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I Hate Acne!

Been considering accutane for a long time - almost there!

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Hi! I guess I'm returning to the board after a long absence... I posted quite a bit last summer, and am now just coming back. I have mild - moderate, but very persistent acne, and very oily skin. I'm 18, I'll be 19 this summer, and I've been battling acne since I was 12. I've been on prescription BP washes, Benzaclin, Benzamyacin, Differin, Retin-A, Mino, Doxy, and BC. My skin gets clearer at times, only to break out again and is never clear. It's also extremely oily. After reading about Accutane, and learning more about it on this site last July, I REALLY wanted to take it. I went to my derm, who's actually not even a MD just a PA who works under a doctor, and she told me it wouldn't help me blah blah blah.. and just put me on the Retin-A. I had a terrible initial breakout and was really depressed. I got over the initial breakout but I still hate my skin, and lately I've been breaking out again. I went to a new derm for the first time today, and he actually is a dr. He looked me over, and I told him everything I've tried in the past and he gave me 2 options - laser therapy or Accutane. The laser therapy is $1000 a wack and insurance doesn't cover it... I'm not made of $, so that definitely is out, so I vied to go with the 'tane. I got the paper work all filled out and the first pregnancy test out of the way, now I just have to wait another couple weeks to have the 2nd pregnancy test done and I'm good to go. I've waited for this for forever, but now I'm starting to get scared. I've known people that have had serious acne, went on tane, and now have crystal clear skin - and that's all that I've wanted for as long as I can remember, and my mom's best friend's daughter is currently on it as well. My parents weren't too fond of the idea when I mentioned tane before, but now that I'm an "adult" and don't need their permission, I haven't told them I'm going to do it. There's really no one I can talk to about it, but I would really like some input - so if any of you have any suggestions, success stories, or tips of what to do/not to do (which moisturizers and cleansers to use, how often to wash your face, a good sunscreen to use since I'll be doing this in the summer, any dietary changes I need to make, do I need to take fish oil, etc... ), they'd be VERY welcome! Sorry for this long message... I'm just so excited and nervous and confused all at once!

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See the accutane logs forum for all the best advice you could ever get!

But for me:

-Never go ANYWHERE without chapstick! Ever...ever...ever...ever. It SUCKS. I recommend anything from Bath & Body Works because they all taste yummy, aren't super shiny, and have aewsome staying power!

-Wash with a very gentle cleanser - time duration: just long enough to lather your face and rinse off. ~10-15 seconds!

-Oil of Olay Complete with SPF is a great moisturizer - not greasy, and has sunscreen - your skin gets extremely thin and sensitive while on accutane!

-Baby yourself on accutane - get lots of sleep, drink lots of fluids, eat food that is good for you. Treat yourself like you have the flu for 6 months! Your body is under a lot of stress.

-Always take accutane with a fatty meal - it is a vitamin A derivative which is fat-soluble, and it absorbs into the body much more efficiently when it has fat to bind to.

-Don't get Olay Quench moisturizer for your body. It smells like grandma. :) But the Olay in-shower moisturizer is GOLD because you don't have to wait to put on your clothes since it rinses off.

-Don't exfoliate any part of your body more than once every week or two. Your skin can't handle the microabrasions.

-Keep lots of bandaids - your skin is going to crack, peel, tear, and otherwise become damaged extremely easy!

-Keep a photo journal if nothing else, even though it can be painful to look at the pictures - you won't beleive how far you have come.

-Be aware that you might get an initial breakout. Most derms won't tell you this because it is disheartening to think your skin will get worse before it gets better. (It will likely get oilier before it gets drier also!) BUT ... it will be all over with in just 2-3 weeks!

GOOD LUCK! Accutane is the best thing I ever did for myself. This is about all the advice I have to offer! :)

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Thanks for the advice! I'm so frustrated right now - I absolutely HATE my skin, and my roommates have perfect skin - skin that I would freakin die for. I am breaking out and my skin was all red and nasty and one of my roommates saw me like this. Then today she has one little tiny zit and she goes on and on about how bad her skin is, and I'm like - whatever, I would trade you IN A HEARTBEAT! and she's like why? your skin's perfect. It just pisses me off beyond belief because she makes me feel SO stupid - i'm so self conscious about it, I look terrible, I go to the derm today and he puts me on accutane right away, I didn't have to ask for it or anything, he brought it up, then she acts like there's nothing wrong with my skin! grr.

Sorry for the vent, I'm in tears right now -

But back to your post... How severe was your acne before you started Accutane? How much worse did it get during your initial breakout? Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks and that it is worth it for mild, yet very persistent acne and very oily skin? Thanks so much!!

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Awww you sound like you are having SUCH a tough time... you will be stronger for this trial I guarantee! Just keep your chin up!

(One time one of my friends with near-perfect skin -who is "heavier"- was complaining to me about a zit she had and how she felt like she had horrible skin... A thought popped into my head and right out of my mouth -i weigh 115 lbs btw- and I go "Well I am feeling pretty fat today..." OOPS!! :lol:)

My acne was mild-moderate. It used to be flawless, then with some imperfections that were handled with proactiv, then it started getting really really bad so I did a multitude of other things . But yeah, right as I started tane it was mild-moderate. I had RIDICULOUSLY oily skin. As in ... ew. That's all. It was gross. So mine sounds like yours - persistant, mild-moderate, and oily.

Check out my log (the link is in my signature) and see my progress photo from today. It has day 2, day 9 (my worst day of all) and today. You can see how much it got worse. I also have a TON of pics in my gallery of what your skin will do day-to-day.

I wouldn't change my decision to take accutane for anything. It was the best thing I ever did. I am finally getting my life adn my confidence back. Go for it - pop that pill ASAP so you can start having fun again! :)

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Thanks so much Tennesseegirl - I REALLY needed the reassurance. Haha. And about the overweight thing, it sounds like we're about the same size too... I just might have to let a lil comment about feeling overweight slip out sometime.. oops ; ) My acne has completely rid me of every ounce of self-esteem... I'm so self-conscious about my skin, it's awful. I know my acne isn't severe, I don't get cysts, etc. It's actually starting to look a little bit better than it has been lately. I'm scared for the IB - or what if accutane doesn't work for me and I make my mild acne worse??? Ahh! I can't believe all these negative/confused thoughts I'm having! But then I think about what my derm said about Accutane being the only CURE for acne and I think about finally losing the oil and having the clear, smooth, acne free skin I've always wanted... What do you think the odds are of my acne getting worse instead of better on accutane, and what about the side-effects, do you know any statistics about how common they are? I have a few weeks until I can actually get my prescription - which is going to be terrible, I'm going to be spending the entire time trying to analyze everything, and worrying - SHOULD I or SHOULDN'T I? you know?

-I have a couple more questions too - How old were you when you started? What dosage did you go on and how long is the treatment going to last? Thanks so much!

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