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Come on skin! Finished course

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Hi all,

I read a lot of these logs when I was trying to find an answer to my skin problems so have decided to try and update this log with my progress in case someone else finds it useful.

I have had mild-moderate acne since about 14 and now at 25, after a decade, have tried just about everything from antibiotics to creams etc. etc. I finally managed to go the dermatologist last year, one of my better decisions in life, and after another few rounds of trying everything I have finally been prescribed Isotretinoin (a generic form of roaccutane produced by Beacon, here in the UK).

I have quite oily skin, however whenever I get out of the shower my skin is really dry and flaky. I've also been diagnosed with seborrhoeic dermatitis. With all that plus the spots and bumps I’ve very interested to see what this drug can do. I start on 40mg then, future blood tests willing, will move up in dosage.

I popped my first pills less than an hour ago and will try to give weekly updates as I think that’s a better way to show progress, for me anyway.

Really good luck to everyone with their skin. I was quite scared to do this but have gone for it now…


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Day 6

Although the affects of the pills haven’t been immense they are definitely working already;

I am red faced, particularly after exercise (heavy weights training), except for around my eyes – looks like I’ve been sun bathing. From what I’ve read here this is pretty normal, but I still worry.

I actually seem a little oiler during the week, less dry skin and flakes than usual – don’t know if the tane is having some affect on my dermatitis? I’m sure the dryness will be on its way though…

Lips have been dry – not incredibly but I can feel and notice it.

Couple of bumps that have been under the surface for quite a while has started to come through all of a sudden – sore red bumps; one on my cheek/nose area and one on my earlobe! Couple of white-heads on my temple and neck too. Really not that bad – I’m hoping this is the acne getting pushed out?

Really early days, so will have to wait and see…

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Day 13

Over the last week I seemed to get a lot of little spots and some really noticeable whiteheads which even when squeezed just refilled themselves. It is really embarrassing at work but then again I’m always embarrassed by my skin at work anyway. However, most have cleared up by this weekend and the redness has really gone down.

The big bumps on my cheek and ear are annoyingly still there but seem to have shrunk and reduced a lot and are no longer sore. I want them gone!

The blackheads on my nose are still there.

The only place that still seems a bit oily is my forehead, which I want to get dryer as I hate it always being so shiny. I’m sure I’m cursing myself to get really dry skin there and I think it might be slightly less oily this morning…

Side effects this week:

-Joint pains! In my knee and lower back, after doing weights...might have to watch that as my derm warned. Not too bad but need to be careful

-Dry lips, getting dryer and dryer all the time

-Dry, flaky skin, weirdly on my ears a lot. Don’t seem to matter how much I moisturise, within a few hours I’m really dry, particularly around my mouth and top of my nose/around eyebrows and ears

At least it’s satisfying to know the drug is working! I’m wondering if I could wash my face less each week and continue to moisturise every day?

Good luck to everyone

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Hiya just wanted to drop by and say good luck with your journey the only advice i would say is keep applying tons of moisturiser face and body and vaseline to lips it really helps as skin dries out alot but i am really pleased with accutane so far am on 40mg for 4 months and im on day 17!! Id say try to wash your face maybe once a day after shower or somthing then keep moisturizing i only wash my face after eve shower and put on aqueous cream (my moisturiser) morning and night.

good luck


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Thanks Pinkunicorns - im still following your log. Having been using E45 though not sure if thats the best although seems good value for money, with vaseline for the lips. Just keep putting it on all the time.

Henchman - hope you had some luck!

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Day 20

It’s been a week of ups and downs. Great start with no new spots - to spots and some large bumps as the week progressed.

Mid week had a big bump on my forehead with some other little spots but that’s healed up a lot already and I just left them alone. Later in the week got a few spots on sides of my face and around my mouth which I squeezed, with one big one, - some fading quick some are big red messes. No idea if I should squeeze them or leave them but I’ve realized spots will continue to come.

I’ve got the same (albeit reducing) red bump by my left cheek/nose area plus in my earlobe. Guess it is going be there a while. Just don’t want it go back to being a constant little bump beneath the surface like it was for months pre-tane – want it totally gone.

Side effects:

-Dry lips!

-I am dryer all over, do have to constantly moisturize and it’s the same areas that get noticeably dry; all around my mouth, nose and area between my eyebrows

-Really pleased that although my forehead is still a little oily it is not as much as it used to be and it is getting dryer. It is amazing when I wake up and its not sticky.

- When washing in the shower my nose seems rougher, may be because of blackheads? And I seem to be getting slightly more blackheads to the sides of my nose

-Joint pains haven’t been so bad and gym training has been ok

-Sore throat and blocked nose this week, although doubt that’s caused by the tane

I’ve been moisturing with E45 which is relatively cheap, works and rubs in pretty well. However I’m wondering if it is causing spots?

Good luck everyone

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Day 27

Wow - nearly the first full month.

Really pleased my skin isn’t oily all the time. However, I think my skin is the worst its been so far with a lot of really big red bumps - look so bad. Really not sure if it is E45 on my face so am going to just use Eucerin face creams for this week and see what happens. If the bumps continue to appear then its just moisturisers in general or, more likely, the tane causing them. Will experiment and let you know!

Because of this I’m not happy with skin at all right now but taking a long term view.

Same side effects:

-Dry lips

-Dry skin

-Slight joint pains – knees and lower back

-Rash on hands! What I thought was the odd mark on my hands tuned into a rash, quite big on my left hand. I find as long as I drink a lot of water and mositurse it, with the dreaded E45, it calms down though.

On Tuesday I go to my derm, for a progress report/repeat prescription and mybe another blood-test? I’d like them to jump me up to 80mg and get a timeline for completion. Hope everything is ok…wonder if a higher dosage would mean even more dryness / breakouts?

Good luck everyone

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Hey try aqueous cream ask your doctor for a presecription for it. You may be able to get it from the pharmacy over the counter but im not sure. I found either cetaphil or aqueous cream especially aqueous cream really effective at smoothing my skin and making it feel plump and healthy ive heard they even use aqueous creams with people with burns to help heal the skin its that good

I did write you a longer reply in my log xx

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Thanks Pinkunicorns, i'll ask my derm about it in a few days too.

I don't know why but i think of aqueous cream as being similiar to E45 as their on the same shelf in my local Boots and have similiar ingredients - nervous to try it!

I guess everyone's skin is different and just because some creams work for one person doesn't mean that they'll work for another. So i'll work my way through them, if Eucerin doesn't work on to Boots aqueous cream...

It might not even be the ceams at all! Will let you know and thanks for your help again

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Day 34

Went to derm last week, blood tests all good and have now moved from 40mg to 85mg. Expect to carry on with this dosage every day for fourth months (16 weeks). Have been given 3 months supply and need to go back again in May to get the final month’s supplies. I feel like this week is the real week 1 at my proper level…

Good news: I stopped using e45 on my face and no new BIG red marks or spots! Have just been using Eucerin daily face moisturiser several times a day instead which I’m sure isn’t perfect but is a lot better.

So this week on 85mg:

-Dry lips, drier than before and now dependent on Vaseline!

-Dry skin, not been too much drier though, I’ve a feeling that will come…

-Slight joint pains

-Rash on hands! Sometimes its fine and other times looks really bad, definitely worse since the increased dosage

-Really dry eyes, especially when I walk into room of different temperatures. Derm is sending me a prescription for eye drops

Have had several small, annoying, new spots pop up on my forehead and around my mouth. Just a hunch but I think that this is a break out from the new dosage, so I’m hoping it doesn’t get any worse and that they fade over this week. If it is like when I started the 40mg then I think I’ll get a few spots and then the dryness will kick in. Anyway, we’ll see.

Wish I could just jump to June when it is all done! Good luck everyone.

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Day 41

Week got progressively better. Although healing is slower on tane the spots which appeared from the dosage increase have faded a lot or come to a head / squeezed and also fading. Only got one new, small spot on my forehead on Friday and is now healing. Happy with that!

So good to not have oily skin, went without washing my face for nearly two days which I could never do before and my skin was still matte. :dance: Hair is at least a little dryer too

Still have the red mark on my cheek/nose, wonder if it will ever fade.

Side effects:

-Dry lips, seriously need to Vaseline them every few hours!

-Dry skin, still need to moisturise but was expecting it to be incredibly dry which it isn’t. Maybe manageable as not washing my face as much?

-Slight joint pains, but ok especially considering I’m doing weights

-Rash on hands been getting especially if I go out

-Dry eyes, only when going out. Need to go to a pharmacy and get eye drops from derm

Really happy at the moment but aware accutane is a rollercoaster. Good luck everyone.

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Day 48

Good week! Some left over red marks but no new spots with no oiliness (even after a few days of not washing my face).

Still have the red mark on my cheek/nose.

-Lips are vaseline dependent these days.

-Face is dry and flaky and, although Eucerin takes care of it, if I rub my face or hair flakes do come off.

-Some joint pain but nothing unmanageable considering I gym 5 times a week.

-Have the weird rash on my hands which can look red and blotchy, not too sure how to improve it?

-Eyes are occasionally dry but can’t be that bad as I still haven’t collected derms prescription for drops...

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the side effects but I feel really lucky to have skin I like at the moment, for however long it lasts. Hope this doesn’t stop when I stop taking the pills....let’s see if progress continues…

Good luck!

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Hi. You're not even in half way your course and you're in that position! That sounds awesome 'cause the drug will continues to give results after month you have stopped taking this medicine.. You will be amazing! :)

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Thanks Zeck!, hope you're doing well.

Day 55

Strange week - skin still ok but mid week got a small spot on my left temple, right forehead and neck (which was strangely stretchy?). Plus one big one on my jaw. Squeezed them all and over a few days are red marks and healing ok. Made me wonder why none for a few weeks then several all in the space of a few days. I guess I’ll always have some spots at least every now and then but I am much happier with the skin.

-Lips thanks god for Unilever's Vaseline

-Face dry and now very flaky

-Minimal joint pain.

-Rash on hands was horrible this week and learnt a key lesson - keep moisturising! Got better when I did

-Eyes are occasionally dry

-Inside of nose pretty dry

-Face is pretty red, people keep asking if I’ve been on holiday...and I keep flushing and can feel myself going redder randomly with burning ears!

I was thinking how annoying all these side effects are but then I remembered that I have been waiting soooooo long to get onto the tane. And these effects are a sign its working – my skin isn’t oily and I have less spots than ever before and I have a way to go yet. So I keep reminding myself a few hard months to get what you really want – just get on with it.

On holiday next Sunday so will update in 2 weeks, hope this log is useful to someone and that people are having some luck.

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Day 69

Should probably make some sexual innuendo…

I will continue to love non-oily skin although now if I don’t moisturise regularly certain parts of my face go horribly dry so must moisturise more.

I got two tiny spots which I could have just left but as I was on holiday I squeezed as they had a week to heal up. I also made the mistake of squeezing the spot under the surface (on my cheek/nose that hasn't gone) which achieved nothing except leaving a real mess. They all healed over with big patches of dry skin over them and I have resolved to just leave the under the surface bump alone and mention it to my derm next appointment (just over a month) which I should have done before.

The side effects sound bad but they are really just annoying; dry lips, dry face, some joint pain, hand rash and eyes ok/minimal, bits of flushing.

Only new thing, which could have been the bed-sheets where I was staying on holiday, was that the dryness/patches of rash seem to have gone up both my arms. If it doesn’t resolve itself this week now I’m back home then its a problem, but I’ll moisturise anyway...

I am really pleased with my skin and what the tane is doing. Next Sunday is past half-way :)

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Day 76

Past half way! Yes! :D

Skin is good. Lips, eyes, hands and face are dry as always but ok when moisturised regulalry. The patch of dryness/rash up my arm improved a lot with regular apllication of E45 several times a day. God damn flushing - if I so much as think as being embarrased its really annoying!

Did get two tiny spots on my far right cheek, squeezed them and they are slowly healing up. I have noticed that so far; no big spots in quite a while, no oiliness and the spots i do get are infrequent and small. Although i'd love to get no spots I am very happy with this and hope it continues now and when treatment ceases. Just worried the oil and the spots will come back when I stop popping pills...

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Day 83

No spots, no oil and smooth skin.

Same side effects as always but they have been been minimal and i think reducing- just need to keep slapping on the vaseline on the lips all the time. Do still need to moisturise of course but skin doesn't seem as obvously dry on face or arms, lets see what this week brings though.

Just worried acne and grease will come back when i stop the pills but i guess i have to reach 150 days so a while to go yet...

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Day 83

No spots, no oil and smooth skin.

Same side effects as always but they have been been minimal and i think reducing- just need to keep slapping on the vaseline on the lips all the time. Do still need to moisturise of course but skin doesn't seem as obvously dry on face or arms, lets see what this week brings though.

Just worried acne and grease will come back when i stop the pills but i guess i have to reach 150 days so a while to go yet...

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Hey acne_be_gone,

Thanks for your post and encouragement. Its funny, until you asked i didnt really look, as my blackheads were always my secondary concern to spots/oiliness. Although not perfect the majority of the blackeads seem to have gone from my nose although i would say they could be masked a little because of the slight dryness. The tane seems to have helped a lot.

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Day 90

Good week - didn't even think about looking at my skin for spots, just for texture and dryness so I guess I’ll never be happy.

BUT, on Friday I didn't moisturise my face after getting out of the shower and I was pretty damn dry. Also, I got two, albeit very small, white-heads; one of the bottom of my left ear and one just beneath my mouth, on Friday. Not sure why and annoying, it does make me think something must have caused them for two to appear all of a sudden.

Still got the one and only remaining bump under the skin between my nose and cheek – may ask derm who I’m seeing in a few weeks to inject it or something? Not sure and will seek advice.

So side effects under control as long as I moisturise and keep whacking on the lip Vaseline and pretty happy just wish I didn’t get any spots at all.

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Day 97

One red mark but no spots otherwise on face or body and soft skin.

Just about managing to remember to keep popping the pills - still totally dependent on Vaseline for the lips! Keep using E45 for the hands and arms, Euccerin for the face which seems to keep the side effects under control. Do feel tired and struggle to sleep properly - no idea if that’s the tane though?

It is really sunny here in the UK at the moment but if i am outside for more than a minute, literally, I burn so no going out for me!

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Day 104

Wow! Over a hundred days and seeing derm in a few days and will hopefully collect the final month's worth of pills.

Spots are gone apart from the odd tiny one which then disappears quickly. I did get two random ones on each side of my chest - it was weird as that showed me that I now take for granted having no spots on my chest or back at all. No sure what caused them but they're healing now after being squeezing.

Use Vaseline on the lips at least once an hour when awake and continue to moisturise my hands, arms, face and inside nose and use drops for my eyes.

Have been meaning to say for months that when I’m 'relieving myself' on the toilet (sitting down) I often feel constipated and there seems to be blood from time to time. I will ask my derm about that and also about how to get ride of this spot between my nose and cheek that I always mention on in my posts - injection or something?!

Keep on trucking and good luck

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Day 111

Went to the dermatologist on Tuesday and picked up my final set of tablets. Including tomorrow and then the new 4 weeks worth I have 29 days to go, so finish on day 140.

Derm seemed happy, only one single spot on my back and none on my chest. No spots on my face except the mark/small bump between my cheek and nose - derm said to leave it until the treatment is finished. Probably makes sense as I heal so slowly on the tane.

Same as always, in order of frequency; vaseline on lips, e45 on hands/arms, eucerin on face, eye drops from time to time.

I am looking forward to finishing the course and really hoping to keep the spots gone.

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Thought it might be useful to others, particularly in the UK, if I showed the products I actually use to help manage the impact of tane on my body! This is just what worked for me and you’ll have to see what works for you:

Eucerin Replenishing Face Cream 5% Urea – Stopped a lot of the facial dryness and didn’t break me out. You might need to reapply a few times during the day and definitely after a swim/shower. Can make you look a bit shiny though.

TOP TIP: Once you’ve applied to your face and it’s dried in, if you know you have areas that become dry/flake quickly then put another layer on these areas – a second coat if you like.

E45 Body Lotion Pump – On the hands and arms; useful as the treatment continues and you get red dots/rashes/dryness running up your arms. I found this worked well on the arms but not on the face (it broke me out on the face).

TOP TIP: When you become dry you may want to put loads of this stuff on but the best way I have found is to use enough to cover the area and to then repeat several times in one day.

Vaseline Lip Therapy with Aloe Vera – I didn’t try too many products as this worked and when the other products didn’t my lips suffered. Literally don’t go anywhere without it!

TOP TIP: As Vaseline traps moisture, wet your lips a little first and then use – seems to last longer.

Hypromellose Eye Drops B.P. (Hypromellose 0.3% w/v) – Used these when my eyes were irritated, mainly when moving into a different climate like in and out of an air conditioned office. They helped but gave my eyes a quite red look.

Picture attached.



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