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OMG! So I went to the derm yesterday, and she gave me two options. Either Estrostep, along with Retin-A and Benzaclin or ACCUTANE! Finally, after 3 years of doctors telling me that they wanted to try something else first! But I'm going to have to wait a little bit, because for some reason, she wants me to start accutane on the second day of my period. Anyone know why? Oh, and my mom also wants to talk to my pediatrician before she lets me take accutane. He's a friend of hers and he's been my doctor FOREVER, so she really trusts him. So anyways, I'm very excited because I'm finally going to have clear skin! I have been waiting so long for this. And I have a few questions for you guys.

1) Why does my derm want me to start accutane on the second day of my period?
2) How long until my acne starts clearing up while I'm on accutane?
3) How long until the oil reduces?
4) What are some good products to use while I'm on accutane? (like face washes, lotions, lip balms, etc.)
5) What are the major side effects?
6) Will there be a really bad initial break out?
7) Will my acne come back after I'm done with accutane?

And if there are any other things you want to tell me about accutane, that would be really great! Thank you soooo much for all your help! :D
Ok I've been on accutane for a while and I can answer some of your questions...

1) I wouldn't know...I'm a guy

2) I noticed my face clearing about 3 weeks - month while I was on accutane.

3) My oiliness went down about 2-3 weeks into it. My skin started to feel different, but in a good way.

4) Cetaphil moisturizer is great to use,
I also use saline nasal jell, but I hear vasaline works
I use blistex complete moisturizer for my lips, and chapstick overnight treatment for when I go to bed, because it lasts longer.
I use some sort of eye drops, but they are all pretty much the same.
As far as shampoo, I don't really know which one you should use because everyone would probably use something different.

5) Some of the MAJOR side effects of accutane are swelling of the brain, blindness, liver problems, changes in vision, internal bleeding. Anyways these are EXTREMELY rare and they only happen in 1 case out of a million so the people who make the drug are required to warn those who might take the pill.

6) As far as a bad initial breakout I didn't notice anything different. My face looked pretty much the same as it did before I started accutane, after about a month it looked better and better. So I did not experience any initial breakout.

7) I don't know if your acne will come back after you go on accutane, it might and it might not. Accutane is not a permanent solution for acne, it's just ment to give your body some time to grow out of the acne. For some people 1 course of accutane will clear you up, for others it may take several courses.
KTA- I am so happy that you're finally getting accutane! It's really fantastic to finally have your skin clear up. I'm on my fourth month and it's working really well for me. I didn't have any initial breakout and my skin just kept getting progressively clearer (and drier and drier). Now, I only get one or two really tiny pimples before my good ol' time of the month. Other than that, the only thing that's really "wrong" with my skin is that there are some scars from the past pimples. Those are getting much better though too. Hopefully you're skin will improve right away also.

The only side effects I notice are dry skin, dry eyes, dry lips, and eczema. All of these are easily controlled though. I found a great lipbalm that helps a lot with the dryness. It's Neutrogent Lip Remedy. It's not waxy like a lot of chapsticks are. I hate feeling like I just rubbed a candle on my lips. You know? You can probably wash your face with anything, just as long as it's not too drying. I guess that will just depend on what you like. Lastly, I'm not a fan of Cetaphil like a lot of others are. I don't like the moisturizer or the cleanser (it doesn't remove all of my makeup and I don't even wear that much anymore. It also always leaves my face feeling filmy). For facial moisturizer I really like Dove Essential Nutrients Day Cream. It's got SPF of 15 in it and it's supposed to have a lot of vitamins, green tea, and other good stuff for your skin in it. When I started using this is when I noticed a reduction in my red marks from old blemishes.

I hope ALL of us on accutane have clear skin for like once we get off the drug. Having my skin go back to being bad is my biggest worry since the derm told me that I only have two months left on Accutane. Good luck with your treatment! Let us all know how it goes. :wave:
[QUOTE=kta]OMG! So I went to the derm yesterday, and she gave me two options. Either Estrostep, along with Retin-A and Benzaclin or ACCUTANE! Finally, after 3 years of doctors telling me that they wanted to try something else first! But I'm going to have to wait a little bit, because for some reason, she wants me to start accutane on the second day of my period. Anyone know why? Oh, and my mom also wants to talk to my pediatrician before she lets me take accutane. He's a friend of hers and he's been my doctor FOREVER, so she really trusts him. So anyways, I'm very excited because I'm finally going to have clear skin! I have been waiting so long for this. And I have a few questions for you guys.[/QUOTE]

Good Luck! I know how excited and anxious you must feel!! I took a 6 month course of Accutane, so I will try to answer your questions...

[QUOTE=kta]
1) Why does my derm want me to start accutane on the second day of my period?[/QUOTE]

I think they do this for 2 reasons - first to ensure that you are not pregnant, and that the monthly pregnancy test result will accurately coincide with your cycle. Secondly, my derm (who is a woman too) felt that it helped redce the possibilty of a major initial breakout around that time of the month. Personally, I think she was right!

[QUOTE=kta]
2) How long until my acne starts clearing up while I'm on accutane?
3) How long until the oil reduces?
[/QUOTE]

It really varies from person to person... I was very lucky, even though I had horrible, painful cystic acne, mine started to improve by the end of the first month. I have read that for some people it was much later though.

[QUOTE=kta]4) What are some good products to use while I'm on accutane? (like face washes, lotions, lip balms, etc.)[/QUOTE]

I would suggest using gentle products on Accutane. I used Obagi gentle foaming cleanser and Cetephil mousterizer. I never got really dry or peely though, if you do you may need some more intense mousterizer.

[QUOTE=kta]5) What are the major side effects?[/QUOTE]

Your Doctor will provide you with a big handbook that will explain all of the minor and major side effects... Read it. Personally, I had NO side effects whatsoever. I know there are a lot of Accutane horror stories out there, so I count myself very lucky! I also have several friends and family members who have done a course of Accutane, and had no problems. You will be warned ahead of time of the possible side effects, and your doctor should monitor you closely with monthly exams and bloodtests, so unless you start to fel like something is wrong, dont worry too much! ;)

[QUOTE=kta]6) Will there be a really bad initial break out?[/QUOTE]
Some people get one, others do not. It is hard to say. My Doctor started me out on a lower dose and then raised it after the first month. She said that has helped most of her patients avoid an initail breakout. For me it worked! I never had a major breakout, but noticed a lot of improvement by the end of the second month.

[QUOTE=kta]7) Will my acne come back after I'm done with accutane??[/QUOTE]

Well, that too, is a tough one! For some people it doesn't come back but for many it does. I have heard that it usually is not as severe though, and often treatments that were inneffective prior to Accutane will work a lot better. My Doctor said she thinks that duratoin of acne prior to treatment and the patients age on Accutane as well as the total dosage recieved play a big role in whether it comes back. She said she sees less relapse in Adult patients who had acne in thier teens, but had more sever adult acne (like me). She actually extended my course from 5 to 6 months to hopefully avoid a replase.
I am actaully having a little breakout right now, but I think it is due to switching BC pills, and the change of seasons. The random ones I get now are tiny and heal up within a day or 2, nothing like the painful lingering cysts that I used to get anyway! I my acne were to return to the way it was before, I would take a second course with no debate! I had no problems on it, and I have been very happy with the results!!

Good luck! :wave:
I am a guy so I can't answer your first quesiton. But I have done accutane twice. Both times i had an initial breakout and from there on it was pretty good. Everynow and then i got a flare up but by the end of 5 months I was totally clear. My lips were super dry and every now and then my back would be a little sore but really nothing to complain about. just use lots of moisturizer and be careful about your skin because it will be extremely sensitive and britlle and can break very easily. Now not to be the cynic but you should hear at least once. My acne came back after both treatments, BUT it was never as bad as when I first went on it. I don't think right now my acne is at a pooint that I would go back on the tane but that may change or I might wnat to try one more time just to see if I can kick it for good. But all the best to you and hopefully you don't relapse. What I can say is that you are almost certainly guaranteed to see improvement if not totally clear skin.





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