Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Back on accutane

Recommended Posts

I first tried accutane my senior year in college. I never completed the full 5 to 6 month course since it was so expensive and I didn't have health insurance at the time. I scraped and saved every penny I had for the 3 months I was on or shall I say afford accutane. My skin miraculously became clear within 2 months and stayed that way for nearly 8 years. Of course I would have the occasional spot here and there but nothing that a little BP wouldn't clear up. But once I hit 29 my skin started to break out severely. At first it was a few spots that were just a bit more stubborn and resistant to my usual BP arsenal. But within a couple of months Acne claimed its stake on just about every real estate on my face and sometimes even my ear lobes.

For a while I tried very unsuccessfully to manage the condition my self until one day I saw a picture of ME at my company Christmas party. It was jarring. I almost didn't recognize who I was. I think my eyes and my lips were the only clear spots on my face. I remember how disturbed I was by the picture and while sitting in a meeting emailing my secretary on my blackberry to make an appointment with a dermatologist as soon as possible. The next day I saw my new dermatologist who also happens to specialize in laser treatment for certain skin conditions acne being at the top of the list. He wanted me to try the laser and a round of antibiotics (doxycycline) before we escalated to accutane. I was skeptical at first since I didn't know much about laser treatment but I knew during my high school and early college years that I tried just about every antibiotic (topical and oral) to no avail. I went on seven rounds of Smoothbeam Laser treatment http://www.candelalaser.com/ (2 weeks apart each treatment) which worked wonderfully. I was clear again and the laser had another added bonus of smoothing out the scarring, old and new.

Now two years later my old nemesis has reared its head up again and started its campaign across my forehead, temple and lower cheeks. It started slow but I exacerbated the situation by overly washing and medicating my face. Out of desperation I tried just about every OTC medication I could find and included some interesting products such as Clarisonic http://www.clarisonic.com/ acne lamps http://www.acnelamp.com/index.html and Zeno http://www.myzeno.com/ . Zeno is an interesting approach actually but one that wasn't very successful for me. It produces a certain degree of heat known to kill p.acnes yet not burn the skin. Anyway, I went back to my dermatologist whom recommended trying the laser again but I declined. I felt that I had a longer remission with accutane and I would give it another shot.

For the first month I am on 20mg / day of Ranbaxy Sotret http://www.ranbaxyusa.com/branded/brand_products.htm. My dr. wanted me to start on a low dosage to become acclimated and reduce the effect of the initial flare up. It's only been ten days and I have noticed a few more cystic nodules around my forehead, temples and jaw line. The first two to three days I didn't notice anything not even a side effect. However, on my fifth day I noticed the new cysts. Then yesterday (ninth day) and today I have noticed mild tingling and at times itchiness all over my face and torso area. I would also have to say that my oil levels have decreased as well and my skin is starting to dry. Unfortunately I also noticed yesterday and today that while on the elliptical my knees and hips were a little sore a dull tooth achy pain that I usually don't experience while doing any type of cardio. Yesterday was my chest day and I noticed weakness in my muscles and early fatigue. Today while doing chin ups during the first set I had to fight and strain for every pull when normally I can complete four sets completely on my own. And while completing each chin up I felt muscle ache and mild pain in my delts and lats. I think I will chalk this one up to age (32) and suck it up.

I will continue to post when I can. I also plan on taking pictures every 10 days so hopefully I will get a chance to upload them for your comparison.

I wish you all a wonderful life and clear skin.

Until next time...

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Itch, Itch and Itch. My face and the top of my head has been itching all day. I've been resisting the urge to scratch the annoying itching except for the top of my head since I don't have a problem with acne up there and I still have a full head of hair (knock on wood). But I must confess that when it itches really bad and I feel like tearing into my face I've been taking a clean tip of an unfolded paper clip and gently prodding the inflamed area. God that felt good. By midday I had a box of paper clips and a small cup of alcohol next to my keyboard, typing and prodding away. Sounds a bit gross now that I read it. Today the back of my hands are tender and red like I got sun burn. I noticed it as soon as I stepped in the shower this morning and when running them under warm water it was like placing my hands into a furnace. The good news though is that I haven't noticed any new acne camps (spots) today.

I called my Derm today to inquire about a cleaning regimen that he recommended. I must admit lately I have been trying everything and not following a proper regimen. I feel like I live at CVS, RITE AID and Walgreens. When one of the cleansers or medications doesn’t work I don’t even give it a second chance I just go out and get something new and this is in addition to the prescriptions. I probably have a better collection of acne medication than any one of the drug stores aforementioned. So my dr. advised that I try La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Foaming Cleanser complimented with their Toleriane Light Facial Fluid as a moisturizer. He wants me to stay away from any over the counter acne medication for now and just cleanse and moisturize. After hitting a couple of department stores in the city the only place that I could find these products were on line so I ordered them from skincarerx.com. I will report my results once I start using them. I noticed that La-Roche-Posay has an acne care line as well hmmmm…. Just kidding I think I will listen to my doctor this time.

I guess it would be a good idea to post some of the products I have tried. Gosh it might be easier if I posted the items that I haven’t tried.

Products that I have used

Accutane (nearly 10 Years ago)













AcneStatin (LONG LONG TIME AGO I think they went out of business)

AcneFree (Procactive knockoff)


MD Skincare (just their Alpha face peel)

Cellex C






Jack Black (just their face scrub)




N.V. Perricone


Close to All the Benzol Peroxide, Salicic Acid, Sulfur, Retinol, etc… products out there (clearisil, Oxy, Neutrogena, Strydex, Nivia, Noxema, clean and clear, biore, loreal, etc…)

Panoxyl bar

Pernox Scrub





Acne Lamp (table top)

I think that’s about it. I may have missed a few. But NOW I can add La Roche-Posay to the list ALRIGHT!

Oh I forgot to add Smoothbeam Laser treatment to the list. Sorry. The list was kinda long O.K....

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Subcue!

Welcome to the board!

Thanks for the GREAT rundown of your history.... I debated for a bit whether or not to try the smoothbeam laser. Now, after hearing your experience with it, I'm glad I opted for the 'tane instead. Man, it sounds like you've tried everything.... which = lot's of cash spent on treatments. :dry: Glad you found your way back to the stuff that -hopefully- will clear you for good. All my best! :wavey: L

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So this is the third weekend that a Jehova’s Witness missionary knocked on my front door. Did I miss something? I don’t remember them knocking on my door before or any other missionary for that matter. Maybe they have stepped up their efforts in proselytizing from house to house and started claiming neighborhoods. As I answered the door and looked beyond the professionally dressed couple standing at my doorstep, I could see several of my neighbors were experiencing the same witnessing as I was at that very moment. It really was like out of a movie. I think I startled my missionaries though. You see I had just washed my face and hadn’t moisturized yet when I ran to the door. And with out moisturizer my face is so dry and tight now, that any movement breaks the skin. After which I look like a reptile in the process of ecdysis and shedding its old epidermis. So there I am standing in front of them in boxer shorts and a wife beater tank top with a towel draped over my head and now talking like a ventriloquist cuz my face is so tight (sexy I know) as my cat is circling around my legs tripping over my over sized football slippers because he wants his breakfast. The Jehova’s Witness missionaries nearly tripped as they back pedaled down my front steps holding out a Watchtower booklet not really to hand to me but more to keep as a protective barrier between me and them.

Anyway, as you know now that on my twelfth day of accutane I have really started drying out. I normally don’t use moisturizer but now I have to otherwise I start peeling excessively. I don’t think this is all a result of the tane though. I think it’s a combination of the topical acne products and accutane. I haven’t received my La Roche products yet so I am still experimenting with my collection of washes and topical acne medications (I have a bit of OCD).

I noticed a couple more zits today well more like sore bumps that will most likely turn into Mt. St. Helens as they normally do on my face. What can you do its only been twelve days. However, the areas unoccupied by acne are starting to look smooth and clear. Even my black heads around my nose, which are normally visible a mile away, are much smaller and only visible when my face is pushed up against the mirror. Also when I woke up this morning, my face wasn’t as oily. Usually it looks like the Exxon Valdez incident or I’ve lathered baby oil all over my face but today there were just a few beads of oil around my nose.

So as I pop my next tane pill I say “bring it on�……..

Thanks jasota and browneyz. I really appreciate the support.

I also forgot to mention that La Roche has a special lip balm for people on accutane and or retinoid therapy. I have ordered this as well and will let you know how well it works. Here is the link


Don't you feel like doing this sometimes..ummmm maybe all the time for some of us.....


Have a great day guys....

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the run down of the info. that video was a great link. i sent it to all my friends who got a great kick out of it. keep your head up accutane will take care of ya.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I stayed in on Saturday night. Since I can’t drink I decided I would just stay home and do some research. Not that I need to drink to go out and have fun but it generally helps. Actually my friends were all hitting a local bar so I decided why tempt my self. I have been craving beer. Any beer Oh and scotch, I had received a bottle of Macallan 30 for Christmas that I have been enjoying every now and then but Saturday night took a lot of will power to not grab a tumbler and hit a double. Anyway I started researching about acne online and ran into some interesting articles that might be of interesting read.



There is an interesting note in this article that states that many individuals with acne have low levels of linoleic acid (omega 6). Another interesting note is that isotretinoin brings those levels back to normal. Here is the quote if you decide not to click on the link.

“Second, changes in lipid composition have been implicated in the development of acne vulgaris. Persons with acne frequently have excess sebum production and oily skin. This excess sebum may dilute the normal epidermal lipids and result in a change in the relative concentrations of the various lipids. Diminished concentrations of linoleic acid have been demonstrated in individuals with acne and, interestingly, these levels normalize after successful treatment with isotretinoin. This relative decrease in linoleic acid may be what initiates comedone formation.�

Maybe it might not be a bad Idea to supplement Omega 3, 6 and 9.



This link gives a good diagram and stage of the Acne Process. It also explains that its not just bacteria and oil that cause acne. It states that in one study the dermis of certain subjects were directly injected with the P.Acne bacterium which failed to produce acne.


Over the last few days benzoyl peroxide has been irritating my skin especially while I am on accutane. (By the way my La Roche Posay package arrived today.. cool). Now that I have my La Roche Posay cleanser and moisturizer I will be listening to my derm and staying away from OTC acne meds. With that said why isn’t there a medication that’s similar to BP but more tolerable. I am sure you all know that P.Acne bacteria cannot survive in the open where there is oxygen and that’s why benzoyl peroxide is so effective. Benzoyl is the vehicle that delivers the peroxide into the pores, which then reacts and turns into oxygen. So I started thinking why not hydrogen peroxide? I googled my question and found this link.


It seems there was already a study for the efficacy of a hydrogen peroxide cream (crystacide) in treating acne and proved to be just as effective as BP but more tolerable. If anything check out the above link. By the way Crystacide is available for purchase online.

Cach you all later.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Welcome to the family! Interesting links you posted. I've heard of the hydrogen peroxide treatment before. In fact, there are some people who ingest food grade HP and say that it helps. It's dangerous though, because it can be fatal at the wrong concentration.

Here's an interesting article on long term low dose accutane:


It seems like things are going well for you so far. That's great!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

hey man, good luck with accutane. just to let you know, la roche-posay though expensive, are probably the best skin care products you can find on the market. since youll probably have really dry skin, you should find a moisturizer by them called effidrate or hydranorme (severly dry skin). its the only moisturizer i know that keeps your skin moist, and balances the pH, which makes your skin glow! i dont know where you live, but in europe these products are easy to find. anyway, good luck again and keep us updated!


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just put some aloe vera gel on your face, it will help. I have lily of the dersert. And follow it up with moisturizer such as cetaphil w/spf 15

Share this post

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.

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