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I just thought it was time to tell my story. In a way I hope it makes me feel better just to write it down. **WARNING: this will be long** I started to have mild acne at about 16-17. I am now 33 and I have cystic acne on my cheeks, neck, back (I haven't worn a bathing suit in the last 5 years), & my legs ( contact dermatitis, folliculitis and cystic acne) I haven't worn shorts for the past 3 years. Oh I forgot on my shoulders too. So no tank tops either. I avert my eyes to anyone that talks to me due to the fact I do not want to catch them staring at my camouflage attempt with makeup. I started having social situation panic attacks a couple years ago and I know for a fact it is ALL related to my Acne. So I am on Zoloft which I love by the way because I feel normal and I am not so worried about what other people think. Oh did I tell you when I was younger kids in my class would draw pictures of me with red acne marks and make fun of me. I cried a lot back then.

I will not bore you with the long list of antibiotics and topicals prior to the Accutane. I've done everything like everyone else has before Accutane.

So anyways I went through my first treatment of Accutane when I was 23, it came back a year later so I went through a 2nd course when I was 24. I was pretty clear I have to admit because I remember wearing a bikini alot. But then I got married and had a baby after that my hormones have never been the same my cystic acne came back with a vengeance. So I went on another course of Accutane when I was 26. I had pretty much the same results. Cleared me for about a year then it came back. So I waited 3 more years until I couldn't take it any more. That puts me at 29, ok here is where it goes very bad on 'tane. I have a new Derm and she puts me on 80mg/a day (I believe in the past the max dosage I had was 60mg/day) This time the side effects were awful. My joints in my hips hurt real bad this was new I never had that side effect in the past. And it seemed to not work as well ....I went through the whole 5 month course and it barely dented my cystic acne in fact when that was over I had the deepest biggest cysts ever (and still have them). So within 6 months my derm put me on a shorter stronger dosage and guess what? I went psycho. I was mad about everything I was so mad that I threw the coffee table with everything on it and broke stuff. I was always crying about everything. When that happened my husband was like WTF is wrong with you? and I said I think it's the meds. I never felt suicidal but damn was I angry. So it scared the crap out of me my derm lowered my dose which was ineffective to clearing my acne but the weird mental stuff totally went away so I do believe that Accutane could cause suicidal tendencies.

So after all of that it is now 3+ yrs later and yup you guessed it here I am debating on Accutane actually Amnesteem (I have the Female patient packet right in front of me) I did however tried Spironolactone and that didn't work I mean I think it might of a little but the warnings for that is much scarier then Isotretinoin.

I also tried AHA and the Alpha Hydrox is awesome but you really have to have clear skin to begin with because it seemed to me that it was making the deep cysts seep out constantly and then they would heal but the cyst was still there and in time ooze out again (I couldn't cover these up with makeup because they would continue ro ooze all day).

I am so fortunate that I am married because I do not know what I would do if I actually had to go to do the single scene and compete with tube top wearing clear skinned women. I am just amazed that no matter how much money you have (believe me I've spent thousands) you can't buy clear skin. I have nodular cystic acne. I hope one more round of Isotretinoin and at least the cysts will clear up enough to then for maintenance I can use the Clear Skin Regimen.

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WOW shock.gif I feel so terrible for you. sad.gif I have mild acne and am on Accutane for my first time, I can relate with how you feel about not going out and living the single life! When you went off of the tane each time did you use anything? My derm told me that once I am done with the tane that she will put me on a topical for a year, not sure which one but she said that this will prevent acne from returning, but she also said she was not going to talk to me about after the tane till I am done she wants to focus on the tane and it working now. Good luck and keep me posted on how you are doing. biggrin.gif

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I'm really sorry to hear of your acne struggles, I hope that writing it all down DID make you feel a bit better.

If you do take Accutane again, obviously I guess you'll want to copy the course you took the first few times when you didn't have so many psychological problems. It kind of worries me that you did have problems the last time around though. If you follow the same dosage patterns as your first, second, etc. Accutane courses and you have success by the end of your treatment, maybe you could look into continuing on Accutane indefinitely, taking it 2-3 times a week as a "maintenance dose". I know that some doctors are allowing for this, since some people can really only control their acne by keeping Accutane in their system. Perhaps you could ask about it... that is if your side effects are tolerable, you're not planning on having any more children, etc.

I really wish you happiness and clear skin in the future, hang in there! You're very lucky to have a supportive husband... I bet you already have so many amazing things in your life that others, clear skin or not, are still only dreaming of smile.gif

Mae

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Aw sweetie, I'm so sorry to hear you've had such a tough time with your skin sad.gif

I really wish i had some advice, but unfortunately i don't sad.gif Never fear, though! There are heaps and heaps of really supportive, insightful people here who i am sure will make you feel lots better biggrin.gif

I wish you all the best...ask lots of questions (if you need to!) and keep all of us updated smile.gif

Amy

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Thank you for your supportive replies.....I'm getting copies of my last 2 treatments from my other derm to see if we can come up with something that will work.

I sometimes feel as if I am being superficial but you know by the time I turned 30 I would've thought I would of grown out of the acne. Hey I did my time but I just want to wear shorts and a bikini again.....before I am 50....

Ok so between treatments...... the first 3 treatments I believe I did nothing inbetween because it stayed relatively clear. The last 2 I was using Klaron, Benzaclyn (sp?), Sulfolax....etc.... Because I did the mino,doxy,tetra stuff when I was so young I became immune to them. I am on Mino again right now but I know it won't work because it didn't before but they want me to at least attempt an antibiotic before going on Amnesteem.

I liked Klaron but it didn't help with the cysts. Tazorac was awesome but like an AHA it peeled away my skin and the superficially healed but the cyst was still there. ALWAYS, I would get my hopes up because it would get scabbed over so I couldn't feel if the cyst was there and then the scab would flake off and the cyst was still there. Ugh!! So that's why I am thinking if I can clear the cyst and make sure I keep up some sort of treatment because in the past I think that might be where I made the mistake **crossing fingers**

Oh I forgot I did have cortisone injections at some spots a couple years back on my neck and those are still gone with no scar (lucky). So if you have some huge cysts that are painful the injections helped for me but my derm wouldn't do the ones on my cheeks because she was afraid of atrophy which could lead to huge indents in my cheeks.

I will post back to update in a couple months. If I do find a cure I will let everyone know.

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Thank you for your supportive replies.....I'm getting copies of my last 2 treatments from my other derm to see if we can come up with something that will work.

I sometimes feel as if I am being superficial but you know by the time I turned 30 I would've thought I would of grown out of the acne. Hey I did my time but I just want to wear shorts and a bikini again.....before I am 50....

Ok so between treatments...... the first 3 treatments I believe I did nothing inbetween because it stayed relatively clear. The last 2 I was using Klaron, Benzaclyn (sp?), Sulfolax....etc.... Because I did the mino,doxy,tetra stuff when I was so young I became immune to them. I am on Mino again right now but I know it won't work because it didn't before but they want me to at least attempt an antibiotic before going on Amnesteem.

I liked Klaron but it didn't help with the cysts. Tazorac was awesome but like an AHA it peeled away my skin and the superficially healed but the cyst was still there. ALWAYS, I would get my hopes up because it would get scabbed over so I couldn't feel if the cyst was there and then the scab would flake off and the cyst was still there. Ugh!! So that's why I am thinking if I can clear the cyst and make sure I keep up some sort of treatment because in the past I think that might be where I made the mistake **crossing fingers**

Oh I forgot I did have cortisone injections at some spots a couple years back on my neck and those are still gone with no scar (lucky). So if you have some huge cysts that are painful the injections helped for me but my derm wouldn't do the ones on my cheeks because she was afraid of atrophy which could lead to huge indents in my cheeks.

I will post back to update in a couple months. If I do find a cure I will let everyone know.

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Socially Inept,

Your experience has been quite challenging, to say the least. I'm glad that you have the help and support of your family, as well as the wonderful people on this board.

Unfortunately, it seems as though your body has become immune to the Accutane. Just like any other medication, Accutane can be less effective each time you use it. I have the same problem as you (been on Accutane thrice). What happens is that, as you take more and more Accutane, your body metabolizes it faster.

Have you looked into other, possibly hormonal, causes? Someone like SweetJade1980 could also give you excellent advice.

-Homerfan33

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Hi Socially Inept

I went to my dermatologist the other day because I was going to have smoothbeam laser on just one cyst that I was getting. I did not end up having the treatment but he did tell me that his sister has the deep kind of cysts that you seem to have and she had smoothbeam laser and it is working for her. I guess it is supposed to reduce the size of the sebacceous glands. It may be something to look into.

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well, I have decided to try and go with the 'Tane if my derm allows it (work out a special schedule of some sort) and then maybe back to Spiro if the 'tane doesn't work (I didn't give the Spiro a fair chance maybe?) but I honestly don't think my cysts are hormone related. I mean yes, I have a flare up before my period but I still have cysts all month long. I just think if I can clear the cysts then I could easily deal with minor acne. About the Smoothbeam laser treatment...I've called them before and I have asked if they treat cystic acne and they said no, it won't work that well on cyst and nodules??? I have also had 2 sessions of laser tattoo removal not that this really has anything to do with this but I have 2 cysts where they lasered (I know it's a different laser but I was hoping) well anyways they are still there. My tattoo is lighter and it's worth it but at $400 a session and I need 4-5 sessions I kind of lost interest in that for now. And it is very painful a few weeks after with alot of blood oozing continuously as the skin heals. Grossest thing ever.

So anyways I am here just to write and vent. Oh I know if I go on another 'tane treatment I can't have any laser treatments for 6 months plus.

well more later....

oh I called my previous derm and had them give me the dosage and length of time of the previous 2 treatments and both were 5 months at 60mg/day all the way through.

Now the first 2 were so long ago that the derm I had gone to sold her business and they said they only keep records up to 7 years old so my records have been destroyed and back then I didn't keep any records of my own but I swear it was like 3 months the first time at 20 0r 40mgs a day and then the next time was at 5 months for 40mg/day. So I am thinking my dosage might of been too low for the severity of my cysts by the way I've had the same cysts in the same spots for last 5 years. Is that possible?

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