Worth It - Just Be Prepared for (Temporary) Side Effects - Scottsdale, AZ

I am a 25 year old female that has suffered from...

I am a 25 year old female that has suffered from acne since I was 12 years old. My acne was mild to moderate and worsened during my menstrual cycle. Like most of you, I tried countless of OTC products and prescription topical ointments. Nothing seemed to work until my primary care physician gave me a dermatology referral for Accutane in November 2011. I was prescribed Accutane for 6 months, starting with 40 mg and slowly progressing to 80 mg. In addition, I was required to get blood work done once a month before refilling my prescription from November 2011 to April 2012.

Within a few weeks of taking Accutane, I noticed my skin becoming much clearer. After two months, my skin was completely cleared. It was seriously a miracle drug. However, I experienced very dry skin especially around my lips. My Physician Assistant, Jennae Porter, advised me to hydrate my skin with Aquaphor, which really helped reduce the dryness. I had no other complication while on the medication. Jennae also recommended taking only half of my prescription dose near the end of my 6-month treatment to preserve the medication I had left. I followed her instruction and officially completed my treatment in September 2012.

Everything was fine until I experienced excessive hair loss in October 2012. My hair is normally thick and voluminous; however, during this hair loss phase my hair became normal in texture. I went straight to my primary care physician and had blood work done - all tests were normal. Then, I started taking a multi-vitamin and Biotin but my hair was still falling out at a fast rate. I had no idea why I was experiencing so much hair loss. One day at work, a co-worker pointed out that she took Accutane several years ago and is still experiencing hair loss. I started freaking out. I went online to research this and found hundreds of online reviews from people having my exact problem. Thus, I immediately scheduled an appointment with the Head Dermatologist, Dr. Bill Halmi at my dermatology clinic. He told me that out of all his years in practice, he has only seen two patients with my problem. Dr. Halmi advised me to wait a few months to observe hair regrowth because I still had Accutane in my system. I listened to him and my hair was back to normal within 6 months of discontinuing Accutane.

Overall, I had a roller coaster experience with Accutane with the temporary side effects I experienced. However, it has been 1 year and 4 months since I've been off Accutane and my skin has remained clear minus a couple small blemishes during my menstrual cycle. I 100% recommend Accutane to others wanting to find a cure for their acne.
Welcome to the community, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us! Congratulations on your results, although you had a scare with the hair loss (that would have shook me up too!) I am so glad everything is fine. Do you have any before and after photos?
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Thank you for your warm welcome! I'm impressed by the number of consumer and professional involvement in the community. To answer your question, I did not take any "before" photographs prior to using Accutane but I will keep you updated if anything changes.
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Awesome, thanks so much!! 
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Dr.Bill Halmi

Dr.Bill Halmi is a very knowledgeable dermatologist. However, he is not well versed with ethnic skin types and has less than average bedside manners. Besides my hair loss issue, I also came to see him for scar removal because one of his PAs performed a skin treatment on me and created a scar on my abdomen. On the Fitzpatrick Skin Type scale, I am classified as skin type IV which means I am prone to hyperpigmentation. Instead of pre-treating my skin with Hydroquinone or other skin lightening ointment before a laser treatment, Dr.Halmi performed a test spot on older scars and my scars worsened. He later prescribed a skin lightening compound to reduce the hyperpigmentation but it wasn't effective and I'm still living with the scar today.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
2 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
2 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
1 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
1 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
2 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
1 out of 5 stars Wait times
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