Hello everyone and welcome to Lauren (La) and Allison's (Al) support group for those on Accutane.
A little preface about the thread:
This thread will be used by Lauren and myself to contact one another and discuss our Accutane adventures. Lauren is going on a second round of Accutane and I am jumping on the "AccuTrain" for the first time. Please feel free to post your positive comments, stories, emotions, etc. I beg you all who feel compelled to post to make your posts positive. I am skeptical enough of this drug without having worrisome posts to read. No pessimism allowed. (Note: Rule is subject to change as fluctuations occur in La and Al's mood.) We both really appreciate everyone's cooperation. Enjoy this thread. I pray it is beneficial for even one reader.
I am Allison. (In unison: "Hi Allison!") I am 20 years old and only have acne on my face. Throughout high school, my face was rarely ever totally clear. I always had at least one zit on my face at any given time. When I turned 19, my face exploded. My cheeks became breeding ground for acne, and the rest of my face had the occasional zit. When I get a zit, my skin gets red (none of the flesh-colored stuff), so now my face is blotchy. I would pay a lot of money to have an even toned face (hopefully that's what I'm doing with the Accutane). I don't know what happened to my face, but it seems I have a line where from the jawline down, my skin is fairly tanned and even toned, and above that line, my face is reddish and blotchy. I've looked at pre-acne pictures and can see even then that this contrast existed. I digress, anyway, I've tried this and that and am currently taking Yasmin and 200 milligrams a day of Spironolactone!! I'm quitting this insanely high dosage soon, though, because it could be dangerous. Normally, the overweight only take like 100 mg/day, and I'm 5'8" 122 lbs. and am taking twice that! I've been on this dosage for over two months and have seen little to no improvements. I've even had the ever popular laser treatments, but they didn't work at all with clearing up my acne. They did, however, heal the red spots very quickly and evened out my skin tone. Perhaps this will be step two after Accutane to heal those pesky red spots. (I know...wait 6 months post Accutane to begin laser treatments. BUT, if anyone has strayed from this rule, please let me know how it worked out for you.) So this is where I am today, and that was my past in a rather small nut shell. I'm beginning Accutane in two days and am very excited! La will come on later and post her story and thoughts in the most lengthy and exciting way she knows how. Haha. Love you, La!
Alright...well I guess it's my turn now. My name is Lauren and I'm 18 years old..this really does feel like an AA meeting...and like the majority of the people looking at these threads, I have acne on my face. Like Allison mentioned, I am, unfortunately, on my 2nd round of Accutane. Before my first round of Accutane, I had tried all the topical creams, antibiotics, proactiv, and so on; and nothing was working for me permanently. So when I went on Accutane the first time I had acne on face but the majority of it was on my chest and back. I was on Accutane for 6 months (starting last November), which is one month longer than most Accutane users are on the medicine. My dermotoligist told me that for some reason my body was slow to respond to the medicine and needed to extend the medicine for an extra month. So after I ended my 6 month treatment (April), I still had acne but it had definitely cleared up. My derm. told me that the Accutane was still in my system and would continue to work. So around May I was completely clear of any acne anywhere on my body. I was sooo excited to not have a single zit anywhere! It was the first time in I don't know when...Until about the middle of this past September did my face start breaking out a little bit and gradually grew. I had gone almost 5 months with no acne! I didn't have any acne on my chest or back and I'm still 100% clear of acne in those areas, but my face has broken out again, when my Derm. told me that I should never have acne again except for the rare, occasional break out. My acne isn't as severe as it used to be, but I do have acne on my face again and it's not supposed to be there after going through the Accutane treatment. Of course I'm very frustrated with my body cause it just had to bring some acne back. So 6 days ago I went back to my dermotologist and she suggested that I go on a second round of Accutane since my body was slow to respond, and most likely after this treatment, my face will be comptely clear and remain that way...forever. One reason she did suggest that my body is slow to respond to the Accutane is that I might have more hormones than the normal body, producing more oils, and resulting in clogged pores and acne. So I've been through the Accutane treatment once, and I'm about to go through it again. My dermotologist says that the 2nd round won't be as bad as the first round just because the acne is gone everywhere except the few areas on my face. I took my first dosage of Accutane last night...with a fatty food, whole milk, (highly recommended for the pill(s) to work at it's highest potential). I'm both excited but hesistant about this second process, just because I know how "rough" the first treatment was. So if anyone has any questions about the whole Accutane process, I've been through it already and will try to answer any questions that you might have. I really hope that La and Al's Accutane Support Group (catchy, huh? ) with help anyone who needs answers or support through the process of their Accutane treatment.
So that's pretty much my acne autobiography of accutane for the past year. Yeah..i'm pretty sure this is a lengthy thread,but rambling is apparently my thing when it comes to tellin' stories....so I guess it's your turn Al!! Love u! and Best of Luck to everyone!
hey! first of all good luck to both of you. i was wondering if i can ask what dosage you are on? i will be on a similar course as lala's 1st....oct-march ( 6 months long ) at 40mg possibly bumped up to 60mg next month due to i have been having a slow response. nothing is really dry, and my acne has gotten better, but im not where my derm things '' i should be'' at the start of my 3rd month. anyways, i wanted to ask, drinking whole milk helps absorb the medication? and also, do you have to drink it all day, or just a glass when you take the pill? and did the red marks fade during after your 1st treamtment? sorry for all the questions! lol thanks a lot!
Fatty foods help because accutane is a derivative of vitamin A, a fat soluble vitamin. Fat soluble, meaning it is stored in fat tissue. Vitamin C conversly is water soluble, meaning any excess in your body will be eliminated.
Peanut butter is also a good fatty food to take when you take your accutane pill.
Here's how it works:
generic name for accutane is isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is found naturally in everyones body (very small amounts, much smaller than your pill). It is formed from vitamin A (hence isotretinoin is a derivative). Vitamin A is formed from beta carotene.
so, just eat a bunch of carrots and get rid of your acne...wrong won't work. Just pop a bunch of Vit A pills...very dangerous, don't do it! Take accutane. Safe and effective. Good luck girls!
lexla...the dosage I'm on, I take 60 mg a day. At one point during my 1st round of Accutane i was alternating 60 mg with 80 mg every other night! I just drink half a glass of whole milk when i take the pill...not the whole day. taking accutane on an empty stomach or just with water doesn't work as well as when u take it with a fatty food like the whole milk,peanut butter,etc. As to the red marks...i def. had a lot of those, and yes they did go away after my 1st treatment. It took some time for them to go away, but my Derm. gave me tazorac cream to help with the red marks and scaring. I do have scaring on my back, but it is gradually going away. I might do laser treatment after i am done with my 2nd treatment because the scars won't be completely gone. It might be awhile before I get that laser work done since you have to wait a lengthy period of time, like about a year i think, after your accutane course ended before you can have the laser treatment. If you have any more questions, it's no problem and feel free to ask me anything about my accutane course(s)! good luck 2 u 2!!
Well hello all you fine people! This is Al. La, judging by the number of views we have, I can see our thread is quickly on its way to becoming the most highly publicized thread of 2006! Kidding, but seriously I hope we do help someone through our support group.
I popped my first pill yesterday (12-15-05), and I guess I was waiting to immediately implode because I just sat there as if I were going to shrivel up or suffer from sudden night blindness. Luckily, I'm here tonight, hydrated with dilated pupils (so I can see in the darkness of my room as I type this). My dermatologist (crazy little man with thick glasses, a gap in his front teeth, and a bow tie) put me on 40mg a day. My regimen: I take the pills Monday through Friday, and for the first two weeks (or ten days of treatment), I only take 20mg to work my body into the routine to try to prevent an initial breakout. So far so good. I'm not experiencing any side effects yet. My little sweetheart, Jessica Simpson, was on tv today saying she took Accutane and hasn't had a zit since then. She said she has facials once every month and drinks plenty of water. I was also watching celebrity beauty secrets on E! and found out that celebrities have photo facials. This is something I will definitely look into after my treatment. Another tip mentioned on the show that I've actually read on here is to put Neosporin on existing and healing blemishes. Oh! I almost forgot to tell you all how long I will be on Accutane. The dermatologist said 20 weeks (or 5 months, however you like to slice the apple).
Well, La, we're doing this together! I'm so glad you are here to help and support me, and I'm so thankful for our guests who offer wonderful advice. (I feel like a talk show host who is thanking the guests as the credits roll on the screen.) I will keep praying for the both of us. I know how difficult life is with acne. I never thought it would change me the way it has. I've allowed it to put me in a shell, but with God on our side, we can overcome anything. I love you, La! If anyone has any questions, we are here to help!
Hey La!! How are things going for you so far? Today I woke up a little drier than normal. My face was a bit flakey, but that made me a little more excited since I could actually see the effects. It being a Saturday, I couldn't take my pill today because I only take it Monday through Friday. One thing though, I've had a mild headache yesterday and today. I'm assuming it's my body adjusting to the medicine, but if it doesn't stay away, I will have it checked. I also need to call my derm to confirm my dosage. I'm wondering if the people in the pharmacy made a mistake. See, to the best of my knowledge, the derm explained to me that I would be taking 40 mg 5 days a week, but for the first two weeks, I would be halfing that amount. Well, he said I would need to take two pills a day (after those two weeks of halfing the dose) to equal 40 mg, so for the first two weeks I would only be taking one 20 mg pill. Well...the pharmacy gave me 40 mg pills. This means that for the first two weeks, I take 40 mg (which is only one pill), then after the two weeks, I follow the dose as prescribed, which is to take 2 pills a day. If I follow this, I will be taking 80 mg a day! Does that sound right, La (or anyone else)? To me that dosage is so high - especially for my size. I'm thinking the pharmacy should've given me 20 mg pills, but I really need to check this. Well, that was my update for the day. I'm so sleepy. God bless you all and keep praying!
La, I bought whole milk today (and peanut butter is always at my disposal)!
That was great Al! I commend you on your wonderful ability to write like a pro...or a talk show host, which ever you prefer. And if you shrivel up into a prune anytime soon, call me, cause then I might get worried about you and need to come to the rescue...I should've expected that you would tie Jessica Simpson into this Accutane some how, lol, but I never knew that she was on Accutane. I just always saw her on those Proactiv infomercials. I might give her a quick call and ask how her experience went. I don't think your pharmacist understands the dosage that you're supposed to be taking, cause with 40 mg pills there's no possible way for you to be taking 20 mg pills the 1st 2 weeks. and if they were right....80 mg is way too much for you to be taking for you only be on it for a few days. 80 mg is usually necessary if your body is slow to respond after about 4 to 5 months, or prob. if your acne is more severe. I'd call and ask them if they know what they're doing, lol..but maybe not exactly in those words.-- I'm very happy that you got some whole milk. I can only drink like half a glass of it cause it's so THICK, but if it does the trick...I'll all for it!
So it's my third day on Accutane, you wouldn't think that just after 3 days you would be able to notice a difference, but I have. Maybe it's cause I can tell when my body is doing weird things or because I've been through the treatment once before and know what is supposed to happen to my body during the process....or it could just be a psychological effect and nothing has really happened yet, lol. Anyway, psychological or not, I went to bed last night with barely any visable white heads and woke up with about 3 ready to explode. The weird thing about this Accutane is that zits appear quickly, get infected quickly, and I get rid of them quickly. Although derms say that you shouldn't pop your zits unless they are on the verge of busting ...I just can't help it, but I need to work on that cause if I pop them too early than I'll get scaring on my face, and that isn't very fun. Not to mention that my face felt dryer this morning, so I loaded up on the moisturizer, my nose was very dry, and my elbows and legs were dry this morning as well, so I lotioned them up. I'll probably bust out my humidifier tonight and get it ready for action. That noise of the humidifier always got on my nerves, but you learn to get used to it and become immune to the loud noise after a few weeks. My back and chest are still 100% clear. My back does feel a little dry right now, but hopefully I won't have any zits on my chest or back during my 2nd round of Accutane,since they were successfully taken care of during my 1st round. This whole process still makes me hesitant..but we just have to think positive no matter how miserable we might get during this process. you and i (and every other Accutane user) just have to remember that in 5 months, we'll never have to deal with another zit again!
This group is going really well and I get excited whenever I get on healthboards to see if we have any new threads. I'm glad that we're in this together!! love u alli! **I'm comin' down on tues. after my bball game, by the way. and i'm staying til friday!! ahh!!!
No way! You HAVE to come stay with me one night...or two...or all of them! I'm so excited that you are coming!
Ok, back to Accutane and your reply. Thanks for complimenting my "talk-show-host...ism." Yes, Jess was on Accutane, and look at her skin now, La! That's what we have to look forward to (well, aside from the flawless genes she received). After our treatment, we should go get facials together to smooth out our complexions. I looked up photofacials before I fell asleep last night and found some interesting and seeminly promising news. Anyway, we'll take care of that when the time comes.
I know what you are talking about with the whole new pimple in the morning thing. I woke up with two today that I didn't have yesterday, but they are getting hard very very quickly, which suits me just fine.
I forgot to mention that I'm taking Amnesteem, not Accutane. When I got in the car from picking up my prescription, I looked at the box and found out it was Amnesteem. Before I would even open it, I looked up Amnesteem on the internet and read all about it. I found out it was the exact same thing, so I went ahead and took my first pill. I may end up having to take it back anyway because of the dosage. I'm quite sure they fouled up all the way around on that issue. I'm calling my derm tomorrow. In the meantime I've been taking vitamin E and Biotin to help with the dryness and to improve my hair health, and I've also continued having to take my Yasmin and Spironolactone. I feel like my grandmother because I have all these pill bottles laying everywhere.
Anywho, no change yet. Yesterday and today I couldn't take the Accutane (I know it's not really Accutane, but for confusion's sake, I'll continue calling it that) because I'm only supposed to take it on weekdays, so maybe if the dosage is wrong, then I haven't done too much damage. I've only taken two pills.
Hey, what are you (and everyone else) using to moisturize your face? I'm washing with Cetaphil and using Cetaphil moisturizer, but the moisturizer has oil in it. I know it's like a natural oil, but still will that not make my face break out? In the past I used Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and I kept getting new zits. I later found out that it has oil in it, so I stopped using it. I'm afraid this Cetaphil lotion will make me break out, too.
I'm done for now. Like you, La, I love this thread, and I get VERY excited when I see that we have a new post! We love all our guests, and again, we appreciate your support, your comments, and your insight. Have a wonderful day everyone! Smile...it makes you feel better.
Quick Summary - I'm Alex, 24, male and suffering with moderate, but persistent body Acne (none on the face). On day 15 of a 20mg daily treatment (will increase to 40mg in 2 weeks) of RoAccutane (the name for the drug in Europe).
Currently not been struck down with terribly dry skin or an initial breakout. However, my scalp is tender and burning which is really irritating my unfortunately.
Biggest Accutane fear? Hair loss! Praying this won't happen (anyone know if the tender scalp thing is a sign of impending Hair loss?)
Cheers and lots of well wishes to me fellow Accutane patients!
Hey Al!,That facial thing sounds like a wonderful idea! That'd be tons of fun and a good way to celebrate the end of our Accutane treatments and suffering for 5 months, lol.
I'm on Amnesteem too but it's the exact same thing as Accutane, except that it's the generic brand and cheaper, but it performs the exact same way as Accutane does. I'm just gonna say Accutane when talking about it on here, since they are the same thing and some people might get confused if they read this and don't know what Amnesteem is. But just for you to know, if you go to the pharmacists and they try to offer you something else that doesn't start with the letter 'A' and says that it works just like Accutane...DON'T BUY/TAKE IT! My derm. told me that some pharmacists will tell u just to buy this different brand and it's the same as Accutane,but it's really not. So the Amnesteem is okay (good with the letter 'A'), but nothing else besides Amnesteem or Accutane.
I went to Target to get a humidifier filter for my humidifier but they didn't have the right filter for my model, so I'll have to go to the exact Target where I bought my humidifier last year and see if they have the right filter for my model. I need to get it goin' cause that humidifier really makes a difference on how dry my skin is. This morning I moisturized my face 3 times and it was STILL dry! This cold weather doesn't help much either.
I've been using Dove Day Time moisturizer on my face. It worked well for me last year, and i used a Dove face cleanser also, and it was good and didn't dry me out too badly or make my skin burn...i'll have to go get me another bottle of that stuff. I read about a lot of people using the Cetaphil, so if you think it works well for you, than I might try that as well. I just use the Dove products because Hea's mom said they worked well for Tyler when he was on Accutane. Hea is actually on Accutane right now, so she could get on and write on our support group!
I haven't seen much difference between today and yesterday. I feel my lips getting dry as I progress in my treatment. I do remember from my first round of Accutane that I couldn't go ANYWHERE without some sort of chapstick and keeping them moisturized at all times. They'd get so dry sometimes that they'd just peel off and look/feel horrible. The Aquaphor is really awesome, so if you haven't gotten a tube of that stuff, then u really should, Al!
Well, I'm bout to go watch a movie w/ my cuz,but I'm not sure if I'll be able to write anything tomorrow because of my FULL day of basketball starting at 10:30 AM and ending at 7:30 pm...consisting of both practice and a basketball game, with eating with the team in between. I'll see you either Tuesday night, but probably Wednesday when I'm in town. I can't wait! We need to have a sleepover! love you al!!
*Keep on writing your comments or questions about Accutane and become apart of La and Al's Support group!!
Hey La, and all the other wonderful and very important people on here!!! This is such a release for me.
Well, the verdict: I went straight to the horse's mouth today to find out about my dosage (Why a horse's mouth? I mean, they can't even talk!), and he told me that the dosage he prescribed was exactly what it should be. To all who read this...does 80 MG A DAY OF ACCUTANE seem a little much for a person my size? I'm 5'8" and weigh 122 lbs. As much as I have read on these message boards, I've figured out that most people only take 40 mg total! He wants me to half the dose for the first two weeks, which will be 40 mg a day, then after the two weeks, he wants me to take two a day for the remainder of my treatment (80 mg). I'm scared to take this much because I'm so small, but I guess he knows what he's doing. He's administered the drug to both his son and daughter. I'll just keep praying.
Yeah, Dove brand products do seem very gentle on the skin. I would give them a try if I hadn't already begun using Cetaphil. The moisturizer for the face works wonders for me, but I'm still a little cautious about the oil in it; however, I'm certain the Accutane is stronger than the almond oil in the moisturizer, so even if zits do form, the Accutane will zap them! I love it! Death to all zits!
Do you know, La, or anyone else, of a great sulfate-free conditioner I could use while taking this Accutane? I found a promising protein conditioner online, but didn't know if there were any others that were more accessible. I already use a fabulous shampoo. It's called Paves Professionals and it can be found at Walgreen's for $6. Ken Paves makes it. He is Jessica Simpson's hairstylist, and his whole line of products is great to use, but the conditioner I find to add a little more moisture than I really like. The shampoo has very gentle, natural ingredients, and after I rinse it out, my hair literally squeaks! It's so clean, and it smells good, too!
Alex, it is such a pleasure to welcome you aboard our support group! I hope we can be of help to you and offer some much needed comfort. About your hair loss fear, the above paragraph may offer you some products that could help you. If you do a search on the internet for like protein shampoo or conditioner, I'm sure you would get ample amount of results. Some shampoos and conditioners are specifically geared towards preventing hairloss or actually regrowing the hair. While these are mainly for our precious aging population, I'm sure these could suit your young life. Also, if you can get your hands on a vitamin called Biotin, then begin taking these as well. They make hair healthier and are quite accessible at your local Wal*Mart, or the equivalent in Europe. I wish I could help soothe your tender scalp. I'm not entirely sure what that could be. Did it begin soon after starting Accutane? I'm hoping another kind member of these boards will offer more advice to you. Let me know if it continues and I will research it to find possible causes.
La, I've stocked up on some Aquaphor! I've been moisturizing quite a bit, but haven't noticed any intense dryness...yet. Today is Monday, so I popped my first pill of the week today (this is just my third one total), so I should be noticing more dryness as the week progresses. I may end up getting a humidifier also, since it's all the rave in your household! Haha. Seriously, if it does work that well, then I'll invest in one. Good luck with finding your air filter.
I'm still hung up on this whole dosage thing. My derm said I'm supposed to take 1 mg per kg of my weight. He said I weigh 60 kg, so ideally I would be taking 60 kg, but for the sake of an extra co-pay for a 40 mg and 20 mg, he just added 20 mg to make 80 mg total. I'm terrible skeptical. This doesn't seem right at all. I know I'm not a doctor, but it seems I'm taking a much higher dose than anyone on this message board (aside from those who are going on their second, third, etc. round). Maybe I'm just overly paranoid.
Well, I'm going to go watch Charlie Brown's Christmas over at my fiance's house. We're trying to get in the Christmas mood by watching holiday movies, making ginger bread cookies, and going to see the lights at the Opryland Hotel on Thursday. La, I will see you Wednesday, Lord willing, and hopefully you can stay with me one night while you are down here, or if you are staying at Hay's the entire time, maybe I will stay over there one night.
To all our little darlings, thank you for your support. We hope to offer the same in return. We are all in this together, and if anyone has anything to say, your words could only benefit this thread and we welcome them! You all have a terrific night, and you'll be in our prayers!