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I am finishing up my fifth and last month of treatment and felt strongly about writing a review and tips because blogs like this really helped me prepare and offered good advice when I was starting. I had suffered from acne for over 10 years (I’m 23) and had constant zits and ones that physically hurt. I tried every cream, antibiotic, and wash and nothing worked. I never went anywhere without makeup and felt uncomfortable constantly. Accutane treatment is expensive between the pills, monthly lab work, and monthly doctor visits, but it is so worth the money. Honestly it is an investment in yourself and your happiness. Worth every penny.
So I started with 40mg once per day then increased to 60mg once per day and now I alternate between 40mg one day and 80mg the next.
After my second day of treatment I developed a rash on my fore arms and started to freak out but the blogs and my derm just said it was dry skin so I slathered on Aquaphor and lotion and it went away literally the next day. So don’t freak out if this happens. I didn’t really get dry throughout the process. My lips were really the only thing that was consistently affected. I just learned to always have Vaseline or Aquaphor with me. I didn’t try any other lip products because those two worked very well. You get used to constantly having to carry lip products. I also started moisturizing in the AM and PM. I used Olay with SPF in the AM and at night alternated between Cetaphil lotion and Olay night crème. My scalp got a little drier than normal (I started to only wash it 2-3 times per week) so I switched hair products and use Ren Pure Cleansing Conditioner to wash my hair and Aquaphor Baby Wash for my body. Occasionally if my hair feels really dry I use V05 oil treatment or just olive oil on my scalp and wash it out. Your hair won’t get oily so it isn’t necessary to wash it a lot. So some weird symptoms that I had, sorry if it is TMI but it would have been nice if I saw other people got these as well. There was like a two week period in my 3rd month that the bottoms of my feet were so dry I could peel a whole layer off. I wore socks to bed with Aquaphor slathered all over my feet. In my 4th and now 5th month, the inside of my nose is really dry (no bloody nose). In my 1st month it hurt to have a bowel movement because that area was so dry. Told you TMI, anyway I just put Aquaphor down there and it got better.
So some tips: drink lots of water. Like a lot. Be kind to your skin, if you use proper care you can prevent it from getting dry. I used a Clarisonic before treatment twice a day and now I use it every couple weeks when I think my skin needs a deep clean. Your skin and routine is going to change so be willing to purchase new products to see what works.
Overall, I’m extremely happy with my results. My skin is not perfect though. I don’t have any zits but my skin tone is red and splotchy which my derm said can even out after treatment. Accutane really has changed my life, it’s been amazing and the 5 months have not been bad at all. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. Good luck and enjoy your new skin! ☺
This time last year I was completely miserable because of my incredibly oily skin and severe cystic acne. The impact it had on my life was major. Letting anyone see me without make-up was out if the question. The acne was on my mind the whole time.
During my teens I had a little acne but it was mild. When I was around 20 I got diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome and went onto an anti-androgen contraceptive pill, Dianette, which I then took for 14 years. When I was on that pill I had a few spots, but nothing more than that. I finally came off Dianette at the age of 34 and developed terrible acne. My skin was pumping out an unbelievable amount of oil and I had lots of horrible cysts. I now know that this is typical of what happens when people stop anti-androgen therapy. My doctor thought it would settle down after about 3 months, but it just got worse and worse. I tried anti-biotics, laser treatment, topical treatments. You name it, I tried it. I went back onto the pill, this time Yasmin. The Yasmin but help the acne some but it was still bad.
I am a fan of natural remedies so I tried acupuncture, I cut down on dairy products and took fish oils and zinc. Again, it helped but I still had pretty bad acne.
I went to a new dermatologist and asked for roaccutane. She agreed and I started taking it. It was one of best things I've ever done! Being a bit of a hypochondriac I was really nervous, half expecting suicidal thoughts or hair loss. In fact, apart from dry lips and eyes (both manageable) I haven't noticed any ill effects. However my dermatologist (who is very reputable) told me she has treated hundreds of people with this therapy and only 2 of her patients have had serious side effects.
I took my final pill last night after being on roaccutane for a little over 5 months and my skin is almost totally clear. I am delighted and it's no exaggeration to say that this drug has transformed my life. I'm so grateful.
So, if like I was, you're nervous about side effects and wondering whether to take roaccutane, I really urge you to do it. Good luck!
I contemplated taking Accutane for a while because of all the crazy possible side effects and stories, but from my experience its 100% worth the risk. My skin is literally flawless, and it feels AMAZING. I had tried so many different treatments before trying Accutane, so I didn't expect it to work, but luckily this was not the case. This medicine is truly magical, I have not had a pimple in months! Absolutely try it if you can!
So I was very hesitant on going on this drug - being 21 and having moderate acne (since I was around 16) really lowered my self confidence. Having tried each and every drug prescribed to me by my GP, I finally got referred to a dermatologist.
I got prescribed by my dermatologist 30mg for the first month and then 60mg for the next 5 months which I am very happy about. I am only on my second month and I can honestly say I have already seen such a HUGE difference to my skin. Yes my skin (particularly nose) and lips are VERY dry but other than that I have had absolutely no issues. I never thought I would see results so soon, everybody was going on about the period your skin will get worse before it gets better but fortunately I haven't had that. I haven't broken out in the last three weeks at all (been on it now for about 6 weeks). I will get back to you guys in the next couple of months but so far very very happy. Not having a spot FEELS SO GREAT!!!!
Back in the day , when I was young, well around my 30's I took the miracle pill.
It worked really well ,I had never seen my face , free of pimples.
My face got so red , like a sunburn , it was the first time I really needed a moisturizer ,I slathered aveeno moisturizing lotion ,I mean the one for the body , but it felt good ,I had no pimples .
I only took Accutane like for 4 months because I have high cholesterol and my liver couldn't take it anymore , it also made me really , really depressed .I was kind of going insane.I mean I didn't really wanted to stop it but sadly I had to.I had to choose between my clear face or my liver and sanity.
The effects of Accutane helped me for about 4 years,I mean I didn't have to use any major acne treatment ,just simple proactiv , that is why I thought that proactiv was a miracle too,LOL.
I mean after Accutane I could have peanuts and chocolate , it was wonderful.
I think that Accutane is to be used on only extreme cases or as a last alternative, even at 52 I'm still dealing with hormonal acne ,I have hypothyroidism and believe me ,on my last visit to the dermatologist , he suggested Accutane ,I said no way! My cholesterol levels are high, and he asked, how high ? Really?
High enough , so my advice , if you really think that you need Accutane only as a last result, then go ahead , but it's not a miracle drug , it will help you get your acne under control , and after that you are gonna have to use a topical treatment to manage your acne , which is all about managing, and controlling it.
And my advice is to run some tests before using it and during treatment and watch for signs of trouble ,don't damage your body, if it doesn't feel right , then its not right.
I think these days dermatologist are using really low doses on people who are older and are at risk of developing skin cancer , so that is probably why the dermatologist suggested Accutane, he doesn't know what to make of my acne anymore.I really feel sorry for him,and I'm kind of speculating about the reason why he wants me to try Accutane again ,ok .
I started getting acne in middle school and tried about every antibiotic and topical out there. They helped get my acne under control for a while; I wasn't completely clear but I could cover it with make up and my mom was really against accutane. My senior year of high school came around and everything just stopped working, my skin started to get really bad again and after talking with my doctor, my mom finally allowed me to try accutane. I am a division 1 athlete and one of my biggest concerns was the joint pain. I have been on it for almost six months an I have not had to stop participating in any of my training due to pain. The biggest side effect I have noticed is the thinning skin. I have at least one new bruise after practice and my skin gets really red really easily. I also had nose bleeds for a few weeks but those went away after probably the second month. And like everyone says, USE AQUAPHOR!!! I have three days left of my 6 month treatment and I am very pleased with my skin. I can't wait till the red marks have a chance to heal up once I'm done taking it to see the final result. I was afraid of the side effects, but in the end it was so worth it!
Amazing! But you must be prepared. I wish I had discovered this website, beginning my course of accutane. I strongly recommend this, but you must be warned. As you must guard your face with your life as it thins your skin and any scratch will/may cause a scar! I am almost finished with a 4 month course 40mgs twice a day! I weigh 140lbs. It will help out a lot. There are many things you have to do,I recommend getting informed properly before taking this drug. Overall take this if you feel that your acne runs your life, you will get clean skin! Your skin will be red due to the medicine working as my dermatologist told me. He said it will go down after my treatment but the results are after the medicine. Scarring will occur,but I heard it's from acne that would have caused it anyway. Take care of your skin by moisturizing with non skin clogging lotion.
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.