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nick :)

People Starting Accutane -- How To Survive 'tane!

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If you're looking for dosage information, etc. I suggest looking somewhere else: but here is my guide to surviving 'tane, broken into 4 categories:

1) Face

2) Dryness (Body, etc.)

3) Body Ache/Pain

4) Anything else


Don't use ANYTHING besides lotion on your face (that's drying or acne medication)...especially after the two week mark!

In the first month, my face wasn't too dry. But this is for one reason: consistent moisturizing day and night with Cetaphil Lotion. It's cheap, maybe ~$4, and it will last you the whole course. I pump about 3/4 of a pump and apply it on every inch of my face GENTLY. If you feel like that lotion makes you greasy, I recommend Aveeno Ultra-Calming SPF-15 moisturize in the mornings. At least use the Cetaphil lotion at night though -- it's amazing.

Also, I started off washing my face with Cetaphil Cleanser (thicker) or Focus Cleanser (soapier--lather-able), Focus I found to be more drying, but they're both the same price. I used it day & night. By month 2, my face was starting to get so red from irritation and thinning that I gave up cleansing altogether. Today, though, I have clear skin, and my face isn't NEARLY so red.

By month 3, I would say just rinse your face in the shower (I still use hot water), and then when you get out, moisturize thoroughly. Keep doing this until month 5.

Don't pick at it. Don't pick at anything. Your face is going to be so thin that if you pick at it, it will leave some type of mark. Trust me. I've done it multiple times -- and baby your face. My friend accidentally had his finger pointing at me, I stood up, and it ripped off a bit of skin. I still have a mark. Don't wax, don't scratch, don't pick!


I cannot tell you how much I love Dove Deep Moisturizing Body Wash! I haven't had a single dry patch or irritated mark since I started using it. It feels sooo good. And as for flakes/dandruff, Head & Shoulders 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner along with ANOTHER conditioner (preferably a deep moisture one), goes a long way. I switch from normal deep-moisture shampoo to H&S every other day.

Nose--Vaseline & Humidifier. I had horrible nosebleeds. I started putting vaseline on a Q-Tip and rubbing it in my nostril GENTLY, and then put on a humidifier, and oh my god. It helped so much. I never had a nosebleed or dry nose after that!!!

Lips--Literally any lib balm will do. I love Carmax!!! I am noticing that as I draw closer to the end, my lips aren't as dry!

Occasional Dry Patches--Vaseline!! So amazing. Just keep rubbing it on dry patches, and SCABS! Any scratches you get, rub in vaseline, and it will help not leave a mark. It sure did for me!

Eyes--Get eye drops--very simple!

Rectum, etc... -- This is awkward, but definitely worth mentioning. Accutane dries out EVERTHING...including your butt.. I know it's gross, but if you ever wipe a bit of blood because your skin is so thin, start putting vaseline "down there" to heal. It will help, trust me.. (But if you see blood in your feces or in the actual toilet, you NEED to tell your doctor!!!)

3) Body Ache/Pain

Not to be confused with organ/deep pain. I have experienced achey pain or just pain in these places: ribs, lower back, ankles, knees, etc. These all come and go, and I've checked with my doc -- they're normal. Right now, I have rib & shoulder blade pain. I was actually off of accutane for a week and all of my pain/side effects went away altogether. (I am almost done with my fourth month)

Ibuprofen helps a lot, and I've done a lot of research, and this seems like the safest pain-killer to take on accutane! Don't overuse it though. I rarely ever use it, only if I get headaches. The headaches are rare. I know I got them a few times in month 1 and I could attribute it to accutane. Now, however, I get them sparingly and I can't really link it to accutane; too many lurking variables.

4) Anything Else

--Water, water, water.. I am not taking anything besides accutane (pill-wise). I only drink water. Water will help get rid of toxins, and it's just the best thing ever anyway biggrin.png You neeeed to drink it on accutane. And a lot of it.

--Be patient. I didn't see results until the end of month 3

--I had some sensitivity to light--seems to be going away

--I am tired a LOT. It makes me exhausted...but when I was off for that week, I felt a lot better.

--I did flush occasionally (went away), and I have noticed increased in sweating (drysol - a prescription drug - helps)

--Put on a ton of lotion after shaving...! It will help with the extra irritation

--Ask your parents to buy Vaseline (if that's who you're dependent on lol). It will help in so many ways... even in awkward areas that you won't want to mention to your parents lol. I have already gone through a whole tube. I have used it for countless things, and when my lips were too dry to comfortably put on lib balm, vaseline would help a ton.

--Don't freak out. If any complications come up, just call your doc. I freak out a lot when it comes to my health & jump to conclusions, but I've learned to stop doing that!

--My liver count was elevated. It should go back down when I finish my course very soon.

--Keep in mind that long-term side effects are RARE.

Common side effects I haven't had:

-Hair loss

-Respiratory tract infection


-Voice changes


-Changes in menstrual flow!!! lol!

Edited by nick :)
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Hello! I'm starting Accutane in a month and this really helps, so thank you. Just two quick questions: how many mgs do you take and at what point (weeks, months) during your treatment did you stop getting oily. My derm is putting me on 80 mgs a day so I just want to compare and I want to be dry (i.e. not oily) as soon as possible! lol Thanks!

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Thank you for this! I'm on my 17th night of accutane (so precise lol)--and so far , so good. MY lower back has been K I L L I N G me and i'm thirsty all the time. Besides that, my elbows are disgustingly dry (never have been EVER!!)--- but my face is clearing up, so it's so EXCITING!!!!

The aveeno SPF 15 lotion is amazing, I've been using it every morning and it's great. and you're right; Vaseline is perfect!

-- sorry about the exclamation marks, apparently people don't like that here =/.

Edited by Tasnia
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soo true about no picking. it WILL scar, no matter how gentle u are or how small the pimple. i learned that the hard way.

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