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Post in Acne-Prone Skin

does accutane work well?

hey everyone so i obviously have acne prone skin or i would say sever acne in my t zone i am also very oily in my scalp and on my face i have tried a countless amount of products skincare makeup for my acne cheap and expensive!! i am in junior high and have ugly uncoverable embarrising acne!! i have lately heard of a miracle drug acccutane now i know this is a major drug and i want someones point of view of how well it works how long you take it what kind of makeup and skincare do you use while on it or what to eat or how to take care of your skin while on this drug i am also going to meet a dermotologist this week.... also if anyone has gotten permanatly rid of there acne some other way please let me know,i also know it gives sever side affects such as dryness so please anyone who has tried it give me all the details.......

                                                                                    thank you<33 


I want to clarify some of the remarks on here that may be...

I want to clarify some of the remarks on here that may be incorrect. There has been several opinions about it and as a current user, I want to give my personal knowledge and experience for anyone that is considering using it.


Accutane isa vitaminA derivative. In other words, it is basically very large doses of vitamin A (not exactly, but you get the idea). It DOES cause permanent reduction in oil production in your skin as long as it is used for long enough. Sometimes dermatologists only prescribe it for a month or two. That won't do although it may alleviate the acne symptoms for a time. If you don't take it long enough, the acne will simply return eventually.


There are lots and lots of side effects to this medications (more than I would care to go on about) but I will highlight the most common ones as well as the ones that I have experienced.


The first one, of course, is super dry skin, eyes, lips, feet, etc. You can also have blurriness in your vision at night. That stems from eye dryness and the massive doses of vitamin A you are receiving. The other one that doctors don't talk about as much is stiffness and joint pain. I just have noticed that I am a little achy once in a while. I alleviate this a lot by taking my 1000 iu of vitamin E and drinkng lots of water (at least a gallon a day). My lips have yet to actually crack an bleed although they peel a lot.


You must do a blood test every month. That is not to check your liver or kidneys. I have never heard of anything like that. Its a pregnancy test. Maybe other dermatologists test for that but that seems unnecessary to me. You are not putting your organs in harm's way unless you are taking extra vitamin A. That would be dangerous. I am not able to take any multivitamins and avoid vitamin A heavy foods like carrots.


The other one is birth defects. You CANNOT get pregnant if you are on this medication. Period. The defects come out to about 99% of all babies born if their mothers were taking it. You have to register with the ipledge system and your doctor will enter your results after your tests come back, every month. Without those results, the pharmacy won't fill your prescription.


The one side effect I am concerned about that was posted here is depression and suicidal symptoms. It has only been reported a handful of times since the drug was made and can be traced back to a senator whose son committed suicide while on it. Theynow know tht the drug simply doesn't cause all those issues but are still required to post that, just in case. I know several people including myself who have taken that and, if anything, all of us feel better because our skin gets better the longer the medication is used. Your skin tends to get really soft, be dry, and peel a lot. The blemishes you already have heal faster and although you keep getting some they go away really fast. Long about one month on the meds your skin heals completely and then you just need to stay the course so that your skin can be permanently changed. Your skin is VERY fragile at this time. You cannot use any exfoliating on it and you really have to avoid any microdermabrasion or facial treatments. in facts, mosts spas won't even touch you until you have been off of it for at least 6 months because yourskin heals very slowly during this time.


Now on the note of the permanent change. To clarify that, about 70% never have it come back and others will need another round of treatments and still others will stay clear for a while and then it can still return so no, it is not 100% for all people. But most will say that their skin is very good if not relatively flawless although a lot report a pimple or two during their period


This not a medication to take lightly. It is hard on your body and its side effects can be very serious if precautions are not taken. It should only be considered when all other measures in the way of products, treatments and less serious meds have failed. Personally, I have never been so confident in any decision for my skin and I am thankful I was able to receive it and have the skin I have always wanted.  Good luck in your continued search and although I know my answer was lengthy, I hope it has helped some.





Re: I want to clarify some of the remarks on here that may be...

Thanks....I am passionate about it because of my personal experiences although I do want to amend some of the comments. My dermatologist actually started taking my blood also to check my liver health so I want to correct my statements that they don't necessarily do that.

Re: I want to clarify some of the remarks on here that may be...

Thank you for a very intelligent and well written response. I hope the original poster sees your response and makes her decision based on the facts.

I realize I am answering this several months later, but o...

I realize I am answering this several months later, but on the off chance that anyone else considering Accutane reads this, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.


I was on Accutane for 6 months starting my senior year of high school and carrying over into the first months of college. It is an extremely powerful drug with some scary possible side effects. You do have to have blood tests done every month, but that is a small price to pay for clear skin. They will also put you on a birth control pill, regardless of whether you are sexually active, because it will cause severe birth defects.


I feel like a lot of people who haven't really struggled with acne will tell you to avoid this drug at all cost, but I don't think they really understand what it is like to have such bad acne that you hardly want to get out of bed in the morning. If your acne is to this point, then I don't see why you shouldn't talk to your derm about Accutane as an option.  I know from experience that acne can really do a number on your self-esteem. No one should have to feel like that.


Accutane will really dry you out. My derm gave me Cetaphil to wash my face, and some prescription lotion I don't remember the name of. I used Aquaphor for my lips, and usually sealed that with vaseline at night because that really locks in the moisture. My skin got so dry that the skin on my knuckles would crack and bleed, but then I discovered Neutrogena Norweigan Formula hand cream. Its a little greasy, but it really does restore the moisture. Also, make sure you have some lubricating eye drops on hand because your eyes may get dry as well.


Now for my results: my skin cleared up and was pretty decent for several years. It was probably my senior year of college that I started struggling with it again on a more regular basis. Not as bad as it was in high school. Fast-forward to today (one year post-grad) and it is returning to its pre-Accutane state. I have not suffered any long-term side effects, however. My eyes are fine, liver fine, etc. So I don't think that it was a mistake for me to go on Accutane, it just sadly did not have lasting effects. One of my roommates from college took it as well, and her skin has been clear ever since. It varies person-to-person. I will say however, that with my skin back to its natural ugly state, I am going to try to avoid doing a second course of Accutane. Although I did not suffer any lasting side effects, the drug still scares me. Thus if there is anything that I can do to avoid it but still get clear skin, I will take that route. Hope this helps someone.

Ok so right now I am currently on my third month of accut...

Ok so right now I am currently on my third month of accutane, so I thought I'd answer this question. Here is some background information. I am 15 years old and have been seeing a dermatologist for my acne for about a year, and none of the products I've tried have cleared my skin. My dermatologist recommended I try accutane, the acne drug that you are only supposed to take when you have tried many, and I mean many, products that have failed. Now, my dermatologist has taken Accutane herself, and has prescribed it to thousands of people before. She went over all of the side affects, and all of the lawsuits against accutane, which were not completely accurate, I know most of you have probably seen those commercials saying if you get, such and such disease from accutane, you may have a claim or whatever. But most of these diseases or problems you get are problems you have already had before, and taking accutane would just make it worsen. Any illnesses or problems you have currently, no matter how small, could be affected or get worse from taking it. You also have to have a pregnancy test once each month, and one blood test before you first start, because it can also cause serious birth defects.


Anyways, that being said, my skin has improved tremendously in only three months. I BELIEVE THAT ACCUTANE WORKS REALLY WELL. I hardly get acne anymore and my skin is so much softer and clearer. And the main issue with people taking it is dryness. Now in general I have pretty dry skin. My skin has not gotten too dry at all, at least not yet. Definitely my arms, hands, legs, and lips have gotten a little dry, but not that bad. I just be sure to moisturize in the morning and at night, to keep my skin healthy. I use Cetaphil for moisturizer, it works on all skin types, and you can use it all over your body. For my lips I use Aquaphor, it gives instant relief to dry or cracked lips. I still use my regular makeup, foundation, powder, mascara, etc. And my derm said to not use any type of skin products, like face wash, and besides moisturizer, on my face, just to use water. So to take my makeup off I use the face brush from Sephora, and it works amazingly well. It's just like the clarisonic, but you do it by hand, and it's very cheap. And it really exfoliates the skin. This may be helping my skin get clearer too, because I'm getting rid of all of the dead skin cells. I use this once at night to take my makeup off, again after I shower before I moisturize, and once in the morning, just to wash my face; so basically three times a day.


So what it is, is a pretty small sized pill that you take after eating dinner, or a lot of food. You have to drink a full glass of water while taking it and after you can't lie down for 10 minutes. This definitely makes it more effective. And besides dryness, the only other side affect I've experienced is a sore back. I get this weird feeling right when I lie down, like my back is sore and old and it just feels weird. This is completely normal and will go away. Also my skin, mostly my cheeks have become more red, it's nothing bad, they're just a bit discolored and nothing that looks weird or bad. Definitely able to be covered up by makeup. And this will also go away.


Ok, so this may be working really well for me, but anyone should be sure to talk to your dermatologist or doctor, to make sure that accutane is right for you. I am currently supposed to use it for 5 months, because stopping it right when my acne gets clear, will not make it stay away forever, taking it additional moths will ensure that it doesn't come back. And when you finish taking it, I think it was about 70% of the users have not gotten acne ever again after using it. I would say to give it a try, there's nothing to lose if you're handling it correctly. I'll see how it later affects me, but for now I'm loving it!


So I know I wrote way too much, but I wanted to tell all I know about this product because I know that it can make a difference in someone's life. It definitely has in mine! Stay beautiful!


XOXO Alexandra

Re: Ok so right now I am currently on my third month of accut...

Katie, so true... sometimes I think people are just entering a keyword in the search engine and then cutting and pasting info from the description that they find for products they haven't even used. I personally appreciate hearing actual experiences people have had with products.

Re: Ok so right now I am currently on my third month of accut...

@alexandra: I second anaa! What an impressive, articulate and well thought out response! 🙂

Re: Ok so right now I am currently on my third month of accut...

thank you Alexandra for answering a question on a subject/product that you actually have some experience using! So many people just give an opinion on something they think they know about, without having any practical experience. Your advice is so much more useful!

Hi Lex,   Accutane worked really well for me.  You do hav...

Hi Lex,


Accutane worked really well for me.  You do have to get blood work done at least once a month to monitor how the drug affects your kidneys.  Make no mistake, accutane is a powerful drug and is not right for a lot of people.  It may not be a permanent solution to your acne.  For some people the effects can be long lasting and help decrease or eliminate acne after your have stopped taking it, for others, skin goes right back to being prone to acne.  It has been 2 months since I stopped taking it, and my acne is under control, but I still have break outs.  What it helped me with was getting rid of all the under the skin and massive break outs I was having, so it was like starting with a clean slate.  It did not eliminate my acne forever, but it did make it manageable.  A couple of the side effects I noticed were extremely dry lips, to the point of cracking and bleeding all the time no matter what I put on them.  Around my nose was also very dry.  I stopped taking accutane when the sides of my mouth started to split and wouldn't heal because they were so dry (this was about 3.5 months in, you can only take accutane for about 4 months).  This dryness WILL HAPPEN. That is what the drug is formualted to do.  It drastically reduces sebum produced by your body (natural body oil).  There are some other side effects which I DID NOT get, but you should be aware of, which were depression, suicidal thoughts, kidney problems, and blood problems just to name a few.  


If you do choose to try this drug make sure you have a FANTASTIC moisturizer on hand for day time and evening, as well as hydrating, medicated lip balm all the time.  You will need it.  Also, do your research, talk to your doc.  They know best and will direct you.  There are other drugs and topical treatments prescribed by your doc you should try before going on something as heavy duty as accutane.  I went through them all before accutane.  Accutane is no miracle and will not cure you of acne, but it might help. 


I hope this helps you in your decision.

Hello Lex,   Regarding Accutane: Please try other options...

Hello Lex,


Regarding Accutane: Please try other options.  Accutane is a drug which has resulted in patients having liver and kidney problems.  Developing Ulcerative Colitis and IBD.  You also have to have bloodwork done to monitor how your body is processing this medication.  It does interfere with your body's ability to produce oil resulting in dry skin not only on your face but  also on your body including your scalp. The topical form of Accutane is Tazarac which I had a very bad experience with years ago.   I did not know nor was I informed by my dermatologist at the time that it was the topical form of Accutane.  I was seeing the dermatologist for oily and acne-prone skin with hyperpigmetation(post acne marks) issues too. I may had been using the Tazarac for 5 days and what it resulted in was my skin severely peeling off and leaving open sores on my face!!!  Well, let me just say that the covering Doctor at the office and the Office Manager were not happy at all when I HAD TO WALK INTO THE OFFICE SINCE MY DERMATOLOGIST KEPT TELLING ME OVER THE PHONE THAT THE TAZARAC WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DOING THIS TO MY SKIN!!   NOT TRUE...I WAS EXPERIENCING A SEVERE ADVERSE REACTION TO TAZARAC AND WAS TOLD TO STOP USING IT.    It took weeks for the sores on my face to heal and my skin looked worse than when I was put on the medication. 



I have a problem with Doctor/Patient Relationships.    The Doctor's resposibility includes informing the patient about any and all side effects of a drug.  When in doubt, ask the pharmacist.  They are more than happy to give you a complete print out of the medication's information.  Actually, I think now they have to with Accutane.  You may also look up Accutane on the webmd site.


Just as an FYI,  Accutane is not a permanent solution to acne.  It does not cure oily or acne prone skin.   Once you stop using this medication, your skin will return to its normal state. The type of skin you have is usually caused by hormones or it is hereditary.  Acne can be controlled  with the right treatments and skin regimens.  I have found success with using products with salicylic acid and glycolic acid.  A good oil-free moisturizer is essential for healthy skin.  If you strip you skin of all its natural oil it makes it compensate for this loss by producing more oil.  That is why a good oil-free moisturizer will "balance" your skin's oil production.  A few very good skincare lines to try are Mario Badescu Skincare, Origins, Biore, and one called Isomers Skinecare.  Feel free to google these and read up on the products.   Hope this helps you out.    By the way I have been dealing with acne since I was 15.  I am now almost 40 and still have to monitor my skincare.  The difference betrween then and now is that I ask questions.  Pay attention to your body.  Oily foods do contribute to the skins output of oil.  Sugar does also.  Fruit juices can make acne flare up due to the acid in the juice. Red meat is an inflammatory food trigger for problematic skin.    Water is great for flushing out your system and keeping you hydrated.   I hope this helps you out!Smiley Happy  You may e-mail me here at sephora if you wish.






Do NOT go on Accutane. I repeat-stay away. It has been pu...

Do NOT go on Accutane. I repeat-stay away. It has been pulled by the FDA because it causes tons of diseases and cancers. I know people that have been on it and it has caused nothing but troubles, and they all had severly oily/greasy skin. It just dries out your face to the point where even the most hydrating face creams are ineffective. Try Acnetix. It worked wonders on me.

Accutane has some potentially severe side effects, so I w...

Accutane has some potentially severe side effects, so I would recommend discussing Accutane with your doctor at length before considering it as an option.

Good luck! 🙂

It does work well but it is REALLY, REALLY hard on your b...

It does work well but it is REALLY, REALLY hard on your body.  If you could try anything else I would.  I was on it twice for about 3 months each time, and it caused vision impairment for me and consistent stomach problems ever since. 

I would try anything else you could first.  I don't say that lightly either, as I am now 37 and I still have acne - in fact worse acne than I did when I was 15... I wish you luck, and clear skin. 🙂


For certain people, Accutane is the only thing that they...

For certain people, Accutane is the only thing that they can use to control their acne. Talk to your dermatologist to see what options you have for your problem, they really know best which drugs work for which types of acne. It is very powerful and with all the side effects, he/she may find other drugs will work better. 

I have never personally used accutane, but my dermatologi...

I have never personally used accutane, but my dermatologist did not reccomend it to me due to the severe side effects and drying which can cause more blemishes. I have heard better reviews on Isolaz

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