Jump to content
Acne.org
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
primula

3rd round of Accutane - Here I am once again and I can't believe it

Recommended Posts

Here I am once again and I can't believe it. I have suffered from acne for over 11 years now. It has changed my life in many more aspects than I would like. I have tried everything (absolutely everything) and only Accutane has seemed to work for me, although only for some months. 

My skin is somehow acceptable now, the tiny bumps and rough texture has mostly disappeared but I live with fear. I fear everything that I eat, that I do in my skin routine, or just in my general routine (sleep, sport, etc). It is true that I have stopped worrying so much about how I look now, in the present, and I have stopped obsessing about my acne every time I look myself in the mirror. But I have been here before. Twice. And I know what comes after and I don't want it to come again.

I have opposed and mixed feelings. I've been feeling quite good lately about my skin, I have even received compliments, I have been able to carry on with my social life. But I feel like everything is fake, that at some point my horrible skin will come back, that my peace will be over, that I am a fraud. Today I felt like reading my old posts; the time when I decided to open up about my experience with acne and Accutane, my enthusiastic thoughts when I started the second round of Accutane and even how depressed I felt during and after that 2nd round. I never posted anything more about it, but the truth is I had to stop taking Accutane because of how depressed I felt. I was tired of everything, exhausted, I hated myself and not even my skin becoming clearer could fix it. I still cry when I think about it; it was only a year ago when I would cancel plans, cry all day and everywhere, skip classes not to show my face.

Now everything feels different. I started the 3rd round some months ago, and I feel good, I haven't been depressed as I used to. But I know it is temporary, that as soon as I stop taking Accutane I will go back to hating myself for my skin. I am trying to think of every possible strategy for it to not happen, but I guess I'll have to live with the uncertainty. Sometimes I feel like I am addicted to Accutane, I wish I could always take it and always have a clear skin, not worrying for the day that it will stop being this way. I remember months before starting the 3rd round that I decided that I would stop using harsh products / drugs for my skin, that I would make my lifestyle even healthier (if possible). I used aloe on my skin, only washed my skin once a day, stop taking birth control pills. Then I thought it could be fungal acne, I bought that famous shampoo but it wouldn't work for me. As soon as I had the opportunity to take Accutane again, I didn't think it twice. I knew it would work for some time and make me feel better. However, I feel bad for that decision, for falling into the drug again, for taking a step back, destroying everything that I had "naturally" accomplished, even if it was a small change. 

Acne definitely changes your life; even if you don't have it anymore, it destroys your self-esteem and makes you to live worrying. About how it has been, about the suffering, about how it will be, about what have you done wrong, about whether you should have chosen another path for your skin, about whether you've made a terrible decision. 

I would love to read whether any of you has been through a similar experience, or how do you feel with your own and different experience. This community has always been my biggest support when I felt like anyone could understand me. Even if it was just by reading others' posts (it took me a large effort to write my first post) , I would feel that I was not alone. So thank you for being there and for reading this post.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're definitely not alone.  Have done three rounds of accutane and i still deal with acne.  I'm actually going through a sizeable breakout out on my chin (7 plus bumps).  Accutane for me was a failure.  In fact, i have tried most topicals and orals and i'm still dealing with acne.  It's a tough pill to swallow that your acne may never be 100% gone.  

 

What helps me is being mindful about the messages i send to myself.  Am i telling myself that I am ugly?  Am i looking into mirrors obsessively?  As hard as it is, you have to live everyday as if acne was not part of your makeup.  Fake it till you make it.  I found that going out when i was breaking out helped me to be less self conscious the more i did it.  As i wash my face, i speak kind words to my skin such as i love my skin, i  intend clear skin, my skin loves me.  You may not believe it at first but it gets easier to shower yourself with love.

 

It may not make your acne go away but it will take away the power it currently has over you.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, leelowe1 said:

You're definitely not alone.  Have done three rounds of accutane and i still deal with acne.  I'm actually going through a sizeable breakout out on my chin (7 plus bumps).  Accutane for me was a failure.  In fact, i have tried most topicals and orals and i'm still dealing with acne.  It's a tough pill to swallow that your acne may never be 100% gone.  

 

What helps me is being mindful about the messages i send to myself.  Am i telling myself that I am ugly?  Am i looking into mirrors obsessively?  As hard as it is, you have to live everyday as if acne was not part of your makeup.  Fake it till you make it.  I found that going out when i was breaking out helped me to be less self conscious the more i did it.  As i wash my face, i speak kind words to my skin such as i love my skin, i  intend clear skin, my skin loves me.  You may not believe it at first but it gets easier to shower yourself with love.

 

It may not make your acne go away but it will take away the power it currently has over you.  

Thank you very much for your advice @leelowe1. It is great to know that you are not alone and definitely it is even better to know that other people have make it despite of acne, that it is possible to live with acne and not hate yourself.

I really like the part about "Fake it till you make it". Also, I believe that going out and overcoming a situation that causes stress because of how you look could be difficult at first but actually helpful.

It is a journey to start, the one to not let acne control your life.

Many thanks :) 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You're welcomed!  I've had acne more than half my life and i still struggle with dealing with it at times but just allowing yourself to still go through life and enjoy it, makes acne not at the forefront.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really sorry you are dealing with this. I suffered from acne for many years before I figured out how to get it in control. I realized quickly that medications are only a short term fix. Instead, what you need to do is address the long term by bringing your internal body into balance. You can do this through a combination of things most importantly fixing your diet, reducing stress, exercising properly, and finding the right supplements and products for your skincare. I wrote about my entire journey and what helped me finally take care of this in my blog. You can check it out in my signature. Hopefully it can help you out!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I also deal with acne for many years  and I’m struggling with acne scars and my mental health suffers from this. I just don’t have any power. I want to visit dr. Henningsen soon if he can’t help me I’m over 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey! 
Your story sounds very similar to my own. Birth control, topicals, mounds of antibiotics, 2 full rounds of accutane and it looks like I’ll be in for the third. 
Finished the last round ~ 2 years ago and my skin has been “ok” for the most part but suffered the worst breakout i can remember in the recent month(s). 
 
I eat very clean, no dairy, live a healthy lifestyle and like you have also cut right down on what I put on my face in terms of product. 
I feel like I’m back to square 1 before my first round of accutane... my life revolves around the condition of my skin right now. It’s so draining. Seeing my derm in a couple of weeks and feel like I’d grab another round of accutane if they offer it

Edited by CrazyCourt
Addition
Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, CrazyCourt said:

Hey! 
Your story sounds very similar to my own. Birth control, topicals, mounds of antibiotics, 2 full rounds of accutane and it looks like I’ll be in for the third. 
Finished the last round ~ 2 years ago and my skin has been “ok” for the most part but suffered the worst breakout i can remember in the recent month(s). 
 
I eat very clean, no dairy, live a healthy lifestyle and like you have also cut right down on what I put on my face in terms of product. 
I feel like I’m back to square 1 before my first round of accutane... my life revolves around the condition of my skin right now. It’s so draining. Seeing my derm in a couple of weeks and feel like I’d grab another round of accutane if they offer it

Elimination diet will cure you without having to deal with the effects of accutane

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/5/2020 at 9:16 AM, hannahdavids said:

I'm really sorry you are dealing with this. I suffered from acne for many years before I figured out how to get it in control. I realized quickly that medications are only a short term fix. Instead, what you need to do is address the long term by bringing your internal body into balance. You can do this through a combination of things most importantly fixing your diet, reducing stress, exercising properly, and finding the right supplements and products for your skincare. I wrote about my entire journey and what helped me finally take care of this in my blog. You can check it out in my signature. Hopefully it can help you out!

Thank you very much! I'll definitely read your post :) I do believe I already have a pretty healthy diet, but I must be missing something out...

1 hour ago, CrazyCourt said:

Hey! 
Your story sounds very similar to my own. Birth control, topicals, mounds of antibiotics, 2 full rounds of accutane and it looks like I’ll be in for the third. 
Finished the last round ~ 2 years ago and my skin has been “ok” for the most part but suffered the worst breakout i can remember in the recent month(s). 
 
I eat very clean, no dairy, live a healthy lifestyle and like you have also cut right down on what I put on my face in terms of product. 
I feel like I’m back to square 1 before my first round of accutane... my life revolves around the condition of my skin right now. It’s so draining. Seeing my derm in a couple of weeks and feel like I’d grab another round of accutane if they offer it

Indeed, your story sounds almost like mine... I totally understand you and it sucks :(  It feels like there is nothing else left to try out. In my case I felt I needed a third round of accutane at least for my mental health, to have some space to think about other things rather than my skin...

I hope your visit to the derm goes well! Let me know if you eventually decide to start another round.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did your dermatologist run any tests to determine the cause of your skin condition?  Ask them to check for demodex skin mites. 

Microscopic demodex skin mites eat oil.  The Accutane greatly reduces the oil output of your skin and starves the mite population down but doesn't kill the mites directly.   Getting to the base cause of the skin issues is critical.  Its either bacterial, fungal or parasitic (demodex).  The effective treatment for each of these conditions is totally different.  For demodex you need an anti-parasitic treatment.  For a fungal infection you need an anti-fungal medication.  For bacterial, you need an anti-bacterial medication.

A dermatologist can test for demodex by either doing a light skin scraping or using the sticky glue on a microscope slide - stick it to your forehead like a pore strip, wait a minute and pull it off.  The results of either test are put under a microscope to count the demodex.  Demodex don't like light, counting them under a microscope can be a little tricky.  Some dermatologist will prescribe this 2 drug treatment to eliminate the possibility of demodex as the cause of the skin issues.

If Demodex is the problem, there is a highly effective, inexpensive, 2 week anti-parasitic treatment for Demodex.  It was published in the May 2013 issue of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.  This was a proper medical study of 120 patients, 30 each with 4 different skin diagnosis, split into 2 groups.  One group got weekly Oral Ivermectin alone.  The second group got the 2 drug combined treatment with weekly Oral Ivermectin and  daily Oral Metronidazole.  After decades of being misdiagnosed with bacterial acne, the combined 2 drug treatment worked for me.  I'm still clear at 28+ months after treatment.  Link to the paper is below.  Cut and paste into your browser to read it.  Take a copy of this paper to your dermatologist in case they aren't familiar with this treatment.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197121201315X

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2020 at 7:08 PM, ElaineA said:

Did your dermatologist run any tests to determine the cause of your skin condition?  Ask them to check for demodex skin mites. 

Microscopic demodex skin mites eat oil.  The Accutane greatly reduces the oil output of your skin and starves the mite population down but doesn't kill the mites directly.   Getting to the base cause of the skin issues is critical.  Its either bacterial, fungal or parasitic (demodex).  The effective treatment for each of these conditions is totally different.  For demodex you need an anti-parasitic treatment.  For a fungal infection you need an anti-fungal medication.  For bacterial, you need an anti-bacterial medication.

A dermatologist can test for demodex by either doing a light skin scraping or using the sticky glue on a microscope slide - stick it to your forehead like a pore strip, wait a minute and pull it off.  The results of either test are put under a microscope to count the demodex.  Demodex don't like light, counting them under a microscope can be a little tricky.  Some dermatologist will prescribe this 2 drug treatment to eliminate the possibility of demodex as the cause of the skin issues.

If Demodex is the problem, there is a highly effective, inexpensive, 2 week anti-parasitic treatment for Demodex.  It was published in the May 2013 issue of the International Journal of Infectious Diseases.  This was a proper medical study of 120 patients, 30 each with 4 different skin diagnosis, split into 2 groups.  One group got weekly Oral Ivermectin alone.  The second group got the 2 drug combined treatment with weekly Oral Ivermectin and  daily Oral Metronidazole.  After decades of being misdiagnosed with bacterial acne, the combined 2 drug treatment worked for me.  I'm still clear at 28+ months after treatment.  Link to the paper is below.  Cut and paste into your browser to read it.  Take a copy of this paper to your dermatologist in case they aren't familiar with this treatment.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S120197121201315X

 

Thank you very much for your post and for referencing the study paper, I'll definitely go through it and bring it to dermatologist.

My dermatologist suggested that it could be related to demodex once just before I started this third round of Accutane, and now that I recall he actually prescribed me a cream solution to give it a try (without going into much detail and doing the microscope testing). It was a topical treatment of 1-2 months and I did it along with the first months of Accutane. I am reading now the ingredients of it and, to my surprise, the active component is indeed ivermectin!

I can't tell if the efficacy was because of Accutane or topical ivermectin, but it's definitely worth testing for demodex, I'll discuss it with my dermatologist next visit.

I guess that it has to be the oral treatment instead of the topical for it to be efficient? How was your experience with it, did you see any results after the 2-weeks treatment or is it more of a progressive change?

Thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, primula said:

Thank you very much for your post and for referencing the study paper, I'll definitely go through it and bring it to dermatologist.

My dermatologist suggested that it could be related to demodex once just before I started this third round of Accutane, and now that I recall he actually prescribed me a cream solution to give it a try (without going into much detail and doing the microscope testing). It was a topical treatment of 1-2 months and I did it along with the first months of Accutane. I am reading now the ingredients of it and, to my surprise, the active component is indeed ivermectin!

I can't tell if the efficacy was because of Accutane or topical ivermectin, but it's definitely worth testing for demodex, I'll discuss it with my dermatologist next visit.

I guess that it has to be the oral treatment instead of the topical for it to be efficient? How was your experience with it, did you see any results after the 2-weeks treatment or is it more of a progressive change?

Thanks!

Interesting about the Ivermectin - Must have been Soolantra (or Rosiver).  The topical form can take 12 to 16 weeks of treatment to be effective.

For me the mites eventually caused a severe case of ocular rosacea / blepharitis demodex causing severe dry eyes.  The oral treatment helped my eyes within the 2 week time period.  I had some skin die offs appearing as pustules up to 2 weeks or so after treatment.   After that there were no new pustules. 

Some old cysts have cleared out later with treatment but nothing new has showed up.  Products containing salycylic acid, like Epionce Lytic TX, and also Vitamin C Serum  (Derma e) and Vitiamin A serum (Derma e) have been helpful in opening up the pores.  IPL and Laser Resurfacing have also been helpful in forcing out old cysts and unclogging the pores.

It takes two once a week doses of Oral Ivermectin (200 micrograms per kilogram of body weight) along with the 3 times daily dose of 250 mg of Oral Metronidazole to knock out/down the colony of parasites.  Some dermatologist prescribe the treatment for 2, 4, or 6 weeks.  Its highly effective on the adult mites but has no effect on the eggs they lay.  Eggs take 3 days to hatch.  So the second round of Ivermectin knocks out the new hatchlings.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/12/2020 at 5:44 PM, primula said:

Thank you very much! I'll definitely read your post :) I do believe I already have a pretty healthy diet, but I must be missing something out...

Indeed, your story sounds almost like mine... I totally understand you and it sucks :(  It feels like there is nothing else left to try out. In my case I felt I needed a third round of accutane at least for my mental health, to have some space to think about other things rather than my skin...

I hope your visit to the derm goes well! Let me know if you eventually decide to start another round.

Just seem your post notification now, I’m new to posting on here. Just started 20mg this week then up to 40mg the following week. 
I do agree with the other posts there is definitely a gut health / other imbalances issue which I am focussing on with clean diet and supplementation. Hopefully this will help me see more long term effects!
Have you started your 3rd round? Drop me a message if you want to chat more ☺️

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/14/2020 at 5:48 AM, primula said:

Thank you very much for your post and for referencing the study paper, I'll definitely go through it and bring it to dermatologist.

My dermatologist suggested that it could be related to demodex once just before I started this third round of Accutane, and now that I recall he actually prescribed me a cream solution to give it a try (without going into much detail and doing the microscope testing). It was a topical treatment of 1-2 months and I did it along with the first months of Accutane. I am reading now the ingredients of it and, to my surprise, the active component is indeed ivermectin!

I can't tell if the efficacy was because of Accutane or topical ivermectin, but it's definitely worth testing for demodex, I'll discuss it with my dermatologist next visit.

I guess that it has to be the oral treatment instead of the topical for it to be efficient? How was your experience with it, did you see any results after the 2-weeks treatment or is it more of a progressive change?

Thanks!

I took the 2 drug oral treatment in the paper.  It worked!   Still clear at 28+ months post anti-parasitic treatment.  When demodex mites die they make pustules - this is called the "die off".  The final one happened about 1-2 weeks after the completion of the treatment.  After that no new pustules.   Based on others experience with topical Soolantra, I do believe that the oral treatment is far more effective.  It works faster as well.

Nothing else ever worked.  I was prescribed standard anti-bacterial acne treatment with many different antibiotics (oral and topical), retinoids (Retin-A, Micro Retin-A), benzoyl peroxide, etc. 

After decades of being misdiagnosed I had very plugged pores and old cysts.  I've been working on deep cleaning and repairing my skin with IPL, hydro facials and laser resurfacing to try and heal all the damage.  Topical skin treatment now helps where it didn't before the anti-parasitic treatment.  My skin is progressively being healed.  Most old cysts are gone, pores are starting to look more normal.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t been on this site in years, but I have the same story as this poster. Had done three rounds of Accutane many years ago which helped, but what I needed to change was my behavior, diet, choices and life style.  I could’ve saved so much time Rather than trying this treatment or that treatment and draining finances and time and emotional energy.


Before I get into this, let me assure you I’m not trying to sell you anything but your own clear skin through your own changes. I wish I had someone who could explain this to me when I was a teenager rather than suffering from adult acne for many years. I speak from experience. I may not have all your answers but I can promise you,  you will find some help through what I write. 
I’ll post a very brief summary of the most important things I found out regarding cystic acne that I suffered from, and what can be done about it.

So cystic acne is caused by an inflammation, and what’s causing the inflammation? Do you think people just magically get inflamed or inflamed from nothing? If you get into medical journals from the early part of the previous century, you’ll actually find out.  It was the diet that people were eating, and also food sitting too long in the colon. The reason they don’t tell you that these days is because they can’t make any money off of getting you better. When I say “they,” I’m referring to the pharmaceutical industry and the medical establishment. As far as the pharmaceutical industry it’s a profit driven industry, so they want you taking their pills as long as they can have you on the line hooked into it. they don’t give an F about you, Just your money. Not every dermatologist is like that, but a good many of them simply don’t know any better. Some for example have actually done studies on dairy products and how they contribute to their patients acne, so there is hope, but relying on one or two dermatologist to affect the whole profession or the entire pharmaceutical industry is not going to happen. 


There are doctors out there who really care and don’t want to fail their patients. I’m not knocking them all, just their level of understanding. It would be better if they understood  this disorder to allow others to go on with their lives rather than suffering from adult acne well into their 20s, 30s and beyond. So here’s what I’ve learned, and thank you for sticking with me this far. If you find this of value please share it far and wide, and here’s hoping you find relief. 

Back to inflammation, I’m going to reference skin the way some doctors do as the, “Third kidney.” In other words, it filters out impurities and toxins. The breaking out of your skin cystically  is a reaction to something you’re  ingesting in your body over nine times out of 10.  Yes some people do have oily skin, some people go through puberty and have a belt with degrees of acne. There’s also a rare disorder called Cushing’s disease that causes people to break out. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cushing-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20351310
In my case an anti-inflammatory/caveman diet almost completely eliminated my cystic acne. This is a diet that’s high in fat and protein, and low carb. If there’s one place I would suggest you start it is this one. I have a low carb diet, and eliminated sweets along time ago. No candy, chips, packaged carbohydrates or any of the common garbage you find in the western diet.

I also had to pretty much eliminate dairy. If you’re worried about a calcium supplement you can add one. Almond milk is not bad and has more calcium in it than regular milk. 


What else was key? I usually fast one day every 5 to 7 days. No food, just liquids for 24 hours. Why? It allows my digestive tract to rest and clears out the colon.  I don’t want food in there for too long or waste. Why? It contributes to acne, especially cystic acne.   I found the following out from a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders and it may shock you. Here it is. Our bodies are programmed to gorge because food was not plentiful up until the last couple of centuries. So a bunch of food backs up in our G.I. tract and is not being expelled regularly because we are programmed to stuff it all in there. Our bodies’ evolution have not caught up with our the abundance of our food supply in the Western world. So how do you get rid of all that food in the colon thereby preventing it from contributing to your acne? As I stated above, I recommend fasting, as well as an enema. Enema? Yep, and the more water the better.  They seem to be pretty smart about enema in India, not so much the United States. We tend to wanna have a magic pill solution for everything. I really have to do an enema these days because I fast regularly, but if I had a outbreak I would do an enema ASAP with 4 to 6 quarts of water in an enema bag. That’s a gallon to a gallon and a half just so you know.  whenever I would do an enema my skin would improve over the next 48 hours, but if I wasn’t fasting or more importantly eating right as to what I’ve listed above, the improvement to my skin would not last. so again, it’s not just what we eat but us eating too much in the Western World.  
 

We eat too much, but not everyone who eats too much breaks out. Sucks doesn’t it? And not everyone who eats too much gains weight. Sucks doesn’t it? Everyone is different, different metabolic type, different skin type, different frame,  different nutritional needs etc. etc.. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another, but I think within the treatment of cystic acne there’s a huge overlap due to the inflammation. Again it’s called “Inflammatory Cystic Acne.” Look it up.

Another curious thing I would add that is somewhat rare is food allergies that can contribute to cystic inflammatory acne. There are posters on the Org who have said as much, but it’s not very common.  Wynne Is the profile of an Acne.Org poster (may still post I don’t know) who suffered from a food allergy to citrus (especially oranges) that caused cystic acne. Cutting out citrus eliminated over 80% of their breakouts.
 

As far as other things that help that I think are of value are some supplements. they’ll be listed down below in order of importance.

1. Vitamin A from FISH LIVER OIL NOT BETA CAROTENE—Do not take this when taking Accutane!!!!!!!! Toxic and do not take too much of this. 

2. Fish oil—It’s an anti-inflammatory, if you have any reaction you could try and substitute flaxseed oil. 

3. Zinc—good for skin repair

4. Vitamin E—again good for skin 

5. There are others that people have found that are good for treating the inflammation. Acne.org used to have a nutrition and holistic forum for people to post these solutions in. Do they still? I don’t know. You can probably do an Internet search and find other things.

as far as any lifestyle recommendations and changes, there are the old tried-and-true which I will list below. 

1. Exercise—don’t argue with me or find excuses, just get off your F***ing ass and go exercise OK?
2. Drink plenty of water. That’s a minimum of a half gallon to a gallon a day. MINIMUM. Water helps your body and flushes out your skin.

3. Plenty of sleep in a regular sleep schedule. Get your rest and keep it regular, very important. Take care of your body and your body will take care of you.

4. Lower stress, take a stress management class, search online, meditate, find a faith or spiritual path, build deep relationships with people, volunteer, have a community around you, find love, romance, get laid you know the stuff that makes life worth living. 
 

Well there it is everyone, that’s everything I could put in there and I hope it helps. If you have any questions send me a DM, I’ll try and answer it as soon as I can. In the meantime keep doing things different and be disciplined there’s something about there that can help you as a cystic acne sufferer.  Now show the will power, resolution and guts to be self disciplined enough and do something different with the faith and knowledge that your skin can improve or completely clear up. Take care and love yourself no matter what!

 

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Skin-Diet-Alan-Logan/dp/1581825749

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Clear-Skin-Diet-Beautiful-McDougall/dp/1602865655

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes


×