7 posts in this topic

This is my first post on this site, so forgive me for any embarrassing newbie actions smile.png

Well, today I reached the 7 week mark on isotretinoin, and I hate to be so negative but I've never been more miserable. My face is a mess of massive, open, infected (we're talking a kind of green film over the marks that keeps replenishing) spots that keep randomly bleeding and that no makeup has a chance of covering. I'm 99% sure it wasn't this bad before I started the isotretinoin!

I guess I decided to join this site because it's hard to be positive when my face looks like this. I'm so lucky I'm not at college at the moment because it would've made a massive dent in my absence record! I've cancelled three social events which isn't much fun over the christmas period, and I guess I just needed a bit of motivation and a hint from perhaps previous accutane users of anything that is safe to use with the accutane that might clear these up more quickly?

I'm aware that you're meant to just let the accutane get on with it, but I can't go on like this! So is there anything natural and topical that might clear up the infection and the redness quicker? If it's of any interest, I've been told by my GP that I have more bacteria on my skin surface than most people, which is why the minute any wound opens, it's instantly infected! I've honestly tried to stop digging my nails in and tried to just leave them, but I either knock or prod them in my sleep because they seem to bleed awfully easily.

So, not great right now. If it's required by anyone I'm on 50mg a day, though my first month was on 40mg.

Thanks, and sorry if I've posted this in the wrong place or it's too long or anything I'm not used to about this site yet smile.png

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I would not cancel social events just because you have infected acne. If they are really your friends they won't care.

It's more like festive parties and stuff so there'll be plenty of people I don't know. I can probably cover them fairly well, but it's the pain of removing the makeup after! But thank you, deep down I know it's probably not the best thing to do.

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Hi xlaurra

I’m almost at the end of my isotretinoin course, and I experienced that my acne started clearing already after a few weeks. I guess it’s individually how well people metabolize the medication, and a bad metabolism combined with your excessive amounts of bacteria, might be the reason why you don’t see any improvement yet. Do you experience the symptoms with dry skin and lips? If you don’t you might want to discuss with your dermatologist if your body might have problems absorbing the medication sufficient enough.

If I were you I would try to use make up as little as possible. I know that it’s probably difficult as a girl, but I think it will just irritate your face, and make the process of healing a lot longer. About the excessive amount of bacteria I would consider to discuss with your dermatologist the possibility of using Benzoyl peroxide, as it kills the acne bacterias. One thing that helped me, when my face started to get very dry, was to use jojoba oil on my face. I experience that my face would be less irritated when using as moisture.

Otherwise I just think you should wait. If you make sure your lips always stay dry, the clearing process will definitely come. I postponed the Accutane treatment for several years because I was afraid of the side effects, and know at the end of it, with none side effects except dry skin, I think it’s the best decision I have ever made.

I hope it's all understandable. English is not my native language

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xlaurra, I would definitely talk to your dermatologist, and see if there is anything that you can use to deal with the infection issue, even maybe a non-tetracycline antibiotic that would help calm that down. He/She should be able to suggest something.

bumdibum, you did a great job. :)

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Hi bumdibum and PersnickityChick, thank you so much for your replies!

bumdibum- Thank you, I shall give Jojoba oil a try. I have got dry skin and dry lips along with other side effects, so I think I am metabolising the medicine. It's an interesting suggestion though, so I will mention it to my dermatologist. I've been avoiding makeup as much as I can too. Also, I'm very pleased to hear that you've had such good results from your course! Don't worry, your reply was completely understandable, thank you! :)

PersnickityChick- that's good, it's nice to hear there might be ways to clear it up that are safe to use with the isotretinoin. I'll make sure I'm brave enough to mention it to the dermatologist! Thank you :)

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For anyone checking back on this topic, I put honey (just normal honey because that's all I have at the moment, but I've heard manuka honey is excellent) on my face overnight last night which I found suggested on Google. What a transformation! It seemed to draw out a lot of the infection and soften the skin enough for the loose flakes to come off painlessly. During the day, I put some ice on a couple of times, and both of these have contributed to a real decrease in the swelling and the scabs, making them easier to cover for a new year's party tomorrow which I have now accepted the invitation for!

You're likely to have honey in your cupboard already, so it may not be any loss to you to give it a go. And if you don't have an ice maker, I soak cotton pads in cold water and leave them in the fridge, it's pretty similar.

I have no idea if this is conventional or safe while on accutane, but it's made my holidays much brighter so I'll deal with any aftermath another time, and will post back if it makes anything worse. Just remember that I may be talking complete nonsense if you're planning on trying it :)

Good luck everyone!

PS. Honey is very sticky! Make sure you have time for a shower in the morning, especially if you have acne on your temples or forehead because the honey slides rather unattractively into the hair :)

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Hi xlaurra,

Unfortunate your skin is still playing up on accutane. But I have to say be thankful that so far you have no side effects. I'm not here to scare you off it but for some it ruins their lives. It has had a significant impact on my life and others if you look around on the internet. If I could go back in time and not take accutane I would, I would trade anything to do that.

Anyway in regards to your problem, one thing I found prior to 'tane that did in fact improve my diet is a strict ketogenic paleo diet. WAIT now bear with me. I know most people think that diet won't do sh*t. Try it for 2 weeks strict and I promise your skin will look so much better. I actually did it for 2 months a couple years back and after about 10 days or so I barely got any spots. The only reason I didn't continue is because trying to do sports on sub 30g carbohydrates per day is pretty grim.

Also if you haven't tried the regime on this site, I can vouch for its effectiveness. It works.

Also in regards to accutane, don't drink and don't eat much vit A foods.

Although I'll jump in to note that for some this literally is a miracle drug and cures there acne for life with no sides! It's just a point to be made that this drug is in the top 3 for reported side effects of any drug in the world, and that these side effects can occur long after cessation of use and can be persistent (permanent - I hope not), but for some it seems that this is the case).

Edited by Crank92

Do your part to raise awareness:

For new individuals PM'ing me, I will reply IF you report all your side effects to the links below and screenshot each one once you have completed it. PM me with your email and I will message you and you can send the screenshots over with whatever questions you like.

Report side effects to organisations here:


Report side effects to accutane sympathetic MP's here (UK):



I encourage people to copy this signature into their own.

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