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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.
i am 21 year old girl and have been suffering from acne since i was 13. by the time i was 17 cystic acne had covered most of my face. those of you who suffer from cystic acne know how painful and upsetting this can be. i tried everything, doxycycline, solodyn, azithromycin, monocycline, clindamycin, epiduo, tazorac, aczone, benzaclin you name it. nothing seemed to work for me at all. my dermatologist had always encouraged me to try accutane, saying it would work wonders for me, but because of all the negative things i had heard about accutane i was too afraid to try it. finally last spring in my junior year of college i lost all hope. when i came home for summer i decided accutane was my only option. I started accutane this august and am almost 5 months in ( i will be done in February). I take 50 mg per day and weigh about 115 lbs. this was the BEST choice i have ever made. my skin is clear of cystic bumps for the first time in my life!! i do have a little scarring left over but nothing too serious (i was afraid i would have terrible scarring). i have never been happier! i suffered some side effects, like chapped lips and dry skin and hair but these were all easily fixable with lotion, lots of aquaphor (for my lips) and deep conditioning treatments for my hair. if you suffer acne like i did CONSIDER ACCUTANE. don't let the negative things push you away from this amazing cure, i seriously wish i took this years ago!
So I tried A LOT of different oral anti-biotics and many different topical creams for my acne and nothing was working. I have moderate inflammatory acne and I told my dermatologist I would take anything at this point to get rid of it. She told me that Accutane is my best bet so of course I agreed. I'm only 14 and my mom was very unsure but she allowed me because she thought I wouldn't have to see the dermatologist ever again after accutane. Well, she was wrong. The side effects were awful. I had joint pain, headaches, and my lips were so chapped that people were asking me how I had crazy chapped lips in the summer.. By my last month (month 5 or 6), I was clear and all i had left were scars but that didn't last long. I do live a healthy lifestyle and work out at least 4 times a week and I have to say I do everything in power everyday to try to get rid of these nasty pimples on my forehead and they don't budge no matter what I do. My acne came back harder than I've ever had it. I have bigger cysts all over my forehead and pimples in places I've never had them in before. I wanted to get clear before my birthday in March but clearly that's not possible anymore.. Right now I'm on no pills but do use Acanya in the morning and Atralin at night, which don't work for me anymore. Seeing my dermatologist at the end of this month, praying there's something out there for me that'll actually clear my skin and keep it clear. I've been starting a dairy-free, wheat-free diet with water as my only drinking option and no junkfood. I've tried everything and I'm starting to think I'm going to have acne forever.
I went on Oratane (Accutane) for my stubborn, moderate acne. It cleared up my skin in 3 months (with an occasional pimple) and my skin's redness faded. Apart from the usual side effects, Accutane caused me to have suicidal/irrational thoughts and (being a sprinter this was awful) I was unable to exercise because my joints where so sore. I have been off it for a week and I feel much better. So, in conclusion, Accutane clears your skin up but you just have to think about if the side effects are worth it. Oh and I suggest going on Accutane only if you have tried every other method.
My son did two courses of treatment in high school. About a year after the first course concluded acne had returned, though on a smaller scale and it was not responding to other treatments. My son actually asked to go on another dose, despite all the unpleasant side effects.
The most significant, and scary, side effect he experienced was depression and anxiety which was subtle but which I definitely believe was a result of the Accutane. He actually experienced fairly marked anxiety for a couple of months following the second course of treatment. Do not underestimate the emotional side effects. Our dermatologist had ever only had a couple patents with those side effects, but I believe it is because the question they ask is are you depressed or suicidal. My sons experience was much more subtle and in the case of depression it was recognized by me, not him.
My son also experienced the extreme dryness. And he got a pretty bad sunburn too since he didn't adequately apply sunscreen as instructed by Dr. and mom.
Some of the doses listed in other reviews seem really low and the course of treatment a bit contrary to how our doctor explained it worked. I would not allow a GP to prescribe. In fact our family doctor refused to, referring us to a dermatologist due to the nature of the product and the sever side effects.
My husband also did two coursed of the treatment in his early twenties and not nearly 50 still struggles with breakouts, so it's not a total cure, but during the difficult teen and early 20s can definitely he'll boost self esteem.
I am an 18 year old girl who has had acne since the fourth grade. I have been on countless medications to try and help my skin; Tetracycline, Minocycline, Doxycycline, and Ortho Tri cycline (birth control). None of these helped. I have used Proactive (twice) that didn't help in the least bit, so my last resort was Accutane. I was very nervous about it, having done my research on it, I wasn't sure if I wanted to. Well, let me tell you, I am so glad I did. I am only on my second month, and my skin is so smooth. Before, I had cysts and nodules all along my jaw, my neck, my chest, my upper back, and my cheeks. Now, they're flat and fading. I don't have any on my face, my chest is now drying out, and my neck looks better. The first month, I experienced breaking out on my neck, the cysts were huge! They hurt, and it was just embarrassing. I wore scarves for 2 weeks straight to hide them. The area around my lips broke out as well, they were not large and it only lasted about a week (short compared to my other break outs). I am drying out, not as bad as I thought. I was on 40mg for the first month, now I am on 60mg for my second. side effects I am having include dry skin and lips, not bad at all, cured by moisturizer and Vaseline chap stick. I am thirsty and hungry (more than usual) but thirst isn't severe, I don't notice it unless I think about it. I take my medicine with food, yet it makes me hungry and once I eat, the smallest bite will fill me up. I wake up with bloody noses, not ones to bother me, they're just like scabs or clots, which sounds disgusting but that's the only way I can put it. muscle spasms. this one is actually funny to me, because I have never had these. my legs twitch sometimes or my thumb as well. small, quick movements that feel funny. my contacts are starting to stick to my eyes, making things blurry, so I wear glasses more. my skin isn't oily AT ALL. I would normally use my oil blotting sheets about 3+ times a day and now I never need them. saying this, my hair isn't oily either. I would have to wash it EVERY NIGHT..and now I can go a week or so without doing so (I wash my body don't worry) but I don't have to worry about waking up the next day with greasy hair. I itch too, since my skin is drying out. mostly around my elbows and the top of my hands. when my cysts were drying out, they itched as well, it was uncomfortable. I haven't experienced any thoughts of suicide, depression, or severe side effects like some people do, or what the major concerns are. I get blood work done every month, as well as a pregnancy test, you have to answer questions from the iPledge website before filling the medicine, it's easy, but annoying. I feel pretty lucky with what I'm experiencing, slight dryness. this is definitely going to be something that will change my life. I am able to go out in public feeling confident about my skin. I used to always look down or not look people in the eye, but now I can. I am 100% happy with my skin now, and I still have 4 months to go! :) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED and I really, really wish I had started sooner.