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Accutane

blank

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A search reveals an older thread covering the topic but I would like to bring it up. Plenty of disclosure: this thread does not supplant my visits to a dermatologist, your input is just one of many factors that will lead to my decision.

I am 24 and have had moderate acne for 8 years or so. It changed a lot since high school and now is mostly relegated to the t-zone. Always whiteheads, never black, sometimes cystic. Tried countless topicals and keep very good care of my skin. Also lead an exceptionally healthy diet (all whole foods, nothing refined, no fast food at all) and am very active. I am very, very healthy by any measure.

The only reason i wouldn't want to take it is obviously the side effects, but my hope is that given my state of health and with diligence during the treatment, I could help combat the symptoms. I have looked at "The Dietary Cure for Acne" but just do not think that a diet consisting of fruit, vegetables and lean meat is plausible (no grains? WTF). I'm not convinced that it is sustainable, at all.

I've read acne.org, done that whole thing, and am just wondering if anyone with a similar age and health situation may have something to offer. I intend to compete in biathlons and hopefully triathlons this summer and could see training as a nice means of getting my mind off it. It sounds like a big leap but I mean ... 24, single, in the city, what matters more? Six months of problems (and I just don't think it will be that bad) or ten years of better skin?

I guess I'm just concerned about the physical side effects. Reading a lot of the logs on acne.org it sounds like people get dry skin and chapped lips, but if I keep using my Baxter oil-free moisturizer and drink a lot of water, I could keep fighting it. And the "initial breakout" sounds like a one-time thing.
 

unjung

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My God man, so dry. I don't know if moisturizer and water can prevent it. We're not talking about chapped here - my lips were basically non-existent. Having said that, the stuff works. If you've never used it, and your acne is bad, I would go for it.
 

SField

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I thought you weren't supposed to put anything on your face while on accutane? Is it also true you're not supposed to sweat?
 

SystemShock

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Originally Posted by blank
A search reveals an older thread covering the topic but I would like to bring it up. Plenty of disclosure: this thread does not supplant my visits to a dermatologist, your input is just one of many factors that will lead to my decision. I am 24 and have had moderate acne for 8 years or so. It changed a lot since high school and now is mostly relegated to the t-zone. Always whiteheads, never black, sometimes cystic. Tried countless topicals and keep very good care of my skin. Also lead an exceptionally healthy diet (all whole foods, nothing refined, no fast food at all) and am very active. I am very, very healthy by any measure. The only reason i wouldn't want to take it is obviously the side effects, but my hope is that given my state of health and with diligence during the treatment, I could help combat the symptoms. I have looked at "The Dietary Cure for Acne" but just do not think that a diet consisting of fruit, vegetables and lean meat is plausible (no grains? WTF). I'm not convinced that it is sustainable, at all. I've read acne.org, done that whole thing, and am just wondering if anyone with a similar age and health situation may have something to offer. I intend to compete in biathlons and hopefully triathlons this summer and could see training as a nice means of getting my mind off it. It sounds like a big leap but I mean ... 24, single, in the city, what matters more? Six months of problems (and I just don't think it will be that bad) or ten years of better skin? I guess I'm just concerned about the physical side effects. Reading a lot of the logs on acne.org it sounds like people get dry skin and chapped lips, but if I keep using my Baxter oil-free moisturizer and drink a lot of water, I could keep fighting it. And the "initial breakout" sounds like a one-time thing.
Accutane is very powerful stuff, and you're right to be cautious about it. If you do take it, you'll need to be monitored, i.e. they should be taking a blood sample on a regular basis to make sure your liver isn't getting hurt. If your doctor says that's unnecessary or seems generally unaware that precautions are needed, I'd consider getting another doc. You'll also be very parched while on it, and need to drink tons of water. Could interfere with your training, if you're planning to do so in a hot climate. That said, it does work most of the time, and it knocks out the very stubborn/severe acne that other treatments can't. The dietary cures for acne tend not to work, I've seen ppl who've tried them and they're usually (though not always) disappointed. Still, there are other, less powerful antibiotics that can be prescribed for you that are also effective against acne and have lesser potential side effects. Have you tried any of those? Because I'd start there, and go to accutane only if they don't work. One more thing- if you do take accutane, I believe that drugs and alcohol become a no-no, since they stress the liver, which is already being stressed by the accutane.
 

blank

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I could stop drinking and drugs for six months, that is not a problem.

SField, I doubt it. The majority of "logs" on acne.org talk about topical applications that assist the transition. And there are lots of forums with discussions about working out (even weightlifting) while on the medication.

System, I have not tried those, but at my age I am thinking about just squashing it if I can.
 

SystemShock

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As long as you have a good doc, do the blood monitoring religiously, and stay away from drugs, alcohol, and excessive amounts of vitamin A (which also stresses the liver) while you're on it, you should be okay. Read up on it too, Wikipedia is your friend.

One other thing: Accutane is quite expensive, even the generics. Be aware of that going in.
 

ghettogoody

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I took accutane for about 4 months when I was 17 (I'm now 21). My skin was probably worse than yours (from the sound of it) and I had a lot of cystic acne on my cheeks with white heads and blackheads on forehead and chin. I experienced all of the usual side effects, dry skin, etc. all of which were far outweighed by the fact that after about 2 months I had completely clear skin and stopped getting eruptions altogether. Unfortunately, during the period I was taking the drug, I experienced severe knee pain akin to arthritis. Because I had been under treatment for patellar tendonitis at the time I began treatment, my dermatologist was reluctant to stop treatment or to acknowledge that my condition was a side effect of the drug (that and the fact that she was making a ton of money off the expensive accutane regimen).

Given that you are athletic and looking to do a triathlon, I would consider the possibility that you will experience severe joint pain if you take accutane (this is one of the listed side effects). I was a 3 season track athlete and was forced to stop participating until I got off the drug and my knee pain went away.

Once I was off the drug, the pain went away quickly and the other side effects dissipated over a few months. Basically, accutane was (and has been) the only effective treatment for acne. The dryness etc. is totally worth it for clear skin in my opinion but the effects on the rest of my body were not. PM me if you have any other questions, though suffice it to say I have very mixed feelings about this effective but powerful option.
 

brohymn

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I'm on accutane right now and honestly it's not that bad.

There are three things you'll have to do while on it:

- Apply sunscreen whenever you go outside
- Apply moisturizing cream at least twice a day to the parts of your body that get the most dry (in my case it's my arms)
- keep a tube of Aquaphor on you at all times

The dry lips aren't so bad (Aquaphor really helps). Don't be scared by the side-effects; you can always stop treatment if you feel things are too bad. Starting accutane will be one of the best decisions you've ever made.

Like SystemShock said though, accutane is a last resort and you should only think about it when you've been to your dermatologist a thousand times and have used everything to no avail.
 

Biscotti

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I am on it, and now have perfect skin, and I have not experienced the dry lips!

However, I get crazy mood swings like never before. I'm sometimes really happy and sometimes helpless for no reason, but knowing where it is coming from I can work through it.
 

mkerr

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Originally Posted by blank
A search reveals an older thread covering the topic but I would like to bring it up. Plenty of disclosure: this thread does not supplant my visits to a dermatologist, your input is just one of many factors that will lead to my decision. I am 24 and have had moderate acne for 8 years or so. It changed a lot since high school and now is mostly relegated to the t-zone. Always whiteheads, never black, sometimes cystic. Tried countless topicals and keep very good care of my skin. Also lead an exceptionally healthy diet (all whole foods, nothing refined, no fast food at all) and am very active. I am very, very healthy by any measure. The only reason i wouldn't want to take it is obviously the side effects, but my hope is that given my state of health and with diligence during the treatment, I could help combat the symptoms. I have looked at "The Dietary Cure for Acne" but just do not think that a diet consisting of fruit, vegetables and lean meat is plausible (no grains? WTF). I'm not convinced that it is sustainable, at all. I've read acne.org, done that whole thing, and am just wondering if anyone with a similar age and health situation may have something to offer. I intend to compete in biathlons and hopefully triathlons this summer and could see training as a nice means of getting my mind off it. It sounds like a big leap but I mean ... 24, single, in the city, what matters more? Six months of problems (and I just don't think it will be that bad) or ten years of better skin? I guess I'm just concerned about the physical side effects. Reading a lot of the logs on acne.org it sounds like people get dry skin and chapped lips, but if I keep using my Baxter oil-free moisturizer and drink a lot of water, I could keep fighting it. And the "initial breakout" sounds like a one-time thing.
mate, there's just so damn much misinformation out there regarding accutane it makes me sick. speak to your derm / GP. don't consider it to be 6 months of side effects, rather 6 months of taking a drug that's fucking effective, often causes mild side effects, and has rare serious side effects which regular testing and common sense will seriously reduce the chances of occuring / significance. you said you've tried countless topicals, but what oral meds have you tried? there's a fair few out there that most derms will consider as well as accutane. as for the dietary involvement of acne, last i'd read there was largely anecdotal evidence that for a very select few there was possibly some involvement of certain foods. for the vast majority of acne sufferers though, diet makes dick all difference (so long as it's relatively healthy) all the best.
 

mkerr

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Originally Posted by ghettogoody
I took accutane for about 4 months when I was 17 (I'm now 21). My skin was probably worse than yours (from the sound of it) and I had a lot of cystic acne on my cheeks with white heads and blackheads on forehead and chin. I experienced all of the usual side effects, dry skin, etc. all of which were far outweighed by the fact that after about 2 months I had completely clear skin and stopped getting eruptions altogether. Unfortunately, during the period I was taking the drug, I experienced severe knee pain akin to arthritis. Because I had been under treatment for patellar tendonitis at the time I began treatment, my dermatologist was reluctant to stop treatment or to acknowledge that my condition was a side effect of the drug (that and the fact that she was making a ton of money off the expensive accutane regimen).

Given that you are athletic and looking to do a triathlon, I would consider the possibility that you will experience severe joint pain if you take accutane (this is one of the listed side effects). I was a 3 season track athlete and was forced to stop participating until I got off the drug and my knee pain went away.

Once I was off the drug, the pain went away quickly and the other side effects dissipated over a few months. Basically, accutane was (and has been) the only effective treatment for acne. The dryness etc. is totally worth it for clear skin in my opinion but the effects on the rest of my body were not. PM me if you have any other questions, though suffice it to say I have very mixed feelings about this effective but powerful option.


erm... apart from followup appointments, how on earth does a derm make money off a drug prescription? either way, joint pain / arthritis / tendon calcification etc are documented side effects of roaccutane, and they should have agreed that it could have been a side effect. even if they suspected that something else was the cause, it sounds like they should have communicated better.

glad to hear it cleared your skin up. i had moderate to severe acne for quite a few years with little success on a multitude of antibiotics / topicals. i often thought about going on roaccutane, but i'm quite averse to popping most meds.
 

Dashaansafin

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I had moderate acne and used many topicals that i thought were great including Tazorac and Duac. You should really talk to your derm, i think it is a communal desicion. Have you talked to him/her yet?
 

grimslade

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Originally Posted by Teger
Accute is for serious cystic acne. If you don't have cystic acne, you don't need accutnate. The diet/skin links are pretty much myths.

If you want to engage in sudden expertism, jeans-boy, it helps if you can 1.) spell the words; and 2.) at least spell them consistently.
 

blank

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Thanks guys. I have tried Tazorac (also Triaz, Differin, and Clindamycin for scripts) and gave those up a long time ago when I determined that all they were doing were burning and drying my skin.

That said I haven't seem a derma in a long time and it is possible that another oral med could solve the problem.
 

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