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Is Accutane a fresh start, or a cure for life?

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I have had acne since about a year ago, when I was 18. Until then I had perfect, beautiful skin, and nobody in my family that we know of has really had any acne issues.

Because of this, and because it hit me out of seemingly nowhere, (within one month was full fledged) I always felt like the self-tanning/tinted moisturizers/gels I was slapping on my face carelessly had triggered an allergic reaction. I still feel sometimes like that is what kickstarted my acne and began the problem.

First of all, is that reasonable? Or does that not explain why the acne would continue for an entire year? (Moderate, sometimes severe.)

Secondly, now that I am on Accutane, should I expect that when I am done, I will have altered skin chemistry which will allow me to use products the same as anybody else? Or should I still be careful and use acne-targeted products? I want to be able to use something light like Jergens Daily Glow so that I can get a bit of colour throughout the year.

Overall-- is Accutane a fresh start for your skin, a way of turning back the clock? Or is it a permanent fix that makes your skin more durable and less acne-prone for life? (To explain the latter: it seems that some people can use any products they want on their face and it doesn't cause issues, whether it be moisturizer or tanner or anything.)

I would hate to go back to using products that start the problem all over again. :(

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It seems you're asking two questions, 1. Why did this happen? and 2. How can I stop it from happening again?

#1 I don't think anyone can really tell you that. I had a similar experience to yours, I had mild breakouts, my GP prescribed retin-a, and within 2 weeks I was having moderate/severe breakouts that would not stop for months after I quit using retin-a. When I finally got in to see a dermatologist, he said my breakouts could have been an allergic reaction. Or stress. Or diet. Or hormones. Unfortunately there isn't really a way to tell for certain.

#2 Whether or not accutane is a permanent cure varies from person to person. A lot of people have to take a 2nd or even 3rd course. My sister took accutane 10 years ago and still does not break out to this day (she does not use anti-acne products).

I wish there were set answers for your questions, cause I've asked them myself, but I think you just have to sort of resign yourself to waiting and seeing what happens.

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Thanks for the response.

I will wait and see what other people have to say as well, but I agree-- it's mostly a matter of wait-and-see. I guess it will be pretty easy for me to get an idea of how my skin reacts to products when I am done Accutane. Your sister is lucky-- 10 years later and still good skin. Hehe. I want that.

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Acne can actually attack at any age. It doesn't just affect teenagers or during puberty. Some people who didnt have acne during their teenage years may suddenly find themselves suffering from breakouts in their adulthood.

To answer your question: Nikkia is right, the after effects of accutane varies from person to person. Some people have been permanently cured, some went into remission for many years, some a few months while others it doesn't really help much.

I guess the answer is that its both a fresh start and making you less acne prone. Fresh start because it turns back to clock to where you were once acne-free, however it doesn't mean you can be slack in taking care of your skin. I have been on accutane before and now post-accutane, I still do take care of my skin by doing my normal skincare regimen. It also does make your skin less acne prone because I haven't had any breakouts after accutane. If I did my skincare regimen only without accutane, I would still be breaking out, I know because its my old regimen. Thus accutane makes my skin less acne prone while the regimen maintains the state of its durability.

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