Hey guys, I know you probably get so incredibly sick of answering these questions all the time, but I really need help.
Anyways, I'm now 15 and I've had acne on my face (nowhere else) since I was 12. It wasn't too bad right when I started to break out, but it slowly kept getting worse as I got older. Then around the time of my 14th birthday, my skin started getting really oily, which resulted in me breaking out a LOT more. I had never seen so many zits in my life. I couldn't believe it. I was always so upset by it too. Then a few months later I decided to use different products on my face. I started using the clinique acne products and my face cleared up within a month. Besides my overproduction of oil, my skin looked beautiful. I had no acne, and I didn't break out again for a long time. Then about 10 months later, I woke up one morning and my skin looked horrible. I was breaking out all over my forehead and also on my chin. Then I kept breaking out worse and worse, and I even started breaking out really bad on my back. It was disgusting, but I wasn't too worried, because I thought my clinique stuff would clear it right up. But instead, my face just kept getting worse. So I went to a derm and he prescribed me benzaclin. That didn't work, so then I was prescribed klaron and this roll on gel stuff. That also didn't work so he gave me this other gel that was supposed to be stronger. That just made my skin worse, so he gave me differin, and then this other moisturizer I applied all over my face. I guess that clogged my pores or something, because my skin looked worse than ever. So then I didn't like this derm so I went to another one. He gave me finacia and tazorac. The finacia irrated my skin so much and the tazorac, for some reason, made my skin greasy and made me break out more. So I went back to the dermatologist and he insisted that I try differin again because it was more gentle, and with that he gave me doryx (antibiotics). I was so excited, because I really thought antibiotics would help. Now its been a few months on doryx and my skin hasn't improved at all! I'm so upset, I can't even begin to tell you how sick it makes me. Seriously, what did I do to deserve this horrible skin. So anyways, I really want to try accutane, but my derm keeps telling me just to wait a little longer, and the doryx should start to work. Well, I've waited another month and my skin hasn't improved. I go back to the derm next week, so hopefully he will give me accutane. I am so desperate at this point and I am sick of waking up every morning and looking at my disgusting skin.
So my questions are:
Do you think it is unreasonable for me to want to take accutane?
Do you think that I'm being impatient?
Is accutane worth taking?
How BAD does your skin have to be to be prescribed accutane?
Is there anything else that is as effective as accutane?
I'm just so tired of having acne, and I really think accutane is the only thing that will work. Please respond! Thank you guys so much for your help!
I started breaking out when I was around 11. I've been to a ton of dermatologists and they did NOTHING to me. Then, they prescribed Accutane & I wish I never took it....It damaged me a lot. If your a girl, get your hormones checked! It can be a hormonal imbalance & you can get helped!! You should also look into probiotics, esp. since you started taking antibotics & probiotics can help with your skin too. Diet is another thing that can help you! Eliminate junk food like soda, cookies, chocolate etc. & try to eat healthier. Hope this helped!
Is your acne cystic? By this I mean, are there deeply embedded red lumps on your face? Generally Doctors only prescribe accutane to people that have severe cystic acne. It sounds to me like you might have this problem but I am not sure. females generally have a tougher time getting an Rx because of the possibility of birth defects. I do have a friend who is female that was able to get an Rx because she had persistent, moderate acne that didnt respond to anything else but she also had to wait a long time (3 years) before they would prescribe it. I think that if you have tried as many meds as you have that accutane is probably your best bet because it attacks the acne in every aspect i.e. sebum production, the sloughing of dead skin cells etc. It would also be good for you to read some peoples accutane journals which you can find on google so that you glean a general idea of what people go through while on the meds. well I hope this helps and I hope that your acne improves. Good Luck
Last edited by Irishmade83; 08-08-2004 at 05:21 PM.
I took advice similar to that you were given by your derm and 'waited it out' a little longer. A little longer as in 5 years.... I would go for the accutane if I were you. I wish I had started it long ago.
Sometimes my acne is cystic, and sometimes it's not. It really depends on what time of the month it is (if you know what I mean lol). I think my acne might be hormonal because I break out a lot on my chin and I heard that is caused by a hormonal imbalance. Isn't birth control supposed to help that? And what exactly are probiotics?
I still think I might want to try accutane though. So keep responding please! Thanks guys!
I dont think it is unreasonable for you to start taking accutane if your acne is as bad as you say it is and you have tried all those other things why not try something that is guarenteed to give you some results. When I was on accutane I only had mild-moderate acne and a few zits on my back, by the end of month 2 I was almost completly cleared. Maybe Im just pro-accutane becuase it worked great for me with no problems other than chapped lips and dry skin but you can easily get over that. Not just that if your skin is gonna be scarred by acne and you're gonna be depressed about your skin I think there is no measure to be happy go for it. Oh and just a little common sense dont double your dosage (what I did) your skin will start to peel like a sunburn
Last edited by fallen_5555; 08-08-2004 at 08:22 PM.
You get over to that derm and you tell him everything you need to say (Can't look in the mirror, constantly feeling upset to the point of tears all because of your acne) you say whatever you have to say to get on Accutane, then you get on accutane, and watch your life change, to the point to where your in tears because you look in the mirror and can't believe the miracle of a clear face.
I'm on my 2nd dose of accutane at the absolute maximum dose of 120 mg per day. The only side effect I have ever experienced is dry lips, and there was this other side effect I can't remember..... oh ya overwhelming happiness that's what it was!
It's been my life saver...god send....completely changes your life around. And I know what I'm talking about - I'm an Accutane veteran. (As a neccessary note, obviously this *might* not be the one for you, because of health issues, problems with side effects, etc. etc. etc. - I'm speaking from my great experience, and from the experiences of those around me who took it). You sound like you have a very similar case history to mine though, so I think it might work - I too have been on ALL of those, switched derms constantly, thought it would never get better, felt like a walking oil slick etc....I see hope for you yet!
Okay - accutane 101. Have you looked it up yet/talked with your doc? To begin with, it's a bit of a controversial drug. It's very strong medication, and frequently your first perscription is quite light. Sometimes the effects last for life, sometimes only a year (as in my case - but I have genetically induced god-awful skin, lol). Like most medications, it's got a zillion listed side effects - the most common are the "it might get worse before it gets better" thing, depression, sore joints, extreme sun sensitivity and dryness of the eyes, lips, skin and scalp - much less common are serious problems with your liver - however, while on Accutance you have a blood test every month - thereby your doctor can examine your results, detect any problems and immediately take you off the drug, or adjust your dosage, etc. Okay the whole "might get worse" thing is important. For the first few weeks when you start taking it, your skin may get worse. This is because Accutane is a shock to the system, and brings out all the oil, blocked pores, and "lurking beneath the surface zits" that you've got. It might not happen, but it might be a good idea to ask your doc. about a cream to put on that will counter it a bit, or some initial antiobiotics. The important thing is DON'T LOSE FAITH. it will work, but you might have to give it a month, or even more. It's a miracle drug (in my opinion) but even miracle drugs need a little time to get to work. Alright, other effects. The first time I took Accutane, I did suffer from depression (every time I've taken it i've had the dryness, but I'll get to that later). Sometimes it was bad, but I'll tell you the truth - I was depressed to begin with and the MAIN REASON I was depressed was because of my horrible skin - I don't know what stage you're at, but I was so bad that I wouldn't talk to anyone, wouldn't make eye contact, felt like everyone in the room was looking at me in disgust, etc....not the way to live your life. So the happiness at having amazing skin for the most part countered the depression (and I did have amazing skin - it actually turned out that under the zits I had very nice skin - I've had people stop me in malls and elevators and such to comment on it ). Sore joints I don't think I had much of a problem with....sometimes you can't really tell, you know - same with the depression. If at times you were sore/depressed before taking it, you can't say for SURE if it was the fault of the medication. However, I never noticed any particular soreness. Sun sensitivity and sensitivity in general are major things - I think they happen to everyone. The main things to remember are...1) WEAR YOUR SUNSCREEN!!! I have very fair skin, and would burned easily before, but now if I'm out in the direct sunlight for even 15 minutes I will get a bit of a burn. 2) Avoid putting abrasive stuff on your skin....no rough exfoliating scrubs (gentle ones are fine) no sacylic acid (which I can't spell, lol - but you know what I'm talking about - tazorac, differin - all of those that we've been on)..we're talking gentle gentle gentle. 3) try and avoid PICKING. I know it's hard, almost impossible, but it's even more important when you're on Accutane. Because your skin is so sensitive (accutane takes several layers off, making it thinner), picking can leave scars much more easily. Alright...where I am...oh yes, dryness! Well, i had a hell of a lot of that....but to tell you truth, I considered it mostly a bonus. I'll tell you why....I had fairly oily skin before Accutane (as you said you do too, start jumping for joy - no more oil on accutane...and enjoy the unusual sensation of stocking up on heavy duty moisturizer!). Once I got on it, my skin and esp. my face became very dry - I have to put on a lot of moisturizer, but that's fine (i mean, i was used to putting creams on my face, but as i'm sure you identify with, those were mainly greasy, or stinging or gel-like or all around horrible zit creams perscribed by your doctor :S). Also, do you get that yucky feeling at the end of the day, where you feel kind of dirty and sticky, and feel like your face is shining like an oil slick? (I did, lol) well - that is a feeling you can say goodbye to . Your lips will also get VERY dry and cracked unless you use lip balm - run out and grab some medicated Blistex in the tub, because Smackers is NOT going to do it. Over the course of my accutane experience i've become addicted to lip balm though...I can't go without it, or my lips feel dry to me, even when to anyone else they wouldn't be. However, there are pluses to this - you should also get addicted to heavy conditioning SPF 15 lip balm, because then you will probably have the softest, most hydrated lips of anyone you know, and when you're older you won't have those wrinkly lips, because you've had sunprotection on them every day since you were 15 . Finally, dry scalp...this I LOVE!!! I had super oily hair before - accutane makes it DRY. (you're going to have to invest in a good heavy moisturizing conditioner). But, again, pluses (these are why I love it). I don't know about you, but I have very long thick hair, that has to be blown dry perfectly and straightened before i can do anything with it. Obviously, I couldn't keep up this kind of hair maintenence when I had to wash my hair every day because it was oily (and thus, years worth of bad hair days, lol). This might sound kind of gross, so I don't usually broadcast it, but it takes quite a while for your hair to become actually DIRTY (unless you use gel and/or sticky product). The main reason you wash it is because it feels greasy...with Accutane, there is very little grease, and therefore you can wash it much less frequently, but it still feels, looks and smells fresh. (my mum's sitting in the room, and she just asked me if I was telling you my life story, lol - sorry to drag on, but I think people should be thoroughly prepared when they go on Accutane - the first time, I wasn't, so a lot of things sucked that could have been prevented by someone telling me - I'm also a self-appointed Accutane rep. I have to restrain myself from creating little information pamphlets to give to people on the street ;D)
However...I can't think of much more....push your doc. for the highest dose possible - it'll work better and faster. Take it EVERY DAY - don't forget! Being lazy and forgetting will make it less powerful. Be prepared for questions from doc. about whether or not you are having sexual intercourse (taking accutane while pregnant is fatal to fetuses, so they have to check). I'm telling you this in case you don't know, because I was asked at 13 AND in front of my mum, and although I was no such situation and had no intentions of it, it made me embarrassed - I like anticipating potentially embarrassing questions and maybe you do too.
Ummm....can't think of much else. The blood tests are a drag, esp. if you're needle phobic like I was, but I'm way better now and they only take a few minutes neways. You have to watch your fat intake while on it, because your cholestorol can't go too high. I hope I haven't (in all this enormous post) forgotten anything tremendously important....
My final verdict (which, luckily, you already seem to be leaning towards - perhaps you're already on it) is...TAKE ACCUTANE. It worked for me, my mum, my aunts, my best friend, my cousin....If your skin is lowering your quality of life, and the enjoyment you get out of it, Accutane can only make it better. It's changed my life for the better (much better!) and I hope it changes yours for the better as well! You're not being impatient - you're being smart - catch this now before you get permanent scars on your face, or more importantly, your happiness and confidence. [ removed ] And now I will finally shut up, but I hope this helps a bit
Last edited by Administrator; 08-09-2004 at 11:32 PM.
Reason: Use this board anonymously, only. No contact information of any kind.
Thank you so much JadeChameleon! You just totally made my day a lot better. From what you say, my skin condition is like EXACTLY the same as yours was. I'm going to the dermatologist in about 5 hours (I'm counting down lol) and I'm hoping that I can get accutane. My derm better prescribe it, because I've tried EVERYTHING! Well, anyways, thank you again!
I'll be in touch with you all later because I'll probably be updating later today to tell you guys if I got accutane! Keep your fingers crossed for me!
I have to agree with everything JadeChameleon said. Great post. It's understandable that a lot of people are scared to try accutane because of the horror stories they hear. But I can say that it has truly been a godsend for me. I'll be done in about 2 1/2 weeks and the time really did fly by. I thought the 5 months would feel like forever. But it's absolutely worth it (hopefully I will be saying that months and months from now haha). Anyway, what Jade said about not having to wash your hair as much, that was one of the best parts for me too. It's dry and manageable now and I wash every 2-3 days. It was definitely a pleasant surprise! Anyway, I went to 2 derms who were reluctant to put me on accutane, 1 who said if I got worse within the next year, she'd put me on it, and finally, the one I see now, who said that I was a perfect candidate and said I shouldn't hesitate any longer. I cannot thank him enough for what he's done for me.
With accutane there are side effects, sometimes permanent like dry eyes organ damage hair loss. In fact attorneys are advertising on tv looking for people who took the drug and now want to sue the company. So for someone to do all that, there must have been some problems.
OpenSeason: I'm aware of the side effects, but when someone is this desperate, they will do anything. I don't know if you have ever had severe acne, but if you have I would like to hear how you treated it, because I am willing to try other things if they are effective. Thank you so much!
My only point is that when you are desparate you must be careful to evaluate the risks because you are willing to do anything. People are suing the accutane company for some reason. Accutane has been the only thing found to work for cystic acne. If you are a female try birth control first before accutane, it may work.
Last edited by openseason; 08-10-2004 at 01:39 PM.