(Closed) Has anyone tried Accutane?

posted 5 years ago in Beauty
Post # 3
Member
2116 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I was on it.

 

It was, I believe, 6-8 months of treatment. The side effects were pure hell. If you think acne looks bad, wait until you have NO body oils… my lips split open on either side, giving me big red circle sores on each side of my mouth. I looked like a clown.

 

My skin was so dry and peely that it made me look like I had a beard made of peeling skin.

 

I slathered on eucerine & aquaphor & vaseline every day and night and walked around with a shiny, peely face and split sore lips.

 

And you have to get blood tests every month to ensure you are not pregnant and that your liver is still functioning properly. You also can’t get pregnant for a while afterwards because it can cause terrible birth defects if you do (severe cleft pallate, low-set or NO ears).

 

It worked for me, but I wouldn’t do it again… many people say that they still get breakouts even after Accutane… and then there are tons of lawsuits going on w/ it messing up your digestive system and all that.

 

Post # 4
Member
1339 posts
Bumble bee

I did it twice only because I took it for 3 months the first time and it worked so well I went off it. 7 years later I did it again. It’s pretty serious stuff but it wasn’t that bad. Dry skin is nothing compared to dealing with cystic acne! My pores never looked better! You just have to keep lotion on and use birth control. Actually I love Accutane. It is a miracle!

Post # 5
Member
7651 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

@inky_1:  <—Her post is all you need to know about Accutane.

I have known several people that were on it when they were in high school and it literally sucks your acne from the outside in. Your skin gets super dry and painful. I’ve heard a lot of bad things regarding how it affects your internal organs as well.

I am sure your dermatologist will prescribe something better and safer.

Post # 6
Member
104 posts
Blushing bee

I would use it absolutely as the LAST resort. Inky_1 is right is very strong and is bad for your liver as well. It gave me awful nosebleeds as well. I went off about as quickly as I started it.

Have you tried any other topical solutions from your dermatologist? Microdermabrasions?

Post # 7
Member
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

i took it and it was the best. decision. EVER. you’re going to get lots of talk about scary side effects: those are important to be educated about, but they are very rare. I only had dry skin and lips, so i bought a heavy moisturizer and lip balm. boom, side effects taken care of.

trust your doctor, talk to him/her about concerns and follow the dosages and directions exactly. remember, you are carefully monitored, blood tests every month. they will pull you off it if there is some sort of adverse reaction.

i took it for 6 months, by month 2 i had fairly clear skin, by month 4 i was going to makeup free, and by 6 months ALL but one scar on my chin were gone. people NEVER believe me when i say i had bad skin, and taking accutane was the best thing i ever did for my sanity, self confidence and skin!

i remember my dermatologist saying basically ‘i can give you weaker meds/new washes/chem peels etc. but you are going to have scarring that will likely require heavy chem peels/botox to ‘fix’…OR, we can do accutane.’ she was super thorough and i trusted her, and she was right! i shudder to think of how many scars and pockmarks i would now have if i had been too afraid of accutane.

Post # 8
Member
605 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2014 - Brazil Room

I wrote about my experience in another Accutane forum, but I thought I’d write here too. Yes, the side effects suck. I was on it for 6 months starting with a somewhat low dose and worked my way up to a medium dose. I had a severe form of cystic acne where my face was covered in plated scabs and would start bleeding randomly. I looked like a monster. My dermatologist went through dozens of other medications first before deciding to finally put me on Accutane.

Sure, the side effects while I was on it sucked. I had to deal with nose bleeds and cracked lips like no one’s business. I’m very active, so I even had a few minor muscle tears because my body was fragile from the meds. The blood tests sucked too and my insurance didn’t cover very much of the treatment for some reason.

Overall I wish I would’ve done it sooner. I felt like a monster for so many years of my life for no reason. Here was this miracle medication that could’ve changed my life and I never knew about it until I had to suffer for years and years. I would absolutely do it again. Hands down. I have had no medical side effects since being off of it and am totally happy.

Post # 9
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I took it for about 5 months.  The doctor finally stopped treatment because my cholesterol shot up to 300+ on my monthly blood tests.  I didn’t have any of the side effects of horribly dry skin, cracked lips, or nose bleeds.  The only one I really had was back pain and that made it very difficult to sleep.  I ended up sleeping on the couch most of the time.  I suffered no lingering effects of the medication.  You do have to have monthly blood tests for liver function and a pregnancy test and you have to be on two forms of birth control. 

I was on it about 18 years ago and had no acne for about 15 years.  About 3 years ago I started getting small breakouts again and had to start back on topical meds.  The dermatologist that prescribed the Accutane told me that might happen so I wasn’t surprised.  Now I use Tazorac every now and then to clear up a breakout but compared to the breakouts I had before the Accutane these are nothing.

Post # 10
Member
2299 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

@megz06:  

@LoveGypsy:  

there are definitely side effects, but my derm explained it this way: most of the people who use accutane and suffer liver damage (i don’t know what other internal organs you’re talking about as I haven’t heard of any issues other than liver) are people who a) should never have been prescribed accutane in the first place due to existing issues that can be exacerbated by accutane b) don’t follow doctor’s orders while on the meds (ie not eating fried/fatty foods etc)

i KNOW that is a generalization, but studies show that those incidences are rare. it’s very important to be informed, and what works for someone (or doesn’t!) may not work for you. but it can be a total miracle for some people, and i’d hate for you to decide ‘no’ because of scary stories. the best thing to do is have an honest discussion with your doctor.

Post # 11
Member
35 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I am currently in the same boat. My wedding is in 8 months and I have been referred to the dermotoligist. I had a course of accutane about 5 years ago and I can only discribe it as a wonder drug!!

 

The only side effects I had was clear skin!oh and dry lips but I made sure I had a hell of a lot of carmex with me.

 

I am hopping to be put back on it when I see the dermo. I have tried many antibiotics and topical treatments and changing to different birth controls for hormone reason. But nothing has worked.

Post # 12
Member
6256 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

I’m on it right now.

It does suck. My lips alternate between fairly chapped to a scabby mess. Think long sheets of skin peeling off the lips every day or every other day.

And it’s made me depressed. Not everyone gets this symptom, and it hasn’t been a suicidal depression, but more of a stay-inside-stare-at-the-ceiling-and-listen-to-the-Lemonheads kind of depressed. It got pretty bad for a minute, and had to have the dose of an antidepressant I was already taking adjusted up. BUT I was already prone to depression, so take that for what it’s worth.

My hair has been more prone to breaknig. It already was, due to me being hypothyriod, but it’s worse now. I’ve gone from washing my hair every other day, every two days at the most, to washing it once a week. It sounds gross to say it out loud, but it’s a lot less gross than having half my hair down past my bra strap and half looking like a rather tragic pixie cut.  I’ve been using a really gentle shampoo and doing mayonnaise treatments and that seems to have stopped the progression of the damage.

Too Much Information Alert: Condoms suck. Fiance and I never really used them because we knew the other was the one, and that we were both clean and I was on the Pill. They have caused a bit of trouble reaching climax, and either the antidepressant or the Tane has caused a bit of inorgasmia for me, as well.

I’m tired a lot, and I have to drink crapton of water. I have had to stop smoking cigarettes, because even though I wasn’t soking much, the risk of lung cancer has been associated with the use of accutane. Now I use an E-Cig. It’s not the same, but I know it is better in the long run. I am not able to drink, and that kind of sucks.

Even given all of these cons, I persevere on this medication. Nothing can put a price on being able to look Fiance in the face without feeling self-conscious.I am glad I wont look like some Edward James Olmos/Faces of Meth horror story at 50. I am glad that between having foundation now be optional and not having to use Duac/Retin-A/Murad everything, there will be many less chemicals in my body in the long run.

Accutane CAN harm your organs, but that’s why they do blood tests every month, and tell you to be very proactive about seeing a specialist if you notice (insert symptom here). There are a lot of horror stories floating around onine, but keep in mind a number of those are from people who ordered their accutane online–sometimes from foreign countries, people who are self-medicating by giving themselves mega-doses of vitamin A (SO DANGEROUS) and by people who are doing it without the benefit of regular blood tests and checkups, whether because their dermatologist is unethical or lazy or they don’t ave a derm at all. Some of them who have done the medicine by the book and have had probblems have taken it for an extended amount of time, or have taken many courses. I am not telling you to discount those stories, but do ask questions.

Just do your research and make an informed decision. It took me a year from when my dermatologist suggested it and I finally pulled the trigger, but even as I sit here peeling my lips like a deranged person, I still wish I had done this ten years ago.

Post # 13
Member
2144 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I took it about 10 years ago and had minimal side effects. It cleared my skin up really well while I was on it and for a while after I got off it. I still get a little bit of acne now, but nothing like I used to. The only side effect I really had was my scalp was always itchy and dry. I had no problem with my lips or face being exessively dry.

Post # 15
Member
6256 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2014

@peachbaby4008:  If you’re going to do it, do it now. You don’t want to be on it while the wedding happens for a number of reasons. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if you were, but your skin might be really tender and you wouldn’t be able to drink or be in the sun for very long. You won’ be able to tan or wax.

Post # 16
Member
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

If it gives you any comfort…I would take it again in a heartbeat if I had really bad breakouts again.  Especially the cysts.  You doctor will counsel you on the drug so don’t be afraid to ask tons of questions.

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