Jump to content
Search In
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Recommended Posts

Hello my fellow acne sufferers!

I'm new to this site, so I will first share a little bit about myself :) My name is Sarah, I am 25, I live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and I have suffered with acne since I was about 12 years old. The whole "awkward high school acne" thing was not so bad for me since most of my peers shared the same problem, but when I surpassed the awkward hormonal stage and my acne wasn't gone, it started to get pretty annoying. I have always had the surface pimples and then the cysts came as time went on. My skin type is INCREDIBLY oily, and it doesn't just limit itself to the t-zone...it's oily ALL OVER, ALL THE TIME. I would wash my face (have used a variety of different types of cleansers), and 10 minutes later it's shiny and oily again. My acne actually got worse in the last few years, and the cysts became much more common and much larger. I believe the worsening was stress-induced as I moved away from home, began living completely by myself, and started working on a biomedical science degree while working full-time hours at a coffee shop. It's embarrassing to be an adult and still have this problem. I haven't gone out in public without makeup in YEARS, and the last time I did, it probably wasn't by choice. My self-esteem has dramatically dropped since my skin started to get worse, and though I have always understood that beauty lies deeper than the surface of your skin, I have come to learn that some people may not take you as seriously when you are a grown adult with giant, red, inflamed mountains all over your face. I'm sure many of you have the same feeling sometimes when you do everything you can to take good care of your skin, but there is absolutely nothing you can do to get rid of your adult acne problem.

As far as what I've tried...the list is incredibly long. Let's just say I've tried everything you can buy over-the-counter. I have also tried doing glycolic acid peels up to 40% (I am a science major and very aware of the effects and strength of various concentrations of glycolic acid, so I knew what to expect), vitamins, acne products (Proactiv, etc.), high-end acne treatments, antibiotics, prescription creams (Retin-A, Epiduo, Tazorac, etc.), salon facials, and good old fashioned picking and scrubbing (I don't recommend this!!).

In January 2013, my fiance proposed to me and we will be getting married this summer on August 2nd, 2014 I am so super excited and can't wait for our big day, but I also know that I will probably be spending most of the day worrying about my messed up skin and will be frequently running to the bathroom to reapply makeup that has melted off from the constant greasiness. I started trying some different acne treatments prescribed by my family doctor, but after seeing no results from any of them, he suggested I see a dermatologist and ask about Accutane. At this point, I was absolutely desperate to find something that worked. I scheduled an appointment with one of the best dermatologists in GR (according to many reviews), and she said I would be a great candidate for Accutane and feels confident that this will help clear up my skin before our wedding. I had to wait a while to get an appointment because they were so booked, and then had to wait another month for iPledge to give their okay. I would have loved to start treatment earlier, but it just didn't work out that way

I began treatment on April 4th at 40 mg/day. At my one month appointment, my dermatologist raised my dose to 60 mg/day and that is where I am at now! As for side effects, I have pretty much everything that is expected. Dry skin, dry eyes, dry nose, retinoid dermatitis on my hands (was prescribed a steroid cream for it and it helps a lot!), achy joints...the works. However, these side effects are tolerable and worth it to me if there's a chance my skin will be clear for my wedding! I realize that some people have downright hated their experience on this medication, but as you all know, treatments work differently for different people, and this one seems to be working well for me so far

Products I have been using with successfully: Origins Checks and Balances Cleanser, Origins Drink Up Overnight Mask, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (in the tub), Aquaphor Lip Repair and Protect, Ocean Saline Nasal Spray, Clear Eyes Triple Action Relief, Honest Healing Balm (The Honest Company), EOS Lip Balm, Extra Strength Tylenol, LUSH Massage Bars (for all over body moisture)

Sorry for the novel! Just felt it was necessary to share my experience so far!

One big concern I have at this point is the very uneven skin tone all over my body that started a couple weeks ago due to the medication. I brought my dress in for alterations last weekend and noticed that the red splotchiness is very noticeable next to the ivory color of my dress. Obviously tanning is out of the question. I will not even leave home without sunscreen as both of my parents have had skin cancer multiple times. I am not sure about using sunless tanner or getting a spray tan either since my skin is shedding SO quickly. I'm not really sure if there are any other options to get a uniform skin tone safely while on Accutane...any suggestions?

I would really love to hear from others who have started Accutane therapy with hopes to clear their skin for an important event in their lives! How did it work for you? How aggressive was your treatment? When did you begin to see good results? Has your clear skin lasted since you got off of it?

Thank you, and I hope to post often with updates on my experience! It has been very helpful for me to read other Accutane users' experiences, so I hope this will be helpful to others as well!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im a wedding videographer, I can relate lol. I try and look as good as possible especially when charging what we charge its important to look professional and not like a pubescent teenager. My first 2 months on accutane I had more break outs then usual, my third month i cleared a ton, im on day 90 and my face doesnt have a single pimple, havent in a week..youll be super set by august !

Edited by musicvisuals
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm almost on the exact same schedule as you (I started April 7), so while I can't give you words of wisdom, I sure can relate! I was on 40 mg my first month, now on 60 mg. I know exactly what you mean about oily skin making your makeup melt off. Now that I have normal skin, my makeup isn't completely gone at the end of the day--it looks almost exactly the same! I'm so oily that even 60 mg of Accutane hasn't dried me out yet.

Enjoy your wedding! How wonderful that you don't have to worry about your skin on your special day. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am doing a 7 month course, 40 mg/day the whole time. I was clearing up by around day 45, and totally clear by around day 85. I'm at day 160 or something like that now. No zits in forever. Accutane is really lovely. Best of luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey ! I'm a 22 year old male from the UK. I started my course of roaccutane on April 26th. Initially 20mg for the first two weeks to monitor side effects though I'm currently on 40mg since day 15. I haven't yet really noticed any significant side effects or improvements to my acne. I suppose I don't have anything insightful or helpful to say but I'm also a biomedical science undergraduate student so I thought I'd reply just because of that! Acne has kind of ruined the past 2 years of university for me and I wish I'd started roaccutane much sooner but the past is the past. I'm graduating late July so I hope to have improved enough to feel confident for all the attention I'll be bombarded with by then - I can completely relate to the apprehension of having to go through an important event like your wedding not feeling as great as you could/should.

I hope everything works out for you !


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had extremely oily skin like you and finished an aggressive dose of absorica in February. My oiliness started to come back a month after stopping treatment but it's not as bad as it was before, even now. Your skin will very likely be amazing by august and oil free but there's a chance you'll experience some "Accutane flushing" and have a sunburnt look to your face. That being said It probably wouldn't hurt to try out some self tanners as it may help cover up the flushing in addition to makeup despite your dryness. There's a long lasting one I've used from sephora that is awesome that may be able to withstand your dry shedding skin. I got it as a free sample and often see it as one of their free sample options. It's called vita liberata pHenominal 2-3 week tan mousse. Also I'm not sure if this will help the splotchiness on your arm and other non face parts but the absolute best body moisturizer I found was aveeno eczema therapy cream. It's better than the cetaphil and cera ve body creams I've tried.

Edited by OilyAcneQueen
Link to comment
Share on other sites


This just happens to be my first acne.org post but when I saw your post I had to reply.

I started accutane 20mg a day in the end of March. I am a 19 years old and would say I had moderate - severe acne on my face with surface pimples everywhere, loads of blackheads and usually one or two large under the surface spots at a time. My back was very severe and completely covered and I also had had a major increase in chest pimples.

I noticed extreme drying all over my face causing rashness and irritation even with moisturisers for extremely sensitive skin (la roche posey etc) in the beginning and my lips are literally unbearable they split clean at the edges everyday but other than these symptoms along with possible further aggregation of a pre-existing muscular back issue I have no suffered any severe side effects at all.

NB: Just in regards to tanning for your wedding;

I am not from a sunny climate. Very raining and normally temps are like 12 degrees with clouds in march - june period. However, I wear suncream everyday regardless. I was going to a ball and I decided to get a spray tan around day 30 after being very satisfied with the spray tan results I achieved in that salon previously before accutane. I went through the motions of exfoliating and moisturising in the days before.

I got the spray tan at approx 6:30 pm I felt perfectly fine that night. Went to bed and woke up around 4:30 am with the most horrendous allergic reaction. I had to have a shower immediately. My entire chest, neck, two strips over my shoulder and my face were red, lumpy, hot and extremely itchy. I took an antihistamine (which had no effect) and after about 2 hours of extreme discomfort I fell asleep.

I went to the doctor at 8am the next day as I did not have an appointment so I needed to be seen before others arrived. She was very very shocked at the rash (which was actually far more "angry" looking than in the photo attached). She immediately rang my dermatologist and he said I had to stop accutane until the rash had gone away. I prescribed 6 steroid tablets and a antihistamine to take all together that day and told to reduce the steroid dose 6,5,4,3,2,1 in the following days and take 1 antihistamine a day. I was also given a steroid cream to apply 4 times a day. Don't forget this was the day before THE biggest event in my university calendar which cost 80 for a ticket and I had spent so much on getting the tan, an outfit etc.

The rash went down considerably by the evening of the 2nd day and 13 steroids 2 antihistamines and many applications of the steroid cream later. It took approx 5 days to go down fully.

When I went back to my derm for my monthly about 2 weeks after the rash he said its extremely rare for that to happen (Last 10 years he has only seen 1 other person have a roaccutane/ tan reaction). But he also said it can happen because of the active ingredient in fake tan (maybe he said something about vitamin D).

The reason I am saying this is just to advise that if you are going to get a tan of any sorts make sure you have a test run and make sure they use the exact same brand of tan when you go back for the real thing.

Im sure it would work out fine but just would hate someone to get a rash like that on their big day!

I have attached pictures but they do not do the rash justice. They only show up the red lumpy bits but actually most of my chest was also red. Also not uploading any pics of my face but it was all over and I have no pics of my back.




Edited by amordub
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Personalized Advice Quiz - All of Acne.org in just a few minutes