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  1. Hi all, I am starting work on a study at Mass General Hospital related to the use of aminolevulinic acid and light to cure facial acne. 5-aminolevulinic acid is a precursor to a variety of porphyrins synthesized by bacteria (heme, for instance). Interestingly, these porphyrins and bacteria accumulate preferentially in sebocytes. Porphyrins release reactive oxygen species (like singlet oxygen) when triggered by the appropriate wavelengths of light, leading to cell apoptosis. In other words,
  2. Also, this is unrelated, but I drank a good bit of alcohol while on Accutane (occasional beers with food plus a night of 4-5 drinks every month). Liver enzymes were on the higher end of normal, but never a problem according to my derm. And if you're in the Boston area, I recommend Dr. Richard Horan for Accutane, as there is a lab in the office out of which he practices in Medford (the convenience of getting bloodwork done in the same building as the appointment was a big plus).
  3. I am probably the only person who will ever post to say this, but (and I'll get to how in a second) Accutane turned my hair from thin and stick-straight to full and curly! People who haven't seen me in months or years ask what I've been using. They say it's a huge transformation and my hair is now "lush"! (I'm mostly just shocked because I never realized how thin my hair had been before.) In reality, what Accutane did for me is merely take my hair back to "normal." For many years (6 or 7) m
  4. If you're getting monitored by your dermatologist monthly, I wouldn't worry about it. Especially if you really are only having 3-4 drinks. Note also that drinking is not listed as a contraindicated behavior on the drug package inserts, and that many people on this board have dermatologists who never mention avoidance of alcohol while on accutane. verbatim from my own derm: "it's probably not a good idea to drink a lot while you're on the drug" heavy drinking (esp. right before a blood test)
  5. Try showering at night instead of in the AM.
  6. Just wait it out. It should only be like that for a couple days. About 2-3 weeks ago, my nose was like that - quite painful, had big painful pustules on both sides. Today I looked in the mirror and I don't even have blackheads there anymore.
  7. I don't know whether this will continue to be the case - my bet is no - but I've been on 80 mg of accutane for two days and in that two days, I've seen my facial redness DECREASE dramatically. So who knows, maybe it can go both ways?
  8. Placebo effect. But not the kind you're thinking. Time is a crucial element in placebo. Your results are exactly what one would expect for someone living in Wisconsin, assuming the photos are date-stamped correctly. Your skin's sebaceous glands were over-active in the summer, leading to an acne flare-up. The breakouts from late summer and early fall had already begun to heal in the first photo. The cold weather in the following months meant 1) decreased vasodilation and angiogenesis from
  9. Heat can affect the sebaceous glands and cause them to produce more oil. Try staying cool with a fan and avoiding the heat and sunlight as much as possible, and see if that helps. You're also on a fairly low dose of accutane, and you started quite recently, so I would give the drug some more time to really dry you out.
  10. Were you mostly cleared up from the minocycline? I'm just not looking forward to taking a huge step backward for 3-4 months. But I suppose there's not much that can be done. I see you're about 2 months into your course - how are things going for you now?
  11. I'm 80% clear from minocycline and I'll be starting accutane in a week. I'm wondering: is there any way to help maintain my current level of clear skin through the beginning of the accutane treatment?Has anyone made the transition from antibiotics to accutane before?
  12. Which ones? The cycline group antibiotics (doxycycline, minocycline) are relatively narrow-spectrum and have generally milder side effects than other antibiotics, but they aren't the last line of treatment; many acne strains are resistant to these oft-prescribed medications. A dermatologist, knowing your history of accutane-intolerance, might put you on trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, a more serious antibiotic (with a range of risks and drawbacks, but also serious rewards). What did t
  13. These products will usually only treat the mildest cases of acne. They're marketing, not medication. Same as above You didn't mention any oral antibiotics among past treatments. While they don't treat non-inflammatory acne, your doctor should be able to find one for you that will clear any papules and pustules (and quite quickly, in many cases). Topical retinoids often aren't enough to clear existing acne, but once clear, they can be helpful for maintenance. Still, they don't w
  14. Probably accutane is going to be "the thing" for her - but here's something to consider: because she's only 11 - not even at an age where she COULD become pregnant - she's probably at a point where a dermatologist who is familiar with the concept might not be opposed to a LONG term (say up to 2 years) course of very low-dose or intermittent-dose accutane. low-dose courses of accutane are usually avoided (especially for females) because the risk of becoming pregnant increases so dramatically whe