. 

You may not accept this but you sound like you are suffering from depression.
The regulators state that at the first sign of depression you should talk to you derm and they should seriously consider weaning you off accutane.
The trouble with accutane users is that they want to get rid of their acne at all costs so they keep quite and also that dermatologists and GP's
are not fully aware of what the regulators are advising.
At the very very minimum you need to be monitored but be aware that when you stop taking accutane your mental health may continue or even deteriorate further.

This can all be researched - do your homework because your doctors won't.
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1 hour ago, hatetane said:
You may not accept this but you sound like you are suffering from depression.
The regulators state that at the first sign of depression you should talk to you derm and they should seriously consider weaning you off accutane.
The trouble with accutane users is that they want to get rid of their acne at all costs so they keep quite and also that dermatologists and GP's
are not fully aware of what the regulators are advising.
At the very very minimum you need to be monitored but be aware that when you stop taking accutane your mental health may continue or even deteriorate further.

This can all be researched - do your homework because your doctors won't.
I really appreciate your concern, but I can assure you I am not depressed. I've experienced severe depression and this doesn't feel the same at all, I'm actually in a decent mental state right now. It's just this one battle that I'm struggling with. 
If the condition of my mentality worsens though, I will be sure to go back to my doctor and stop taking the pills immediately. I know what it's like to feel that way, and I can recognize it. It's not a place I wish to return to. 
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