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To 'tane or NOT to 'tane?

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hope2endACNEnow

Hi everyone,

I really grateful to have run into this website. I really appreciate everyone's HONEST comments about this horrific "disease" so many of us are STILL suffering from. Having said that, I'm starting this blog to hopefully get some feedback and suggestions on Accutane. And the BIG question is: should I start taking it or not? But first, let me give you a little background on myself so you could make a better suggestion.

* Started to break out in college = 19 years old. I'm 29 now.

(Yes. Ten LONG years with no self-esteem!)

* Been to 3 family physicians, 1 pharmacologist, 2 independent estheticians, Celibre, and so far 2 dermatologists.

* I've tried/been on: lasers to shrink the oil glands, lasers to treat scars, lasers to lesson cysts and on and on…extractions, Proactive, tetracycline, topical creams, microdermabrasion, face masks, blue light, cortisone shots, chemical peel, going to the beach to swim because lots of people say sea water suppose to help, etc. and bunch of other home remedies, and fruits & vegetables diet and drink lots of water...pretty much everything you can imagine! I’ve probably spent over $20K over the past ten years for all the “treatments†and medications/products out there, but none seem to work.

* May 2008, I started seeing the first dermatologist in Newport Beach, CA. After 3 months, for the first time in 8 years, the breakout started to get SO MUCH better. I’d say about 85-90% better! Although he didn't seem to care much or even spent more than 20 seconds every time I came in for follow ups, BUT his regimen was working for me. This is what he put me on:

** First 5 months: microderbrasion every 2 weeks, green tea face wash twice a day, benzaclin in the morning, moisturizer, and sun block, and then differin & moisturizer at night. In addition, chemical peel every 2 weeks & checkups.

** 6th month and onward: microderbrasion every 3-4 weeks, green tea face wash twice a day, benzaclin in the morning, moisturizer, then sun block, and then differin & moisturizer at night. Chemical peel every 3-4 weeks & checkups.

* Due to my then job, I was off every Wednesday so I made to all the scheduled appointments for about a year. I was very happy that the treatment was working and I was getting 1-3 breakouts once every couple of months, which was NOT BAD at all! But I had a different job and had to move so I couldn’t see him anymore because his office hours are from Monday-Friday 10-5PM, exactly during my working hours.

* Second dermatologist (going on 9 months now), I had all my charts and records from the old one faxed over and explained to him that I wanted to continue similar regiment as the previous doctor’s. But no 2 doctors are the same, so he put me on a “similar†regiment and it seemed to work for the first 4-5 months, but for the past 2 months or so, I’m experiencing breakouts all over my jaw line on both sides of my face, under the chin area, and neck. I’d say 2-5 on each side at the time along with scars from the past ones. Here’s the regiment he currently puts me on:

** microderbrasion every 4 weeks, green tea face wash twice a day, benzaclin in the morning, moisturizer, then sun block, and then differin & moisturizer at night. Tetracycline. NO chemical peel.

* Conclusion: Currently, it’s not as bad as 2-3 years ago (I’d say 2-5 on each side at the time along with scars from the past ones), but I’m almost 30 years old and I’m SO over it. I want to get rid of it once and for all! Therefore, I’m considering Accutane, which my second dermatologist also recommends me to take, but I’m a little scared of the side effects, and also it’s not as severe as it used to. I know everyone is different and have different reactions/results to Accutane, but I’m one of those who will for sure experience all the side effects, so I know I’ll get SO much worse for the first couple of months with possible hair loss (I naturally have thin hair), joint pains, and VERY try skin/lips, etc. So again, the big question: should I take it?

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