I've had acne since I was a teenager, I'm now 37...
14 Oct 2013
3 months post
I've had acne since I was a teenager, I'm now 37 years old. I've tried every medication out there. Minocyline worked great for about 5 years but as with any antibiotic I grew resistant and the side effects caught up to me. So there I was breaking out again with giant cyst like acne all over my face. It has been worse in my thirties then teen years. My dermo finally put me on Accutane or the generic version allowed in the U.S. In July 2013. The first two months are BRUTAL. Very dry and itchy skin, scalp and the lips are the worse- this starts the first week so be prepared. Invest in some good lotion with sunscreen. You are gonna need it. Your skin will be so sensitive that any exposure to the sun will give you a sun burn or make your skin dryer. At night I would put olive oil on my scalp and used a deep conditioner as often as possible. Also buy several lip balms. Spend a little extra and get the good ones. Aquaphor lip repair is about 5 bucks but the only thing that has worked well for me. Trust me. You'll need to reapply at least every 15 minutes during the day so make sure you keep several of these around. You'll forget your cell phone before you forget your lip balm- that's how bad it gets. Also my acne flared up worse then ever in my life. For those of you with oily skin, who feared to put lotion on your face because of a potential break out. Well fear no more. You'll want to lather your skin with lotion. Your face will change textures fairly quickly. For girls- make up will last all day. Seriously! It's crazy. But you will continue to break out for the first two or three months. Face washing is tricky. Don't use scrubs, it will burn. I've used a mild foam and cream cleaner. I get a wash cloth and gentle rubbed my make up off with the warm wet wash cloth. I also use this method to rub off the dry skin on my lips. Its very soothing. I became very discouraged during the first two months.. .BUT my doctor was very encouraging and so were the blogs and posts I would read online. By my third month the cysts were rare. I had maybe one or two at the most. My skin was becoming softer and the texture was so smooth. Lips still get dry but not as frequently. Skin and scalp are still sensitive but not as bad as they were (hint: Benedryl also helps when your skin and scalp are too itchy during those first couple of months). This is definitely a challenge. The side effects are annoying plus I'm required to see my dermo every two weeks AND get blood work every two weeks. Also this affects your liver and cholesterol levels so you need to be very careful with alcohol consumption and fatty foods. My dermo injected my cysts every two weeks so that they wouldn't leave a scar so my treatment was a little more expensive then most but 100% worth it. I'm on my fourth month and have about one or two more to go. They say the dryness will completely go away after I'm done with the treatment. I wish I would have done this years ago. Acne has affected my self esteem so much but I'm happy to say that I am finally feeling in control of the situation. Good luck if you are starting this treatment or currently in it. Don't give up, remember it will get worse before it gets better ... but it WILL get better.
21 Apr 2014
9 months post
I completed 4 months of accutane and have remained acne free. The worst part was some hair loss that last month. This was more paranoia then anything. It stopped falling out about a month after I stopped the medication and I honestly feel it is growing back and overall getting back to its original thickness. Don't give up people. This might not work for everyone but when it works it really works!!! Good Luck :)
Hair loss Returned!
One Year after completing a 4 month treatment I am still acne free! I will get an occasional pimple but rare. The only lingering concern is hair loss and thinning. It stopped falling out significantly after I stopped the medication but thinning continued sporadically. I'm taking zinc, vit C, biotin...and using aloe vera and coconut oil in my hair. It's frustrating but I'm dealing with it. Right now I don't regret taking the accutane. My face looks amazing compared to a year ago. I'm praying my hair will survive. Keep this in mind as a potential permanent side effect.