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Hey everyone. I just started my second course of Accutane. I started keeping a personal journal, but after reading some of the journals here and all of the encouraging words, I decided to post it here as well. Here's what's doin' so far:

On June 24, 2005, I began my second course of Accutane. I took my first course from May-November of 2003, when I was 24. I was on 40mg/day for the entire time, and had a few weeks off during that time due to bad blood test results. I was almost 100% clear after the first month, and remained clear throughout the rest of the course. Around May or June of 2004 I started getting a few pimples again. Little clusters around my hairline, mostly. Throughout the next few months, I started breaking out more. I started to get cysts again after awhile as well.

I originally had been using Retin-A micro .04% (even at such a small percentage, I was still only able to use it every other night as I would peel otherwise). I don’t think it had any effect on me. I was still using it when I started breaking out again. I eventually stopped using it and picked up benzoyl peroxide again. It seemed to be the only topical that ever did anything for my acne. However, I started to breakout mostly around my mouth, which is an extremely sensitive area. I would use the bp pretty aggressively, but have to stop after a few days because my skin was getting so flaky. Eventually it just seemed that nothing that I was doing was helping. I finally decided it was time to go back on Accutane, at age 26.

I am seeing a different dermatologist, as my previous is too far away. Now that I am working Monday-Friday, 9-5, it just wouldn’t be feasible for me to drive more than an hour each way, on top of the time spent in the office. I was afraid that my new dermatologist would be hesitant to give me Accutane, as my skin seemed to start clearing a little bit after I made my appointment. I was ready to fight for it, as I know that it is the only thing that can help me. I was very surprised when I barely had to say anything! I just said that I’d been on Accutane before, that it was starting to all come back, including cysts, and I wanted to go on Accutane again. He says that he is not scared to prescribe it, as some doctors are, that he has been on it himself, and he believes that it is pretty safe. He also said that most doctors are afraid to push the dosage, but he isn’t. He agreed that I had been on too low of a dosage the first time, and that he wanted to start me out at 60mg/day, broken down to 40mg one day, and 80mg the next.

[i had read that the minimum dosage over the course of a treatment should be 125mg/kg of body weight to have lasting results. That is the minimum. I did a few calculations and realized that I’d come up a couple thousand miligrams short of that figure. I think that is why I started breaking out less than 6 months after stopping my course, and why it continued to get worse from then on.]

I was elated to be able to start 2 days later. He didn’t make me have my gynecologist sign a form stating that I was indeed on the pill, as I’d had to get done before. They took my blood right in the office (I had to go to a separate lab with my previous derm), and told me that as soon as the results came back and if everything was good, I would be able to pick up my prescription. I have not felt this good in a long time. Just knowing that I was going to go back on it made me stop stressing about my skin as much, and made me start feeling a sense of hope, like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. After that appointment, I have been feeling so much more energetic and positive. I know that the side effects will probably be worse than before, since I am on a higher dose (and I imagine he will bump it up to 80mg/day eventually), but I know what to expect, I know how to take care of myself while I am on it, and I’m not scared of it.

The only downer for me is that my boyfriend totally does not agree with what I’m doing. We weren’t together when I was on my first course, but he knew that I had taken it, and that I used to have really bad skin. I don’t think I told him too much about the drug. He was initially supportive about me wanting to go back on it, because he could see how much of an effect the breakouts were having on me. However, I talked to him after my appointment, and mentioned the monthly blood tests, and pregnancy tests, and needing to use two forms of birth control and he got really freaked out. He hadn’t realized it was such a serious medication. He thinks I’m crazy to put something so harsh in my body just to clear up my face. I tried to explain to him how many years I’d struggled with this, how many doctors I’ve been to, how many different prescriptions I’d tried, all to no avail. I tried to tell him how much it killed my self-esteem and made me anti-social, and how I would cry before work because the make-up just couldn’t cover it and I wished I could call out and just hide in my room. But unless you have gone through that, you can’t really understand. He said that he wouldn’t tell me what to do, but that he would not support me in this. He doesn’t want to hear about the side effects or anything. So we are just not talking about it. At least I have my best friends to depend on. I know he is only worried for my health, but he should trust that I wouldn’t walk blindly into something like this – I did research on Accutane and read so many journals before deciding to go on it the first time, and it took me awhile to decide to go back on it a second time. I need to do this for me, I want my life back.

So here goes nothing!!

The supplements I am currently taking are 1000IU of Vitamin E once a day, and 1000mg of milk thistle twice a day. I make sure to take Accutane with a meal that contains some fat in order to aid abosrption. I wash my face with Dove self-foaming cleanser in the morning and at night (I really love this face wash! Very gentle, without drying, and even takes off all my makeup.). During the day I put on Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch SPF 45. At night I use Murad Essential-C Night. I use Korres evening primrose eye cream morning and night as well.

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Here are days 1-4:

Day 1 (June 24th)

I picked up my prescription from the doctor this morning on my way to work. I still had some time to kill so I went ahead and had the prescription filled (there is a CVS right across the street from my work). I realized after I’d left the pharmacy that I had been given Sortret! I definitely did NOT want the generic. My first derm stressed that I use the name brand, and I have heard from various other sources that even though the generics are supposed to be the exact same formulation, they don’t seem to work as well. I didn’t want to take any chances. After I got situated at work, I went back to the pharmacy and asked for the brand name Accutane. It was $25 more, but it’s still cheaper than I had to pay the first time.

The only thing I noticed this first day was that I was really thirsty. I thought that maybe it was a placebo effect, it seemed like it was too soon even to feel dehydrated. But I felt better drinking water, so I did.

Day 2 (June 25th)

Today I took 2 pills with breakfast. The doctor also gave me some Clindagel samples to use, as I expressed concern about the dreaded initial breakout! I used it Saturday night before bed. I was worried that it would be drying, but it is water based and very gentle. Doing nothing for my skin for the past week definitely led to some “new arrivals.� I also went to Sephora and picked up a good night lotion (Murad Essential-C Night Moisture) and a good eye cream (Korres evening primrose eye cream). Since I’ll basically be just moisturizing my face while on Accutane, I wanted to splurge a little bit and get some good lotions. I figure I will just continue using sunblock during the day.

Day 3 (June 26th)

Today is the first day I started noticing a bit of dry lips. I pulled out my trusty Aquaphor and slathered it on. Man, what I would do without Aquaphor, I don’t even want to think about it! I remembered that during my first course I’d been lucky enough to find some trial size tubes of Aquaphor, which was great! They were so handy, I could take them anywhere, without having to try and fit the bulky tube in my purse. I went online and found the same small size at Drugstore.com and ordered 10 of them! I’m just going to keep one everywhere – 1 in each purse, one at work, one at my boyfriend’s house, etc.

Day 4 (June 27th)

I can see a little bit of the drying effect working on my existing pimples today! Yay! I had this one painful one right next to my mouth, and it has flattened out somewhat over night, and the others seem to be drying up as well. I remember that this happened the first time too. But I know that the initial breakout is still to come. I think I got it about a week in the first time. I think pretty soon I will start updating weekly. I just wanted to track the first few days so I could keep tabs on when I started noticing things like dry lips, etc.

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Day 5 (June 28th)

Today I definitely started to feel like I am getting the “Accutane look.� My face is a bit flushed, though it doesn’t feel hot. I looked in the mirror part way through the day and it looked like my face had this sheen to it – it made me look really greasy, but it didn’t feel like it normally does when it’s oily. My make-up looked absolutely horrible and the skin around my mouth had this weird kind of orange peel look to it. I looked seriously scary. I think it’s time to start doing some gentle exfoliation in the morning. One of my favorite cheapy tricks is to add a little baking soda to my face wash. It’s very gentle and works well. I just don’t think it’s going to mix well with my Dove foaming face wash. Looks like I’ll have to get a different cleanser for the morning.

Not much new to report – I am not going to stress over every little pimple, so far as I can tell, the ones I have now are the same ones I had before. They’re very slow to come up. I think the sort of dry skin around my mouth may be due to the Clindagel, so I’m going to stop using it. I doubt it would really do much good anyway. If it could fight the initial breakout brought on by Accutane, then I wouldn’t have needed to go on Accutane in the first place! I had to deal with the dry skin around my mouth from benzoyl peroxide and it sucked. I’m going to do what I did with my first course, and that’s nothing! Just cleanse, moisturize, and take my pills.

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Day 11 (July 4th)

The flattening out on Day 4 that I thought I saw was just bs. I forgot that pimples on Accutane have a much longer course! It came up about 2 days later as a big ugly whitehead. I've noticed that since my first run with Accutane, I now get clusters of pimples. For the past few months it's been around my mouth, all on the right side now (the worst!) and along my jawline on the left side.

I was so excited the first few days, because I knew that I was finally doing something that would pretty much guarantee my skin clearing. And then I have days like last Wednesday - my family went out to dinner for my dad's birthday. I had a row of three whiteheads next to my mouth that were really ripe (I try my best never to pop or pick), and sometime during dinner, one of them just burst! At least I feel comfortable around my family, I mean, I'm 26, they've been seeing me with breakouts for almost 10 years now.

I definitely don't think I've hit the initial breakout yet, because my skin is tolerable right now. It does seem that it isn't as rough as it had been during those first days. It almost felt like I had some sort of rash it was so rough.

My lips are definitely super dry now, so that I have to keep Aquaphor on them at all times. I'm used to that though, no biggie. Eyes are still doing ok. I still have some Refresh Liquigel left over from my first course for when my eyelids start to feel like sandpaper during the night.

All last week I felt so tired all the time. I'm not sure if it was from the Accutane, because I was really sick to my stomach last Sunday. I started taking MSM again though and I definitely feel like it helps increase my energy level. I also got some vitamins to help prevent hair loss. A month after my first course I started losing hair. It didn't last too long, but I'd lost enough for it to be noticeable. Maybe I'm just being paranoid, but last week in the shower it sure seemed like I was shedding more hair. Maybe it was just getting long (I got it cut this weekend), but I don't want to take any chances.

My face is still slightly flushed, and I am still really oily. More so than I was before - I use so many blotting papers throughout the day, and oil control powder. I cannot wait until that stops. I guess it's just everything getting pushed out of my skin right now.

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Hi Beth,

We had a 'conversation' earlier in another thread abt cortisone shots. Funny, how I thought you were a guy (nymue)

I think tht's great your derm put you on accutane right away-- I was so glad mine didn't suggest all the antibiotics and topicals (as I've found out, cystic acne can take over at such a fast pace) Btw, does this derm offer cortisone shots?

Its reassuring to read your posts; you've already been on it and you would do it again. Hope you keep your journal going!

Do update on the hair thing--Im trying not to be paranoid abt hair loss...I wonder if I would notice it happening had I NOT known this was a potential side effect, cause now, its almost like Im anticipating the signs.

Cat

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Hi Cat,

I have only been seeing this derm for a short while, and it was initially for melasma, before I started breaking out badly again. So I am not sure if he offers cortisone shots, but I have a feeling he probably does.

I was just having a conversation with a friend of mine today on how you start looking for side effects because you know that you could possibly experience them. Whenever I start to think that a headache or a bad mood is because of Accutane, I stop myself and think what other reason there could be, or tell myself that it is probably just a coincidence. I always try to say that I will see how it goes, see if it happens consistently before I freak out.

I think everyone is different with the hair loss thing. I didn't experience any until a month AFTER my first course ended. And it stopped just as suddenly as it began. I noticed that around the same time the next year I seemed to be shedding more hair again, though no where near the amount as the first time. So maybe it wasn't even due to the Accutane anyway.

I definitely had no reservations about going back on Accutane. Quite the opposite, actually - I couldn't wait to get started again!! I guess my side effects were mild compared to some journals that I've read over the years, nothing unbearable, no long lasting side effects as far as I could tell. biggrin.gif

Beth

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Day 13 (July 6th)

Yesterday was the first day that I didn't have to use blotting papers or powder throughout the day! I was so psyched, especially after last week's grease battle. I'm still waiting for that initial breakout - I've just got a few scattered around. One in each eyebrow, one on my jawline, one in the hairline, couple of small ones around the mouth area (they LOVE that area!). The one on my jawline is a small cyst, not one of the huge painful ones luckily, but a good hard bump. Better than those whiteheads I was dealing with last week. I remember I had the worst cystic breakout a few weeks into my first course. I haven't had too many cysts recently, so hopefully I won't have a repeat of that nightmare.

The expensive Murad night cream that I bought might have to make its way back to the store for a refund or exchange. I wake up with a flaky face every morning now! I used this face cream last time called Aqua Glycolic that really helped with flakiness and skin texture. It says not to use on sensitive or irritated skin, but I never had a problem with it. I can't find it in any stores around here anymore, so I ordered it online. I spend $55 on a moisturizer and it doesn't do anywhere near as good a job as a $12 one! Go figure.

The only thing I'm annoyed about right now that is Accutane related is trying to get my makeup to look natural with the increased dryness. I have melasma (hyperpigmentation) in some spots and I feel very self conscious unless it's covered well with makeup. I'm going to have to find a way to tweak my routine, either with a different moisturizer under the makeup or with a different makeup/concealer. The thing is that some areas get really greasy with too much moisturizer, while others remain as dry as the sahara. My upper lip for some reason is so dry that any makeup there ends up looking very unnatural. Unforunately, it's one of the places I have hyperpigmentation. And I can't DO anything about lightening up those areas until I've been done with Accutane for a few months. But, I had to make the call between doing something about the pigmentation, or doing something about the acne. I think I made the right choice.

Does anybody else have any skin issues other than acne that they are trying to deal with at the same time? I feel like I'm the only one!! cry.gif

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Hi Beth,

Im sorry you have to deal with melasma as well and tht being on accutane there isn't anything you can do for it right now. I developed melasma during my last pregnancy and it bothered me alot. I used hydroquinone 4% (rx) and retin-a micro and it helped alot with tht (mine was on upper cheeks and above lips) In fact it did fade away and I kept it away with high spf sunscreen. I definitely agree tht you are doing the right thing by treating the acne first.

You're not alone in dealing with acne and other skin conditions. Im getting dark spots from the acne and Im afraid some little ice pick marks. Its looks strange because one side of my face is smooth and then there's a few little tiny holes which really stand out to me. Im not sure what's happening with the other side of my face as the acne is still somewhat active (despite those shots Im getting--some still weasel their way out), so Im worried abt scarring there. I feel like everytime I see my derm i start discussing scar treatments with him but tht seems like such a long ways away (and Im sure tht's how you feel abt the melasma).

Did you get any scarring from your acne? ---Cat

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Hey Beth- Good luck with your second course! I think you need to find a more heavy duty face moisturizer!!! I realized about a month in that I needed something more powerful too. Currently I am using aveeno daily moisturizing lotion. It works well under makeup, and you only have to use a little dot for each area of your face, because it really sinks in to your skin well.

Good luck, and congrats on finding a derm on the first try who would give you the miracle of accutane!!!!!!

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Hi Beth,

I am on day 12... I had the same problem trying to make my foundation look natural on my skin. I found that the stuff I was using which has more of a base and better covers up under normal conditions just would NOT look like one with my skin while on this medication. It was the neutragena foundation which usually really covers up.

I use cethaphil moisturizer SPF 15 underneith. I didnt like it at first, it burned... and it is pretty flipping shiny, but now it works well under the make up.

I find I need a more liquidy base but that never really covers up too well. So I am spot-covering with the neutragena and matching with Estee Lauder Combination skin foundation which is great. It has an SPF and its not drying, not oily.

Its like 30 bucks but go and have them match your skin tone. If you dont like it, you can get your money back but I swear on this foundation. Let me know how it works for u if you decide to go with it.

(it covers up very nicely on me. I had my hair in my face before and now I have it back... muuuuch better).

Good luck girl!

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Heya

I'm on day 5 of Roaccutane treatment (course 1) and had to go to a Christening - I've broken out really badly and have a line of 4 whiteheads on the right side of my mouth and my face looks really messed up, flushed and sunburnt. Did you get this?

I dont normally wear makeup as i find it makes my acne worse but today I really wanted to as my face felt like one big oil slick, but then my lips and mouth are so dry.

Have you experienced any depression as Dianette (the pill) made me depressed and I'm a bit worried - Im only 17!

V eusa_dance.gif

Day 13 (July 6th)

Yesterday was the first day that I didn't have to use blotting papers or powder throughout the day! I was so psyched, especially after last week's grease battle. I'm still waiting for that initial breakout - I've just got a few scattered around. One in each eyebrow, one on my jawline, one in the hairline, couple of small ones around the mouth area (they LOVE that area!). The one on my jawline is a small cyst, not one of the huge painful ones luckily, but a good hard bump. Better than those whiteheads I was dealing with last week. I remember I had the worst cystic breakout a few weeks into my first course. I haven't had too many cysts recently, so hopefully I won't have a repeat of that nightmare.

The expensive Murad night cream that I bought might have to make its way back to the store for a refund or exchange. I wake up with a flaky face every morning now! I used this face cream last time called Aqua Glycolic that really helped with flakiness and skin texture. It says not to use on sensitive or irritated skin, but I never had a problem with it. I can't find it in any stores around here anymore, so I ordered it online. I spend $55 on a moisturizer and it doesn't do anywhere near as good a job as a $12 one! Go figure.

The only thing I'm annoyed about right now that is Accutane related is trying to get my makeup to look natural with the increased dryness. I have melasma (hyperpigmentation) in some spots and I feel very self conscious unless it's covered well with makeup. I'm going to have to find a way to tweak my routine, either with a different moisturizer under the makeup or with a different makeup/concealer. The thing is that some areas get really greasy with too much moisturizer, while others remain as dry as the sahara. My upper lip for some reason is so dry that any makeup there ends up looking very unnatural. Unforunately, it's one of the places I have hyperpigmentation. And I can't DO anything about lightening up those areas until I've been done with Accutane for a few months. But, I had to make the call between doing something about the pigmentation, or doing something about the acne. I think I made the right choice.

Does anybody else have any skin issues other than acne that they are trying to deal with at the same time? I feel like I'm the only one!!  cry.gif

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Hey cat-

I also used Retin-A and 4% hydroquinone for my melasma (after my first course of Accutane). It seemed to lighten it up some, but after discontinuing use, it came back with a vengeance! I'm a member of a melasma board too, and many women find that they have a "rebound" effect from hydroquinone, causing it to become darker after stopping use. Sounds like you were one of the lucky ones!

I don't have much scarring. A few small dents scattered around, but nothing that causes me much distress.

Cindy,

Thanks for the moisturizer tip. I'm currently using the Aqua Glycolic face cream I mentioned earlier. If that ends up being a bit too harsh, maybe I will give the Aveeno a try.

Hi AZ79,

I stopped using a separate concealer and instead started using just my mineral makeup all over, and things are looking much better! It's all natural and doesn't feel heavy on my face, also doesn't seem to deteriorate as much during the day as some liquid foundations I've used. I'm glad you found something that works great for you!

rosie,

What you're experiencing is totally normal. I and had almost the SAME breakout around that time! I had a cluster of whiteheads on the right side of my mouth and it was horrible. My face is still a bit flushed, but covers easily enough with makeup. Don't worry, as I experienced on Day 13, the dryness will come! But it definitely gets oilier first, so don't worry!

I have never experienced Accutane-related depression. I did go through some emotional rollercoasters when I was on certain brands of birth control though. Don't stress about it, from experiences I've read about, depression is very rare while on Accutane. You might have an off day here and there, but so does everyone else in the world! Don't be too quick to pin it on Accutane. As Cat and I mentioned earlier, sometimes the side effects appear only because you are looking for them...

Beth

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Day 18 (July 11th)

I cannot believe how long pimples take to come up on Accutane. There's one right next to my lip that I've been feeling for 4-5 days, and only today can I see it. I've gotten a few more, but it's still less than I had before I started my course. Nothing to stress over.

But there IS one thing to stress over. I think I'm losing more hair per day than I should be. I have been trying to reason with myself for the past week and a half or so - telling myself that I am just paranoid because I had a bout with it after my last course. But there is no denying the evidence. More comes out in the shower, more comes out while drying. I would say I still lose the normal amount all the rest of the day though. I am still trying not to freak out yet though. Could just be a cycle my hair is going through.

I don't know what I'll do if this continues though. It was one thing to endure it for a month (even THAT freaked me out). But to keep losing a significant amount for 5 straight months? I'll look like a chemo patient! I'm currently taking a good hair, skin and nails supplement that contains biotin and a load of other vitamins. I just picked up some Nizoral as well - for some reason it is supposed to help stop hair loss. I started using it during my last bout with Accutane-related hair loss and it was around that time that I stopped losing (but I was also OFF Accutane during the whole month that I experienced the hair loss).

For now I am just going to try and relax. If it persists, I will definitely mention in to my derm in 2 weeks.

Everything else is pretty much as it should be. Lips are painfully dry if not constantly slathered in Aquaphor. I experienced dry eyes a little bit last night (but there were plenty of times that I wasn't on Accutane and experienced the same). I've been a little bit achy and tired, but nothing major. I find that if I take MSM in the morning, I have a little bit more energy.

And I've finally gotten to the point where I don't have to wash my hair everyday, yay!! This is one of the things I was really looking forward to. The only problem I've encountered is how to make my hair look decent in the morning? I'm used to washing and blow drying every morning before work. My hair is going in all directions when I wake up - what do I do to make it look fresh w/out washing it? (Maybe a silly question to some, but I'm new to this whole idea of not having to wash my hair every day.) Well, I guess if the hair loss persists, I won't have to worry about it!! lol.gif Ok, so maybe that's not really funny, but sometimes you just have to laugh!

Forgot to mention in my last update, but my skin has been really itchy. I find myself scratching my face in the middle of the night, and my arms have been especially itchy. I moisturize like crazy, and the skin doesn't FEEL dry. At least the rough texture on my face has evened out some - but it's still on my arms where they itch.

Aside from the current hair scare, I'm pretty happy!

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Hi Beth,

I feel for you abt the hair thing. I had a hormonal imbalance in my early 20's...missing periods, and losing more hair than i should. Everyone said i was imagining it and tht it looked the same. I felt tht I was 'seeing' too much of my hair on the white tile bathroom floors and dreaded the shower and blowdrying bouts. Throughout the day I kept running my hand through my hair and panicked when I'd keep getting hair over and over.... when I finally got diagnosed by my endrocrinologist and put on medication i felt so relieved and stopped being so worried abt it. Eventually I stopped noticing it as much, but have always remembered tht awful/panicky feeling.

Before starting accutane, I took 'inventory' of my hair, esp. in the front and top. I also took stock tht in general I do lose hair in the shower and LOTS during combing it afterwards..then more when blowdrying. (But, I was looking for it...)

So now tht Im on accutane Im trying to chill and hope for the best. I don't want to be left with mostly scalp showing. (I've seen some ladies with very wispy, thin hair ...scalp very very noticeable and I hope if i lose hair it won't be like tht of course) I've also considered cutting my hair shorter so it doesn't show up as much on the floors....my husband thinks Im nuts. I keep thinking...out of the pot and into the frying pan with accutane.

So see...you're not the only one hun!

<hugs> --Cat

Btw, I notice I lose more hair than usual before my periods....

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Beth (or anyone else who reads this):

I am so happy that there are logs like this on the internet...I feel like my friends and family have no idea what it is like to have acne, and so I can't really get any kind of support from them. I'm a 21 year old female, and I have had what I would consider to be mild to moderate acne for quite some time. In highschool, I went on an oral antibiotic (minocycline) which, along with topicals, seemed to clear it up for the most part. Just this past year it seems to have come back much worse than it ever was in highschool. The derm. that I went to did not think that I needed oral medication when I went to see him the first time (for some reason my face seems to clear up somewhat for the day of my appointments) and so he gave me only a topical (1% clindamycin, 5% benzoyl peroxide) which made my skin really dry if I used it every day, and led to no real improvement. I went back to him and begged for some kind of oral antibiotic, so he gave me erythromycin, which I have now been taking 2 times a day for about 3 1/2 weeks. At about the 2 week mark, my skin looked as though it was completely cleared of new acne lesions (I still had lots of red marks from old ones, but I was very hopeful that those would fade eventually) and I was ecstatic, however, when I had my last menstrual cycle I developed a number of pimples that do not seem to want to go away. Right now I am disgusted by my face...I hate going to work each morning. The doctor told me that these pills take 6 weeks to work, so I am trying hard not to be discouraged, but I am afraid that even if they do clear it up, it will just come back. I am considering going on birth control to see if that might help clear it up, but my mom is very reluctant to let me do this (despite the fact that I am a 21 year-old) and so I think that I would really have to be sure that it would help me before I could convince her that it is the right move. I have thought a lot about accutane as well, but I am thinking that maybe I should really make that my last resort, since the side-effects can be so bad. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I know that each person has a different story, but I'm just really trying to figure out what should be the next move (and quite frankly this dermatologist is absolutely no help...he seems like he expects me to diagnose myself...which I did last time I saw him). Also, I have started developing really gross white-heads that I never had before (from the oral antibiotics?) and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for how to get rid of these...I guess I just have to let them run their course sad.gif Anyway, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Is there even anything out there other than accutane which has really worked for anyone? Thanks so much, Sarah

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cat,

Thanks so much for sharing the story of your hair loss scare. It makes me feel so much better just knowing that there is someone out there who knows what it feels like to see too much hair in the shower drain, on the floor, and everywhere else, and not know how to stop it. I did a bit of research and there are certain B vitamins that are supposed to be very helpful in preventing hair loss. I checked the ingredients of my Hair Skin & Nails vitamins, and it contains very minimal amounts of those vitamins. So I may check into that, if for nothing else than to give myself some peace of mind!

I got my hair cut about 2 weeks ago, quite a few inches (just for a change). It's amazing how losing some of the length and getting some layers in there can make it look so much fuller.

ABF32,

Why is it that our skin always seems to get better before a dermatologist appointment?! Man that drives me nuts. Antibiotics never did much for my face, although I remembered they cleared up my back pretty well. I don't agree with long term antibiotic use, it can cause a whole bunch of other problems later on. The problem is that it doesn't discriminate between good and bad bacteria, and quite frankly, we need the good bacteria! I wish I could tell you that there was something out there other than Accutane that has worked for me - but I think the reason we're all here is because we haven't found anything else that works. And it's really not as scary as you might think. I remember when I was first offered it, I was horrified. I'd only heard horrible things about it. I did some research on it at that time, and only found the negative comments. It was a few years later when I started reading people's journals and their personal experiences with it that I opened myself up to trying it. And I'm very glad I did.

A dermatologist that expects you to diagnose yourself isn't a very good one. Maybe your next step should be to find a new one. Tell them all of the different things you've tried for your acne. Personally, after trying the topicals and antibiotics for awhile with no success, I think Accutane would be the next step...

Best of luck to you.

Beth

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Hi Beth,

You mentioned a sunscreen with a high spf on another thread--can you tell me a bit more abt it? I visited the link you provided but didn't see any that were spf100.

I wonder if tht will leave a white residue? Im interested in a good sunscreen as well and would be interested to find how you like it.

Also, Im at end of 2nd week and finding my face very oily--did you get tht at all?

CAT

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Hi Beth,

You mentioned a sunscreen with a high spf on another thread--can you tell me a bit more abt it? I visited the link you provided but didn't see any that were spf100.

I wonder if tht will leave a white residue? Im interested in a good sunscreen as well and would be interested to find how you like it.

Also, Im at end of 2nd week and finding my face very oily--did you get tht at all?

CAT

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Day 21 (July 14th)

So I noticed something unusual this morning - I have a whole bunch of black heads on my nose and around the edges of my nose. This is a new development. I never even had one single black head until AFTER my first course of Accutane was finished. And then I would get a few around the left edge (only the left for some reason!). They weren't actually on my nose, but just at the corner. And now there's an army of them out of nowhere! I guess it's Accutane pushing everything out, but it's very strange for me. I have a few TINY little pimples that I don't think will ever actually surface. My skin is looking pretty good (except for that damn melasma!! evil.gif).

Since I haven't had to wash my hair in a few days, I haven't been able to take stock of the hair situation. But to be on the safe side, I picked up a few B vitamins that were recommended on a hairloss site. I don't know if it will help, but at least I'll know I'm doing all that I can. eusa_pray.gif The vitamins are B3, B5, and B6. The recommended dosages are 50mg, 100mg, and 50mg respectively, each 3 times a day. Well, it's hard to find that low of a dosage, so I'm going to be taking 500mg of B3, 500mg of B5, and 100mg of B6, each twice a day. In any case, B vitamins are water soluble, so it's not like I have to worry that I'm taking too much. And three times a day is a bit much. I'm sure people already wonder what all the pills are that I take in the morning at work!

Another new development is a really dry spot on my ear, just a little bit higher than my lobe. I noticed it the other day and kind of scratched on it, but wasn't able to scratch it off. It's not a scab, just a dry scaly spot. I never had something like this my first time on Accutane, but I was also on a lower dosage.

Oh yeah. My lips this morning looked like they were getting a bunch of tiny little cold sores (I always worry about those because I'm QUITE prone to them!). I remember that my first time around I never got one single cold sore - didn't get one until a year after I was off Accutane, actually. So I didn't worry too much, just took a few lysine (natural remedy that helps if you catch 'em in time!). And they're gone now.. however, my lips are actually peeling in spots, even though I keep Aquaphor on them at all times. All of these new developments.... very interesting. I'm my own case study! eusa_think.gif

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Beth--thanks for the link. They have Anthelios 60spf to their inventory. I was looking to purchase frm Canada. There's so many diff. types--did you get many recommendations?

Abt the erythromycin (from our other thread under my log)

From what I've been reading--I think derms usually provide antibiotics or prednisone if patient is prone to scarring. You probably don't seem to be scarring so maybe tht's why. I didn't realize you were on 80mg a day-- I think tht's great tht you're doing good on it. From reading this board though, everybody's situations seems so different...diff. dosages... other prescriptions... side effects ..etc etc.

How's the situation with your boyfriend? Is he more accepting of the accutane now? I can't imagine not being able to talk to my husband abt all this (although the hair stuff is too much for him to bear with)

Btw, do you color/highlight your hair on accutane? Im in serious need of coloring here.... I have a clump of grey hair in one spot (since I was a teenager).

I hope the vitamins help you. I asked my doctor abt vitamins for hair but he didn't really think it would help me (if the 'hair' thing starts) He says if it makes you feel better than take vitamins. He did say if my lips really bother me to take vit.E.

What cover up are you using for the melasma? For my darker spots I've been using coverblend by exuviance(neostrata line) Its ok now, but I think it'll look ugly if I start getting flaky skin.

sorry to ramble!

Have a great weekend

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Hi Cat,

It was hard to finally pick a sunscreen to try. Someone on the melasma board did a little write up of the different ones that she had used, and that helped me pick one. Another great board (for sunscreen and lots of other beauty products) is www.makeupalley.com. Kind of like epinions - people rate products and write reviews.

I'm actually not on 80mg/day yet. I'm on 60, alternating 40 one day and 80 the next. But I think my dosage will be upped to 80 eventually.

Since I had the initial altercation with my boyfriend when I started Accutane, we just haven't talked about it. He sees me putting on Aquaphor all the time, and taking my pills, but he doesn't say anything. Sometimes I want to complain about how my back aches or how I think I'm losing too much hair, but I don't. It's just easier that way, and it's really not a big deal to me. I'm just happy that he doesn't give me a hard time about it, he said his piece and that's that. I get a lot of support from this board, and I think that actually helps me more, because everyone here knows firsthand what I'm going through! And I have my friends too. My best friend's boyfriend is on it, so we swap side effects stories lol.gif .

I actually got my hair highlighted recently when I got it cut. I think it's fine, personally. I never had a problem doing it on Accutane.

I've been taking Vitamin E daily. I really don't think it helps with my lips though. I mean, they are painfully dry, even with the constant Aquaphor use. But who knows, maybe it would be worse without the vitamin E!

I'm not using any special makeup for my melasma. I tried using some different concealers, and I found one that covered it really well (Colortrations), but with my skin being this dry, and the concealer being sort of drying, it was just too much. So I am just using my mineral makeup all over and trying to forget that it's there!

Have a great weekend!

Beth

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Hi Beth,

I like referring to Makeupalley--it does help with selections! That helps to have someone to compare notes with (your friend on accutane at the same time) I have a couple but they were on it years ago and can't rmember alot!

Let us know on the sunscreen. I ordered the La roche one and hope its not too 'white and pasty'.

How's your skin? I've been noticing hair 'dropping' and its beginning to get to me! Could it happen this soon?

Take care,

CAT

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Hey Cat,

We can shares notes on the different sunscreens, I'd like to know how the La Roche one works out for you as well.

My skin is doing pretty good. I've got a few scattered pimples, but they don't even bother me. Still better than it was 3 weeks ago. And I am loving the dryness!

I also am noticing hair dropping. I used to only stress about it while washing and blow drying. But now (especially the past few days) I'm starting to notice it just coming out during the day. I don't think it's an extreme amout - I keep reminding myself that it's normal to lose 100 hairs a day (even though that sounds like a lot!). I'll mention it to my derm this Friday at my appointment, but I'm still not on the freak out side yet. Still wondering if maybe I'm just noticing more because I'm worried about it, as I always did leave hair all over the place! I'm trying to be calm and patient.

How's your skin doing?

Beth

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YES YES YES the hair 'droppings' throughout the hair...I've been wearing tank tops because its so hot lately...and I can 'FEEL' when the hair drops on my arms...boo hoo. So maybe it's because of the tank tops tht Im noticing...I hope ....

So ok, normal to lose abt 100 a day...BUT its probably NOT being replaced by a new one! That's what's bugging me. I tell myself, no matter what, Im not stopping accutane for hair loss. Maybe I'll check out some wigs...

I don't care so much if the hair falling is from underneath..I just don't want it from the 'bangs' area or crown. (my bangs are chin length, the rest of hair is past shoulders)

Will update you on the sunscreen. I'll go update my log now....

CAT

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Hi Beth! Thanks for visiting my journal! Sorry it's taken so long to respond....but about FL, I actually live in Georgia, but my mother lives near Ft. Lauderdale (Margate)...I was visiting her last month when I had the "explosion" of cysts on my face! It's quite humid in GA too, which makes me wonder if it's contributing to my initial outbreak? I did my first course of accutane in the spring of 2004, so I didn't have to deal with heat/humidity. You mentioned being able to wear your hair in a ponytail versus trying to hide your face with your hair.....I can totally relate. I went to six flags yesterday and left my hair down to try and cover my acne along my jawline.....I was miserable. It was so hot and humid. As I stood in lines waiting to get on rides, I looked around at other people and wondered how they could have such pretty skin in such miserable weather? And why did it seem like I was the only one with acne? cry.gif And then my husband tapped me on my shoulder and informed me of the white-head on my chin that was growing larger by the second. He said "you've got to go do something about that." LOL. I'm lucky that he's not mortified at my situation, and he is quite supportive, having to look at this mess on my face. I'm glad you have your support, too, no matter who it is.

I'm starting to wonder too, why I don't need to use moisturizer? I really don't have a problem with skin dryness. I wash my face with Clinique Antibacterial Wash and that's it. I use a sunscreen during the day if I go out. But it seems as if everyone else is using moisturizer. ????

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