Acne and Accutane historical posts March 1998

Re: Accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 01, 1998 at 13:48:16:

Dear Matt,

I would surely use the search feature for this BB & read everything I could find about accutane, acne & accutane side effects BEFORE going to FL on spring break (at least 2 weeks before).

The VERY LAST thing you should do is go to Florida while on your first course of Accutane. They would likely ship you home in a little box. ASK your Doc!


Re: Accutane

Posted by john on March 01, 1998 at 16:28:05:

I myself have a similar bodybuilding lifestyle, and have been on Accutane for 24 weeks ( extended from 20 wks. )
I will tell you this much, it will temp. destroy your workouts ( big time). The depresion will make your workouts a living HELL. Sore backs make squats, and bent rows imposible. I have also noticed a major change in bodyfat, like a 5% jump, and to top it off fasting for blood tests is torture.As for the sun, don't think about it( it will worsen the dry skin) and you ask is it worth it?-- without a question. I am with accutane 100%- remember it is only temporary!!!!!!

Re: oily skin

Posted by Terrie on March 01, 1998 at 16:57:11:

In Reply to: Re: oily skin posted by Denali on March 01, 1998 at 14:42:53:

Well, its my opinion and I am NOT a doctor, but antibotics scare me a little. EVERY time I have ever taken them I get yeast infections and stomach trouble. I've read about mutating bacteria that are becomming immune to our antibiotics because of over use. Read Dave's comment below about them.

Walt has written many, many times and it's archived here on this site that "healthy people don't get acne". What he is trying to tell us makes sense to me. I don't have his book yet, but I understand that this issue is covered in his book.

Basically though, what he's trying to help us understand is that it's up to us, the individual, to take charge of our own health. It means lifestyle changes and educating yourself.

Go to his archives and look up what has been written about acne. Then on Monday, order his book.

Good luck,

Yeast Infections

Posted by Kara on March 01, 1998 at 21:14:26:

Dr. Stoll-
I have had ongoing and recurring yeast infections for almost
two years. My gynecologist referred me to a urologist since I was also
having urinary symptons. The urologist determined that I
did not have a urinary problem and treated me for vaginitis with
terazol and doxycycline. Since then I have also been to a
dermatologist since I developed a rash outside the vaginal
area. She treated me with terazol and diflucan and told
me to use temovate on the rash. The rash is gone but I
still have the yeast and the frequency of urination. I'm
wondering if there are any solutions to this problem and if
this problem could have been caused by accutane. Any
thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Accutane

Posted by Melanie on March 02, 1998 at 17:49:21:

I have been through 2 rounds with accutane with very few side effects and with beneficial results, but after both of my pregnancies the acne kicked back in. One and a half years ago I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer and had a mastectomy, I wasn't a candidate for any systemic treatment. My acne has worsened. Would it be dangerous to go one accutane again.

Accutane treatment

Posted by Jonathan on March 02, 1998 at 19:13:59:

Hello, I am a 16 year old male. I am starting my fourth month of treatment at 80mg. I haven't really seen THAT much improvement over the four months, except for when my dermatologist put me on a twelve day treatment of PREDNISONE. This was an anti-inflammatory steriod that made my face improve greatly. During the steriod treatment, I didn't breakout one time. Now that I have been off the 'roids for about two days, my acne is coming back. Any suggestions for an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory? And also, is it normal for one to still have acne four months into treatment?

Thanks a bunch in advance...


Re: Accutane

Posted by Tyler B. on March 03, 1998 at 03:18:06:

I took accutane about 3 yrs ago and the results have been awful.
During and now after the Accutane, Ive developed some sort of a
reaction which takes place after I shower. Has anyone reading this
experienced the same thing? I also have other numerous symptoms
which have either surfaced or never went away. Obviously, Im
definately opposed to Accutane, it damages your liver!

Re: Accutane / cystic acne

Posted by Tad K on March 03, 1998 at 08:37:05:

I used this medication in 1989. I disagree with your coments that everything about the product is/was listed on the label. The information indicated an marked improvement would commence about the 8th week of treatment. On the 8th week I lost two large areas of hair on my forehead, left and right sides. It was sugguested this was due to male pattern baldness, which I knew was bullshit. Over one or two nights I lost two sections of my hair which disappeared and never returned. Eight years later my hair hasn't receded any further. It is indicative of the fact hair loss was drug induced, hair follicles where destroyed.

I noticed great results for the first 8 weeks but stopped and never recommenced because I had a hard choice. The choice was having good looking skin or possibly going bald as result of using this product, a tough call. My hair has always been one of my best features.

I state when I commenced using isotretinoin there was no information indicating it can result in baldness. For Roche it was simply a case wait a see.

Re: In reply to: RE: Accutane/and Dr Stoll

Posted by Shelly on March 03, 1998 at 11:08:48:

In Reply to: Re: In reply to: RE: Accutane/and Dr Stoll posted by Kelly on March 03, 1998 at 00:28:12:


I too found the BB by searching info on EBV. But wasn't hard if you go to the top of the page you'll and go to Dr Stoll's Book it will get you to the home page or if you go Ask Dr Stoll it will get you to the search, simple enough.
As far as asking some one to search and read gives one a better understanding of the answer to the question. It's a shame we live in such an instant world, microwaves, fast food, drive throughs, a pill to lose weight, a pill to fix my problem. If you were in drowning and crying out for help, it would be easier to rescue you if were willing to reach put a hand to pull instead of resisting.
Did you know that the word doctor come form the Latin word teacher. My teachers made me do the reading and research to pass the class.

We will remain the same untill the pain of remaining the same is greater than the change


Re: Accutane

Posted by Cat on March 03, 1998 at 17:50:13:

After many years of problem acne, not cystic acne but persistant acne, I began a 5 month course of Accutane. I began to actually see results within a few days. My face completely cleared up and the excessive oiliness disappeared. The side effects were mild for me and consisted of very dry lips and some peeling skin on the face ocassionally and sometimes my eyes felt dry and looked red. Also, the skin on my legs and around the genital region was sometimes very itchy. I was 33 years old when I took the Accutane and afterward I felt as if my life was transformed. Two years later I have yet to have a blemish and my skin looks flawless and beautiful and is no longer an oily mess. I used to have to wear heavy makeup to hide my skin but now I just put on sunscreen in the morning.

Accutane is the best thing to ever happen to me!!

Re: Accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 04, 1998 at 10:59:01:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane posted by Melanie on March 02, 1998 at 17:49:21:

Dear Melanie,

ANY acne persisting beyond puberty is due to an imbalance in the glandular system. Why do you think that your pregnancy flared it up? Pregnancy naturally causes stress on the endocrine system.

Your breast cancer, to those who understand the body as a whole (rather than a disconnected pile of parts), is just the louder message your bodymind is sending you since you did not understand the first one (persistant acne). You successfully covered it up (silenced the message) with your effective accutane treatment. All you succeeded in doing was cutting the wires to the doorbell trying to warn you that your house was on fire.

It sounds to me that you need a good dose of "tincture of knowledge". When you are ready to put in some serious effort in learning about YOUR physiology, write again & I will be happy to point you in a more fruitful direction.


Re: Accutane treatment

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 04, 1998 at 12:44:23:

In Reply to: Accutane treatment posted by Jonathan on March 02, 1998 at 19:13:59:

Dear Jonathan,

The most effective approach STILL is for one to become a serious student of "wellness". The most attractive people you know are also the healthiest. People who practice wellness have the highest % of health. NONE of then have acne.



Posted by gabriella on March 04, 1998 at 15:07:41:

I read in a forum about a woman who took Saw Palmetto to treat her acne. Can you tell me why this would work? I see Saw Palmetto is used primarily for prostate problems. I'm searching for a natural remedy for my acne problem and would like more info on this if you have it. Thank you.

Sincerely, Gabriella

Re: Accutane treatment

Posted by Jonathan on March 04, 1998 at 16:37:05:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane treatment posted by Walt Stoll on March 04, 1998 at 12:44:23:

Please Walt, define wellness. And also point out how I should go about acheiving it.


Re: Acne and side effects

Posted by Sam on March 04, 1998 at 19:30:50:

I have been reading all the different posts about accutane and have found them to be quite interesting. I am on my second run of accutane. I found that the first one cleared my skin up perfectly. I was on birth control while taking it and when i stopped the birth control my acne came back. At first it was mild and then it became quite severe. I noticed many individuals were wondering about accutane and the side effects. The comments ranged from stong precautions to supporters of the drug. Why all the conflicting results??? Simple, everyone responds differently to drugs. It seems the Dr. Stoll has said this repeatedly, and few have listened. Personal case reports are important to help understand how accutance effects individuals. However, it appears that most doctors (as I have found) do not take the time to thouroughly check an individuals medical background (including mental). I think people should understand that often times what appears to be a surfacely unrelated event can be attributed to some other ailment or particular genetic make-up of that person. You are paying your doctor to help you not for him or her to rip you off. If you have concerns, they are obligated to sit down and talk to you about them. If they don't, go somewhere else. They make too much money based on intimidation and ignorance. When in doubt, research it yourself!
In regards to the accutane, I never had any severe reactions to it except dry lips... My only concern is the depression. But, I have an extremly long case history of depression. Did the accutane adversly affect my depression? I, myself, am still uncertain. Remember, most things in life are connected. You have to look for the reason why!

Re: Accutane / cystic acne

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 05, 1998 at 10:26:32:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane / cystic acne posted by Tad K on March 03, 1998 at 08:37:05:

Dear Tad,

I hope you can show me where I said that the "lable" told everything about what ANY drug can cause. I certainly never meant to say any silly thing like that.

What I did say is that anyone taking any drug should read the package insert (very different from the lable) AND discuss with the prescribing doc the likely complications for THAT person. The reason this is available "by prescription only" is that it is the responsibility of the doc to determine any special risks for THAT person.

ALSO, I have mentioned many times the infamous "whoops factors": those inevitable unexpected problems that come up whenever there have been millions of people using the product.

ALL of this points up the importance of the person taking responsibility for learning ALL of their options before deciding on ANY of them. If your doc won't take the time to FULLY explain YOUR risk, you are going to the wrong doc. S/he has just taken your money & run.


Re: Acne

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 06, 1998 at 08:35:37:

In Reply to: Acne posted by gabriella on March 04, 1998 at 15:07:41:

Dear Gabriella,

The prostate is an endocrine gland and it is an imbalance of endocrine glands that is the major (understood) cause of acne: temporary with puberty and long term with persistant acne. SO, it may make sense that saw palmetto might help. No one yet knows why saw palmetto helps the prostate.

Having said that, I would like to remind you that the resolution to any chronic condition will never be something you TAKE but something you DO. To know what to do one must become an expert in their own condition AND be willing to DO what they learn is most appropriate for them with THEIR condition.

Toward that end, I would suggest you use the search feature for this BB & read everything you can find about acne, accutane & accutane side-effects. THEN, if you still have questions, write again.


Wellness, what is it?

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 06, 1998 at 09:11:57:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane treatment posted by Jonathan on March 04, 1998 at 16:37:05:

Dear Jonathan,

"Wellness" has been defined for more than 100 years as the optimal state of an organism's functioning. For all that time there has been general agreement as to how to achieve this elusive state. In the past 20-30 years, there has been an explosion of data proving how any person can go about doing this themselves. Aerobics was first, whole foods was next and now skilled relaxation. If each thing is worth 3 points of benefit, doing one = 3 points. However, doing two of them = 9 points and all three = 27 points of benefit. They all magnify (are not additive) each other's effect.

I have included in my book (link below) an exact protocol (including the 3 main things every practioner of wellness recommends--along with the references explaining anything you might want to know about them).

You might get an introduction by using this link:
How to be Healthy.

THEN, if you still have questions, write again.

As you get super healthy, you will see any chronic conditions you may have become much less bothersome and MANY just disappear. I hope that, as you do this, you will share your experiences with the other participants of this BB. Others deserve to know what the conventional medical monopoly is not telling them--mainly because it is bad for business for people to be well.


Re: Acne and side effects

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 06, 1998 at 09:21:12:

In Reply to: Re: Acne and side effects posted by Sam on March 04, 1998 at 19:30:50:

Dear Sam,

I want to express my appreciation for your words of support. You are saying EXACTLY what needs to be said. Accutane is NOT "bad". It is just that is is a powerful substance that effects everyone differently. If your prescribing doc does her/his job, and the person being treated does his/hers (learning about all the options and reading the package insert BEFORE buying it), Accutane has its place.


Re: Acne and side effects

Posted by Dave on March 15, 1998 at 11:59:26:

In Reply to: Re: Acne and side effects posted by Walt Stoll on March 06, 1998 at 09:21:12:

It was a relief to find this info on-line.I have been dealing w/ my facial problem for several yrs now. Recently I decided to try accutane - a few months passed now and have decided to stop. The results are mixed & I know it probably takes a longer treatment period to see any real lasting improvement but, my concern is that I am seriously damaging my body. The dry skin condition is so severe, all over my body, that it is painful and causing added stress because of the horrid look of my skin. My hands are covered w/ scales & are constantly red & irritated. The slightest bump or scrape & they split and bleed. The same w/ my lips. My nose & gums bleed, my eyes burn constantly, the skin around them is so dry now that I am beginning to look much older than 30. The skin all over my body is always itchy & sensitive from being so badly dried. I have tried all types of moisturizers to no avail. This condition is as bad as the one it is meant to cure. My Dr has been 'unsupportive'. Of course I am also mildly prejudice towards drug treatments - I am a childhood cancer survivor & have had my share of drugs via Chemotherapy and related treatments.
I have noted that during my worst flare ups my stress levels are very high, my diet & sleep routines are poor, lack of excercise, and of course this all feeds right back into increasing those anxiety & depression levels...stress, stress, stress! I used to do a combination of excercising & then in the evenings before bed strecthing & brief periods of "meditation" - breathing techinques & relaxing in a quiet, 'stress free' room w/ candles & music ( native american flute, enya, Kitaro, etc ). This routine along w/ good diet, vitamins, etc., seemed to help - but it was not gauranteed - I still had those stressers & then flare ups. I believe that I was not determined enough to stick steadfast w/ my routine. I am leaving a job that has also made it nearly impossible to follow any routine & will try to return to this more natural approach. It has helped to see the number of people out there w/ info & support for this serious condition. I would greatly appreciate help in the diet arena so I can get as far away from the accutane solution as possible. I would appreciate any feed back and advice. Thank You!!

Re: Accutane

Posted by Debbie on March 16, 1998 at 08:34:33:

I have had cystic acne for 30 years - chronic but not severe. For most of that time, I have been able to control it while being under the care of a dermatologist. My doctor suggested a round of Accutane to 'knock it out of my system". I read the literature cover to cover and thought I understood all the warnings.

During treatment I experienced blinding headaches and was referred to an eye doctor for possible retina damage and impending blindness - not clearly indicated in literature. Once I was cleared, I experienced severe joint pain, lack of appetite, depression. I did not complain, as I thought the side effects would stop once I was off the stuff.

Wrong. Three months after stopping treatment my hair began to fall out. It progressed to the point of thinning over my entire scalp. It has now been a year, and my once georgeous head of hair is now apparently no longer coming out but extremely thin.

I have episodes of burning skin and joint pain that often keep me awake nights, then suddenly disappear.

I have recurrent urinary problems.

My skin is so thin all over that I find myself forever cut, bruised, covered with broken veins, sensitive to things that never bothered me previously.

And to top it off, I still break out, just in a different type of acne - now I get a rash like effect of small red zits that remind me of 'jr high acne".

I have 3 teenagers, all of whom have breakouts which come and go. They are being treated, but you can bet it will never be with Accutane. They have watched me change from a productive person with a healthy self-image (acne or not) to someone who is very self conscious and self doubting due to being stupid enough to have taken accutane - not to mention the contstant state of not feeling like doing anything.

Please present your daughter with ALL the facts before all of you make the decision. I'm sure that most people do not experience major problems with this stuff - but those of us who do would like to give potential users the knowledge of what they might be in for.


Posted by Linnea Thomas on March 16, 1998 at 13:35:45:

I don't have a question but would like to tell my acne/accutane story. I am a 21 yr. old female and started getting acne in 5th grade (10 yrs.) I went to a dermatologist and tried many treatments: retin-A (HATED, I REPEAT, HATED it with a passion and the redness and dryness that it caused my skin!), e-mycin (or however you spell it; the only other oral treatment I took), glycolic acid skin peels, etc. (you name it and I probly did it). Most of these treatments were non- or insignificantly effective. This spanned until 8th grade (13 yrs.) Acne, and a hormonal imbalance that I didn't know that I had, made me depressed which I think should be a serious consideration for the reasons behind the suicides instead of blaming accutane. Let's face it, acne makes you insecure and depressed with yourself because it is such a seemlingly hopeless battle that I would never wish on anyone. It severely affected my self-esteem at the tramatic pre-teen stage in my life. It was hell! And to be bluntly honest, if I had had the balls I probly would have killed myself too! I looked my worst in 8th grade and wouldn't even look at my self in the mirror and would call home pretending to be sick just so I could go home so nobody at school could see my ugly face! That was acne, not accutane! And in response to Dr. Stoll about children not putting forth the effort for the cure themselves, I have to boldly disagree! I completely cut out chocolates, sugars, grease, fat. I grew my bangs out and kept my hair completely away from my face (changed my whole look) because I heard that hair and hair products that come in contact with the skin promote acne. I also had the cleanest skin of anybody, especially other 5th and 6th and 7th and 8th graders! So when I cried myself to sleep at night because I thought I would have acne for the rest of my life because I didn't know what else to do, I BOLDLY beg to differ that children don't take the necessary steps to cure themselves. You didn't take into account the power of vanity? or was it media and peer pressure? (Same thing probly but acne goes beyond vanity into just wanting to look normal). I started taking accutane somewhere between 8th and 9th grade (13-14 yrs.) I went on a treatment that lasted 6th months under the srtict supervision of my doctor. To me, a pill that almost fully garuanteed recovery and at the price of having my blood drawn only once every other week (that was a big price for a used-to-be-needle-phobic-until-accutane-cured-me) It was a miracle to me. My skin did clear up and it was beautiful. I had always wondered what I looked like under all the zits. I finished the treatment but several months later I started to break out again. Not anywhere near as bad as before but I was breaking out none-the-less. At this point the only side effects that I noticed were dryness internally and externally, which wasn't a bad thing for a greasy teenager. My doctor told me that about 1% of the people that take accutane will get it again, and I was the 1%. I don't know how accurate this is now but this was what I was told. So I started another treatment and started to clear up quickly which made me so happy. I started having lower back pains but I figured that it was due to running track. I ended up getting a cat scan to see what the problem was but they couldn't determine anything. When I told my doctor about the back problems, he immediately took me off accutane. He HAD told me to consult him if I had ANY problems, even if they didn't seem important or to relate to the medication at all. My opinion is that I got back problems from a combo of running and accutane. Well my acne problem wasn't solved but what could I do? I was running out of options and I couldn't bear the thought of returning to the state I was in before I had clear skin. It's now my junior year and I went to the gynocologist because I was having irregularities with my period. I tell my doctor about that and also about my acne problems and the treatm

FOODS THAT HEAL--good book!

Posted by Nancy on March 16, 1998 at 20:02:19:

Some time ago I purchased this book called FOODS THAT HEAL by Maureen Salaman, a Christian author. James Scheer helped write it. Maureen takes 108 different ailments from acne to low blood pressure to stress and gives natural food remedies for each. For instance, if the ailment requires folic acid, she lists the foods in order, with the amounts of folic acid in each, that supply the nutrient. She even includes numerous recipes. I think James supplies those. Anyway, I'm finding it helpful at this point in my life and thought others might want to check it out.


Re: accutane

Posted by Steve on March 17, 1998 at 07:55:39:

>>>She treated me for a HORMONAL IMBALANCE and put me on estrogen for a couple of months and my periods and acne have been all good ever since. Yes, I still the occassional pimple or two but man I never returned to the severity that I had in 8th grade. I credit a lot of that to accutane.

So, What makes you give all this credit to Accutane. I also took Accutane and was told Iwas part of this 1% group. By the way, How come I know so many people are in this supposedly 1% group???????????????
I too found little success AFTER an Accutane program. About 6 months later I refused to go on Accutane again.... instead I started an intense diet program that cleared me up and I've been great since. Now should I credit Accutane? Maybe but, I'll tell you one thing, If I go back to my old diet I could grow a fac full of ZIts in no time ........ Accutane or NOT !! ! ! !

I still itch a lot, my hair will never be the same and who really knows what other long term effects lurk from Accutane ? ? ? ? ?

Re: Acne and side effects

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 17, 1998 at 09:12:51:

In Reply to: Re: Acne and side effects posted by Dave on March 15, 1998 at 11:59:26:

Dear Dave,

Thanks for your testimonial. I hope every person with persistant acne will read it. People need to know that a wellness approach is still the very best way to resolve this problem BUT IT IS NOT EASY. Your experience of knowing what helps but still not being able to discipline yourself to stick to it is typical for everyone.

I have yet to see ANYONE who practiced an effective form of skilled relaxation regularly (at least 20 minutes twice a day (not counting any done within 2 hours of retiring), aerobic exercise 20 minutes 3 times a week and eating a low fat, whole foods diet, who did not clear their acne within 6-12 months. This is even more true of those whose acne has persisted beyond puberty.

We ALL would like to find a magic pill but there is none.

Those who resolve their acne naturally (as described above) frequently say: "You know, it was almost worth having chronic acne to force me to learn a wellness lifestyle which has done so many more positive things for me than just getting rid of the acne." Those who have not experienced this will find it hard to believe. Talk to those who HAVE!

Thanks, again! Walt

Accutane, retinoic acid and frog deformations

Posted by Jeff Zimmerman on March 17, 1998 at 23:21:15:

My 15 yr old daughter started taking accutane last week. Yesterday I read an article in the Washington Post( 3/16/98 p.A-3 about research by Drs. David Gardiner, U.C. Irvine, and Bruce Blumberg, Salk Institute, linking the deformities found in frogs in Minnesota and a few other places to exposure to retinoids. The article noted the Accutane is retinoid-based and has produced birth defects when used by pregnant women. My concern is whether retinoic acid from the Accutane could be stored in the body's fat or other tissues and later released during pregnancy to potentially cause birth defects. I found a short piece about Dr. William S. Blaner's research (I believe at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center) on how tissue and cellular pools of retinoic acid are generated and maintained. I've read a few of the archived messages and agree with you that my daughter needs to review the information and come to her own conclusion, but I have not seen anything about Accutane raising the reproductive deformities issue until I read this newspaper article. Could retinoic acid be stored in the body and several years later create birth defects in much the same way that estrogen-mimic endocrine disrupter chemicals are suspected to cause defects in offspring?

Re: side effects of accutane

Posted by Debbie on March 18, 1998 at 08:11:58:

Although I had minimal problem with dryness, I was pulled off the stuff after 2 weeks due to severe headaches. Seems accutane can cause swelling around the optic nerve which puts pressure on the retina and if prolonged can cause blindness!

They don't exactly dwell on this in the reading material!

I was checked out by an opthamologist and okayed to go back on, but of course I was not seen immediately so the problem probably subsided in the meantime. I finished the stuff, but with several episodes of pressure around the eye area. I just stopped each time until it resolved itself.

My eyes were so light sensitive during treatment that I wore sunglassed indoors. It took me a full year to regain normal vision.

You should be thankful that you still have your vision, even if you cannot wear contacts at present. Possibly this will resolve itself after time.

One of the problems with Accutane is that, even though people read the information about side effects, they aren't properly warned about after effects. Few people want to complain to their doctor about a drug which could give them relief from acne. I know I didn't.

I'm sitting here, 18 months after concluding treatment -
with my permanently thinning hair, chronic joint and skin sensitivity and pain, multiple bruising and broken veins,
urinary tract problems - none of which have I had a medical history of my own or family members.

It is not a cure, it is a tradeoff for what could be much worse.

Good luck.

accutane and back problems

Posted by holly on March 18, 1998 at 10:15:40:

I am currently doing some personal training with a woman who has been taking accutane for three months. She says that because of this drug she has severe back pains and often cannot finish her workouts. She is constantly complaining that this drug has put her in too much pain to work hard and she needs to be more careful. is this true that the drug should limit the workouts we do. She is currently doing a moderate total body workout three days a week and a moderate cardiovascular workout also about two to three days a week. Is there ANY reason medically that she should slow down? Could you please get back to me?

Re: Accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 18, 1998 at 10:28:53:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane posted by Debbie on March 16, 1998 at 08:34:33:

Dear Debbie,

Thjanks for your testimonial. I hope it will help people to THINK before using this option of last resort. Unfortunately, we MDs make a lot more money writing prescriptions than we can ever do teaching the patient about all their other options (even though the word doctor MEANS teacher).

Fortunately, for you, it is not too late for you to become a serious student of "wellness" & reverse the damage done by the Accutane while becoming the formerly healthy person you recall.

My book would be a place to start because it would also steer you to the resources you might need to become the expert you may need to become (link below). If you just want a boost in the right direction, go to this link: How to be Healthy.


Then, as you get healthy again, you could help a lot of other people by sharing your experiences right here on this BB.


Re: accutane

Posted by steve on March 18, 1998 at 11:37:05:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by Shirley on March 18, 1998 at 10:34:48:

1st off I would ask the person who posted earlier to describe what the Dr's did for female hormonal immbalance............ I would think this is a major key.

As for my diet..... I'm not 100% strict anymore, I find I can test out foods and basically regulate the condition of my face. I go on food binges where I just must eat Taco Bell ! ! ! LOL

But basically I'm staying away from Dairy products, especially cheese. Look into food combining and how your body digests foods. Stay away from soda's, caffeine, and ALL SWEETS. I cut out Ice Cream. I've also heard that Iodine can adversely affect Acne and I've had succes cutting out vitamins with Iodine.

Drink lots of water. Get excercise.

I switched from egg, cheese and ketchup sandwiches in the morning to oatmeal.

Another thing on food combining..... sandwiches seem to be the worst possible combination. For lunch I'm happy with a salad with some chicken.

Its hard.... I'm 30 and it took many years of torture to finally realize I had to do something and make a change.

No fast food.... and I also switched from white bread to whole wheat and drastically cut down on pasta and white flour products.

So I lost 20 much needed lbs but, its all about sacrifices and finding a balance and I'll tell you it was worth it. I just don't care anymore when people say "Your so Skinny".... its better than "What's wrong with your face"

I'm just finding that less but better quality food is sooo much better for you overall. My favorite food used to be Double Hot Fudge Brownie Sunday...... I'll probably never eat one just looks like zits to me.

Good luck, and look into everything before putting Accutane into her system.

Re: accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 18, 1998 at 12:04:34:

In Reply to: accutane posted by Linnea Thomas on March 16, 1998 at 13:35:45:

Thanks, Linnea, for your testimonial.

It gets the message out, in ways that I can not do with education alone, that a hormonal imbalance is the basic cause of acne. During puberty, everyone's hormones are out of balance. However, those who have acne beyond puberty have a non-physiological hormone imbalance which can be corrected by a "wellness " program.

I look forward to the day when teaching people what they can do to help themselves is the first line of defence--even though it makes no money for the physicians.


Re: accutane and back problems

Posted by David Ferguson, D.C. on March 18, 1998 at 13:33:11:

In Reply to: accutane and back problems posted by holly on March 18, 1998 at 10:15:40:

In my opinion the accutane may be "revealing" a back problem but is probably not the direct cause. A chiropractic evaluation and skilled relaxation would be my advice for a person in this situation.

Re: question

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 19, 1998 at 11:34:01:

In Reply to: question posted by elaine bailey on March 17, 1998 at 13:58:27:

Dear Elaine,

Diet alone will resolve acne in only a very small minority of people. Both of you need to know of all your options, as well as the benefits of doing them singly & together, before she puts in much effort at anything.

Use the search feature for this BB & read everything you can find about acne, accutane & accutane side-effects (since most of the alternatives were discussed under titles of accutane).

THEN, if you have more questions, write again.


Re: accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 19, 1998 at 13:59:27:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by Shirley on March 18, 1998 at 10:34:48:

Dear Shirley,

Read the other responses I have mede to this subject on this date. Then, if you still have questions, write again.

Your daughter's "expert opinion" that diet has nothing to do with this is an example of the intentional ignorance so many people have when they don't want to do something. Teenagers are the worst about this since they already know all that is worthwhile to know. I would guess that she would be resistant to anything but taking a magic pill since anything that actually would resolve it safely & permanently would entail her learning something and actually putting effort into changing things.

I would not be too upset at this since that is the way most teenagers are. Probably the best thing for you would be to point her in a fruitful direction & then just love her as she is & not take her acne complaints too seriously. If she is not willing to do what will resolve it, there is nothing YOU or I can do about it.

Use the search feature for this BB & read everything you can find about acne, accutane & accutane side effects. At least YOU will understand. Unfortunately, it is SHE who needs that understanding.

Good Luck! Walt

Re: Accutane and Hair Loss/Thinning

Posted by Ruth Wagner on March 20, 1998 at 10:04:02:

I had the same question about Accutane in regard to thinnning hair and hair loss. After 2-3 months of being on Accutane I was still braeking out every other week (which I could deal with) but my scalpt became so dry that I was afraid to brush my hair, for fear it would fall out of the delicate and fragil skin of mmy scalpt. I also noticed big dry scabs on my scalpt. My hair has definitely thinned out to the extent that I have decided to discontinue Accutane treatment. My forehead line is receeding. I have delicate baby-fine hair to begin with, so I'm not taking my chances. I am even open-minded to the idea of being a bald women, have shaved my head in the past for fashion, yet I want the freedom to decide whether or not to have a bald head and right now my scalpt has bloody marks all over it. My doctor is on vacation. Another doctor at the clinic called me back early this morning (within a half hour after I called) and advised me to stop treatment imediately. From what I gather this drug is so new, that no one has any way of predicting all of its side effects and the long-term side effects. I'm not condemning this drug. If it works, go with it. If you fear it is making you more paranoid about your appearnce, discontinue it.

Re: side effects of accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 20, 1998 at 10:31:10:

In Reply to: Re: side effects of accutane posted by Debbie on March 18, 1998 at 08:11:58:

Dear Debbie,

I hope your experiences get you to seeing your acne (as well as your side effects) as messages your bodymind was sending you. NOW, is the time for you to become a serious seeker after why this happened to you so your next "message" is not louder. Your side-effects are still reversable IF you will hear the message & do something about it.


Re: accutane and back problems

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 20, 1998 at 10:36:24:

In Reply to: accutane and back problems posted by holly on March 18, 1998 at 10:15:40:

Dear Holly,

Has she contacted her prescribing doc about this? Have either of you read the package insert?

How old is she? If she is past puberty, she really needs to learn WHY she still has acne. This has been thoroughly discussed for years, right here on this BB. Use the search feature provided and read everything you can find about acne, accutane & accutane side-effects. You may even need to look at the archives.

THEN, if either one of you still has questions, write again.

The resolution to a chronic condition like this will never be something one TAKES but something one DOES.


Re: accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 20, 1998 at 10:59:55:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by steve on March 18, 1998 at 11:37:05:

Dear Steve,

Thanks for your dietary testimonial. I think it will help people begin to see that they DO have options.

HOWEVER, having said that, I have rarely seen anyone completely resolve acne with diet alone (ESPECIALLY those whose acne has persisted past puberty).

Your note is conspicuous by its absence of any mention of the regular practice of skilled relaxation--by FAR the most important part of ANY curative for acne post-puberty.

ALSO, remember, nutrition is not just what you eat. It is at least the following (all of which are profoundly influenced by whether you are chronically storing fight or flight in the hypothalamus--which all of us in this country are doing a lot of--read "Mind as Healer, Mind as Slayer" by Dr Pelletier):

1. Study to learn what to eat & how to find out if you have chosen right.

2. Going to the store & finding what you need & preparing it in a healthy way.

3. Chewing, swallowing and digesting whatever you ate.

4. Absorbing whatever you digested & getting it to the liver.

5. Accomplishing appropriate metabolism of the molecules and other nutrients in the liver.

6. Transporting that product to the cells via the circulation.

7. Getting this stuff through the cell wall into the cell.

8. Properly utilizing what gets into the cell INSIDE the cell.

At any stage along the way, "nutrition" can be blocked.

I see lots of people who find that a little knowledge of one approach seems to help so they spend all of their effort trying to "solve" the problem with that approach alone. Most of these put in a lot of effort for a diminishing amount of return. One will get a lot more good out of their dietary efforts if they know enouygh to do a regular skilled relaxation & exercise program. My book has all of the protocols (and the references for anyone to learn as much as they need about those protocols) (link on this page).

Then, if you still have questions, write again.


accutane and side effects

Posted by Anonymous on March 20, 1998 at 11:50:03:

Can weight gain be a side effect of taking accutane? I have only be on it for 1 month and my acne is all cleared up but I have gained about 7 lbs. I exercise regulary and practise a fairly healthly diet. I going on a vacation in a few weeks and would like to lose this weight. Any thoughts??

Re: accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 20, 1998 at 12:03:05:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by toni on March 18, 1998 at 15:19:20:

Dear Toni,

ALL of these things are related. I would recommend that you learn as much as you can about how these are just tips of the iceberg of her REAL problem. THEN, write again with any questions you have. These problems are just going to get worse until you get at the root of them & not just treat the symptoms as you have been so far advised.

Go to the library & ask them to find you a copy of "Is This Your Child" by Doris Rapp, MD. Then, if that strikes a note with you, read anything the library can find for you by William Crook, MD about children and Candida-Related Syndrome.

In the meantime I would continue suppressing her symptoms conventionally. Keep detailed records of ALL her tests & treatments in her files at home. Eventually, we need to find someone close to where you live who is competent to deal with causes & they will need copies of the records.


Re: accutane

Posted by steve on March 20, 1998 at 14:34:27:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by Walt Stoll on March 20, 1998 at 10:59:55:

Dr. Stoll,

Thanks for the info.
I don't know, In my case..... Maybe the Accutane finally kicked in. Maybe I outgrew acne (I doubt it since I know I can eat the right things and produce a face full of acne in no time) or maybe somewhere in my diet I found what was one of the main antagonists of my acne... maybe iodine???

Anyway, I just received your book and I look forward to reading it. I'm getting drawn to Complementary medicine.
My Dermotoligists and the way they handel the problem is what lead me in this direction. I'll let you know that the Derm I was seeing was on some kind of Derm board at Cornell U. and was Highly Highly Hihghly reccommended in the NY area. I traveled 40 minutes (Eachway.... uphill) through NY traffic to see him and he had waits averaging 3-4 weeks.... and then an hour wait at the office........................ basically a factory. My family Dr. is the same way his office is set up with about 5 patient rooms..... He has some BUSINESS going... its sooo impersonal it literally makes me sick. You go there and the waiting room is packed with about 20 sick people every day.

Thanks again........ Steve

Re: Accutane and Hair Loss/Thinning

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 22, 1998 at 10:22:09:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane and Hair Loss/Thinning posted by Ruth Wagner on March 20, 1998 at 10:04:02:

Dear Ruth,

Thanks for your testimonial. Most people are not told of the risks to this drug and, like you, have had to learn for themselves. If there were no other more effective options, I can see people being wiling to take their chances. However, there ARE. Use the search feature for this BB & read everything you can find about acne, accutane and accutane side-effects. You will begin to see what your other options have been and still are.

THEN, if you have any questions, write again.


Re: Accutane

Posted by Lindsay Pressler on March 22, 1998 at 16:35:12:

I am a 21 year old female-I have been experiencing moderate to severe acne for the last 5 years (when I was ajunior in highschool)-
I tried EVERYTHING from prescriptions to over-the-counter- Finally, I received medical coverage for Accutane-40 mg. a day-Been on it now for almost 2 months-I started out on 20 mg/day for first month-then increased dosage. It was getting better untill I increased to 40 mg-then it got worse for about 2-3 weeks. Now it is clearing up again rather nicely. The only 2 side effects I've experienced are TOTAL dryness(my face is always flaky) and my lips crack if I don't generously apply Blistex about 20 times a day.-The other side effect is that my muscles ache like never before. I swim an hour a day, but I've never been this exhausted, physically. I have about one more month of taking Accutane-it looks like it's working. Good Luck to all!

Re: Accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 24, 1998 at 11:36:05:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane posted by Lindsay Pressler on March 22, 1998 at 16:35:12:

Dear Lindsay,

What is a 21 year old doing with acne? It is well known that only people with glandular imbalances have acne past puberty. Why not look into WHY you have this? The acne is the kindest message your bodymind will send you about this basic problem.

If all you do is eliminate the acne, you will think you have been successful. All you will really have done is silence the message.

When you are ready to put in the effort necessary to actually deal with the problem, write again & I will do my best to point you in the right direction.


Re: Accutane

Posted by inigo ardid on March 25, 1998 at 17:55:40:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane posted by Walt Stoll on March 02, 1998 at 11:15:31:

I took accutane 3 yrs ago I still have very dry skin and lips. Also my mouth and eyes are still not back to normal. I know that accutane is a vitamin A derivative. Vitamin A is stored when taken in excess in the liver and fat cells and released very slowly through a long period of time. Could it be possible that I still have this drug in my body? What can I do to get rid of these long lasting side effects? Are they permanent?

Re: Accutane, retinoic acid and frog deformations

Posted by Inigo Ardid on March 25, 1998 at 18:44:02:

In Reply to: Accutane, retinoic acid and frog deformations posted by Jeff Zimmerman on March 17, 1998 at 23:21:15:

I took accutane three years ago(20mg Twice a day 20wks). The side effects have never completely gone away. I still have dry skin, lips, muscle aches, and thinning hair. I know that accutane is a vitamin A derivative. Vitamin A is stored in the fat cells and liver, could I still have accutane inside my body and that is why I still have the side effects? Are the side effects permanent? What can I do?

Re: Accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 27, 1998 at 14:01:25:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane posted by inigo ardid on March 25, 1998 at 17:55:40:

Dear inigo,

If you are past puberty:

The same factors that caused your acne in the first place are now continuing the side-effects. This is why I continually encourage BB participants to deal with why they still have acne rarther than desperately seking WHATEVER will clear up their skin (turn off the message the mindbody is trying to send).


Re: Accutane, retinoic acid and frog deformations

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 27, 1998 at 14:04:23:

In Reply to: Re: Accutane, retinoic acid and frog deformations posted by Inigo Ardid on March 25, 1998 at 18:44:02:

Dear Inigo,

See my previous note to you today. Accutane is in the same family. Humans have just not taken it long enough to have the "whoops factor" rise up & slap them in the face. Just go forward in time about 20 years & see what is known about Accutane then: WHOOPS!


Re: accutane

Posted by Shirley on March 28, 1998 at 10:54:28:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by steve on March 20, 1998 at 14:34:27:

Dear Dr. Stoll:
Thank you for your help. Up to now my daughter decided she is not going to take Accutane. And we all scared by the long list of side effect. Short term effect is ok but long term? We think some acne (Doxycycline, Minocycline did help some but not totally) is better than liver, bone problems, and no contacts that will kill her, and she is so afraid of once a month's blood test. We don't want all this affect her up coming SAT test, and Florida band trip, So I called the doctor to tell him she is not going to have Accutane. Now the doctor is going to treat her with Trimethoprim. This kind of confusse me, because when I check with this medicine, seems it is for AIDS. And I read nothing about cure ACNE. Is this some kind of mistake or it does cure acne? Another question is she use makeup to cover her acne, will that make acne problem worse? If she insist which kind of make up is better for her? Please let me know, Thank you.

Re: accutane

Posted by Raineforest on March 29, 1998 at 16:56:48:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by Raadar on March 28, 1998 at 11:50:42:

I'm 16 and just started taking Accutane 2 days ago. The hair thing that the other person mentioned is one of the side affects. Some people lose a bit of their hair! I think i'm most scared about that side affect then any of the others. So far i really haven't noticed any improvement in my acne, but i hope i will soon.

Re: accutane

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 29, 1998 at 17:08:00:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by Shirley on March 28, 1998 at 10:54:28:

Dear Shirley,

If there were an easy way to resolve this condition, every one would be using it & you would not be asking this on the internet. I prescribed doxycycline (for acne) 30 years ago--before I knew better. Trimethoprim is just another combination antibiotic with the same problems: temporary benefits while the causes continue.

The solutions to this problem have been discussed many times right here on this BB. When she is interested in doing the work that will be necessary, have her use the search feature provided with this BB & read everything she can find about acne, accutane and accutane side effects. I mention the accutane files only because much of what has been discussed is listed as responses to those titles.

Until she is willling to do this, she (for darn sure) is not going to be willing to do the considerably more work needed to become a student of wellness. Don't waste your time. Just love her as she is & take her complaints about the acne with a grain of salt. SAYING that she is "willing to do anything" to resolve the acne means nothing. DOING is what solves it.


retinoic acid

Posted by robert b on March 29, 1998 at 23:26:22:

In consideration of your views about accutane, would you also recommend staying away from retin-A topical creams?

Re: Acne and side effects

Posted by robert b on March 29, 1998 at 23:37:40:

In Reply to: Re: Acne and side effects posted by Dave on March 15, 1998 at 11:59:26:

Try tanning outdoors. Or ,if you have to, a facial tanner only at a tanning salon. It works wonders. Just don't overdo it. Keep in mind, ultraviolet light is used to disinfect air along with hepa filters in hospital ventilation systems!

Re: retinoic acid

Posted by Walt Stoll on March 30, 1998 at 11:25:57:

In Reply to: retinoic acid posted by robert b on March 29, 1998 at 23:26:22:

Dear Robert,

I hope no one thinks I am against Accutane OR retinoic acid. MY point has always been that people have the right to make any medical decision as an informed patient. Since there are many less expensive, safer, and MORE effective approaches to acne than these 2 prescriptions, patitnts deserve to know what they are before taking a magic "treatment" that hurts them.

Unfortunately, docs make a lot more money writing prescriptions than they do trying to educate the patient. Which way do you think the conversation goes? In the end, no one can pay anyone enough to have them be responsible for their health decisions. Knowledge will set you free.


Re: accutane

Posted by Marie on March 31, 1998 at 15:54:43:

In Reply to: accutane posted by Linnea Thomas on March 16, 1998 at 13:35:45:

I have just started Accutane one week ago. I was a person who tried everything that could be prescribed for acne, and if they did work after a while they wouldnt work again. Accutane is my last resort. I would like to hear some stories re: others who have been treated successfully throught Accutane and have no regrets.

Re: accutane

Posted by steve on March 31, 1998 at 16:05:17:

In Reply to: Re: accutane posted by Marie on March 31, 1998 at 15:54:43:

Marie, I guess your not looking for those for whom it didn't work?

I wish you luck........ drink lots of water, get a humidifier, use plenty of chapstick and moisturizers and keep a healthy upbeat attitude.

I'd also take a look at your diet and research stress. My acne problem has helped me learn a great deal about stress, its effects and healthy living in general... and this board was a great help in leading me in the right direction. I have lots of research still to do and books to read.

I would highly suggest doing this research and starting a healthy living program while your on Accutane. It could only help ! ! ! ! !

Best wishes... oh yeah... and Accutane is NOT your LAST resort : ) (it wasn't mine)

Question for Dr. Stoll

Posted by Steve on March 31, 1998 at 16:55:39:

Dr. Stoll,

In regards to Acne (or anything else), I run into a number of people online that are looking for "Miracle Drugs" to solve their problems. When I suggest a Wellness program, you could imagine the remarks that I get back.
What is the standard protocol in cutting messages from this board and posting them on others. It would be quite helpful to use some of your quotes.

Thanks - Steve

acne and dysautonomia

Posted by Cindy B on March 31, 1998 at 18:00:21:

I recently told you that I had recurring acne even after 2 bouts of accutane. Not severe but annoying. You said I may have dysautonomia. What is that? I am completely ignorant to this disease and what makes you think I have it? I am 28 years old and didn't get acne until after I gave birth to my first child. Please inform me of this condition and what I should do.

Thank you

Cindy B

1998: Jan Feb Mar

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