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Thread: Burning, RED, hot Ears From Accutane

  1. #1
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    Default Burning, RED, hot Ears From Accutane

    Hello

    I am a 24 years old male who has been taking accutane for 21 days. My dermatologist prescribed me 20mg per day, for the period of 1 year. My bodyweight is 60 kg. This is supposed to be low dose treatment for acne. I know that this is a rosacea forum but here it's all about redness, so I thought maybe somebody can help (my dermatologist doesn't know, and people on acne-boards don't know)

    So far so good. The only side effect I got since the SECOND day of treatment are RED, HOT ears. EVERYDAY, for 3 hours. I also get a strange warm feeling in my right ear which basically persists all day long (at this time my ear fels cold to the touch).

    When I didn't take accutane for 1 day it still appeared and also the following day before taking the next dose. It always happens around the same time. In the evening between 6.30pm and 8pm and lasts for 3 hours.

    I already have telangiectasia (visible capillaries) on my cheeks and ears but this ear thing is just extreme.

    I don't want to sit at home for the remaining year of this treatment because my ears look so hideous. It looks stupid because I have to shave my head due to hairloss (not from accutane) and my skin is pale/white. So you can imagine the bright red ears.

    Does anybody else get this on low-dose? As far as I read the only people who get this are getting it at the end of their heavy-dose course, not on the second day of a low-dose treatment. I also tried anti-histamines but these didn't work.

    Of course my dermatologist has no idea what it is. Could this be some kind of rosacea flushing in my ears (see picture Red_ear.jpg)?

    Can anybody help?

    thanks very much!
    Nick

  2. #2
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Nick,

    Please correct me since I may not understand you. Did you complain to your dermatologist that you are having this issue? And he simply said he did not know? Is this correct? He did not say to you stop using the Accutane?

    You might want to look at the adverse reactions from taking isotretinoin, which mentions 'rash, erythmatous, allergic skin reaction, impaired hearing' to name just a few that are related. I also suggest you read this post on accutane, as well as anecdotal reports of those who have taken accutane.

    You the patient have the right to know the risks involved with taking this drug and the right to refuse this treatment. This is called Informed Consent in medicine and is a legal term. Just because your doctor recommends a treatment does not mean you have to consent to the treatment. Did you doctor explain the risks involved with taking accutane?
    Brady Barrows
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    Hi Brady

    Thank you very much for your answer. Yes, I told my dermatologist about the ear issue. I told him I'm taking the pill at around 6pm and the red ears start at around 6.30pm (but not the same day, I think the "reaction" is somehow delayed for 1 day or more). He told me to take the pill before going to bed. From then on I took my accutane pill at around 11.30pm. the red ears persist and start now between 7pm and 9pm (for 3 hours). so this doesn't really help.

    I know very well what accutane is and what side effects it has. But obviously NOBODY gets these red ears. I think there would have been an improvement with the reaction when taking anti-histamines. there wasn't. There's no impaired hearing since I'm still able to hear high-frequency sounds. by the way it wasn't the doctors idea to start me on accutane, it was my own, since acne on a shaved head (hairloss) doesn't look god.

    And as I said all the flushing reports I read were from people on 60mg, 80mg or even higher doses. I specifically told my dermatologist to go the low-dose way. Since my hairloss problem I'm not counting on doctors anymore. I do all the research and the only thing I need a doctor for is to confirm what I found is right and to prescribe me the drugs I want/need. My dermatologist didn't tell me the risks involved, but I knew/know them since I spent days on acne forums researching. I don't have any other side effect except this and I'm going insane because I'm not stopping this. I'll ask my doc about aspirin, ibuprofen or something else that I can try and might help.

    Another question. Can this ear-flushing cause new (permanent) visible telangiectasia in my ear? When I look at them I worry that new ones appear every day (due to daily "flushing").

    thanks.

    Nick

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    I developed an ear flushing problem while taking low dose accutane. I only took 5mg per day but took it for 20 months. It was a few months before my ears started flushing but it wasn't too bad. Eventually I got to the point where my ears flushed several times each day. Sometimes the flush would only last 30 minutes or so but other times it would last for hours. I eventually stopped taking accutane because of this flushing. I've now been off accutane for 14 months and I still have ear flushing issues but not as bad as I did while on accutane. It seems to be getting better very slowly. If the ear flushing persists you might want to see if you can tolerate a lower daily dose. If that doesn't help you may need to stop the treatment.

    -Dave-

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    Senior Member Mistica's Avatar
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    My advice would be, stop taking accutane now before you end up like many of us. Severe flushers.
    If you stop the drug now, you might be able to reverse the damage already in motion.

    There are other treatments for acne. Safer treatments. I don't know how bad your acne is, but dietary modification is likely to help. I know you are not a rosacean yet, but it won't hurt to read the threads in the diet and lifestyle thread of this forum.
    Read, read, read. Knowledge = power. Learn what types of carbs fuel unfavourable bacteria in the gut. Go to the GAPS diet website, FAQ. (Also I posted an informative video presentation by the doctor/author within this forum, taken from an acne site). Other sites worth checking out. Body Ecology, Coolilng inflammation. Perfect Health Diet. These for starters.

    Also, if you have obvious digestive issues and they don't respond to dietary change alone, you might consider taking a course of rifaximin. It is an antibiotic which is poorly absorbed from the gut, meaning, it only treats the gut.
    You would still need to modify your diet to produce long lasting changes.

    I am under the care of Dr Borody's team at the Sydney Centre for Digestive Diseases ( Australia).
    Recently, during a follow up phone consultation I had with his registrar, I was very interested to hear that the success rate with acne patients is very high.
    You might consider calling them and speaking with one of the medication nurses.
    They deal with overseas patients. It can't hurt to call and get some info and statistics.

    Acne is treatable and usually curable. You don't want to end up like us.

    Accutane is poison and it is like playing russian roulette with your life.
    Previous Numerous IPL.
    Supplements: Niacinamide, Vit K2, low D3, Moderate Dose Vit C, Iodine, Taurine, Magnesium. Very low dose B's. Low dose zinc (to correct deficiency).
    Skin Care: No Cleanser, ZZ cream mixed with Niacinamide gel 4% and LMW HA.

    Treating for gut dysbiosis under specialist care. (This is helping).
    Previous GAPS diet. Testing tolerance of resistant starch.
    Fermented Foods. 2 to 3 days per week, Intermittent fasting -16-18 hours.

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    Thanks for putting that, Mistica. I am a bit shy about telling people how awful accutane is. And that there is another way. I took accutane, too, way back. I thought it was horrible -- the dryness, the aches. But I would have done anything. At the time I didn't know a think about natural ways.

    There is always a gentle, natural answer. But it has to be uncovered.

    G
    "It's all illusion anyway."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Brady Barrows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicofan View Post
    Hi Brady

    Thank you very much for your answer. Yes, I told my dermatologist about the ear issue. I told him I'm taking the pill at around 6pm and the red ears start at around 6.30pm (but not the same day, I think the "reaction" is somehow delayed for 1 day or more). He told me to take the pill before going to bed. From then on I took my accutane pill at around 11.30pm. the red ears persist and start now between 7pm and 9pm (for 3 hours). so this doesn't really help.

    I know very well what accutane is and what side effects it has. But obviously NOBODY gets these red ears. I think there would have been an improvement with the reaction when taking anti-histamines. there wasn't. There's no impaired hearing since I'm still able to hear high-frequency sounds. by the way it wasn't the doctors idea to start me on accutane, it was my own, since acne on a shaved head (hairloss) doesn't look god.

    And as I said all the flushing reports I read were from people on 60mg, 80mg or even higher doses. I specifically told my dermatologist to go the low-dose way. Since my hairloss problem I'm not counting on doctors anymore. I do all the research and the only thing I need a doctor for is to confirm what I found is right and to prescribe me the drugs I want/need. My dermatologist didn't tell me the risks involved, but I knew/know them since I spent days on acne forums researching. I don't have any other side effect except this and I'm going insane because I'm not stopping this. I'll ask my doc about aspirin, ibuprofen or something else that I can try and might help.

    Another question. Can this ear-flushing cause new (permanent) visible telangiectasia in my ear? When I look at them I worry that new ones appear every day (due to daily "flushing").

    thanks.

    Nick
    Nick,
    I have no idea what the risks are with continuing to take the accutane with the side effect of ear flushing. If you continue to take the accutane you will find out along with any other side effects. You have to decide if the benefit of taking accutane is worth the risks involved. As Dave (flying_er) has posted that he had the same problem and continues to have the problem less after he quit taking the accutane. Looks like you are not the lone ranger with the ear flushing problem. Did you read the anecdotal reports from those who took accutane that I have collected? Compare the side effects of taking antibiotics with those taking accutane. Big difference.
    Brady Barrows
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    Given that severe ear flushing is not the most common of rosacea symptoms, there are a surprisingly large number of people with accutane-induced rosacea who have bad ear flushing when I've looked back through the archive of this site and others. I think one of the problems is that once the ear vessels are damaged by the accutane, they do not heal as easily as the vessels in the eyes, cheeks or nose. The outer part of the ear is not favoured for nutrition and healing as compared to the eyes or nose obviously as it plays a less important function. Also the vessels of the ear are particularly close to the surface of the skin which means ear vessels are more prone to environmental provocation such as showering, sunshine etc. The skin is very thin on the ears. Finally, everyones ears flush to some degree as a natural response to heat, just as we lose heat by underarm sweating. But most people's ears have vessels that operate correctly so they soon empty after dilation. The protuding areas of the ears have to sustain a lot of pressure during sleep if you sleep on your side, more than any other part of the face, and this is often where thread veins are most likely to develop (the protruding areas). The pressure you put on your cheek or nose when sleeping is spread over a wider area compared to the parts of the ear that protrude and take most of the pressure.

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    Hello everybody

    thank you very much for your replies. I saw my dermatologist today and he told me to get off the accutane for two months. After this period I have another appointment to see what further I can do. Maybe try again, lower dose or something. For now I'm hoping this will resolve in a week or so (was on it for 3 weeks).

    @ Mistica: Some words to my acne. I have mild acne on my forehead and scalp (shaved head), and mild acne on my back. I have EXTREMELY oily skin (especially scalp). The nutrition thing is quite difficult for me. If i was overweight it would be no problem to cut out all the carbohydrates. Unfortunately I am almost underweight and very skinng since I have a very fast metabolism. I'm trying weight lifting to get at least some mass on my body since I can't gain weight simply by eating. I think I would be dead by now if I had to live from vegetables and fruits since they don't provide the fuel I need. This diet change is simply not possible for me.

    Three days before starting accutane my dermatologist told me to lay off all the vitamins and supplements I was taking. I'll restart these (C, D, E, B-complex, multi-mineral) tomorrow.

    thanks again for your answers.

    Nick

  10. #10
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    Nick,

    Don't know what your diet is, but maybe you can get off the wheat + other grains (and beers) for 4 weeks. Eat whatever else you eat. Add more fatty-protein foods like nuts and use body building protein shakes. (But keep away from white sugar/honey).

    Beyond muscle shakes there are also special weight gain shakes.

    Besides treating your facial condition from the inside, accelerate the healing by using tea tree oil cleanser and shampoo.

    G
    "It's all illusion anyway."

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