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Some Tips I've Learned While Being On Accutane For 6 Months

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Hello all,

I know when I first started Accutane I had a lot of questions on how to take care a lot of the side effects of this drug. Here's what I've learned in the 6 months I've been on it.

1) Skin during initial breakout period:

During the initial breakout period it will suck. There is nothing you can do to get around this as the drug pushes all the crap that's built up inside your pores. All I can tell you don't over wash your face because you think it's because your face is dirty and oily. You're just going to make it worse. Don't pick at the zits, you'll just make them way way worse (been there, done that).

2) Skin throughout the course - here's some tips on taking care of your really fragile skin:

  • Peeling skin

I've come up with this routine on how to take care of the nasty peeling skin which may occur during the course of this treatment:


* Apply Eucerin Intensive Repair lotion generously to your face and neck. Literally coat every inch of your face and the front and sides of your neck.


While on Accutane, I've literally had to wake up an hour earlier before when I had to be somewhere due to having to take care of my face. Here's some tips on how to stop your skin from peeling throughout the day.

* As soon as you wake up put on a light coat of Eucerin Skin Calming lotion. Allow it to soak in for approximately 20 minutes.

* After the Skin Calming lotion has soaked in, apply a light coat of Aveeno Daily Motorizing w/sunscreen lotion. This not only is not greasy but keeps your skin moisturized for hours, prevents the peeling and offers some level of sun protection. Make sure you apply this to the sides and back of your neck and ears.

-Throughout the day

*You may notice certain areas of your skin starting to crack or peel during the day. To combat this I carry a small trial size Eucerin Skin Calming lotion bottle in my pocket and apply it where the peeling is occurring. NEVER try to remove the peeling dead skin without first applying the lotion first and allowing it to soak in for a few minutes. After it soaks in, you should be able to lightly rub the peeling area and remove the dead skin.

3) Lips

Lips are a huge pain in the butt while on Accutane. They are constantly dry, peeling and red. There's really no way to get around the redness but here are some tips on how to combat the dryness and peeling.


* Apply a coat of Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment. Allow this to soak in for approximately 5 minutes. This may cause tingling and a slight burn which is not uncomfortable but just be aware of it.

* Generously apply Eucerin Aquaphor all over your lips and the sides of your mouth where your upper and lower lips meet. This will prevent the cracking/dryness on your lips and corners of your mouth.


I hate having the dead skin on my lips so while I'm in the shower for approximately 5-10 minutes I lightly rub my lips to remove the dead skin. Note that this is probably not good for your lips and you shouldn't do it but I can't have that skin hanging from my lips so I'll take my chances. This will also cause your lips to be more red than normal but I'll take that over the dead skin.

* As soon as I'm done with my daily morning (or nightly shower due to working nights) shower I immediately put a light coat of Aquaphor on my lips and in the corners of my mouth. This stops the burning on my lips and starts moisturizing them for the day. If you're a guy, you'll just have to get over the fact that it may look like your lips are slightly shiny. It sucks but it's part of being on Accutane. Just remember it's only temporary.

Throughout the day-

Your lips WILL become dry throughout the day. You just need to learn to recognize when you feel them becoming dry to be able to treat them before the dryness turns into cracking/peeling.

* If you start to feel your lips becoming dry, I apply a light coat of Dr. Dans Cortibalm (you can buy it on Amazon and skip the trip to the pharmacy). Don't over coat your lips with this stuff or it will never soak in.

* If the Cortibalm isn't working, re-apply a light coat of Aquaphor to your lips.

* If you start to feel dryness on the corners of your mouth, apply a small dab of Aquaphor to where your lips meet to approximately a 1/4 inch out to your cheeks. It's almost not noticeable and will stop the burning and cracking.


Shaving incorrectly will lead to more acne, dry skin, red marks, and frustration. Believe me, this advice is all by trial and error. I've literally spent $400 trying to figure out the right combo on how to shave with the least issues.


If you work somewhere where you have to pretty much have to shave on a daily basis, here's what I've found to work.

1) If your beard has a few days of growth:

Instead of using shaving cream, use this stuff called Shave Secret. It works wonders. Use a single/double blade razor (I use the the Gillette Trac II Plus) and lightly go over the beard, washing the blade with hot water often throughout the shave. Always make sure to shave with the grain.

Never use a blade for more than 2-3 shaves and always wash the blade before use with alcohol or blade cleaning solution.

After you're done shaving, dry your face with a clean towel and follow the daily instructions for moisturizing your skin above.

2) If your face only needs to be shaved to remove stubble

Buy yourself a really good electric shaver. I use the Braun 790cc-4. I bought this shaver because if it's shining reviews, its ability to self clean and wet shave.

* Make sure your shaver is clean/sanitized and free of any past stubble. Apply Shave Secret to your face and allow the tingling to set it (follow the directions on the bottle). Wet the head of the shaver with hot water, and lightly press the shaver against your skin. Make sure you wash the head of the shaver off with hot water (turn the shaver off before you run it under the sink) every 2-3 strokes This means you will literally have to change directions 10 times when shaving your face. Always shave against the grain.

After you're done shaving, dry your face with a clean towel and follow the daily instructions for moisturizing your skin above.

** If you get really bad razor bumps/ingrown hairs like I do, apply a light coat of Bump Patrol Maximum Strength to your face. Despite thinking this will dry out your skin even more, it's been the opposite for me.

** If after shaving the next day you start to notice any red marks around hair follicles, use tweezers to pull the hair out. The follicle is infected and inflamed. Removing the hair will stop a zit from forming. Make sure you don't dig around in the follicle to try and pull the hair out. If it's not sticking out, you're going to cause more damage to your skin and it's not worth it.

Well that's all I've got. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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Awesome advice! I just began my course! I'm on day 4!! And I was wondering what to use when shaving I haven't started feeling anything just yet. Did you end up clearing up? How much were you on?

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I'm just finishing my last 5 days. I started with moderate acne on my nose and cheeks. I still get the occasional zit on my cheeks right now but I think that's due to the sensitive skin and shaving. I didn't have to shave last week and didn't have any acne on my face.

I'd say it's working.

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That's good to hear I'm on day 5 we are on opposite ends of the spectrum here haha so far I'm noticing my lips are getting kinda drier but my face is still oily and maybe oiler in a long time. I had a Pimple under my ear last night noticed it this morning and by days end when I looked at it again it was gone!!! It felt all dry and shriveled up and I didn't even touch it! So I think that's a sign as well as I'm having some breakouts in my arms and back glad to hear it's worked for you

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Yea, at first the pimples heal quickly but as your course continues your skin will become more sensitive and fragile which will cause zits and cuts to heal slower.

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