Accutane question PLEASE

Hi. I am new to this message board, and I have some questions about accutane, and I would appreciate it considerably if anyone has any experiences they can share. I am 29, and never had acne until 8 months ago after taking birth control. I break out only on my chin and right before my menstrual cycle. Unfortunately, I get small cysts (3-4) a month, and they break open my skin. They take weeks to heal, and the process begins all over again as I near my period. My derm has had me on everything and nothing has worked. She has been telling me for two months accutane (but I was too scared). Finally after four cysts this month, I agreed. I am now on day six, and early in the game with no side effectes yet. I discussed with her my great anxiety about breaking out everywhere on my face (I have never had acne anywhere but my chin). She said that accutane does not cause acne, it just brings whatever is there to the surface. She does not believe I will have any problems with my chin either because she has me on only 20 mg for the first two months to avoid the inital flare and side effects. She told me that we are shooting for long term/short dose/less side effects (6-7 months). Has anyone had a significant flare on a low does, and did you break out in places that you have already broke out. I need to keep this under control because I meet with numerous clients a week, and I have been avoiding meetings lately because of my appearance (my prior derm told me to to put neosporin and band-aids on my open areas–they are sometimes quite large and raw!!). Could you imagine that has been the solution for last several months — my clients would think I am crazy with band-aids in different spots everytime they saw me); thus, I am on accutane! Any responses are greatly appreciated. Thank you!!

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15 thoughts on “Accutane question PLEASE

  1. Welcome Tanya! :wave

    I just turned 30 here and finished my course in January so always feel free to ask any questions.

    Seems like BC pills really screwed up your hormones. Can I ask which one was the one you were using?

    Okay I did have a flare up at lower dose when I started. I started at 40mg for two weeks and got hell worse in the second week, then my derm highered dosage to 60 which is supposed to be the full dose for my weight (128lbs) and then things started to clear up inmediatly. Once I cleared I quickly dropped down the dosage on my own (without the derm knowing) because I always wanted to do the least possible to prevent side effects which is important as some side effects can be permanent. In my personal opinion I would start up high and then gradually lower. And that of low dose for long time I just dont think it will make it safer. 6-7 months is way too much time to be in such a strong drug even if its a lower dosage. But this is really my opinion so prob your derm wont agree with me. My opinions are based on what I have seen and readed here on the internet from many users including those who are dealing with adverse side effects. I wouldnt do acctune for anymore than 4 months while I do have read succesful stories with this lenght. Will look forward to hear your progress and really dont worry much about the inital flareup as it probably wont happen. Really the majority dont experience it.

    Good luck!
    Mari 8)

  2. Mari,
    Thank you so much for your response. I went on ortho-tricyclen baout 8 months ago. I know that it is FDA approved to treat acne, but you can not believe how many people had horrible experiences with it (all over the internet). The pill contains a low amount of androgens, and it can cause an excess in some people leading to hormonal imbalance and acne. I switched to Yasmin because it doesn’t contain androgens, and it also blocks excess androgens. I have been on it for three months, and I know it can take at least four months to see a difference. If I could go back in time, I would have never got on birth control. It is amazing that one little pill can affect our hormones so much. Before ortho, I use to get one or two tiny pimples every few months around my cyle. After ortho, I was getting 3-4 cysts on my chin every third week of the month. My family still can not believe that I got acne (at 30) and had to go on accutane.
    Thanks again!! How did accutane work for you, and did you have mostly hormonal acne as well?

  3. Since I was so scared to start accutane, I thought I might post a week to week update in the first month for everyone who is scared of the initial side effects. I know that I have greatly appreciated everyone’s advice and experiences.

    The end of week 1:
    * Corners of mouth dry

    * Skin is actually a little dry in some areas, and oilier than normal in other areas

    * Day six I got two small cysts on my chin (definitely the accutane because I never break out a week after my cycle), and they were gone by day 7 (a cyst usually last me weeks, and they never come to a head before (nice surprise that they were gone one day later); other than that face clear

    * Mucles a little sore (which I can care less about as long as this chin clears)

    I will post next Sunday the end of week 2 results.
    Good luck to all!!

  4. Hey Tanya! Just wanted to share my experience so far. I have been on 40mg a day for 5 days and I think I’m experiencing the same thing that Mari did. I definitely am having the initial breakout, which started on day 2! I know some people get worried that the medication isn’t working if they DON’T get an initial breakout, but I could definitely do without it!! I imagine that my derm will up my dosage to 60mg when I see her in a few weeks. She gave me the ok to spot treat, which I am still doing with benzoyl peroxide as my skin isn’t too dry yet (thank you jojoba oil!). I will look for something else if it becomes too harsh.

    Side effects are not too bad yet. My lips are doing ok, I’ve been using Aquaphor (or Carmex in a pinch). Supplementing with Vitamin E and flax seed oil seem to help so far. I am definitely experiencing some muscle soreness too.

    Good luck! :angel

  5. Hey geneva,

    Oh girl I have had acne since Im 13 years old! I dont know what it was the 20’s with clear skin, only momentary for perhaps a few days. I wasnt a severe case but recalcitrant to any treatment, I did tried anything under the sun. So wanted to experience at least the 30’s with clear skin was put on accutane. Im 4 months off now and yes it did worked for acne wonders, Im still clear and really looks like acne its not comming back. However its a rough drug and risky and I say to only be considered as real last resort when there is no hope and where acne really interferes (limit) in your life.

    Keep us posted!

    Good luck Nymue! I know you have been a long way girl!

  6. Hey Nymue,
    I am on day, and so far no initial breakout. Sometimes a few hours after taking the pill, I will get some small bumps, and they will disappear the next day. I have recieved some beautiful side effects: sore muscles, dry eyes, peeling lips, and dry throat. Hey I can definitely deal with the side effects if my chin returns to normal. Keep in touch! I like to hear everyone’s progress.

    Thanks Mari for your replies. Believe me I know this is a rough drug. I treat my body with complete respect, and I pondered for two months (reading all info) whether to do it or not. I do not drink, smoke, tan, and I run about 2 miles a day (except as of late). But the reality is that I quit living the last few months. When the cysts would break open, and my chin would look a mess, I did not want to leave the house, and I became beyond depressed (for the first time ever in my life). I wish that vanity was not part of my inner existence. After all, I am a professional with two degrees, a great boyfriend, and wonderful friends and family. Yet with all this wonderful fortune, I became more and more depressed. I felt insecure to be around people, and my self esteem dropped significantly in the last several months. I want to feel normal again, and I do not want to cry when I looked at my chin in the mirror. With all the possible risks, accutane has given life back to so many people, and I love reading all the success stories. I hope someday that researchers will develop something similiar to accutane minus all the risks and possible side effects (I am sure this will happen in the future). Thanks again, and I have enjoyed reading all of your responses to so many people. It is extremely nice that you continue to help answer questions since you have finished your accutane journey.

  7. Well I am on day 11, and everything remaons pretty much the same. A few hours after I take the medicine, I will get some small bumps on my chin, and they are usually gone the next day. I am praying, but so far no cysts on the chin area since starting accutane. This week is the real test; I usually break out the third week of every month (girls I know you share this grieve). I no longer have dry eyes, my skin is still combination, and the sore muscles are not existent today. Good luck everyone!
    Nymue, how is it going for you?

  8. Hey Tanya. I’ve got an angry cystic breakout right now! My skin has gotten oily again … though it seems like a lot of people experience this. Apparently it will start getting dry again. My eyes get a little dry throughout the day, but I wear contacts and a few drops makes them feel fine again. My lips are doing good, I keep Aquaphor on them almost constantly. Other than my terrible breakout, I’m doing just fine so far, lol! I’ve decided to just stop spot treating and try to enjoy not having to do anything for my skin other than pop a pill every day. If it’s going to get worse, it’s going to get worse.

  9. Hey everybody,
    Just wanted to give a quick update; I am not really having any side effects (sometimes sore muscles). My skin and eyes are not dry, and I still have not recieved an initial breakout yet. My chin is clear, and I have not had one new cyst since I got on accutane (I know it is still early). Sometimes a few hours after taking accutane, I get a couple of small bumps on my chin, and they disappear the next day. This week is really the true test; it is usually the week that I break out. Hope everyone else is doing well!! Take care.

  10. Tanya,

    Thanks for sharing this website with your Yahoo group of Accutaners. Glad to see that you are doing well after your second week. I go to the dr. tomorrow for my lst checkup (labs etc). I am hoping she will increase my 30 mg. to at least 40mg.


  11. Hey everyone!! Well I just took my 18th pill, and I have only had one cyst on my chin since I started accutane. Unfortunately, I got the cyst yesterday, and my skin broke open this morning (this is a reminder of why I went on accutane!!) It is two days before my cycle, and usually by now I have three cysts. Hopefully, I will be lucky, and this will be it for this month!! I have to say I have never had a large cyst that swelled half of my chin until yesterday (must be the accutane). I also have to admit that even though I know this will work in the long run, it is easy to become depressed when you look in the mirror and see what you have been dreading. I pray that this medication will show great results next month because I am so tired of hiding in the house with neosporin on my chin. Oh well, I am done whimpering. I hope everyone else is doing well!!

    Hey Cindy, glad you checked out this site; everyone on this board is very helpful!!


  12. Hey everyone. Well this week was as aniticipated, I got two small cysts. I took my 25th pill, and I have only had these two blemishes since I started. Really so far no side effects (probably due to low dose). I went to the doctor today, and she increased my dosage form 20 mg to 50 mg so we shall see the results soon. I stocked up on aquaphor because I am sure I will be getting dry skin and lips now. I will keep everyone updated.

    I know you were at 60 mg, and you dropped down on your own when your skin cleared. What dosage did you decrease to? Thanks!


  13. Tanya, sounds like you had a great lst month checkup. I was glad the dr. upped mine from 30 to 60 mg. I am hoping this will speed the process up, so I can be done in five months. I really haven’t noticed a difference with dryness, in terms of the increased dosage. If anything, my face is clearer this week. Yeah! Hope it stays this way.


  14. Cindy,
    Glad to hear your skin is getting clearer!! Just think before we know it, we will be done, and our faces clear!! When I got these cysts this month, I kept saying to myself, do not get depressed — look at it as a goodbye to chin acne!!

  15. Hey gang!! Well I have finished six weeks, and to date I have had only two cysts on my chin since I began; I have some very small bumps on my chin that leave in a few days; since my skin is not dry, I have been spot treating my chin with benzyl peroxide.

    My side effects are as follows:
    * Basically sore muscles and joints
    * Constant lack of energy (so much for running while on accutane)

    I really do not have dry skin, lips, or hair. My skin is void of oil, but not dry and flaky. My lips are perfectly fine. I experienced only one dry patch thus far, and it was a small round section on my face, and it was gone the next day. I will know in a few days if accutane has begun working because this is the week of each month that I usally get a couple cysts on my chin (you know girls!).

    I was on 20mg for first three weeks, and I have been on 60mg for three weeks (my full dose throughout treatment).

    Take care everyone!!

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