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Well , I'm 5 months in my 40 mg dose and a month and a half ago so depressed and I was losing all hope for ever having tolerable skin never mind beautiful...
I had always had oily skin since my early teens. I had bad breakouts but in my 20's it got terrible. Big cystic acne. It was so bad and swelled so much ppl thought I had got into a fight. Full of self hate and anger at my ugly acne I started the terrible habit of picking, I would spend hours picking at it or poking a big cyst with a pin or anything pointy thing. I would try and justify my self mutilation 'If it would only drain then I could start healing'. Consequently I became a mess and started to scar. I had to do something as it was affecting my life, I didn't want to go outside or do anything I was so depressed. So I stared to try everything under the sun, high end products, low end, at home remidys, old wives cures...sight, to no avail. Finally depressed and defeted I finally went to a derm and got on isotretinoin.
For the first few months NOTHING changed, actually it did get worse.. I was so upset. But my derm told me to just keep plugging along. Finally about a month ago thing started healing and no new ones came. I have now finally fully healed not a single open sore or blaring red pimple. I always had to leave the house with a thick layer of foundation before leaving house, now I just use a tinted moisturizer *if I'm going out and want to hide pink scars*. A lot of times I don't wear make up. I have my fingers crossed that this is it. I am so thankful.
I had got a lot of flack for going on such a dangerous drug but I'm glad I did, also I'm a testament to sometimes it does take a good long time to start working. Try it and also give it time to work. I hope this helps. Best of lucky to anyone living with this terrible condition. I lived and feel your pain, and hope you find your treatment best for you!
Your friend in the struggle,
I am a 23 year old female who took accutane for 6 months when I was 21. I had suffered acne my whole life from age 9 to 23 (present). I have mixed feelings about accutane. While taking the medication I had very dry lips and skin but a thick moisturizer made that barely noticeable. I was also able to use a clarisonic during the course. When I was on it my skin was perfect. I also lost about 10 pounds. I was 5'2 about 95 lbs. My skin cleared up at about month 4. I was taking the low dose of about 30 mg i think and worked my way up to 90 mg. Everything was great until about 5 months after being off of it. My hair started falling out. My hair still falls out rapidly even though its been about 2 years. My acne is also back. It's not as bad but it's still here. I have to wear makeup to cover my acne everyday. I don't recommend accutane because I feel that there are other options that I could have resorted too. Luckily, I don't have a single textured scar from my acne. So basically accutane cleared my acne for about a year and half and made me lose about 2/3 of my thick hair.
I was prescribed 6 months at 40mg by my dermatologist. About 1 1/2 months into the treatment I developed severe side effects including erectile dysfunction, joint pain, decreased memory/concentration and pain in my TESTICLES!!! I decreased the dose to 20mg and the pain and majority of the side effects were greatly decreased or gone. About 2 months later, I went back on the prescribed dose and thankfully, the pain and side effects didn't return (aside from pain in my lower legs). I was put on it for an extra two months to make up for the time I had spent on the reduced dose. After 8 months my acne is not nearly as bad but this medication has left my face very red and dry and I still have new ones. This medication definitely works but can come with severe, life-altering side effects that may/may not be long term. I would not recommend it unless you have severe acne and nothing else has worked for you. Take this advice seriously and don't let anyone pressure you into anything.
Many people look at accutane as a highly dangerous drug that causes all kinds of problems. Before I started my course of accutane (it was actually Claravis because accutane is off the market but it's all the same) everybody would tell me that it would cause hair loss, liver failure, infertility (I'm a guy), and change in skin color. Most of the views that people who have never been on/or haven't been educated about accutane are extremely negative, but most of the things that people say about it are either completely wrong or skewed. I went into my course of treatment very scared because of all these things that people told me. Of course my body (inside and out) was dry, very dry, but it cleared up my acne without a flaw, it cleared up my acne completely. I used aquaphor on my lips and inside my nose to prevent chapping and bloody noses. I have had no bad experiences with this drug (not to say that anyone would have the same experience on me). You have to get a blood test every month to make sure that it is not disrupting bodily functions, some bodies (not many) cannot handle the drug. Thank you Accutane, for saving my skin.
I had a great experience with Accutane, or Clarus which is what I actually took. For the first three or four months I took 40mg once a day, and then the rest I alternated with taking one 40mg pill and two 40mg pill [to average at 60mg/day]
Initially I had some drying, but nothing bad. After the second month my skin became quite red- it didn't hurt at all though. My lips were the dryest part, but I found the lip treatment I was using made it barely noticable. By month 7 my skin was flaking a bit more than it had been during the previous months, but a few days after my last dose it went away. My skin never went through the 'worse and than better' phase, it just got better. I still had a few pimples for the first 5 months, but nothing compared to what it was before. And then the last two months it all just went away.
While I believe I was a good candidate for Accutane [had moderate acne for 13+ years, birth control, diet, antibiotics, etc never helped] I do think the reason my skin didn't react as dramatically as some was because of my skincare.
I live in Toronto, so I was using some products that are local but can be purchased online/equivilents can be found.
As a cleanser, I used Mario Badescu: Enzyme Cleanser. Honestly I didn't care much for this stuff, but I had purchased it so I figured I would use it. I never found cleanser affected my skin much. To remove makeup though I always use coconut oil.
For a moisturizer, I used Pure + Simple: Regenerating Seabuckthorn Berry Oil. This stuff is a dream come true and I think it's the main reason my skin was so good during my treatment. You can buy other brands, as long as not just oil + fillers. Seabuckthorn Oil is great for wound healing so it's perfect for Accutane users. It's pricey but one bottle lasted me 8+ months, so in the end it's worth it. In general, I cannot reccomend oils for your face enough. I know it seems scary since most people who deal with acne also have oily skin, but I've been using oils on my skin since before I started Accutane and while it didn't clear up my skin, it made it feel great! And is way more healing than regular moisturizers that are mainly just fillers.
For my lips, I used Elizabeth Arden: 8 Hour Cream. This stuff is so great. It's mega thick, you can add it to your moisturizer, apply it to burns/cuts, or do what I did and apply it straight to your lips. I found I had to apply it often when I first started my treatment but by the end it was much less often and my lips felt/looked great.
I've been done treatment for a month now, and my skin looks and feels great. It's very smooth to the touch, and while I still have some scaring, I have no pimples and haven't for months.
I did not experience any of the other side effects, besides dry skin/lips.
I began getting severe acne on my face at an early age (11) (As I got older I began getting acne on my chest and back as well too) I tried EVERYTHING you can imagine and NONE of it worked, it was frustrating & it was causing me to grow up with poor self esteem.
At 16 my dermatologist put me on accutane(isotretinoin). She told me to expect my skin to "get worse before it gets better" and that a month into taking the meds my skin would begin improving. Well month 3 came around and I saw very little improvements in my skin. At this point I was getting discouraged,but by the 5th month my skin actually did clear up a lot. My advice; don't get discouraged if you don't see immediate results! My dermatologist even told me she was beginning to worry because for most patients it did not take so long for results. I guess i was a rare case.
It has been three years since I took Accutane and my skin is still clear!! I still break out from time to time (but like a normal person, not 8 zits at a time) But the medicine was definitely worth it and I could not be happier about the results!
PROS: My skin is finally clear!!
CONS: VERY dry face and lips while on meds(I recommend eucerin lip ointment),causes depression(I did not get depressed but it did make me extremely moody), can not drink while taking it, face is relatively dry now.
Now just need to get rid of the horrible scarring from 6 years of acne!! :(
Last year I came off the combined pill due to migraines (not by choice) and after getting mini pill then depo provera injection I developed really nasty acne on my back and chest, I had the same issue years ago when I got the implant put in, I must be sensitive to progesterone only contraception. I was put on antibiotics but I know they wouldnt work as they didnt the last time, so after to-ing and fro-ing from the doctors I was referred to hospital dermatologist who offered me doxycycline (more antibiotics!) or isotretinoin. I have had zero improvement the last 4 months, I really think mine is hormonal as I breakout as part of monthly cycle. I had not had any hormomal contraception for a year but I am convinced the injection triggered my problems. Out of desperation I have bought the combined pill online as I have now realised this is what cleared my skin after the implant ruined it. I am onto packet number 3 (taking lucette which has same ingredients as Yasmin but £35 cheaper) and my skin seems to be improving so I personally think its the pill that is stopping the acne NOT isotretinoin.
Also I am from UK and work so it is not exactly free, I have to pay prescription charges £8.20 a month as I am female so have to have a pregnancy test each time they give me it.
I started 20mg, then 40mg for 2 months and now on 60mgs. Luckily just seem to have dry lips and skin as side effects with the odd rash.
Hope everyone has better luck than me but I don't think its the way to go for hormonal acne
I've had a horrible severe acne since more than 2 years ago. My face, my chest and my back, horrible.
So I've been on Isotretinoin this year, and well, these are the results:
My face, which was HORRIBLE, cleaned like 95%
My chest is less horrible
My back is still horrible.
So, why 4 stars? Because of the face clean, saved my life.
Accutane was my miracle acne cure. I had suffered from horrible breakouts and oily skin since the 7th grade. My terrible skin became quite depressing and really made my high school days tougher than they should have been. Finally around 20 years old and after using every other product known to man, my dermatologist put me on Accutane. The process is kind of a pain, but after seeing results, I didn't mind at all. A lot of people say you break out first but I didn't. About 2-3 months in, my skin was clear- no face makeup needed. For once in my life, I had beautiful, radiant and clear skin. It was so unbelievable. I'm 24 now and still think Accutane was the best thing I ever did. The oil production in my skin has returned a little but no serious breakouts. I often imagine how much smoother life would have been if I had taken Accutane much younger. Sighs.
never managed to complete. i tried two times in my early 20's. first was two month long and the second only one. some of my liver enzymes (alt, ast, triglyceride and cholesterol) went crazy so doctors decided to stop. sad story. I have been suffering since then. no other treatment is more effective than accutane.