Forum: Advice / Girls & Guys PG-13

By dancer2422member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Apr 24, 2010 07:21 PM

So I have been sufferer of acne for a few years now. I used to have perfect flawless skin. then about 4 years ago my skin went off the deep end. I also have very sensitive skin. I have been seeing a dermatologist for about 4 years and she refuses to put me on accutane. I have tried 5 different sets of pills, and 6 different creams. NOTHING WORKS! I have moderate acne and when i break out i would say it can be BAD. I also suffer from back acne that tends to have horrible flare ups, way worse than my face. I have gotten to the point that I just want to tell my dermotologist, either give me accutane or don't give me anything at all, I'm sick of being a guinea pig and trying a million "maybes".

I know a lot about accutane. The strict regime, the required BC, blood tests, etc. etc. and of course the side affects. but i would just love to do a 6 month regime and end up with no acne...ever again!

So I am looking for people's accutane experience stories. the good, the bad, the pros the cons. And of course the before and after. i just wanna make sure this is for sure what I want to do because I know how serious this stuff is, but i am to the point that I am going to demand it. I am now 20, i feel gross, and the whole acne/bacne thing has taken an ENORMOUS blow to my self esteem and self image. Im worried that 5 years from now I'll be getting married and Ill have to feel self conscious because my back will be showing. and Ill have pictures everywhere of me covered in acne :(. this is a huge fear of mine.

Thanks for the help DDN!!

21 Replies to accutane??

re: accutane??
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Apr 24, 2010 07:42 PM
I don't know much about details, but my ex started taking accutane after high school in 2008 and it worked really well for him. He used to have pretty bad acne on his face (don't know about his back, though) and now his skin is totally smooth. Once in a while he'll get a zit or two, but they're barely noticeable and they go away quickly. It did sort of prompt him to be safer about sex--he used condoms before, but he was with his long-term girlfriend at the time so they didn't always use one EVERY time--but that's really only a good thing, I think.
re: accutane??
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:03 AM
I have two different stories for accutane for you:

My cousin, who is female, did a course of accutane many years ago. Her face dried out and cleared up, and she's not had so much as a black head since. She could do Noxema commercials. It's kind of sick. ;)

My other cousin, who is male, actually has medically documented extreme levels of testosterone (it's caused him multiple brain tumors. His levels are off the charts), and as a result of the testosterone, he's done two courses of accutane, and you wouldn't know it unless he told you. So he's to the other end of the spectrum. :/

So it's a mixed bag. No doubt, if my male cousins hormones were lower, he'd have a better story to tell of the accutane, but they aren't, and he doesn't. :(
re: accutane??
By Pongomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:25 AM
I'm pretty sure Jenna talked about using it in her diary? Maybe message her?
re: accutane??
By ShadowLunaCatPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:29 AM
If I may?

Do your research: find out the side effects, find out the long term results that could occur if you were on that stuff.

Also, is there a listing of the ingredients/chemicals in Accutane?

Why does it have that kind of reputation?

re: accutane??
By dancinqt5013member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 06:32 AM
I would say it's totally worth it. I went on accutane a couple years ago for about 7 months and all of my acne was completely gone by the second month. The chapped lips and dry skin were pretty bad, but it's worth it for clear skin, honestly. My acne wasn't horrible before, but it was super stubborn. I'm getting some of it back now, and I would honestly go on accutane again if I could because it really works well. The blood tests and all that stuff are really not that bad. I used to be really bad with needles but after getting the monthly blood test I kind of got over that fear.

Anyway, realistically the only side affect you will probably have is dry skin and chapped lips. And since you're 20, there's a good chance the acne won't return once you're done taking accutane.
re: accutane??
By Jennamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 06:50 AM
I did a course of accutane for the first half of 2009.

My family doc put me on it. I was glad I did a lot of my own research because he didnt ask for the pregnancy tests or arrange birth control and I only had two blood tests - one at start and one at end lol - and I didnt have to do any of the legal disclaimer stuff ( I think you only HAVE to do that in the US).

Pros: My skin was clear by the end

Cons: COST (eek!)
My skin hurt sooo bad
My lips would bleed if I so much as smmiled
Skin was constantly peeling, all over my body
Couldnt go in the sun
Couldnt wear my contacts
No alcohol (not a big deal for me though)
Took several months to see results - got worse first
Acne came back within two/three months of stopping

All in all Id say its worth a shot. The side effects would have been totally worth it if my skin cleared.

Im planning on trying it again once I stop breastfeeding my second child - so yeah, it wasnt too bad. This time around the cost will be 100% covered by my drug plan - so thats helps too, I wouldnt pay to try it again.
re: accutane??
By Angelinamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 09:00 AM
^ I was going to say that I was sure someone on here tried it and it didn't really work.

Also, take a look at his link: . . .

I'm 23 and still have acne... I'm on Yasmin now though which has helped a ton, but I still get a lot more spots than I want to be dealing with at this point in my life. I really wanted to go on Accutane for a while, but my doctor basically said there's no way with my skin how it is - while Yasmin is mostly controlling it, she doesn't see a need for anything else. Which sucks.
re: accutane??
By Katemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 10:18 AM
I did accutane about 2 years ago now. I had pretty bad skin - never without one or two spots, and now its almost always clear. I also used to be pretty oily - I'd always look shiny in photos, and I constantly had blackheads. They've gone too.

The side effects? REALLY dry skin, and cracked lips. Like, I could bathe in moisturiser and chapstick and still be dry. My lips bled loads, and my skin was flakey. And even wearing suncream, I burnt after half an hour in the sun anywhere hot....or even not hot. I burnt being on the lake in Minnesota after an hour, wearing factor 30.

It also made my sensitive skin a lot worse...that might be a consideration for you?

Overall though? Worth it.

I'll try to attach some before and afters....
Photo 1: This is the after the snow, so no makeup at all!
Photo 2: You can see the spots on my forehead
Photo 3: You can see the overall shininess
Photo 4: More shiny faces!!
Photo 5: Possibly an all time low...
Photo 6: Another after one...finish on a high!!!
re: accutane??
By dancer2422member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:06 PM
Thanks for all the responses, there are just the things I was looking for. I am going to continue to research it. And when I see my dermatologist in one month I will have to decide what I want to do. THANKS DDN!
re: accutane??
By Dancer4Life183member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:08 PM
Accutane worked wonderfully for me! Like everyone else said, the dry skin sucks. I couldn't smile without it hurting. I was putting on chap stick every 5 minutes. My skin was peeling and red and dry everywhere and I got bloody noses too. I also hate needles and I had blood drawn and tested every month. However, after saying all that, it cleared my skin right up! I was on Accutane 5 years ago and to this day my skin is still clear. Yes I'll get a zit every now and then but it goes away easily. If I went back and had to choose again, I would still use Accutane.
re: accutane??
By dancer2422member has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 05:38 PM
oo another thing I thought of. I may just try out birth control pills over the summer and see if it helps my acne at all. Because I don't want accutane during the summer. Then if it works it works. If not then in the fall I can continue with the Birth control and go on accutane (since BC is required anyways).. hmmmm just came to this conclusion. I think this is my plan of action in the search for beautiful skin like all the women i am jealous of! haha
re: accutane??
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 06:00 PM
^The birth control generally helps alot. Alot of acne is hormonally controlled, so if you moderate the hormones, you moderate the acne.
re: accutane??
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 06:24 PM
It looks like I might be heading down this path...I'm going to the dermatologist next month, and so far nothing has worked. Anything topical just burns my skin practically off, and the tetracycline hasn't done anything. I've gotten to the point where I just don't want to screw around anymore with this acne. Does anybody know if it's possible to get on it without also being prescribed BC?
re: accutane??
By Luckyirish
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 07:17 PM
I just wanted to say that the actual accutane has been taking off the market because it was causing serious health issues. Now its a generic brand still called accutane. Though it works wonders on your skin there is high risk involved. My sister took accutane six years ago and now has pre-colon cancer as a result. Consider the effects before jumping into anything.
x Best of luck with whatever you decide to do, acnes a pain!
re: accutane??
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 07:36 PM
Kayla, probably not, unless your dermatologist was just neglectful and forgot to ask you about BC. :? It's such a powerful drug that it'd be really, really harmful to a fetus, so they don't even want to risk it. They might be a little more lax if you're not sexually active and aren't planning to be, or if you can get another form of BC (i.e. non-hormonal). So they might be okay with it if you end up getting the copper IUD, since that's still birth control--it's just the potential severe birth defects that they're worried about.
re: accutane??
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sun Apr 25, 2010 07:46 PM
Thanks Grace. I figured that was what the answer would be, because I know how dangerous of a drug it is to a developing fetus, and young women are often very irresponsible, so it wouldn't be responsible for them to just prescribe it to me without any form of BC. I just hope the doctor will prescribe the copper IUD, rather than push the hormonal stuff.
re: accutane??
By Euphoriamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon Apr 26, 2010 02:54 PM
I first went on it about March 2008. I was on a fairly high dose, and as a result, I had the full blown side effects...tendonitis (random but true), very dry skin, and the worst eyes were so dry that everything was completely blurry. I had to stop taking it after about 3 months because of this, as I had to drive around 200 miles per day, and this is not good when you can't see!

When I stopped my skin was perfect for about 10 months...but I was on dianette at the same time. Then last march, my blood pressure was too high to stay on the combined pill, and I was taken off the Dianette.

By july, I had the worst break out of my life...quite depressing when you're 27!

I went back on the roaccutane at a much lower dose at the end of December (it would have been October but I've had some kidney problems which prevented it). My skin is now completely clear again, and as I am at half dose, i need to stay on it for 9 months instead of the usual 6.

So, roaccutane is awesome, but just be aware, 20% of people will have acne again after 1 course, but a second course usually permanently clears it up, however, a smaller percentage may require a 3rd course. They are pretty sure that the reason I relapsed is due to my not having finished the course.

The moral of the story is...finish what you start. If the side effects are causing problems so that you cannot carry out your normal can't see to drive! Tell your doctor so they can reduce the dose...don't just stop because you think your skin looks great!

By the way, if they keep refusing to give it to you...try another doctor. Its not fair to keep doing this to you, acne really does affect peoples lives, and unless you've lived with it, you can't understand...perhaps this doctor really just doesnt understand the effect on your self esteem and confidence. If she was empathetic towards you, I reckon you'd have had it by now.
re: accutane??
By ballerinabri
On Mon Apr 26, 2010 08:33 PM
Yes it worked wonders on my skin!! I'd been on an oral medicine for years plus numorous topical creams but nothing worked. I finally went on Accutane for five months. I had very dry skin and lips, high fat levels in my blood, and I had to be careful with my liver. But I can honestly say it was so worth it! I love my skin now so much and all the side affects have gone away (I have only been off for a month now).

Kekoa, it is possible to sign something saying you will stay abstinent for the time you are on Accutane in place of taking birth control. My doctor refused to do it, but if you look around you may be able to find one who will allow it. But to be honest, I didn't take my BC for two months during treatment(I kept forgetting to pick it up oops) and my doctor was none the wiser.
re: accutane??
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Mon Apr 26, 2010 09:07 PM
^Thanks for the tip! I don't want to lie, but if they refuse to give it to me without the pill, I'll just take the prescription and not actually take the BC. I hate lying, but I'm A.) totally single and B.) freakishly type-a about my reproductive health. In the case I did start dating while on accutane, I'd just make the guy wait until I was off.

Does anybody else have totally incompetent doctors? I have to get a referral for any type of specialist. I called my general practitioner's nurse to see if they could get me a referral to a dermatologist without having to go in. She calls me back with the name of a dermatologist that I don't need a referral for. I call his office, nope, they don't take my insurance. I call my doctor back, and leave a message explaining that I need an actual referral because this guy doesn't take my insurance. The nurse never calls me back. Finally, my mom calls, sure enough, she has to leave a message. The nurse calls me back and leaves a message saying, once again, to call that guy who doesn't take my insurance. I'm about to lose it!
re: accutane??
By Pongomember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:04 AM
^ What kind of insurance do you have? With mine, you can go to the company's Web site, and enter in what kind of specialist you want and your location and it will give you a list of doctors that take the plan you specify. Maybe yours has a similar feature? Then you could just ask your doctor, if it's even necessary, for a reference to that specific specialist.
re: accutane??
By Kekoamember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Tue Apr 27, 2010 07:40 AM
I have a type of Tricare (my dad is retired military so I'm on government insurance until age 26), which is a pretty great system actually. I had to get referrals last fall for some breathing issues and it was no issue, each came through in less than a week. However, that's when my doctor was the one in charge of it...her nurse is the person who is driving me nuts. If she can't get it right this time, I'll cough up the $12 copay and just go in for an appointment to get the referral.


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