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cubscubs04

Accutane or Scar Treatment?

This long but concise history of my life deals with acne, scars, its effects on my life, and options for the future.

I'm a senior in college now, and I've had acne for as long as I can remember. I guess it started getting bad towards the end of high school, but I never let it get to me. I would just live my life and honestly, I had the time of my life... As many friends as you could ask for, beautiful girls at my side, parties every weekend...

Somewhere between then and now I let my imperfections get to me. I guess it all started when my mom (who I love) and I started butting heads when I was 18 or so and I started fucking up in school in search of neverending good times with my buddies. I mean we lived it up. Well, one day my mom said to me, "LOOK AT YOUR FACE" in an attempt to stop me from going out. Looking at pics from back then, I guess my acne was pretty bad.

From then on out I started caring about my acne, and now it seems to be all I can think of. I mean people used to tell me I had the best personality out of anyone they knew, but now I really feel like I've lost myself in all this mess. My college life has been nothing short of pathetic, I've made hardly any new friends and my grades are nothing to write home about. I miss class because of my skin and don't go out because of my skin. I really believe I've wasted 4 years of my life with this garbage.

Finally I believe my acne has subsided. I go through varying periods of being clear for a couple days, to having a couple pimples, to having a cyst or two. I've been on a ton of meds, but I think the regimen helped the most in getting me relatively clear.

But what do you know, a new present came once things started clearing up. SCARS. A ton of em, icepicks and boxcars, on my cheeks and temples. I mean in some lights I thought I looked like freddy kruger. This made me very happy.

I came across this board about a year ago, and since then I've started feeling less alone about these problems, and started taking action. I just got TCA CROSS done on my scars about a month ago, and while I am happy with the results and am scheduled to do more soon, I am still getting some breakouts and big cysts.

Well I'm graduating in May, and I start my first job in August. From now until then I want clear skin, and I am willing to do anything to get it. But I'm wondering, should I continue with the scar treatments if I am still getting cysts? Or should I go on Accutane, which was suggested by one derm out of three that I've seen?Or should I just go hunt Osama bin Laden and give up this life?

I really don't know what to do, and I think this is the only place I can turn to for objective advice.

Thanks for listening.

Kevin

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hey kevin,

I think you should go on accutane first. Make sure your skin gets some long term remission chances from accutane before doing any scar treatments.

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I agree with the accutane suggestion. However, only go on it if you're going to be aggressive about

a) the treatment dosage [make sure you get the full amount necessary for "remission," and this is as much about high daily dosage as it's about overall dose] 120mg a day is not overly-aggressive, nor is it unheard of.

b) in-accutane breakouts. Don't let your derm say: "These will resolve on their own." In fact, I would say that breakouts that occur on accutane, if they are deep and occur in the persistent patches of acne you've been trying to clear up in the first place, have a very high rate of scarring! Try taking your first month with a none-tetracyline-group antibiotic. If it gets very bad, consider oral prednisone.

Those are my thoughts. Don't take this sitting down.

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Thanks for the info guys, its greatly appreciated. I'm going in to see my derm tuesday and I'll definitely have a thorough discussion about it. I guess there's little point of getting rid of these scars if I still get cysts.

Ill let you know what happens.

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Penicillin group[Amoxicillin], Sulfa group [bactrim, Septra], etc

I'm not sure that the penicillin group gets in to pores... I know that the sulfa drugs do, but not sure about the other.

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Actually, I'd advise that you try to get your acne under control via a retinoid and an antibiotic before you go on accutane. Then six months after the Accutane course, you may consider blasting your face with one of a wide array of non-ablative lasers.

Why do I suggest this? Because I'm thoroughly convinced that taking Accutane while you have acne lesions causes scars to form in those areas. Something about Accutane stymies the skins propensity to heal normally. When I started taking Accutane, I only had one scar from my pre-retinoid days that bothered me. But as my body was adjusting to Accutane, I had a couple of blemishes pop up, and when they went away, scars, albeit shallow ones, formed in their place. Fortunately, I had hardly any acne when I took Accutane (I demanded to be placed on it because I was sick of applying retinoids + I had two uncles who had acne well into adulthood, so it was fair to assume I had inherited their type of skin).

But keep in mind, the four or five months you are on Accutane, may be the most miserable ones of your life. While there is debate about Accutane affecting mental health, I think it has less to do with serotonin reuptake than with the discomfort of the side effects. Coping with these can adversely affect those with a predilection towards mental illness.

Hope this helps.

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Awesome advice guys. I've been reluctant to bite the bullet and go on the tane because of the side effects and the initial breakout... I just wish someone would have suggested this method to me sooner so I could have gotten it over with in high school.

I'm going to see my doc tomorrow, I hate the fact that his assistants and the secretaries there are all hotties. I think we're going to do an IPL to try to get rid of some hyperpigmentation. I'll let you know what he suggests. Thanks again.

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I think accutane is making my scars look better. eusa_dance.gif The Dr. said it would, but I was doubtful. It isn't a huge change, but enough that I notice. It is from the collagen stimulation that 'tane gives. I doubt it is permanent though. doubt.gif

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