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I'm a 21 year old female on my 3rd month of taking Accutane (Claravis) at 30 mg twice a day. I love accutane so far, it has completely cleared up my skin and saved my self-esteem and social life.
My Side Effects on Accutane:
High Cholesterol: my cholesterol increased the first month after I started taking accutane and is still high at month 3. It isn't much above the normal range and apparently it is pretty common, so my doctor said she isn't worried unless it continues to increase.
Dry lips: my lips are only really dry if I forget to bring/put on chapstick, but if I keep them hydrated then it's not too bad.
Dry skin: my skin wasn't too dry the first 2 months, but this 3rd month, it's been much more dry, so more lotion and aquaphor!
Dry hair: makes my hair frizzy but it doesn't get greasy like it used to
Sore joints: very mild the first month, very painful the second month, and now very mild the third month
Tips for Those on Accutane:
You may have to get used to a new skin type. My skin is much more delicate and dry now that I'm on accutane. It took me a while to get used to this and in my first month I made the mistake of trying to pop a pimple and I ended up tearing off a layer or so of my skin which lead to a big, red, painful, dry spot that was much worse and lasted longer than the pimple would have. So, be very gentle with your skin!
Also, now on that I'm on accutane I've noticed that pimples go away on their own very quickly, but a dry spot is usually left behind for a week or so.
So, I've learned to only pop a pimple if it's a white head and I pop it very gently!
If you have a particularly dry spot, aquaphor healing ointment works really well to help heal it up! I usually apply it to dry spots when I go to bed (after I put on lotion)
Cetaphil gentle skin cleanser, Cetaphil sunscreen (spf 50), and Cetaphil moisturizing lotion all work great for me. I wash at least twice a day and always apply lotion afterwards
Other (possibly irrelevant) Tips:
I don't let anything dirty touch my face; I never touch my face with my hands unless I've just scrubbed them with soap, I change my pillowcase every night, I use a clean towel each time I dry my face, I make sure my hair doesn't get on my face, etc. I know it's a bit excessive but I'm just terrified of breaking out
I don't eat/drink dairy. I stopped eating dairy 6 or 7 years ago and it really helped improve my acne. It may be worth it to cut or reduce your dairy intake and see if it helps you at all
I try to get a lot of sleep because if I don't, I often wake up with a pimple or two (which is a lot now that I'm taking accutane)
The side effects and blood work, Dr. appointments, etc. for accutane can be pretty annoying, but it's totally worth it to me. Acne is a terribly painful disease--psychologically and physically! Before I took accutane I was very healthy, but I was also very depressed and isolated because of my severe acne and hopeless that I would ever feel normal again. Now, I am not as physically healthy (high cholesterol, sore joints), but I am incredibly happy, confident and excited about life. For me, the side effects are worth the benefits. What's the point of keeping your body completely healthy and pain-free if you're too depressed and embarrassed by your acne to actually go outside and live your life?
For those of you who are struggling with acne, especially if you are avoiding your friends and family or are scared to look at yourself in the mirror or cringe every time you have to wash your face or cry because you feel like a monster, like I was, please try Accutane. I was so scared and embarrassed to take it. I didn't want to accept that my acne was so severe and I was worried about all the side effects. But thank god I did because Accutane has given me my life back.
So my acne began when I was 15, before that I had perfect skin. Then it all hit really fast. By the time I was 16 I had severe acne, not only blemishes like everywhere, but really bad cystic acne too (the worst kind of acne, leaves terrible scars). It was messed up. Like most people who are contemplating Accutane, I'd tried everything medical and "organic" pretty much to "cure" it. Except of course Accutane. I was hella scared to try it because of the side effects, which to any person in their right mind, it is off-putting. When my confidence and social life reached it's lowest, I realized that the small possibility of getting a bad side effect beat the the hell out of the certainty of me being depressed and ultimately not living life to it's fullest. So I gave Accutane a chance. Basically my experience was exactly how it was described; started off getting worse, after 3 weeks began to improve, always dry as hell skin, chapped lips (keep a chapstick with you at all times). After 5 months I had clear skin, the only problem was the accutane sometimes messes up the healing process, it seemed my body started overhealing (hypertropic) where there were cystic acne scars. Now although acne was gone for now, I had to deal with a couple of bad scars. After 8 months I was finished my 20mg dose, my skin didn't have a single pimple on it and my scars had improved quite a bit. Now I was scared to go OFF it. Funny how that works. I read somewhere a good article, somewhat discredited by the fact that it was trying to sell a dodgy product, but it had some good information. Firstly; that acne is a warning. It is a warning that something in your body is going wrong. Now I'm not talking about the occasional blemish that comes with growing up or having dirt in your pores, I'm talking about proper acne. Acne is showing that you have an imbalance in your body, meaning that until you solve the imbalance, acne treatments are pretty much useless.
So it's been a year since I was on Accutane and it was a great starting point of clearing my skin, then the acne slowly began to come back. Nowhere near as bad, but still. So I came to the conclusion it was my DIET that must be causing the acne (I had a terrible diet), (even though I got told there wasn't much of a link between my diet and acne) also I was always outside sweating and playing sport so that couldn't be the problem. So I decided to drastically change my diet and cut down on dairy. It was super hard, chocolate withdrawals and replacing meals like chips and cake with tuna and sandwiches with lots of salad and fruit, steaks are always good though. I also hit the gym and started a high protein diet. My acne decreased and now I am back to pretty great skin without relying on any drugs.
Now for the moral of this review. I absolutely recommend Accutane to anyone who needs a "life boost" because they are suffering from bad acne (mostly cystic) and the mental side effects (depression). However I also recommend changing your lifestyle or diet following your course of prescribed Accutane. If I could turn back time, I'd do the hard yards with exercise and change my diet INSTEAD of taking Accutane, because I truly believe that it would have had the same effect. Accutane though, I'd say has been a life changing and eye opening process for me. Only a couple of small scars left which I plan to fix in the near future and I'll have flawless skin once again!
Thanks for reading :)
I've been on two courses of Accutane throughout my life. It has been the only thing that has consistently kept my face clear while I've been on it. The side-effects are a pain in the butt, especially the dryness of skin in almost every unpleasant place; however, I believe that it was worth it considering the mental effects acne has had upon myself. I found that it took around 2 months for Accutane to really deliver noticeable results, so try to stick it through it's worth it. Unfortunately for myself I relapsed after taking the drug between 1-3 months afterwards, so at least in my case, it wasn't a permanent solution but it gave me some temporary solace.
I had been on microdose accutane for 3 months now and I am loving the changes!
My skin used to be super oily and prone to cystic acne but the microdose regiment has dramatically cut down the oil production and clears up my cyst. Though during the first 4 weeks, I do see more acne and blackheads popping up but they are now subsided and I am loving how my skin feels. In my opinion, it is great option for those like me who are exhausted about clearing up the skin. Currently, I am taking the accutane produced by chinese pharma, SINE ([link removed] since I live out here. It is so much cheaper compare to other countries, the pharmacy is reputable, and the best part is I can buy straight from the pharmacy. However, I do visit my derm at first for blood work just to make sure I am in good health for accutane. She also agrees that I should get on microdose for 2-3years if spironolactone or birth control pills don't work for me. Each box contain 20 capsules at a strength of 10mg. If you are interested, email me at fanling07 at gmail. You should go to the doctor first to get your blood work done just to make sure your body is in good health for taking accutane. Peace out..
I began my first round when I was 16, which left me with clear skin that lasted around 5 years until the nightmare returned. I began my second round when I was 21.
Side effects were severe depression (I've been on Celexa since I was 16, had to up the dosage at 21.) I no longer can wear contacts because my eyes never did gain their moisture back.
Even so, I wouldn't take it back for the world. Isotetrin gave me my life back. I'm 24 now and am so grateful. Anyone who is turned away by the side effects isn't as desperate as us who would give anything to take a picture with confidence.
It is TOUGH don't get me wrong, but absolutely worth it. Love it.
I stopped my treatment early due to hair loss. It started in ths last couple weeks of the treatment. My dermatologist did not seem phased and wanted me to finish the treatment. I refused to continue. I have been off the treatment for about 2 months and my hair is still falling out. Currently have lost about half of my total volume. The only thing my derm has suggested is hair vitamins and rogain which I have been doing for about 3weeks with no improvement. My skin is clear but my hair is very thin now. I would never do this treatment again
After all I had read about Accutane, I was pretty scared going into my treatment in early September of
2013. As I took my first little orange pill, I was terrified. I had heard so much about the horrifying side
effects of the “miracle drug”, and, being a bit of a hypochondriac, I took to the best source I knew – the
Internet! After hours of reading blogs about people’s experiences, looking at before/after pictures and
scouring forum after forum, my head was spinning.
I read about people’s faces peeling off, having suicidal thoughts, and suffering through the worse
breakouts of their lives. I saw images of cracked lips and sad faces with captions that read, “my face feels
like someone took a meat tenderizer to it.” I read about dry eyes, bloody noses, something called dry
butt—I don’t even want to know what that is...NOT encouraging!
As I kept reading and scanning, devouring these peoples’ stories and experiences, I began to feel
physically sick. My back ached, my head hurt, my brain running in circles of is this worth it, am I going to
become suicidal? Am I suicidal right now? I was really a mental, physical, emotional mess on Accutane Day
But then day two came. And day three. Four, five, six – twenty-seven, thirty-nine, before I knew it I was
(am) three months in! 20 weeks down, 8 to go, said my dermatologist today!
My skin is not miraculously clear – not yet, anyways. It is improved, yes, but not done yet. I am choosing
not to despair until the treatment is done. I have hope.
For all my worrying, and the tizzy I worked myself into on that first day, Accutane has NOT been that bad.
It is a very serious medicine, and it should not be taken lightly or until you’re ready for the responsibility
of its potential side effects. But thankfully mine have been quite minor. It’s really just been a few key
Things I’ve learned to do while on Accutane:
1. Apply lip balm like it’s my job.
I literally cannot go ANYWHERE or any length of time at all without Chapstick, Vasoline, Carmex,
Blistex, whatever I can get my hands on. As long as you keep your lips moisturized, they won’t crack or
bleed or peel or any of that nasty stuff you’ve read about. They’ll be dryer than you’ve ever experienced,
that’s for sure, but keep those pesky little tubes handy (and don’t put them in the wash) and you’ll be
okay. Sidenote: my hands also cracked and felt a bit like dragon scales at times. Keep hand lotion at the
ready, as well.
2. Lay off on showering (a bit).
Maybe this is just me, but Accutane really dried out my hair from the first few days. I have naturally
quite greasy hair, and being on this drug made it dry, or at least normal like other peoples’ hair. I only
need to wash it every few days—which is awesome—and it looks absolutely great! Thanks Accutane for
this one sweet side effect! Also my arms and legs have been dry, so I’ve had to adjust to showering less
often and moisturizing EVERYWHERE after I do hop in the bath.
3. Be okay with picking my nose.
You think I’m joking, but it’s for real. The mucus in your nose will dry right up on Accutane, resulting
in painful and sometimes bloody boogers. I’m just laying it out there for you—those things are NOT
comfortable to leave be, so you’ll need to make time to just clear it out once a day. Just don’t do it while
driving, unless you have really tinted windows. Even then, it can wait!
4. Look forward to that one beer each week.
Drinking alcohol while on Accutane is a touchy subject. Some completely abstain, others risk it (who
needs a liver anyways, right?) I made a pact with myself to have no more than one beer a week while on
the treatment. My liver scans (blood tests) have always been clear, and it actually has been kind of nice.
It makes me really look forward to that one drink, and make sure I enjoy it in a special way—with good
friends or an extra delicious burger.
5. Be extra picky about my products.
I swear by the following: Neutrogena Extra Gentle Moisturizing Face Wash to start and end each day,
Cetaphil Lotion before bed, Aquaphor for those especially dry days (on scaly spots and lips before bed).
Lip balms I’m not so picky – whatever is closest is the best, no questions asked.
Well, that’s what I’ve got so far. Two more months to go – maybe three, depending on progress. I’m
thankful for relatively easy side effects, and being able to somewhat hide my excessive Chapstick needs
under the cover of “it’s winter! Everyone’s lips are dry!”
To everyone else joining me in the exciting, frustrating, seemingly endless but ultimately (fingers
crossed) effective journey that is Accutane, Godspeed. We are in this, together.
Flash forward to today, my one-year anniversary of starting Accutane. I’m happy to say, my face is totally
clear! I haven’t had a pimple since I can remember, much less a full-on breakout. No matter what time of
the month, or how stressed I am, my skin stays clear! A little tinted moisturizer (and some sunscreen) in
the morning, and I’m good to go for the day. In fact, I’m back to the oily t-zone I did NOT miss while on the
medication – but it doesn’t bother me as much anymore.
My skin isn’t perfect. I have scars. Bumps, spots, marks on my chin and cheeks and nose. But instead of
fixating on those I choose to be thankful. Thankful that someone invented this crazy, painful, apparently
wildly effective medicine, and that I had the opportunity to take it. Thankful for people in my life who saw
through the acne I had before and will see through it if it comes back again, but also rejoice with me that I
can feel confident and pretty and more grown up than before.
The journey was rough, I won’t deny it. But a year out, I can say I’m glad I tried Accutane. I’m even more
glad it worked. And I’m the most glad to say it’s over.
I was on 60/mg a day for 7 months... I had horrific cystic acne on my face, and an even more severe amount of disease on my back. I wish I had done Accutane years ago, so that I could have prevented the scarring. I did have mild side effects while on the drug, as you should expect, but nothing too serious, and everything has cleared since I stopped. I am 99.9% acne free now, I would call that cured. Basically, I have healthy, normal skin. I do not use any anti-acne treatments, just gentle cetaphil cleanser on my face and back, and will get the occasional tiny zit, but they are infrequent and I think nothing of them... they are just as any normal person might get. I did have hair thinning while on the drug, but my hair has come back strong and seems as thick as before.
I researched everything about isotretinoin before I started taking it. I wanted to weigh the risks and benefits before taking the drug for 5 months. I have had mild to moderate acne since I was 16 and I am now 26. I tried antibiotics, birth control, ACV, chemical peels (which made it worse), even the acne.org regime which irritated my sensitive skin too much to keep using. After talking with my dermatologist, we decided that these other things I have tried did not work and he suggested a five month course on accutane.
There is a lot of waiting involved in order to get the prescription. Waiting after the pregnancy test, waiting to get approved, waiting for results. They make you jump through A LOT of hoops if you are a female, but if you are willing to get the necessary tests every month, it is worth it. My dermatologist prescribed me a low dose of 20mg for the first two months then I went on 30 mg. I have just finished my last months prescription a few weeks ago and my skin is the smoothest and clearest it has been since I can even remember. However, I still have some redness and my skin is still sensitive and dry.
My side effects were very typical. Dry skin, dry lips, sore joints, low energy, and eczema flare ups. All of my side effects were bearable and I would do it again if I had to. Some of the products that I use to combat dryness are Cerave moisturizing facial wash, Cerave PM moisturizer, Aquaphor & lanolin for my lips. For makeup, I used Estee Lauder double wear foundation and it helped with covering up any redness or unevenness. Loreal's True Match also works well for a drugstore brand. After the third month, I noticed I needed less and less makeup because I didn't have to cover up anymore. I also love E.L.F lip exfoliator for dry flaky lips. Another positive side effect besides clear skin has been that my hair has been growing very fast. I asked the dermatologist about this and he could not explain it. I only have to wash my hair every few days because of the lack of oil. It is important to note that your skin will be very sensitive while on accutane. You have to be very careful not to pick your skin because it will not heal as fast as it normally would. It is also important to note that you cannot tan, get a tattoo, or wax while on accutane. I get my eyebrows threaded instead and it works very well without any irritation. I am tan and do not normally burn while in the sun but while on accutane I burn very easily. Also you are not supposed to drink alcohol while on accutane, when I did, I noticed it affected me strongly so I would not recommend it. I tried three different brands, Claravis, Amnesteem, and Absorbica. I would recommend taking Absorbica if you can because it is absorbed the best. The other brands you are supposed to take it with a fatty meal in order to be absorbed. Even though on the label they warn you about depression, It has not affected my mood at all.
There is a lot of scary information out there about accutane, but I wanted to share my experience and hopefully help someone with their decision to try it. I would recommend it to anyone that struggles with their skin.
I always promised myself that after all was said and done with my accutane treatment that I would come back onto these blog and share my story in the hopes of helping a skeptical, scared person like myself. I am now 21 years old and completely acne free. In high school, I never had acne. My skin was pretty much clear my entire life untill college. I started breaking out a lot on only my chin and forehead. Pretty much every breakout was "cystic" and never rose above the skin. Unfortunately this meant that they took forever to go away and they completely dropped my confidence. Absolutely nothing worked for me. I tried topical creams but the pimples were too deep and no antibiotic did a thing. Finally I decided to try accutane although I was absolutely scared. I already had some health issues (headaches, neck problems, etc.) I thought that I would never be able to handle any "side effects" because I'm already dealing with my own Health problems. Once I stared the treatmant, I quickly realized it was worth it. I started to see results within the first month. My face is also not oily at all. So I thought I would be painfully dry on this stuff. however, my skin and lips got dry but it was nothing lip balm and lotion couldn't fix. As for the side effects, I truly could not notice much of anything. Accutane truly just becomes apart of your life for a short period of time and then next thing you know, it's over! I was on it for 6 months and I am beyond grateful that I tried this. My skin has been flawless, soft and beautiful for 5 months since I have been off it. I never break out and I almost forget sometimes that I used to have bad skin. Accutane is COMPLETELY WORTH IT! If you are on the fence about it, please try it! I remember calling my dad crying before the day I was about to start it, and he convinced me to give it a shot. I am soooo glad he did! If you are worried that you already deal with some discomfort due to health issues like I did, don't let that stop you! If anything, any previous health problems you had only makes you tougher, so accutane should be a breeze for you! I want everyone to feel this way about their skin.. If you are a candidate to take accutane, please give it a try :)