Breaking out one week after finishing Accutane

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  • 1 Post By Celebration

I've just finished my second 5 month course of Accutane. I took my last pills last Monday. And my skin is breaking out. It's along my jaw line and on my chin under the corners of my mouth. No cysts, just little pimples, but you can probably guess that I'm pretty damn disappointed. I'm on Loestrin 20 at the moment, so I'm not due my period.

Last time I took accutane, I had a good year of decent skin. I knew that the chances of success would lessen this time, but considering the stuff stays in your system for 5 weeks, I thought I'd get at least 6 months of good skin.

The dermatologist has pretty much said that if this doesn't work, there's nothing else to try. I'm feeling pretty down about it. I've been through 5 months of strong medication, very sore eyes, feeling achey, dry skin etc and it might all be for nothing. I also have permanently dry lips that never did get back to normal after the first time I was on accutane.

I'm kind of hoping that someone here has a magic wand they can wave.
Yes, my tail is naturally curly.
No, it was NOT me who cried 'wee wee wee wee wee' all the way home.
I'm sorry, Piglet. As someone who has struggled with acne for more than 20 years, I know how devastating it can be to your self-esteem.

I know you can't use topical medications while you're on Accutane, but can you start one now? I've had good luck with Epiduo which is a combination of Retin-A and a low-dose of benzoyl peroxide.

I hope you find something that helps keep it under control.
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I feel for you. My acne came back lightly about 5-6 years ago. Now it's back completely. I'm 50 and menopausal, so I was hoping that might help. Nope. I'm just as oily and pimply as ever. I don't want to go back on Accutane, because I feel like my liver is old now, so I'm using an approach of switching out the various "disinfectants" every few days as my skin becomes immune...a couple days of benzoyl peroxide, a couple days of Hibiclense surgical scrub, a couple days of various acids. I use Retin-A every day. It's a lot of effing work, and I never totally get ahead of it. I'm about to go back on a low-dose of antibiotics. If that doesn't help, I'm going to risk my old liver and do Accutane again.

For some of us, acne is a true plague, of biblical proportions.
I suffered for many years, but come to find out I just have overly sensitive skin. I have to use cetephil skin products & wash my pillow case every 3 days or so cause my hair products bother my skin. I can't use chapsticks because they make my lips peel and dry out. I just put lotion on them now.

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The dermatologist has pretty much said that if this doesn't work, there's nothing else to try.
Originally Posted by Piglet
That may be all that particular derm can offer you, but you're not out of choices. There are laser treatments that help acne. I'll be considering that if antibiotics and Accutane don't work enough. You'd have to wait 6-12 months though, because you were on Accutane.

Last edited by RedCatWaves; 09-04-2012 at 06:39 AM.
Thanks for responding. My skin has had a few more tiny pimples, but seems ok at the moment. I read online that some people get mini break-outs immediately after finishing Accutane, and then their skin settles and is clear again. I am noticing a more so uneven skin tone, which isn't good. I remember that when I had just finished Accutane the first time round, my skin tone was perfect and I honestly looked barely different with foundation than I did without.

I'm still on the bc pill, so hopefully oiliness won't prove to be an issue for now.

It's really nice that you all understand. I know it's not lifethreatening and so many people have to deal with far worse.

I've tried Benzoyl Peroxide before and it did nothing. I used Differin after the last lot of Accutane and that wasn't effective either.

The only things that have ever made my skin look good (albeit for limited periods) have been Accutane and Erythro mycin. Unfortunately Erythromycin lost effectiveness after a while.

I wish I could get my lips back to normal. I have to have lipbalm with me at all times. I asked the dermotologist about this, but he had no idea.

RCW - I will look at laser treatments some more. I did some research before, but it seems the results were variable and not necessarily permanent.

Thanks again.
Yes, my tail is naturally curly.
No, it was NOT me who cried 'wee wee wee wee wee' all the way home.
Have you tried Rodan and Fields products? There is some great lip serum that may help you, and also amazing adult acne regimen, that really helped my friend, her skin is clear and beautiful now. Message me for more info...
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CO Wash- Sauve Conditioner or Loreal sulfate free cleansing conditioner
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Gel- Garnier Fructis Pure and Clean
I can't see the whole date on my phone. Is this recent, or has someone just bumped it up to sell R&F? Either way, I took Accutane years ago and my skin has stayed mostly clear. When I do break out, I can always clear things up by going off sugar and processed carbs. I know some people say what you eat doesn't matter but for me, it really does.
some people don't think diet matters. i do. there's a LOT of research that supports that diet can impact the quality of skin. diet effects every other organ in the body, why not the skin, the largest organ...anyway, please at least consider your diet. this is a good book. check out the reviews.

i never did accutane. i decided against it because i was a little worried about the excessive dryness some users report and also because of the potential mood issues associated with it, plus since i haven't had a baby i just don't want do anything that might cause an issue down the line. that said, my skin is greatly improved. i've done a bunch of things but i also started using products from makeup artist's choice and they really have helped my skin. i recently bought the mandelic acid toner but haven't used it yet. they have lots of good sales through this company and i've used them for years and there are a lot of good before and after pics from regular people if you want to check it out.

i hope this helps a bit. hugs, i know acne is a bummer. i hope it gets better for you.
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Last edited by luvmylocs; 09-10-2012 at 02:14 PM.
I'm so sorry to hear this. I'm like you because I have gone through two courses of Accutane and neither one stuck for long. The best thing that I have done for my skin to prevent giant cysts is to give up everything dairy. I know, it sounds impossible, and it's really hard to do, but it helps me so much. Another thing that works for me to get rid of all the little underneath bumps is to go to a good esthetician and let her squeeze them all out once a month. This is very painful and costly though! I'm 43 and still struggling with acne, but I've come to accept that my skin is not perfect. I use Mary Kay skincare products which has been the best thing for calming down the inflammation and redness. And I take antibiotics to keep everything somewhat under control from the insides. That's about all I can do! I hope you can gain some acceptance of your skin. Just like our curly hair, we have to work with what we've got. <<hugs to you>>
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I'm 39 now but in my teens and twenties I had moderate acne (in my teens, some of it was cystic). It cleared up completely when I took dairy products (except butter) out of my diet and later I had to take peanuts out too. Now, if I have dairy more than one day in a row, I am sure to break out with both whiteheads and some deep pimples.

It is difficult for me to stay away from dairy during the holidays or birthdays, so I do have it a few times a year. I have found that after having dairy and then stopping again, I have to use something to clear up the breakout. The drugstore products are very irritating to my skin so I've been using natural products, and have been able to stay completely acne free in between the few times a year that I consume dairy.

What I've used is Dessert Essence tea tree pads, Burt's bees acne products, oil of oregano and straight tea tree oil (the straight TTO can be irritating to some, but it works for me as a spot treatment.). During this time I also wipe down my computer keyboard, phone etc with rubbing alchohol and wash/bleach my sheets to kill the bacteria. A couple of weeks after the acne is gone, I stop the treatment and can just use my regular mild facial cleaner and lotion.

My acne was fairly severe, but never enough to consider accutane, so it sounds like yours is worse than what I've experienced. However, I wanted to share my experience because I've heard of very severe cases of acne responding to an allergy elimination diet.

PS- you might also want to google zinc for acne. On another board that I frequent, many parents of teens were singing the praises of zinc supplementation for acne. I'm not sure of the dosage though.
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I'm 39 now but in my teens and twenties I had moderate acne (in my teens, some of it was cystic). It cleared up completely when I took dairy products (except butter) out of my diet and later I had to take peanuts out too. Now, if I have dairy more than one day in a row, I am sure to break out with both whiteheads and some deep pimples.

It is difficult for me to stay away from dairy during the holidays or birthdays, so I do have it a few times a year. I have found that after having dairy and then stopping again, I have to use something to clear up the breakout. The drugstore products are very irritating to my skin so I've been using natural products, and have been able to stay completely acne free in between the few times a year that I consume dairy.

What I've used is Dessert Essence tea tree pads, Burt's bees acne products, oil of oregano and straight tea tree oil (the straight TTO can be irritating to some, but it works for me as a spot treatment.). During this time I also wipe down my computer keyboard, phone etc with rubbing alchohol and wash/bleach my sheets to kill the bacteria. A couple of weeks after the acne is gone, I stop the treatment and can just use my regular mild facial cleaner and lotion.

My acne was fairly severe, but never enough to consider accutane, so it sounds like yours is worse than what I've experienced. However, I wanted to share my experience because I've heard of very severe cases of acne responding to an allergy elimination diet.

PS- you might also want to google zinc for acne. On another board that I frequent, many parents of teens were singing the praises of zinc supplementation for acne. I'm not sure of the dosage though.
Originally Posted by WavesnWheels
i greatly agree with your post. dairy does it for me...a little, no problem, a lot, BIG problems. i wish i could eat it no problem but i just can't and it's not worth it. my skin is doing so good now but i eat virtually no dairy except occasional kefir and and yogurt.

secondly, i totally agree on the zinc. i researched this after being very upset about my skin and i use this brand of zinc with superb results. new chapter is an excellent brand and the girl in whole foods recommended it. you can even take it on an empty stomach. they are small round circle tablets. good luck!
a dreamy pisces
please recycle, it matters...
i change lives...through fitness
i'm more relaxed being natural

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