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LOTS of Side Effects but Totally Worth It! - Raleigh, NC

I have had mild to severe acne on my face, chest,...

I have had mild to severe acne on my face, chest, back and shoulders since I was in 4th grade and now I am a senior. Growing up with acne lowered my self-confidence a great deal and discouraged me from wearing tank tops, scoop neck shirts,dresses that didn't cover me well, and the like; I even hid my face with my hair as best as I could. I tried everything to make the acne go away from topical creams, benzoyl, various types of pills including birth control, proactive, neutrogena, etc. NONE of them worked! Then I heard about Accutane from a client of my sister's who successfully tried it and I decided to give it a try myself. Now I am on my sixth month and I only wished I had tried it sooner! I wished I had taken pictures to show people my vast improvement but I was too ashamed to take pictures before. :(
However, everyone should know there are MANY side effects to this medicine that you may or may not get. I experienced quite a few but I got over it. These are my experiences and MY solutions:

PROS:
My skin is clearer and less oily

CONS:
- VERY VERY chapped lips to the point that they were peeling, blistering, and hurting ( This was probably one of the worse side effects for me)
Solution: Aquaphor; If you slather this on your lips every night and a few times during the day it is like you never had chapped lips!
- Dry, patchy skin on my arms
Solution: Lubriderm lotion; put it on every night and after you take a shower for a few days and then your skin is back to normal! (possibly softer)
-Mild back pain during my 3rd month it got fairly painful sometimes but I got through it
Solution: None :( Just persevered.
-Nosebleeds for about a month due to dry nostrils
Solution: Mine just went away but the doctor said to dab a Q-tip in Aquaphor vaseline and lightly stick it up your nose for a bit.
-Irritability, mood swings, and possibly depression; I got mad sometimes over the littlest things and I say possibly to depression because I was brooding alot but nothing I couldn't handle.
Solution: None really, just knowing that it was the pill making me feel this way helped me fight the depression, however small.
- Joint aches, I had short, sharp burst of pain in my leg and wrist joints sometimes but nothing I couldn't handle because I got similar, but not the same, kind of pain from work.
Solution: None really, just pause, let the pain subside and get back to work.
- Slight decrease in hearing and a ringing in my ear for a few days.
Solution: It only lasted for a couple days so while annoying it wasn't serious.
-As a girl it is a hassle because you have to vist the doctor monthly to get blood work done, a pregnancy test because YOU SHOULD NOT GET PREGNANT, register into the ipledge program online answering questions to ensure you understand the dangers of getting pregnant while on this medication, and to get another prescription on the medication. This was awful since I lived a hour and a half away.
Solution: Sadly none.
Nonetheless, even after all these side effects I would do it all over again because now I am not afraid to tie up my hair and show my face or wear strapless dresses. I'm not always worrying about my acne and how my face looks. People say it's not what's on the outside but what's on the inside but they don't know how have acne makes one feel. Everyone wants to be able to feel good about themselves and for me accutane has helped me do that. Although I warn anyone who is taking the medicine that though you should try to get over the side effects if you ever suspect anything serious happening to your body stop taking accutane and contact your doctor. Good luck!

3 Comments

Wow, 4th grade is so young to start having to deal with acne. :( I'm so glad that the Accutane helped!!

Thank you for writing such a great review. I love how you wrote out the side effects, and offered possible solutions - so helpful!!

So you mentioned you are at the 6 month mark. Are you still on it at this point?

  • Reply
I just started my sixth month and I know that a lot of people taking accutane suffer from similar side effects so I wanted to share my solutions to help them out.
Name not provided

He was very nice and took care to answer any concerns I had in a timely manner. The visits were a bit expensive but worth it.

4 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
3 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
3 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
4 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
3 out of 5 stars Payment process
3 out of 5 stars Wait times
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