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Extremely harsh drug, experienced side effects during the whole course ( hair loss body wide, back pain, jaw lock, bloody nose, eyes dryness) but the outcome was excellent. Works phenomenal with Comedonal acne (had +200 closed comedones on my face, i'm not counting the ones on my back/chest) and obviously also with inflammatory acne. Unfortunately after 5 months of finishing the course i'm still experiencing back pain (not serious at all, but scary) and dry lips.
I had terrible, painful cystic acne all over my face, back, and chest from the time I was 12 until I was 23, when I was finally put on Accutane. I took a six month course of 40mg and had very few side effects; just the usual dry skin, dry lips, and a few days my eyes were too dry to wear my contacts, but I have had no long term effects. I turn 30 next month and my skin is still clear (I still get a bump or two every now and then, but it's drastically smaller than my old cysts and goes away in a matter of days instead of weeks.) I still have pretty noticeable and bad scaring on my cheeks and back, but the Accutane even seemed to smooth those out a little bit, too.
Accutane was seriously a miracle cure for me, before I finally got my prescription I had tried years of scrubs, washes, medicated lotions, antibiotics, etc. I do believe it is important for everyone to fully research what they plan of taking and look into several options, but don't be afraid of Accutane. :3 It wasn't nearly as scary as I expected and I'm incredibly thankful for the results I received.
I'm a 32 year old female and broke out with very severe acne all over my face about a year and a bit ago. I've never had flawless skin but I've also never had acne before. This was very sudden and there is no obvious cause for it.
Before starting my course of accutane, I spent over a year on this site (and many others) reading people's reviews trying to pick out the positives and trying desperately hard to ignore all the scary negative reviews. About this time last year I was offered accutane as my final solution to my hideous acne and I turned it down. I wasn't particularly convinced by the suicide claims but put off more of the apparent ageing of your body and the fact that you have to sign a disclaimer before you take the drug ( I don't know of any other). Anyway after a year of trying apple cider vinegar, tea tree, jojoba oil, diet changes etc etc and of crying everyday as I tried, unsuccessfully, to cover huge cysts that were so bad they changed the shape of my face I decided to go back to my docs and asked for a referral. By this point, I'd had holidays ruined (one's were I don't appear in any photo's, where people cruelly stared at me on trains probably because they thought I had a contagious disease), so many night's out missed, so many old friends falling by the wayside as I didn't want them to see me how I was, that I really didn't care about the side effects anymore. If anything, I was panicking that the derm would find a reason not to give me accutane and I'd be stuck that way forever.
When I started taking 30mg, I was ultra-aware of every change in my body and immediately blamed any aches and pains on the tablets. Nothing I have experienced so far has made me want to stop taking them. It was after two weeks that I started getting dryness and I was pretty dry already..I could live with this and as for the initial breakout (which didn't happen for me) I don't think I would have noticed as my skin was so bad anyway. I am now over a month in and on 40mg, my skin on my face is dry - about 4hrs after washing my face and moisturising I get sort of like tiger-striped peeling on my lower cheeks, chin and a bit on my forehead. My skin is also quite red and I have dry circular patches on my arms and chest which I know will go when I stop taking the drug (somedays if I moisturise well it's barely noticeable and it has calmed down loads as my body gets used to the dosage increase). The real deal-breaker though is that after a month, loads of people have commented on how much better my skin looks and I feel that although I have some way to go, if I had to stop the tablets for any reason I would be far happier to have it as the way it is now. I'm no longer in pain, I don't spend every minute of the day thinking about my acne (or what other's think), not rushing home to wash my face so I feel clean. If you do any of that, you at least need to give accutane a try, I know a lot of people say this but I really wish I had taken it sooner. I saw a lad sat at a bus stop the other day with skin that was as bad as mine and I wanted to tell him to take it. There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn't have clear skin like everyone else.
Products I find useful are:
Liz Earle's Skin Repair Moisturiser for dry/sensitive skin - when I was doing research all I read about was Cetaphil. I bought both the moisturiser and the wash and hate them both. They are full of chemicals and they made my skin feel like I'd put aftershave on it.
Clarins Santal Oil - this is great under moisturiser when your skin gets REALLY dry
Liz Earle's Instant Boost Skin Tonic - nice calming softening toner.
La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel - I've used this on and off since I first started getting acne, I always want to try new things but this is good at cleansing and it's very mild. I use it with Liz Earle's muslin cloths which I use to scrub the dead skin off my face. These are great because even though the derm will tell you not to exfoliate, there is absolutely no way you won't...you just can't leave it like that, especially if you are a girl and wear foundation.
I use Neutrogena Deep Moisture Comfort Balm for my body and this stuff is brilliant, I even use it on my face sometimes when I need more moisture than usual. You get a 300ml tub for £6 and it is so soothing and lasts ages ( I know this as my skin feels slimy when I wash in the morning)
For my lips, which get really really dry - I tried Burt's Bees lip balm, Palmer's Coco Butter lip balm, a Vitamin E rescue balm from Superdrug, oil, Cetaphil and nothing stopped that weird cracked and greasy feeling you get. I found an old lip balm in my bag that I got from Germany and it is the only thing that works for me. I paid £8 to get it delivered to the UK and I wouldn't hesitate spending that again when it runs out it is so worth it. It is called Med Protection SPF 15 by Labello and it's amazing. Labello is the German version of Nivea and I'm not sure whether the UK version matches up but I would definitely recommend just trying Labello.
I know this has been a lengthy review but I really want to help people who are agonising over whether to take accutane. Acne is a horrible and heart-breaking thing to have to go through and I sympathise with anyone who is. Please give it a try!
Honestly, accutane is a miracle worker. Just a little over a year since I've been off of it and I feel amazing! It shrank my poors and got rid of my acne, completely. I'm left with just a few acne scars but that would happen either way (it's not because of the drug). I had chronic acne since the age of 11. Not even kidding you, it was awful! I was made fun of and it really lowered my self esteem and made me very insecure about myself. I started taking the drug when I was about 13 and know, at 15 my acne went away and stayed away. It's quite ironic because the people who used to make fun of me for it are now actually asking me for advice because they have bad acne now. I would recommend this to anyone. The only side effects I got were dry skin, but don't worry that's normal. That's the one side effect that almost everyone who takes accutane gets. Don't worry about it though, it's only temporary and if you just use moisturizer it's really not that hard to control. I took it for about 7 months with a dose of two pills per day. I was kind of disappointed at first because nothing seemed to happen for the first 4 months! But after that it really kicked in and I started clearing up like crazy! The one thing I would recommend to people though is that keep it up and don't stop taking it even if your skin looks clear. TAKE THE FULL DOSE PROVIDED BY YOUR DERMATOLOGIST!!! I cannot stress that enough. The acne will come back if you stop taking it while you are supposed to be taking it. Anyways it worked for me and it really changed my life! And for anyone that is scared or nervous, don't be. Just think of the future, how great it will be to have clear skin and NO PIMPLES!!!
I was on Accutane for 5 months after developing acne in my early twenties and it getting persistently worse until I decided at age 25 to do something about it. I tried antibiotics, skin gels and creams but nothing worked and I didn't want to go on the contraceptive pill. Accutane completely cleared up my acne, all I have left now is some scars and redness which i've been told will gradually dissappear as Accutane apparently continues to renew your skin after stopping taking it. My life is so much easier now not having to worry about covering up my bad skin with lots of make up and not having the soreness I would sometimes feel from the spots. However, for me, there were some serious drawbacks as it gave me extremely dry and sore eyes, lowered my immune system which meant I had a cold for 3 months in winter, chest tightness and occasional heart palpitations, rashes on my hands, oily hair and extremely dry lips. The side effects have almost gone now, my lips and eyes are a bit dry still but nowhere near as bad as when I was on it. I had to stop the medication at 5 months as I was starting to feel so run down with all the side effects and was getting concerned. If I could go back in time I would still have taken Accutane as acne-free skin trumps a few months bad side effects but just be aware of when the medication is getting too much for your body. I can't even remember the last time I had a spot!
I took Amnesteem for two weeks and it completely destroyed my eyes by giving me tons of vitreous floaters. Eye floaters are permanent and there is no safe surgical procedure to get rid of them. It also gave me tinnitus (constant ringing in my ears). So I basically just ruined my life AND I still have acne.
I have been on the higher end Canadian version of accutane called epuris. It's only considered more high end because you can take it with any sort of food, whereas, with the lower end ones you have to take it with a large meal and you're not supposed to drink milk with it.
I have been taking 40 mg daily of epuris for about two months now, though I take breaks when my hands or lips get too dry. My doctor told me it doesn't matter if you continuously take it, as long as you get the required mg/kg within the next 4-6 months. That way, I won't have as many side effects, which I appreciated. Initially, it did get a little bit worse so don't worry if that happens to you. I don't have severe acne, it might be considered moderate and it's only on my cheeks. Most of it is scarring and redness so it looks worse than it is. The initial flare up may be worse if you have more severe acne.
After a few days, I started to see it work. It dried my skin so the acne went away more quickly. A couple other flare ups happened but then they cleared up quickly and now it has been awhile since I've had one. I wash with cetaphil morning and night and use a tea tree/eucalyptus cream spot treatment. I think plain tea tree oil might be too harsh because your face gets very, very dry. It's also important to use lots of moisturizer and if possibly, get a prescription for hydrocortisone cream for your lips and hands. I have 1%.
The only really inconvenient side effect is the dry lips. I have dry lips in the first place so this made them 10x worse. Currently, my lips are cracked and scabbed at the corners. I kind of look like the joker but it's still better than acne. I'll power through it until the treatment is done. The acne clearing benefits outweigh not being able to wear lipstick for a few months. Hopefully this was helpful! I recommend it! Just make sure you don't take a super high dosage in too little time because the side effects may be too much to deal with. xx
I have been on accutane for 9 months (40mg/day first 6 months and 60mg/day last 3 months) and this is my last month. My cystic acne has cleared up very early on but I keep getting these little pimples. I have about 2 pimples a week although they go away within a day or two without leaving any marks, I am very discouraged. I was hoping I am 100% clear by now and I worry what is going to happen when I go off accutane. My derm said accutane is not as effective on middle age patients, what is your experience?
I took a full course of Accutane over the course of 8 months. I got my dream come true because I got gorgeous skin!!....at a price. I have developed chronic dry eye syndrome that they directly relate to Accutane. My eyes hurt pretty much 99% of the time and I can no longer wear contacts. I have been off Accutane for one year, and my acne has returned right back to where it was prior to the tane. It's not worth it.
I never had acne through teens but when i was 23 i broke out along my jawline with deep acne. counting 30-40 at a time. It could have been stopping the depo BC shot because that was the only change in my life at the time.
I have been on accutane for 80 days @ 40mg 1/day and i weigh 130lbs. I have not experienced any serious dryness or joint pain like most people and i am much happier but I was never worried about depression.
before starting accutane i was very skeptical that it would work for me but i am very happy to say it has, and still is.
I also got chemical peels with acne extractions at least once a month which made my recovery much faster.