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Ok, so I'm going into my junior year of high school and my acne had always been a challenge for me. I'm a natural redhead, and my skin is VERY sensitive. Also, most products and acne treatments that I've used I've been allergic too. I also swim every morning and afternoon every day so my skin is always dry. When I took accutane, my dryness and redness on my face was terrible. It was also extremely sensitive. (it actually hurt putting on makeup sometimes) The first month was horrible. My acne got worse and worse and I couldn't even use topical stuff. It's been almost 3 months and I only have 2 pimples on my face (which is absolutely crazy) and none on my chest or back. With all the crazy and terrible side effects that I went through it was way worth it too have a clear face. I would recommend it too anyone and everyone.
I was terrified to try Accutane. However, at the age of 21, I realized my acne wasn't going any where and I was so sick of it. I had constant breakouts, some cystic acne, and EXTREMELY oily skin. I would fill up one of those Clean & Clear oil absorbing sheets with oil from my face every 90 minutes. Accutane completely changed my skin. It took me about 5 months into my treatment to get completely clear. About 2 weeks after taking Accutane the oil disappeared which was very weird at first. The first day that the oil was gone I was attempting to blot my face as it was so routine to me and I was confused as to why no oil was coming off my face. Thankfully, three months off Accutane and I have remained acne and oil free.
However, I did experience some side effects.
Temporary side effects:
Dry lips (manageable with Aquaphor during the day and Aveeno medicated daily moisturizer at night)
Dry skin (Cetaphil moisturizing cream at night)
Flakey, ITCHY scalp (this lasted only about a month and was fixed with Head & Shoulders)
Anal fissures (gross I know, but I experienced fissures while on Accutane and it was pretty painful. It took forever for them to heal, likely due to this medication. I never had fissures before taking Accutane so I'm convinced they were caused by Accutane. Thankfully they have healed since finishing treatment.)
Side effects that still affect me 3 months post Accutane:
Facial redness (my face used to never get red before, now it gets red when I get embarrassed/hot which sucks)
Facial sweating (I've noticed that my face gets visibly sweaty very easily when I get too warm, I didn't experience this before Accutane)
Aging (I feel that I look more aged since taking Accutane, maybe due to the lack of oil production)
Although the side effects are annoying and intimidating, Accutane is definitely worth trying; it changed my life.
I had this medication as i was on antibiotics and an facial cream called differin gel. It worked well at first and my face was clear for my school prom. after prom about 3 weeks my acne started to come back, mainly around the T zone, Nose especially. I still had very oily skin and i would keep washing my face every day and night trying to get rid of it, even using toilet paper to remove it sometimes while at school. i went back to the dermatologist and said i had really oily skin i was put onto Accutane. Within a month i started to notice a difference, my skin was producing far less oil and my spots where less pronounced. within about 6 months or less my face was completely clear and oil free. I was so happy and confident! I was sceptical to try this medication because it was offered to be first as the side affects worried me. but they never seamed to have any effect other than dry skin which i knew was going to happen. Taking it was the best decision ever! I recommend it to anyone. I wish id of done it instead of the first treatment.
I've been on a generic brand of Accutane for 5 months now. It has been a miracle drug for me. I used to have horrible hormonal acne and nothing else helped. I suffered major depression and withdrew from socializing and never left my house. Ever since I've been taking this drug, my skin looks flawless. No more excessive oily skin or hair. I do have very dry lips and that's the only side effect that I've come across so far. My doctor started me out on 5mg and now I'm up to 30mg. I've heard once a Accutane patients finish their course of their Accutane treatment, the acne can come back. So it doesn't sound like a long term solution. This drug also does have many side effect warnings as do most other prescription drugs. I am aware of the lawsuits which breaks my heart. I'm hoping that the generic form of Accutane is not completely eliminated. Accutane has saved me from a deeper depression and low self esteem. Society can be so cruel that people feel pressured to fix their flaws so they can live a peaceful life.
This is a beautiful drug.. It cleared my skin up well.. I took for 5 months.. 4 months in I was completely clear. Oil went away and marks did too.. Didn't really care about blood test in stuff.. I was just grateful to be getting clear skin.. After about 8 months after stopping drug.. The acne came back.. And so did oil.. So now I'm trying it again..I heard once u take it the second time around it's hard for it to come back again.. I don't regret taking accutane. It does wonders for your skin, that's y I'm trying it a second time.. The worst side effect I had was just dry lips.. But I rather have that then bumps everywhere.. If there is anyone out there that has did accutane twice please write a comment to tell me how it went.. Thanks and good luck on journey.
This a story of my own experience with the product. I'm still on it as i'm speaking and it has changed me drastically in the past year.
I had mild acne for a period of 5 years. Nothing to woryy about and t seemd treatable with topic containing benzolperoxide and differin. A dermatologist said that i could take it but i wouldn't since i have know to people who got from it. They changed and bcame suicidal of it. After those five years the problem got a little worse and had to have clear skin to able to work and finish my studies so ti took the worst decision of my life in taking this product. This would avoid scarring. When collecting the pills at the phamacy, the phamacist told me he would not take such thing himself als he said the product brings risks and is not to be trusted. This was a promising start.
I'm on the product for a year now and i feel worse than ever. I have serious mental problems since i began taking it. I pauzed the treament after 4 months for a month in order to take away the mental problems but it didn't work. They problems improved but will still there so the dermatologist talked me back into taking isotretoin. As i could control those toughts. After a month of intake i started to feel different, alone, i can't find enjoyment in anything anymore. I used to be a sportive person but ever since taking the accutane i had to stop because of serious joints muscle pain, headaches.. i feel like hiding and don't want to get out of the bed anymore. After just a normal day of working i am exhausted already. It feels lik my body and mind have aged 50 years in one year while on the isotretoin. I don't want see my friends aymore and don't seems to find satisfaction in any activity i used to love. Some days i sleep 18h of the 24h in a day... i feel like commiting suicide at least once a day.. This is the situation of the last months and i'm starting to blame the product, as i have never had mental problems with my acne. I just would not get it to me to much. As like everyone has something wrong and acne is quite common. his opions have changed drastically for the worse since i'm on the product. Thinking about the situation makes me easily agited and even hostile towards other people making remarks on it. I feel lonely, even when i was with my girlfriend or with friends, i could not relativise things that weren't a even an issue before.. I have thoughts of avoiding and hiding from my environment, the people around me. Feeling of alienation and nobody understands how it makes you feel. I feel anxious and sometimes agressive. Especially toward people who wronged me or talk on the acne problem to me.. They can't judge, because thay don't know how it changed since that first month. i feel hostile and agressive towards them even though they ment it for the best. Luckily i can keep it under control for now. The there are feeling of being sick because you take pills and go to specialsits. makes you feel even worse.
I still take it because the Dermatologist promised me spots would go away eventually. They told me the acne would go away after on yer of intake of 20mg. The product is not effective at all because after one year i still have acne... It helps to clear most of it, but it still it is there and my skil still gets very oily. When i don't take it for 2 days, which i had to do when sick, the situation is back to off already. Now they said we should consider higher doses or another year at least of intake of this rubbish. Another year of this product will be the end for me i guess.. it's rubbish.. it makes me horrible and mentally worse than i ever felt before.. Desperate by the product and the fact it does not work as promised
Accutane or isotretoin is a chemothrapy drug. A detail: i know A person who recieved chemotherapy in treatment for cancer. ( This "acne" medicine is still applied for treament of skin cancers, lung cancer and types of leukimia.) The person's treatment included isotretoin and the person suffered from the same mental and lonelyness reactions as me. Something Taking higher amounts is not workable for me on the mental and fysical plan. I feel 80 with constantly pain at my joints and muscles.
After one year i haven't got any stable results.. but on the plan of and giving me strange rashes, very dry lips and shedding loads of my hair already it was very effective! I suffer from heavy stomach pain to. I guess this will be a race between the product working permanently or me commiting suicide because of the mental and fysic problems it gave me. Acne never got me depressed, The product did. I think i'm getting of it and hope i will get better. Acne is not worth commiting suicide for, but product isnt either. I Can imagine it has pushed many people over the edge who weren't reported as related to isotretoin or accutane. It almost got me to. But stil the doctor kept on saying this is a "safe product" that wouldn't harm me at all. They are too busy pointing that the depression is caused by the acne but not the product to give themselves a better conscience. In my case everything went wrong after taking it.
I think i might go throug alternative treatments far away from those doctor with all thir poison pills. Skin cleaning with lasers or other methods. There are alternatives around
I'd had varying levels of acne since I was 12 and had exhausted every possible solution - antibiotics, topicals, birth control, gluten-free dieting, spironolactone, etc. Some of these treatments would improve my skin for a few weeks or months, but nothing ever lasted. Starting in my mid-20s, doctors started mentioning Accutane as a possible solution, but I'd heard such awful stories about it that I always resisted.
Fast-forward to my 30th birthday. I had just gotten off spironolactone, which had worked marvelously for my skin but had also caused an allergic reaction. I decided that I was at the point that I would do ANYthing to finally and emphatically rid myself of acne, so I marched into my dermatologist's office and demanded Accutane.
To put it briefly, Accutane was a miracle drug for me, and I experienced only the most minimal (and manageable) of side effects. I had to remain vigilant about skin/lip dryness, but so long as I moisturized faithfully and kept my lips slicked with Aquaphor, it was totally manageable - nothing worse than I experience during, say, a normal mid-Atlantic winter. I also experienced some joint and muscle achiness, but this was only inconvenient, not dehabilitating.
At the four-month mark, my dermatologist noticed that my liver enzymes were starting to increase, so she reduced my daily dosage until I finished the course a month later. (They returned to normal after I ended the medication.) This had been my biggest fear - I didn't want to cause any lasting damage to my body - but the beauty of the monthly blood tests is that your doctor should catch any problems before they become irreversible.
I've been off for five months now, and I haven't had a single cystic zit since; the worst acne I've seen is a few tiny, non-inflamed zits along my hairline that often pop up before my period. I would still describe my skin type as "oily," but it's not nearly as oily as it was pre-Accutane. And I've had no lasting side-effects or problems - I would absolutely do this all over again, and I feel silly for being so fearful of trying Accutane in the first place.
My one key piece of advice: Try to find a dermatologist who is experienced with Accutane. I was fortunate enough to find a doctor who specializes in cosmetic dermatology, so she had the Accutane processes down pat - she told me exactly which cleansers and moisturizers to use, what dietary adjustments would help, etc. (She also put me on an awesome retinoid after, which has helped - along with at-home peels - get rid of the nasty scars and dark spots that remained after Accutane.)
I had sworn to myself that I would post my experience with Accutane here, because I had stalked this message board for weeks before starting my course and found the information very helpful. I want to add to the chorus of voices who took Accutane successfully and are glad they did!
I went on Accutane back in August 2012 after suffering with mild-moderate acne for 3 years. I was on a 20mg dosage daily (which was eventually elevated to 40mg), and was on it for a total of 11 months. The first thing I noticed was my acne seemed to take a lot longer to clear up than most stories I'd read - roughly 9 months if I remember correctly. After the first couple of months on 20mg, my dermatologist increased the dose to 40mg, and that gave me really terrible side effects (nose bleeds, back pain, anxiety etc.), as well as a horrible breakout. My mild acne turned horrible on my cheeks - they were almost entirely covered in large spots. I put up with it, thinking it was some sort of initial breakout, but when it was still there about 9 months into the treatment, the derm put me back to 20mg. It was only then that the spots cleared up dramatically, and before I knew it, my face was 100% clear, as well as my back and chest. At the 11 month mark, I came off accutane, however 3 months later, my face begun to break out again. Another factor worth noting is my increase in anxiety, particular about how I looked in social settings. I would also cry at the drop of a hat and found myself spiralling into sad moods every now and then. Now, almost 2 years later, and my facial acne is just as bad as before I went on accutane, however, my back and chest have stayed 100% clear nearly all of the time. I'll be going on accutane again in a few weeks, which will hopefully finish off the job for my face. It works, but only to an extent. Stubborn acne (even if it's mild), may require a second or even third round of the medication.
The only reason I am not giving this 5 stars is because I have just had my last derm appointment and am yet to see what will happen when I stop taking this.
Firstly I will say after 4 months I have only one or two very mild spots. Which considering what it was like before is amazing.
I just want to share my experience because I know I did a lot of research before taking this.
Pros: my skin has cleared up, it's amazing not to have oily skin, don't need to wash my hair constantly.
Cons: dry skin: in particular my lips- stock up on Carmex & don't use Vaseline (it doesn't moisturise it creates a barrier.) I got mild eczema, small rashes, dry eyes (get eye drops!) I have in the last two weeks of medication had problems where when I go to the toilet it starts bleeding- this is because it must be drying up every where. Now that is quite a lot of cons but I STILL maintain it's been more than worth it & it's not been as bad as I was expecting.
What I used to help my skin through the dryness-
Cetaphil moisturiser &
Cleanser, eye drops for dry eyes, home made manuka honey and aspirin face wash/ mask, hair masks, head &
Shoulders shampoo & conditioner- (you will get dandruff), eve lom cleanser, Carmex, aloe protective restoring mask (body shop), Estée Lauder do a spot treatment that I found good, lancome tient visionarie (non comedegenic foundation), clarins instant smooth perfecting touch (as a primer -also non comedegenic)
Things I learned- DONT use an exfoliating glove I took half my skin off doing this.
DO moisturise as often as possible (on your body too! (I never moisturised before taking this so a routine for me has taken some time.. But trust me when I missed it out that's when I ended up with eczema.
DO avoid perfumed products.- I made the mistake of taking the travel sized soap and glory stuff with me on holiday and ended up with eczema and rashes all over me- they are so perfumed.
Don't spray perfume on your skin-
Stick to your clothes- same
Reason as above!
Anyway hope this is helpful!
I'm a female and I was on Accutane 2 times. My younger brother was on it 3 times. Now, my son is on it. I decided it was finally time to share my story. My share is a bit long, but I wanted to be comprehensive. There are photos too. All or nothing. I pasted it on the Acne.org blog: