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Should I Got For It? (Accutane Hesitant)

accutane adult acne

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#1 PicklesMcGee11

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:28 PM

Okay, reposting this over here since apparently the Adult Acne boards don't see much action lol.

Hi there. So quick back story... I'm 28 years old, and I've suffered on and off with acne. When I was in my teens I always had a few breakouts... mostly on my forehead... nothing serious. Then as I got older the breakouts got worse. I've been seeing a dermatologist since I was probably about 19 or 20 and I think I've literally been on EVERY kind of medication (topical as well as oral) that they make. For the past 2 years my skin had actually been pretty okay. Maybe one or two problems on my chin area but nothing crazy. Then a few months ago (I think in November or December) I decided to go on Birth Control. I took Lo Loestrin Fe and was happy that I didn't experience any BC side effects. I did, however, start to break out like CRAZY. In March I decided that maybe the BC was the problem so I came off and went to my Derm. He gave me something (I'm sorry I don't remember off hand what...) and told me if BC was the culprit, it would take a few months for the hormones to come out of my body. Needless to say, it's now May and my skin is worse than it's ever been in my LIFE. I am beyond self conscious and miserable. I am currently taking Monodox (which, since I started maybe 16 days ago, the acne has gotten even worse...) and I'm usuing two different topical creams (one at night and one in the morning). I am going to stick it out with these meds until my next appointment (on the 24th) but I know he is going to say I should just go on Accutane (he said this at the last appointment). I keep putting it off though because I'm worried about side effects and how I will feel. While I have acne, my skin is pretty dry (if I don't moisturize after washing my skin is SO tight and flaky) and it is also very sensitive. I excercise (or at least I used to daily until my skin got so bad I'm too embarrassed to leave my house...) and I'm worried about joint/muscle pain. He said I would most likely be on it for 5 months. I've read a few of the positive and negative Accutane stories but I was hoping to get some replies here from people closer to my age and hear about their experiences and their long term results. Also, perhaps anyone who has taken it and then had children later? Any complications?

Phew. Sorry that was so long. Thanks in advance for any advice/info/etc Posted Image

#2 Alexis Little

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:16 PM

I'm not in my late 20's but I'm 23 which isn't a huge difference.

I'm on Accutane now (day 70something) and I'm technically all clear already. Just a lot of redness left over. I had acne as a teenager that went away by the time I was 18. Up until a year ago I actually had a perfect complexion. Then last summer I started breaking out in cysts.

All the antibiotics and topical treatments made mine worse to the point of distruction. I have scarring that I could have easily avoided if I had gone on Accutane while my skin was still just starting to get acne. Now my scarring is almost worse looking than the acne that caused it.

Although, one antibiotic I did like. Bactrim. This stuff helped a lot before I went on Accutane (I had to wait until I could afford the monthly expense of Accutane because I am uninsured). Strong antibiotic and I didn't get worse before getting better.

Joint and muscle pain will happen. You can try a lower dose to avoid side effects. I still go out swimming for hours and running here and there. My back will hurt pretty bad later on but it isn't god awful. Just take it easy.

I had dry skin too before going on Accutane but I found a thicker moisturizer so I haven't had a single problem with dry skin. Just chapped lips. I use CeraVe's moisturizing cream. Best thing ever.

I can't help with long term stuff because I am not finished. I don't plan on having any children at least one year after completing Accutane. I don't play the "safe or sorry" game so even though it is supposedly out of your system in 30 days I plan to wait a while.

#3 PicklesMcGee11

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:42 AM

I'm not in my late 20's but I'm 23 which isn't a huge difference.

I'm on Accutane now (day 70something) and I'm technically all clear already. Just a lot of redness left over. I had acne as a teenager that went away by the time I was 18. Up until a year ago I actually had a perfect complexion. Then last summer I started breaking out in cysts.

All the antibiotics and topical treatments made mine worse to the point of distruction. I have scarring that I could have easily avoided if I had gone on Accutane while my skin was still just starting to get acne. Now my scarring is almost worse looking than the acne that caused it.

Although, one antibiotic I did like. Bactrim. This stuff helped a lot before I went on Accutane (I had to wait until I could afford the monthly expense of Accutane because I am uninsured). Strong antibiotic and I didn't get worse before getting better.

Joint and muscle pain will happen. You can try a lower dose to avoid side effects. I still go out swimming for hours and running here and there. My back will hurt pretty bad later on but it isn't god awful. Just take it easy.

I had dry skin too before going on Accutane but I found a thicker moisturizer so I haven't had a single problem with dry skin. Just chapped lips. I use CeraVe's moisturizing cream. Best thing ever.

I can't help with long term stuff because I am not finished. I don't plan on having any children at least one year after completing Accutane. I don't play the "safe or sorry" game so even though it is supposedly out of your system in 30 days I plan to wait a while.


Hey Thanks so much for replying! & no, 23 isn't a huge difference, when I said closer to my age I did mean somewhere in the 20's... I mean my brother was on Accutane when he was 17 (which was about 13 years ago) but I just feel like being really young maybe the experience was different? Idk, either way, I appreciate the reply.

I'm glad to hear about the dry skin, if I do go on I will definitely have to stock up on that stuff. As for the working out and feeling sore, as long as it isn't god awful, then I'm sure I can suck it up. Just don't want to be a total blob the entire time I'm on it (if I am...) especially during the summer months.

So day 70... that's about 2 months in yes? Did it get worse before it got better on the Accutane? How long does your derm plan on keeping you on?

#4 Guest_*Spiro*_*

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 06:56 AM

I am 26 years old and on my 2nd month of Accutane, almost done with my 2nd month. I just wanted to let you know my experience with the medication so far. It has been tough at some points but most days I forget I am even on the stuff to be honest. If my chapped lips weren't there as a reminder I would forget completely. When I started the medication I was getting joint pains and a very sore lower back. Lasted about a month and a half. I started using Fish Oil and Glucosamine supplements and within a couple of weeks my joint pains have gone away completely. Also my sore back has seemed to slowly go away on its own. Which is wonderful! I was using a heating pad everyday to help it out and I haven't needed too in a couple of weeks. Yesterday I was doing a ton of house work though and washing molding ant edging the carpet so I was bent over most of the day and my back did get alittle sore from that. I think it would have with or without the accutane though.

For me it did get worse before it got better, BUT it was nothing that I couldn't handle. I am finally at the time where everything hopefully is drying out and healing up. I am hoping month 3 is my magic month! I have been on 40 MG daily and plan on getting bumped up to 60 or 80 throughout my course of 5 - 6 months. Hopefully this is helpful to you

#5 BlazeXT

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 07:19 AM

Hi Pickles,

Im in a similar situation to you. Im a 31 year old male and started suffering with Acne when I was 26.
Its immensly frustrating as an adult to be dealing with this as I hardly ever had a spot until I was 26!
I get it on my checks and nose almost in a butterfly shape area. I have to moisturise otherwise my sking gets tight and flaky as well.
Initially I used some steriod creams that made things far worse and then about a year later I started taking Tetracycline.
This worked wonders and up until 6 months ago I was taking it regularly.
I only stopped as my GP told me not to take it any longer as id been taking it for a few years.
In December last year I started taking Minocycline, for me it had pretty much no effect at all so I stopped using it.
My skin has never been too bad but every now and then it gets really bad. Since stopping the Tetracycline my skin has slowly got worse and worse.
Currently Im struggling to get myself out the house, it really effects my life to the point where I just sort of hide away when it gets bad.
I feel embarassed about it and I dont really speak to anyone about it except my parents and my g/f.
I do alot of sport and it really hinders me at times. My diet is very good and I dont smoke or drink alcohol.

On the NHS in the UK it seems to take forever to get an appointment at the dermatologist.
My appointment is on the 08th May and I am going to be taking Accutane.
I dont want to go back onto Tetracycline as it doesnt actually cure anything, as well as it worked for me (I mean really worked, no one has ever really noticed I suffer with Acne until recently) it was just supressing my acne and no one knows what the long term effects are really.
Im worried about going on Accutane due to all the side effects, especially the birth defects. I want to have kids in the next couple of years.
I guess I just hope taking one 6 month treatment might cure my acne instead of taking drugs for however long this condition lasts.

Having read pages and pages of reviews most seem quite positive then the odd one or two are really worrying and it seem to ruin peoples lives.
It seems to effect everyone differently, im willing to give it a try and if I get any bad side effects I will stop immediately.

Following other peoples blogs whilst taking Accutane is interesting and positive.
Id also like to see what peoples views are on Accutane and if its worth the risk.
Should I stay on Tetracycline instead??

Edited by BlazeXT, 03 May 2012 - 07:21 AM.


#6 PicklesMcGee11

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:43 AM

I am 26 years old and on my 2nd month of Accutane, almost done with my 2nd month. I just wanted to let you know my experience with the medication so far. It has been tough at some points but most days I forget I am even on the stuff to be honest. If my chapped lips weren't there as a reminder I would forget completely. When I started the medication I was getting joint pains and a very sore lower back. Lasted about a month and a half. I started using Fish Oil and Glucosamine supplements and within a couple of weeks my joint pains have gone away completely. Also my sore back has seemed to slowly go away on its own. Which is wonderful! I was using a heating pad everyday to help it out and I haven't needed too in a couple of weeks. Yesterday I was doing a ton of house work though and washing molding ant edging the carpet so I was bent over most of the day and my back did get alittle sore from that. I think it would have with or without the accutane though.

For me it did get worse before it got better, BUT it was nothing that I couldn't handle. I am finally at the time where everything hopefully is drying out and healing up. I am hoping month 3 is my magic month! I have been on 40 MG daily and plan on getting bumped up to 60 or 80 throughout my course of 5 - 6 months. Hopefully this is helpful to you


Hey thanks for the info! I really hope if I do try it the worst will be cracked lips & some soreness... but I will def try the Fish Oil and Glucosamine if the pain becomes too much. So far it seems like people think this is the way to go and I think it might be time for me as well. I'm really getting so depressed about my skin I can't take it. As I was getting dressed last night to go to my boyfriends I found myself crying hysterical as I caked on make-up to try and hide my awful skin :cry: I almost didn't even go. BUT enough of my sob story... Good luck to you, I hope 3 months is your magic month as well!! Posted Image

Hi Pickles,

Im in a similar situation to you. Im a 31 year old male and started suffering with Acne when I was 26.
Its immensly frustrating as an adult to be dealing with this as I hardly ever had a spot until I was 26!
I get it on my checks and nose almost in a butterfly shape area. I have to moisturise otherwise my sking gets tight and flaky as well.
Initially I used some steriod creams that made things far worse and then about a year later I started taking Tetracycline.
This worked wonders and up until 6 months ago I was taking it regularly.
I only stopped as my GP told me not to take it any longer as id been taking it for a few years.
In December last year I started taking Minocycline, for me it had pretty much no effect at all so I stopped using it.
My skin has never been too bad but every now and then it gets really bad. Since stopping the Tetracycline my skin has slowly got worse and worse.
Currently Im struggling to get myself out the house, it really effects my life to the point where I just sort of hide away when it gets bad.
I feel embarassed about it and I dont really speak to anyone about it except my parents and my g/f.
I do alot of sport and it really hinders me at times. My diet is very good and I dont smoke or drink alcohol.

On the NHS in the UK it seems to take forever to get an appointment at the dermatologist.
My appointment is on the 08th May and I am going to be taking Accutane.
I dont want to go back onto Tetracycline as it doesnt actually cure anything, as well as it worked for me (I mean really worked, no one has ever really noticed I suffer with Acne until recently) it was just supressing my acne and no one knows what the long term effects are really.
Im worried about going on Accutane due to all the side effects, especially the birth defects. I want to have kids in the next couple of years.
I guess I just hope taking one 6 month treatment might cure my acne instead of taking drugs for however long this condition lasts.

Having read pages and pages of reviews most seem quite positive then the odd one or two are really worrying and it seem to ruin peoples lives.
It seems to effect everyone differently, im willing to give it a try and if I get any bad side effects I will stop immediately.

Following other peoples blogs whilst taking Accutane is interesting and positive.
Id also like to see what peoples views are on Accutane and if its worth the risk.
Should I stay on Tetracycline instead??


I SO hear you about struggling to get out of the house. If I didn't have to work I would probably never leave. Who knew acne could cause so much emotional pain? *sigh* Its frustrating too because none of my friends seem to really understand (as they all have perfect skin) so they keep telling me I look fine and I should relax (which is just annoying to hear). I too keep reading peoples blogs and honestly I'm trying to avoid the negative ones (only because I'm a total pansy and if I read a lot of negative posts and side effects I will most likely chicken out on taking it and/or take it and think I'M experiencing the same negative side effects). Like you said, everyone is different...but good luck with whatever you decide!

#7 Alexis Little

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:14 AM


I'm not in my late 20's but I'm 23 which isn't a huge difference.

I'm on Accutane now (day 70something) and I'm technically all clear already. Just a lot of redness left over. I had acne as a teenager that went away by the time I was 18. Up until a year ago I actually had a perfect complexion. Then last summer I started breaking out in cysts.

All the antibiotics and topical treatments made mine worse to the point of distruction. I have scarring that I could have easily avoided if I had gone on Accutane while my skin was still just starting to get acne. Now my scarring is almost worse looking than the acne that caused it.

Although, one antibiotic I did like. Bactrim. This stuff helped a lot before I went on Accutane (I had to wait until I could afford the monthly expense of Accutane because I am uninsured). Strong antibiotic and I didn't get worse before getting better.

Joint and muscle pain will happen. You can try a lower dose to avoid side effects. I still go out swimming for hours and running here and there. My back will hurt pretty bad later on but it isn't god awful. Just take it easy.

I had dry skin too before going on Accutane but I found a thicker moisturizer so I haven't had a single problem with dry skin. Just chapped lips. I use CeraVe's moisturizing cream. Best thing ever.

I can't help with long term stuff because I am not finished. I don't plan on having any children at least one year after completing Accutane. I don't play the "safe or sorry" game so even though it is supposedly out of your system in 30 days I plan to wait a while.


Hey Thanks so much for replying! & no, 23 isn't a huge difference, when I said closer to my age I did mean somewhere in the 20's... I mean my brother was on Accutane when he was 17 (which was about 13 years ago) but I just feel like being really young maybe the experience was different? Idk, either way, I appreciate the reply.

I'm glad to hear about the dry skin, if I do go on I will definitely have to stock up on that stuff. As for the working out and feeling sore, as long as it isn't god awful, then I'm sure I can suck it up. Just don't want to be a total blob the entire time I'm on it (if I am...) especially during the summer months.

So day 70... that's about 2 months in yes? Did it get worse before it got better on the Accutane? How long does your derm plan on keeping you on?


Yeah, there seems to be mostly teens on here so it is hard to find adults going through the process.

Other people seem to like Cetaphil. I think that brand is supposed to be similiar. It is a more known brand. My Dermatologist gave me samples of CeraVe and I fell in love. They have facial cleansers too. They have a moisturizing facial cleaner that would probably be good on Accutane. I haven't tried it but the reviews said it is like washing your face with lotion because it doesn't lather but facial soaps that lather tend to be more drying. I have the lather kind but it is pretty gentle.

I've been a little blobbish but I try to keep being active so going back to work (I'm a dancer) isn't a huge shock to my body. I think no matter what it will be so either way. Haha. I think it being summer makes it easier to avoid just sitting around. I've mostly just been swimming since it is less harsh on joints.

I'm not completely sure what day I'm on. I'm assuming somewhere in the 70s or maybe 80s by now. Pretty much I'm almost done with my third month. I had no break out when I started. Not sure why. Some do, some don't. I took Tretinoin for a few months before starting Accutane so I don't know if that got everything underneath my skin out and that might be why I had no IB. I'm thankful I didn't though. It has done really well with getting better. I still get a pimple here and there on my period but otherwise no more cysts. I have no idea how long my course is going to be. I don't even think my Dermatologist knows. She's been letting me be pretty flexible with it. I don't have insurance to tell me what I can and can not do but then again the cost of paying out of pocket is putting a huge dent in my bank account, lol. I'm going to try to keep going as long as my Dermatologist will allow me.

#8 PicklesMcGee11

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

First of all, I have to laugh a little because for a while now as I was reading posts, I saw people talkin about IB & I def thought it stood for something else. HA. The way you worded it though makes it much clearer :) anyways, one more question since you brought up summer... How sensitive is your skin if you're out in the sun? I know i cant go sunbathing at the beach but I also don't want to spend all summer locked indoors...
Super exciting that your skin is clearing up nicely and you didn't have to deal with a breakout when you started. I wonder if being on Monodox (which is def making things worse) would actually be a good thing if I started the accutane..maybe it's already pushed out all the awfulness and it can only get better? Here's hoping :)
Good luck! Hopefully you & your pockets can hang in there till you're completely clear :)

#9 Alexis Little

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:33 PM

First of all, I have to laugh a little because for a while now as I was reading posts, I saw people talkin about IB & I def thought it stood for something else. HA. The way you worded it though makes it much clearer Posted Image anyways, one more question since you brought up summer... How sensitive is your skin if you're out in the sun? I know i cant go sunbathing at the beach but I also don't want to spend all summer locked indoors...
Super exciting that your skin is clearing up nicely and you didn't have to deal with a breakout when you started. I wonder if being on Monodox (which is def making things worse) would actually be a good thing if I started the accutane..maybe it's already pushed out all the awfulness and it can only get better? Here's hoping Posted Image
Good luck! Hopefully you & your pockets can hang in there till you're completely clear Posted Image


Yeah, I'm still trying figure out some of the stuff on here that people say, lol.

I went swimming this past Tuesday and was in the sun for 3 hours swimming at a river with no sunscreen. I got a little burned but it was gone overnight. Now, I'm not recommending you do the same. Sunscreen is still important. I'm going swimming tomorrow again but I found my bottle of sunscreen so no burn this time, lol. Even without Accutane, my pale self would have gotten a sunburn in 3 hours anyway.

I took Doxycycline (same as Monodox) but I took that months before taking Accutane so I'm not sure. I hated that stuff. Just kept making my face get worse and worse and I was too nauseated to eat so I eventually refused to take it anymore.

I'm going to attempt to up my dosage when I go to my appointment on the 17th so I'm going to have to dig a little deeper into my pockets! Haha.

Good luck on your journey ;D