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Tanya826

hormonal acne and accutane

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Hi all!

I'm new here so here's some background info: I had some acne when I was a teenager (am now 30) but skin was totally clear for 10 yrs when I was on the pill. I went off the pill last yr because my husband and I wanted to start a family. Well, instead of getting pregnant, I got acne! It's a lot worse then when I was younger and is on face (not too bad), chest and back. I've tried numerous topicals and have been on an oral antibiotic for about a month but hasn't really helped much. Also looked into clearlight therapy but it would cost thousands of dollars and there's no guarantee it would work. Anyways, when I saw the derm. couple weeks ago he asked if I would be willing to stop trying to have a baby for a while and go on accutane. Before seeing him, I had pretty much already accepted that accutane may be a possibility. Even though I'm devastated to put off having a baby, I so need to have clear skin again - I can't even begin to tell you how much acne has affected my life but I'm sure you all understand that!

So, now that I'm probably a couple weeks away from going on Accutane (getting blood tests next week) I'm starting to wonder if there's something else going on that's caused the acne, like maybe polycystic ovarian syndrome? The only symptoms I have are acne and possible fertility problems so who knows?

Are there any other women out there who have PCOS or hormonal acne and who have gone on accutane? Has accutane worked for you? Any feedback/advise would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Hi all!

I'm new here so here's some background info: I had some acne when I was a teenager (am now 30) but skin was totally clear for 10 yrs when I was on the pill. I went off the pill last yr because my husband and I wanted to start a family. Well, instead of getting pregnant, I got acne! It's a lot worse then when I was younger and is on face (not too bad), chest and back. I've tried numerous topicals and have been on an oral antibiotic for about a month but hasn't really helped much. Also looked into clearlight therapy but it would cost thousands of dollars and there's no guarantee it would work. Anyways, when I saw the derm. couple weeks ago he asked if I would be willing to stop trying to have a baby for a while and go on accutane. Before seeing him, I had pretty much already accepted that accutane may be a possibility. Even though I'm devastated to put off having a baby, I so need to have clear skin again - I can't even begin to tell you how much acne has affected my life but I'm sure you all understand that!

So, now that I'm probably a couple weeks away from going on Accutane (getting blood tests next week) I'm starting to wonder if there's something else going on that's caused the acne, like maybe polycystic ovarian syndrome? The only symptoms I have are acne and possible fertility problems so who knows?

Are there any other women out there who have PCOS or hormonal acne and who have gone on accutane? Has accutane worked for you? Any feedback/advise would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Hi,

Sorry I'm not a women but I did myself look into the light therapy with n-lite I think it was. I was told it wasnt suitable because laser light therapy really is only for superficical temporary acne or as for most people for evening skin tone and old blemishes rather than for existing/ new acne. So if you have acne mainly on the surface of the skin rather than cysts or deep nodules then you may find some benefit though its more likely to even the skintone rather than stop acne and you would probably have to take some kind of oral med too.

I too have been fighting acne for over 10 years. I am on RoAcc now and if you are hoping to start a family then you should definatly not consider RoAcc. Not sure what the implication of antib's are for you. But I did have some success with tetracycline for a while. May work 4 u?

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Hey there! Thanks for the reply. Don't worry - I definitely would NOT keep trying to start a family if I go on accutane. The antibiotic I'm on is safe for pregnant women but unfortately, it's not working. Accutane may be my only hope to get clear skin again.

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I also would like to know if other women have had success with accutane for hormonal acne. I too have hormonal acne & I'm starting accutane this week.

Good luck with the accutane, Roxy - let me know how things go. As long as my blood work all checks out, I'll be starting accutane next week - kinda scared about the possible side affects but more than anything I want my ance GONE! I'm crossing my fingers that this is going to work.

So, just curious, have you had blood work done showing abnormal hormone levels? Has your acne flared up since going of the pill (as it has for me) or have you always had it? How bad is your acne? Did your dermatologist tell you anything about the effectiveness of accutane for hormonal acne? Mine didn't say much of anything - just recommend accutane but I'm going to ask him about it next week. I need some reassurance that there's a good chance that accutane will work.

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Hi, I am 37 and suffering of hormonal cystic acne. I have been on Accutane for a couple of months and for now am in awe at what my skin looks like. I am clear and have been for about a month now. I don't know what the long term effects will be but have been on antibiotics, topicals, and glyco peels for years. Accutane is my last hope and so far the improvement is drastic. Not everyone is the same, I know. If you do decide to go on the drug I wish you lots of luck.

Ang

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Tanya,

I actually have adult onset acne. I didnt get it until a year ago when I turned 28. My docs keep telling me its hormonal and actually common for women my age. I've been on birth control since 18, and went off about 9 years later. My skin was fine when I went off of it, but when I went back on, my skin totally freaked out. I thought it would settle once it adjusted to the hormones, but it never did. I actually went off the pill hoping for my skin to clear, but that didnt work either. My derm didnt get into specifics about how it works for hormonal acne, but she seems to believe acctuane will help me. Oh, let her be right! Please check in again as I would like to hear if your doctor gives you any more info and also to chart your progress on acctuane since we will be starting at the same time.

Ang,

I am so happy for you! Its great to hear positive feedback! :D

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Hi Everyone! I have used accutane in the past (approx 4 years ago now). I found it worked absolute wonders on my skin. I was amazed at the difference within a few short weeks. The only side effect I experienced was an increase in cholesterol level -- which returned to normal levels once the treatment was finished. I did not experience excessive dryness, however, I made sure to moisterize my face daily to prevent that. The Cetaphil products are amazing. I found the Cetephil CREAM (as opposed to the lotion) to be the best moisterizer.

My skin has remained clear for the past few years. However, recently I have begun having breakouts and will once again be taking accutane. But I understood that this was a possibility -- sometimes the acne returns and a second dose is required.

Although I experienced basically no side effects (aside from the cholesterol), this does not mean that other people don't experience side effects. I just wanted to share my story because I remember when I was considering accutane for the first time and was desperate for any informatino or personal stories I could find. For me, accutane worked (at least for 4 years), and I do not hesitate to go through another treatment. With that being said, I took precautions (i.e., alot of mosturizing and sunscreen!) to help the process along.

If you have any questions about my own experiences, then please ask! I am happy to share and help where I can!

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Tanya,

I actually have adult onset acne. I didnt get it until a year ago when I turned 28. My docs keep telling me its hormonal and actually common for women my age. I've been on birth control since 18, and went off about 9 years later. My skin was fine when I went off of it, but when I went back on, my skin totally freaked out. I thought it would settle once it adjusted to the hormones, but it never did. I actually went off the pill hoping for my skin to clear, but that didnt work either. My derm didnt get into specifics about how it works for hormonal acne, but she seems to believe acctuane will help me. Oh, let her be right! Please check in again as I would like to hear if your doctor gives you any more info and also to chart your progress on acctuane since we will be starting at the same time.

Ang,

I am so happy for you! Its great to hear positive feedback! :D

Gotta love those hormones, heh? :wacko: I'll keep you posted how it goes with the accutane and if my derm. has any new information for me.

It's reassuring to hear that accutane has been successful for some women. I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for us :)

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:shock:

Tanya,

I actually have adult onset acne. I didnt get it until a year ago when I turned 28. My docs keep telling me its hormonal and actually common for women my age. I've been on birth control since 18, and went off about 9 years later. My skin was fine when I went off of it, but when I went back on, my skin totally freaked out. I thought it would settle once it adjusted to the hormones, but it never did. I actually went off the pill hoping for my skin to clear, but that didnt work either. My derm didnt get into specifics about how it works for hormonal acne, but she seems to believe acctuane will help me. Oh, let her be right! Please check in again as I would like to hear if your doctor gives you any more info and also to chart your progress on acctuane since we will be starting at the same time.

Ang,

I am so happy for you! Its great to hear positive feedback! :D

Gotta love those hormones, heh? :wacko: I'll keep you posted how it goes with the accutane and if my derm. has any new information for me.

It's reassuring to hear that accutane has been successful for some women. I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for us :)

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Hi all,

I am a 37 y/o fair skinned female. I never had severe acne until last year (a few pimples now and again, but no serious problems). My derm said it was hormonal as I am starting early menopause and have PCOS although I'm thin. She put me on spiro and the acne seems to be clearing, although not as fast as I'd hoped it would. It has also made my periods crazy but I'm hoping full meno comes soon as that should take care of that problem.

Best wishes fron bookyone :)

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Hi Tanya!

I am 29yrs old, and on a course of accutane now. I also have children --but my advise is to have your baby or babies first and then go on accutane. You never know what the pregnancy hormones will do to you. During my pregnancy with both of my boys, I was completely clear, but with my daughter I was an acne monster (I've heard for others, it was the opposite). But I have a good friend who went on accutane in high school... then after two children, her acne came back almost immediately. Hormones are as strong if not stronger than accutane. I'm afraid that if you went on accutane first and then got pregnant, the hormones would kick start the acne back into gear and then you would need another course. I know that it's SO hard to wait... but give yourself the piece of mind in having healthy babies and you never know, your hormones may give you clear skin while pregnant. And then fix the acne stuff! Best of luck. L

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Hi Tanya!

I am 29yrs old, and on a course of accutane now. I also have children --but my advise is to have your baby or babies first and then go on accutane. You never know what the pregnancy hormones will do to you. During my pregnancy with both of my boys, I was completely clear, but with my daughter I was an acne monster (I've heard for others, it was the opposite). But I have a good friend who went on accutane in high school... then after two children, her acne came back almost immediately. Hormones are as strong if not stronger than accutane. I'm afraid that if you went on accutane first and then got pregnant, the hormones would kick start the acne back into gear and then you would need another course. I know that it's SO hard to wait... but give yourself the piece of mind in having healthy babies and you never know, your hormones may give you clear skin while pregnant. And then fix the acne stuff! Best of luck. L

Hey there,

Yeah, it's been a really tough decision to put plans on hold for having a baby. I've realized though that what's most important right now is for me to take care of myself. My experience with acne over the past year has been pretty devestating. My face hasn't been too bad but it's the body acne that's really affecting me. Having to deal with this has also affected my relationship with my husband. So, for my own well-being, I need to deal with this. The other thing is, I have no idea how long it's going to be until I get pregnant - we've been trying already for ten months. The idea of trying to get pregnant for an indefinite period of time while also trying not to let acne ruin my life is not really an option at this point. I am worried about what will happen when I eventually get pregnant but there's just no way of knowing what my skin will do - I'll have to deal with that when the time comes. I really appreciate your input but I hope you understand where I'm coming from.

By the way, how's your course of accutane going? How long have you been on it? Any helpful tips?

Tanya

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Tanya,

If you are wondering about PCOS, ask your dr. to have them check your testosterone levels when they do the blood test. High levels could indicate PCOS. If they're normal, you know you don't have it.

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[

Hey there,

Yeah, it's been a really tough decision to put plans on hold for having a baby. I've realized though that what's most important right now is for me to take care of myself. My experience with acne over the past year has been pretty devestating. My face hasn't been too bad but it's the body acne that's really affecting me. Having to deal with this has also affected my relationship with my husband. So, for my own well-being, I need to deal with this. The other thing is, I have no idea how long it's going to be until I get pregnant - we've been trying already for ten months. The idea of trying to get pregnant for an indefinite period of time while also trying not to let acne ruin my life is not really an option at this point. I am worried about what will happen when I eventually get pregnant but there's just no way of knowing what my skin will do - I'll have to deal with that when the time comes. I really appreciate your input but I hope you understand where I'm coming from.

By the way, how's your course of accutane going? How long have you been on it? Any helpful tips?

Tanya

I completely understand, and would probly opt to do the same as you, now that I see your situation better! As far as your ?? on how my course is going, I'm thrilled to be on accutane. It cleared me up almost immediately, but the fatigue is almost unbearable (though I also realize I am taking care of 3 kids). I have a log over with the other accutaners, if you ever want to drop by... :angel: L

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:shock:

Tanya,

I actually have adult onset acne. I didnt get it until a year ago when I turned 28. My docs keep telling me its hormonal and actually common for women my age. I've been on birth control since 18, and went off about 9 years later. My skin was fine when I went off of it, but when I went back on, my skin totally freaked out. I thought it would settle once it adjusted to the hormones, but it never did. I actually went off the pill hoping for my skin to clear, but that didnt work either. My derm didnt get into specifics about how it works for hormonal acne, but she seems to believe acctuane will help me. Oh, let her be right! Please check in again as I would like to hear if your doctor gives you any more info and also to chart your progress on acctuane since we will be starting at the same time.

Ang,

I am so happy for you! Its great to hear positive feedback! :D

Gotta love those hormones, heh? :wacko: I'll keep you posted how it goes with the accutane and if my derm. has any new information for me.

It's reassuring to hear that accutane has been successful for some women. I'm keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed for us :)

I started accutane about 2 months ago, I am 31 w/hormonal acne, I had very oily skin and now I don't that is so amazing cuz I have tried everything glycol, lazer all different products from my esth and my derm put on several antibods now I am alergeric to them so this is my last hope. Yes I still am breaking out but I hope it goes away, I do have 2 scars from my acne but I heard that it can heal some scaring, does anyone know if that is true? My body feels like I am an old lady I think it is a side affect of accutane to make you sore, I think that is what it is from, but I am still going to take it. Good luck

Wow Can I relate to you!! I have been on tane just over 2 months and I have body aches like you could not believe. I feel 80 yo. My heels, hips, legs, shoulders....all of me just aches. I am sure it will go away but on a good note...my face is great other than two scars that don't want to budge. I am very happy with my results so far.

Good Luck to you!

Ang

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I believe that PCOS has caused my acne. I have had my cysts burst twice on me, once when I was 15 and again when I was 19 on my right ovary. Both times I wasn't on birth control and it was very painful. Over the years my cystic acne has gone through phases, clearing up for a little while and then breaking out badly for a long time, despite being on birth control. My gyno never specifically diagnosed me with PCOS- every time I mentioned 'ovarian cysts' they just gave my pescriptions for birth control. It wasn't until I started researching on the internet that I realized I have many symptoms of PCOS.

Despite being on birth control, my periods were irregular, and I suffer from PMS with breakouts around ovulation and menstration. Sometimes my right ovary would be very sore. I recently switched to nuva ring and have been seeing an improvement with regulation, but not with my cystic acne or PMS.

I have been on accutane before- when I was 18 I tried it but quit after 2 months because I had trouble concentrating and I was in school. I completely cleared my skin for about 7 months and then I slowly started breaking out again, and over time it got worse.

The last 5 months my acne has been worse then ever. I started accutane again 3 months ago, however I have yet to see an improvement. Even my derm was supprised that I hadn't cleared up yet, but he assured me that I would.

One thing that has always bothered me was my treatment for PCOS. I read an article that said most gyno's just treat it with birth control because it is the easiest treatment. I'm only 21 so i'm not concerned about pregnancy now but when the time does come, i'm worried i'll have problems. Luckily I think my problem only lies with my right ovary.

I also want to know if anyone with PCOS has had success with accutane. I regret not finishing my first course with accutane and I wonder if it would have cured my acne. Unfortunatly I'm not seeing an improvement this time around, but I still have another month left (My derm says the course usually runs 4 months).

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Just thought I'd post my experience with adult acne as your story sounds very similar to mine. I also had mild acne as teenager and was pretty much on birth control until trying to fall pregnant at 28. When I went off pill I got some mild break outs but during my pregnancy my skin was worse than I had ever experienced. After first pregnancy I went on Roaccutane but didn't finish my course as my skin cleared up so quickly - my dermatologist said this would be ok!! Then with my second pregnancy my skin again became extremely bad, and low and behold I'm back on Roaccutane now and my son is 3 months old. This time it is taking forever for my skin to clear and having lots of side effects.

I guess my advise is no1. you can get through a pregnancy with severe acne if you have supportive people around you (trust me I know this is not a pleasant thought). If you can't even contemplate this then definately go on Roaccutane but make sure they prescribe the correct dose and stay on it until course is complete.

I wish you all the best and can definately sympathise - it really doesn't seem fair.

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My acne is hormonal. I have been on accutane twice as a teen (i'm 25 now). It did clear me up, but I still would get breakouts-though not as bad. I went on OrthoTriCyclene for about 2 years, and that helped too, but the side effects were awful. Then I tried proactive, which worked for about 2 years, and then I started breaking out bad again recently. What also came back were my painful cramps that cause me to throw up and bleed heavy. Sorry if TMI, but it's how i knew for sure my acne was hormonal as well as the location of my main breakouts (my acne beard).

So, I'm sure accutane will clear you up, but there are serious serious side effects. Also, the results might not last, especially if your breakouts are hormone related. I suggest trying to find the cause. Also, jessafoliation worked well for me, plus I use Retin-A. My skin is finally turning to normal (just working on the red marks now).

I also see a Natropath doctor who has me on supliments to regulate my hormones. You might also want to avoid dairy if your hormones are out of whack, because commercial dairy is loaded with hormones (not to mention antibiotics and pestisides).

Good luck! I hope you find what works for you!

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Just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their experiences - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one going through this :) Well, I got my blood work done this morning and will see the derm on Thursday. If everything looks good, I'll be starting accutane. When I first saw the derm a couple of week ago, I was so overwhelmed by it all that I didn't ask a lot of questions. This time, I'm going armed with a list of questions (specifically about treating hormonal acne with accutane). If he has any words of wisdom, I'll be sure to pass on it on.

Tanya

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Just wanted to pass on a quick update from my appointment with the derm yesterday. I told him I was concerned that accutane might not work if the acne is a result of hormonal imbalance or something like PCOS. He said that basically, all acne is related to hormones, with genetics also playing a role. Even if I do have PCOS, which he doesn't think I do, accutane will still work (big sigh of relief!).

Also told him I was concerned about what would happen when I finished the course of accutane and went back off birth control pills (I broke out when I went off the pill a year ago). He reassured me that if accutane works as it should, going off the pill will not result in another break out (another big sigh of relief!). So, that's one dermatologist's take on things - hope it's helpful. Oh, and I started an accutane log so if you'd like to learn more about my oh-so-exciting adventures with acne and accutane, check it out.

tanya

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I also would like to know if other women have had success with accutane for hormonal acne. I too have hormonal acne & I'm starting accutane this week.

ME TOO!!!! ME TOO!!! ME TOOOOO!!!!!! I'm not starting accutane, but considering it. I've been told by some to stay away because of it's harsh effects to your body??? Confused and frustrated on what to do! I'm 26yr old TODAY...happy b-day to me...YUCK acne!

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I also would like to know if other women have had success with accutane for hormonal acne. I too have hormonal acne & I'm starting accutane this week.

ME TOO!!!! ME TOO!!! ME TOOOOO!!!!!! I'm not starting accutane, but considering it. I've been told by some to stay away because of it's harsh effects to your body??? Confused and frustrated on what to do! I'm 26yr old TODAY...happy b-day to me...YUCK acne!

Oh, I feel for you - I know how horrible acne can be :( Like my derm. said, all acne is hormonal to some degree and he feels very positive that accutane will work for me (my skin went from clear to a total mess when I went off the pill a year ago). I started accutane just about 1 week ago and so far, no side effects. If you read through some accutane logs, I think you'll see that accutane isn't really the scary monster that it's made out to be. Yes, there are some potentially serious side effects (like there is for most medications) but generally it seems like the majority of people experience dry skin and lips, some joint pain, and tiredness. Pretty tolerable when, in the end, you have clear skin! I'd recommend seeing your doctor and finding out what your options are (there are other options besides accutane but they're usually more long-term). Good luck!!! I hope you find what will work for you :)

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