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Hi shutterbugg,
I saw your post regarding your 9 yr old daughter. I just wanted to let you know our experience. My daughter began breaking out at the age of 6. We tried over a dozen prescriptions, both oral and topical, sometimes both at the same time. After 4 years of this and acne getting progressively worse, our pediatrician prescribed Accutane. She was 10 yrs old at the time. She began on a small dose, 10mg twice a day. For her this was a very small dose because she was 5'4" and 140lbs. After the first month we saw her acne getting worse. The doctor doubled her dose. She went another month, still pretty bad acne. Pediatrcian sent us to a derm. who also increased her dose. We continued this way for 6 months. The derm told us that she would have liked her to go 7 months, since the first month was such a small dose she did not want to count it. She said a full six months on the higher dosage is the best way to have a better chance of a "lifetime" recovery. Unfortunately, our insurance would only cover 6 months even though the first month was for all intensive purposes, useless. For the first 5 months she looked awful. I think the Accutane brought out every pimple she would ever get for the rest of her life! We were really discouraged. But I found this sight, and so many other people with horrible initial breakouts, we were encouraged to continue. Glad we did. It cleared her completely during the last month. Accutane was not easy sailing though. She has horribly dry, bleeding lips. Extremely red, flakey skin, joint soreness, to the point where she had to have a written note from doctor to be excluded from PE. These symptoms persisted for several months even after stopping Accutane. Still think it was worth it. She feels so much better about herself. The derm. told her she should feel lucky to have gotten the acne stage out of the way, and by the time many of her friends are breaking out, she will still be clear. We hope this remains true. She has been off the Accutane for about 8 months. Still pretty clear, but now has what I believe are hormone related mini breakouts since she began menstrating one month shy of her 11th birthday. Will keep an eye on this so it does not get out of hand. Would not look forward to another 6mo. of Accutane, but in relation to the rest of her life, it doesn't seem that bad. I also agree with U4IA, who suggested a consultation with an endocrinologist. We did this and she was tested for adrenal hyperplasia, polycystic ovaries, hormone imbalance, to name a few. She had an excess of a male sex hormone which they feel caused the acne, her accelerated growth, and weight gain. We chose to leave well enough alone and just have her monitored every 6-12 months. We were told that the side effects of having to correct the excess hormone were worse than what she was already experiencing. Plus, it could have been much worse, she could have facial/chest hair or enough of an excess that it supresses her female hormones thus preventing her from menstrating, developing breasts, etc...Maybe more than you wanted to hear here, but I just wanted to let you know what our experience has been. I hope you are able to find your answers and help your daughter. Like you, it just killed me to see her go through that experience at that age. She felt so "different" and singled out. If you have any questions, let me know, I'll help if I can.

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