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Taking accutane was a huge mistake for me. It gave me chapped lips and made my back super stiff. 6 years later my back problems are continuing to get worse to the point where I'm now basically disabled. For the first 4 years it was bearable, but last two years have been downright miserable. I've had a multitude of tests and imaging done and my doctors can't seem to find a cause for why my back keeps getting stiffer. I highly suspect accutane is responsible for the long term health problems I'm now enduring. The doc I'm seeing now agrees that it's a possibility. Before I took accutane I was pretty athletic, but these days all i can handle is a 15-30 min walk. I'm having extreme difficulty bending, sitting, twisting, my mobility has gone down the drain and my upper body/ torso/ spine feels super compressed. I took accutane when I was 20, I'm only 26 now but my body feels like it's 70, don't take this drug, the risks far outweigh the rewards.
I had mild acne in my teens and 20s. I usually suffered from one mildly annoying pimple every few weeks. In my 30s, after rounds of retinoids, antibiotics, oral and topical treatments my skin became a horror show. No derm would prescribe Accutane to me. I.e. I was married and of child- bearing age. Too risky. It wouldn't work for hormonal acne. What a crock! I finally found a derm that would. I love my doctor for listening to me and agreeing that indeed I had to live in my own skin.
The first 6 months were really bad. In the last two months 7 & 8 I saw improvement. The second round three months later for 3 months really did the trick. I was having surgery so I had to quit early on my second round. It slows healing and I had to go off 6 months before my surgery. Now it's been 3 months since my surgery and I just got my first real pimple. I'm not hesitating to go on a low dose straight off. I'm going to wait until my scars are completely healed from surgery then start again. I have two months left but it will take at least two months to get my first prescription because I am female. It's ridiculous. And it costs a lot of money as my insurance doesn't cover all of the pregnancy testing which costs like 90 a month.
The side effects suck. I had dry lips, headaches, and joint pain.
But I no longer dread leaving the house, going to work, or even to yoga. I was so mortified of my days. I am no longer ashamed. This drug saved me.
Accutane can be considered a cure for some (at least for those who actually works for) but for those of us that have run courses of accutane and have not seen a cure you WILL be left with horrible side effects. I took accutane almost 3 years ago and still to this day have nasty side effects that came with this drug. Unless you have tried changing your diet, lifestyle and absolutley nothing works then I would give accutane a shot. Even still I'm not sure if the side effects of this drug weigh out the pros of having less acne.
Since I was 13 I have been breaking out, but as soon as I turned 17, it went from only a couple pimples to mild/severe cystic acne. I had tried any product you could name, and the effects were always good on my skin and acne for a few weeks or so, but then it was as if my skin was immune to it afterwards. When I chose to take the plunge with Accutane, I did my research and took care of myself as best I could since I've been on it. I am now starting my 5th month on it now, and especially in the last month my skin has changed dramatically... and yes, because Accutane makes your skin super dry and sensitive there has left some scarring from previous acne, but all but a couple pimples have been banished from my face now, giving me a much clearer appearance. Without Accutane, my face wouldn't be continuing to get better as it still is today, and I look forward to finishing my last month of it and moving onto treating my scars in the future. My advice for hopeful Accutane users is to keep at it, don't give up hope and keep your head straight because your acne will gradually begin to fade away, and along with that your confidence will begin to grow again. Do not use any harmful acids on your face, use only gentle washes e.g. Cetaphil and moisturise your face, lips and use eye drops, because they DO get dry!
Best of luck to future Accutane users!
I used the gel version -
I've had bad acne on my back for about 3 years now but recently it's started to get a lot worse, not sure why. I've tried practically everything you can name for acne, all the spot lotions, zineryt, proactiv etc and nothing has worked. I got isotretinoin (isotrex) from the doctor and thought this would finally take my acne away but I couldn't have been more disappointed. I left this on over night but when I woke up my skin was peeling terribly, but that didn't bother me that much as long as I moisturised it. Then after a few days my skin started to feel really dry and itchy and was burning and then I saw loads of red burn patches which are still there a week after stopping using this and still burn and sting whenever my coat collar touches it or even a mild soap is used on it. I heard calomine lotion is helpful for acne and burns so I'm going to try that out tonight and hope for the best. Whatever you do, do NOT put this on any delicate skin such as your neck/chest.
As a 15yr. old girl (this was 16yrs. ago) I started Accutane. After the initial 30 days of my acne getting worse I started to notice that day by day the acne lessened and the pores on my face became smaller and I didn't have to constantly blot the oil off my face. I had some dryness but it was a small sacrifice to look in the mirror and not see these big ugly zits causing me to feel ugly and self conscious. I also started to look people in the eyes and not constantly worry that they were staring at the state of my skin, or to go outside in the bright light and have people thinking negative things about me. After 3 mos. my skin was beautiful, without a single blemish, and the pores shrunk back to normal. Although I had the dryness that everyone experiences, it was SO WORTH IT. People talk about depression as a side effect, but honestly I was so deliriously happy with the results that I can say I was never depressed for even one day. After 1 yr. of being off the drug I started to get a few pimples and went back to the dermatologist. She started me on a second course immediately. That was 17yrs. ago. My skin has been perfect and flawless ever since. I never get a breakout. I shudder to think how my life would have been if it wasn't for this wonder drug. I would recommend it in a heartbeat. It changed my life.
Here's the deal. My experience on accutane was rough, but it was SO worth it. I'll tell you straight up how it was and what to expect.
I started getting bad acne when I was 14, all over my neck, back, chest and face. The worst part was the big inflamed zits that would pump out pus like factories and wouldn't leave for weeks, sometimes months. And even when they did leave they left scars in their place. It was maddening. Acne had destroyed my self-esteem and confidence.
I finally went to my dermatologist and asked what we could do. He suggested antibiotics, but my mom and I pushed for accutane. Skip the weak stuff and go for the hardcore acne drug. It's the closest thing to a CURE for acne, and its effect is almost permanent.
Here's something you'll want to keep in mind: the higher the dose you're on, the less likely your acne is to relapse. Thankfully I had an aggressive-treatment dermatologist who knew this. I was on the pills for 6 months—the last three months I was taking 120mg a day. If you don't have any experience with accutane doses, that's a mother-freaking high dose.
The point is my acne never came back. I have occasional mini-breakouts now and then, but they're here and gone within a week.
Now for the side effects. The best part of accutane is that it gets the job done, and you probably won't have to deal with stuff like proactive once it's over (which takes FOREVER to put on and rinse off.) All you have to do with accutane is pop a pill.
Because I was on such a high dose I had some intense side effects: chapped lips (use Chapstick), dry eyes (use eye drops), random red patches on my skin (use lotion), muscle pain and a greater tendency to pull muscles (can't do anything about that, just wait until your time is up), bad breakouts for the first two months, etc.
It got worse before it got better for me, as it does with lots of people. But it DID get better by the end of my treatment. And it stayed that way. Overall, accutane IS DEFINITELY WORTH IT. it saved my confidence, saved my life. Just be willing to go through hell for several months to get your prize of clear skin.
I was put on Accutane by a dermatologist at the age of 13 after a struggle with severe acne for 3 years. I started getting acne in 5th grade, and it continuously got worse up until 7th grade, where I started to get cystic acne *sigh*. Acne was making me depressed, and my self esteem was absolutely nonexistent. I was made fun of all the time, and if you've never been "the kid with acne", I can assure you it's the worst feeling in the world. When I was put on Accutane I followed normal protocol, which meant taking the pregnancy test, waiting a month, and then getting my prescription. Every month I had to get my blood tested, take a pregnancy test, and then answer the iPledge questions to get my prescription cleared. When I first started taking Accutane, the first thing I noticed were the extremely dry lips. These came in on even my second day, and even to this day my lips are never as moist as they used to be, but I use carmex. I also got lower back pain in my first two weeks, but that went away. And about a month in, I started to develop eczema patches on my arms and legs which I treated with Cetaphil. Also.. my face became extremely flaky and dry, especially up at my temples, but I covered the dry skin in bag balm each night. As far as results go, I didn't see any positive signs until my fourth (out of 5) month. In the first month, nothing really happened. Second month, I developed the worst acne of my life. I broke out in 8 cystic pimples on my chin, along with countless other around my face. I still have the scars for those today. Also, my skin became so thin that simply running a fingernail across it would tear the skin and it would bleed, which happened to me on the very tip of my nose, fun! Anyways, The acne kept coming until the end of the third month, and then it began to subside. Instead of developing acne constantly, I was only getting one pimple about every 3 weeks, which actually seemed much worse than it was because I still had a full face of scarring. Fourth month, like I said, I broke out about 2 times, and fifth month the same. My skin looked 10000000x times better though, and i only break out once a month now. It has made a world of a difference in my life, and my skin has NEVER been this good. Here's some other weird things, in the first 3 weeks it cleansed my skin of blackheads, by literally shoving them out. I could run my finger over my nose and feel a hundred little bumps, and after that my blackheads diminished dramatically. Also, in the 3rd month when some of my acne was healing, once the pimples were dead they flaked off in weird sheets. If you are going for Accutane, it will probably not be the flawless product they tell you, but DO NOT LOSE HOPE, even after what feels like forever. Going on Accutane was one of the best decision I ever made and I wouldn't change a thing. Oh and by the way, when I was on accutane I had flawless hair because I could go 7 days without washing it and it would still look fresh out of the shower.
Prior to starting the medication I had extremely oily skin - I was blotting/reapplying powder all the time and it was very frustrating and gross! I did not have horrible acne, but i had issues with the deep painful nodules that would build up under my skin and never break the surface. These would popup and last for several weeks, and once they would finally go back down they'd leave a dark scar.
I took accutance for a little over 5 months, I first started off with 30mg, increased to 60mg, then finished off at 80mg. After about 12 days, I started to notice the chapped lips and sadly the chapping just got worse from there. But as many others have mentioned, Aquaphor is a lifesaver!! After about a month, the oil on my face started to diminish and my face was matte all the time! I no longer needed to blot or reapply makeup several times throughout the day. My breakouts remained at bay for about 2 months, and I bumped up to 60mg but soon after I started getting blemishes in my usual trouble spots. Although they were much smaller, it was still a bit discouraging. Around this time I also experienced my worst side effect which was muscle pain! Throughout my treatment, I was playing volleyball and softball 3-4 days per week and it was absolutely brutal! My body hurt everywhere! During this time I started taking pain meds prior to my games so that I wouldn't feed the effects as much. I also started to notice my skin becoming extremely fragile - like paper thin! If i bumped into anything or even scratched myself too hard I would immediately get a cut or a bruise. When these wounds healed, they healed much lighter than my normal skin tone. I also started to develop a rash on my arms. I had several round, itchy patches on my upper arms. I used aquaphor cream on them as well as ointment prescribed by the doctor. These also healed much lighter than my skin tone. Around 3.5-4 months, my doctor upped my dosage to 80 mg. By this time, my skin was consistently clear and I had no active breakouts. With just a few weeks to go, I did experience a few more blemishes, but again they were very small and went away without leaving any dark marks!
I've been off accutane for 1.5 months now and I'm excited to say my skin is still clear and not at all oily. My pores are so tiny, I have no blackheads, and I feel confident that I can go out in public without makeup! My chapped lips are returning to normal and I don't need to use aquaphor very much! My muscle pain is completely gone and I am back to my normal self! I can workout and play sports without the additional pain or the need for medication! Unfortunately I still have the light colored patches on my arm from the rash, but I'm hoping these will start to clear up in the summer once they get some sun!
Overall, my experience on accutane was worth it, but the side effects were a pain! The costs weren't too outrageous either - I only paid $10/month for my medication, plus an additional $50 per month for the required blood tests. I would recommend accutane to others, but would definitely advise them to think long and hard about it due to the side effects.
I took accutane twice when I was a sophmore in high school about five years ago. While it temporarily worked wonders, my acne has come back exactly the same as it had before. Much worse though was the effect that it had on my teeth and eyes. Because both were dried out, my eyes became infected and I have never since been able to wear contacts and I have to use a special ointment at night. As for my teeth, because my mouth wasn't producing enough saliva which helps clean out the mouth, I developed 13 cavities at once. I don't drink soda, I brush my teeth and floss daily, and rarely eat sweets. When I told my dentist this he asked if I had taken accutane recently and I told him yes. He said that was the problem and ever since I've had to use prescription strength toothpaste and a special mouthwash. If this is your last option then go for it, but understand that any medication which forces you to take monthly blood tests runs the risk of really f*cking you up. And for christ's sake don't take it when you're only 16. It really isn't worth it.