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Oral isotretinoin more than a decade ago: works but there is a price to pay

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I had severe cystic acne with risk of scarring, condition aggravated by eczema and insanely oily skin.

Diet and other medications didn't work so the dermatologist put me on oral isotretinoin after years of troubles and strong emotional distress due to condition.

Even go to bed and wake up was a nightmare due to the skin reactions.

Start oral isotretinoin at 16 yo: 6 months at 40 mg/day (0,7692 mg/kg/day).

Short story: no particular sides effects during the therapy (only typical cracked lips and flare up at first) and in fact this period was one of the happiest of my life (relationships, social life, good performance in high school due to reduction in stress). 

My skin and my hair was literally amazing: I embraced the typical emo hair without wash or use an hair straightener.

My hair grew insanely long and shining without sebum.

After the regular end of the treatment everything was fine (skin returned oily but no more pimples or breakouts, eczema still here but manageable, hair still awesome but now a bit oily).

I spent my last teenager years very well and I finished high school with very good performance.

But troubles started in early twenties: inexplicable depression, anxiety, agoraphobia, low libido, erectile dysfunction, cognitive impairment, memory disorders, lack of ambition, eye floaters, photophobia, blurred vision, pili torti (occipital and temporal areas), thinning hair (now I'm completely bald).

At first merely mental and sexual issues, then...

A couple of years after I started to experience low back pain and severe lombalgy resulted in herniated disk so I had to go under surgical intervention (diagnosed with degenerative disk disease).

My bowel habits changed dramatically, I'm now constipated all the time and full of gas everyday.

Blood exams are all fine, markers of inflammation were never found.

Today I'm 27 and I'm just a shadow of my former self but my skin is perfect.

It's definitely a life-changing drug.


In conclusion: oral isotretinoin worth the risk? It's no coincidence that it's called the drug of last resort.

If you are a parent in search of an answer to relief the emotional distress of your son/daughter, I can tell you that oral isotretinoin worth the risk especially in the short term.

Adolescence is a very critical age and further stress is no recommended, teenage body dysmorphic disorder and social pressure are huge weights.

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