Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Accutane Debate

I have been dealing with acne since the age of 17. Though it didn't hit me until my late teens, I've had persistent acne ever since. After visiting a dermatologist in my first year of Uni, I was presented with two options: a three month course of antibiotics or a course of Accutane. Being the person I am who likes to avoid prescription drugs if at all possible, I decided to take matters into my own hands and start buying good quality skin care catered to my skin type in the hopes for a clear complexion. 6 years later, and I'm still in the same boat. Cystic acne to the cheeks, uneven skin texture from scarring and boat loads of concealer have been a part of my life for too long. I think I've finally given up hope that a good skin care regime will be my saving grace. 

I've finally reached the point where I realized that my efforts are not enough. After careful consideration and research, I've made the decision to go on Accutane. Accutane, or Isotreninoin is an oral medication used to treat moderate to severe acne on the face which may also be present on back and chest. As a nurse, I'm aware of the harmful effects that Accutane can have on the body. Such harmful side effects (liver damage, depression, etc) are rare and unlikely to occur in a healthy individual. I know a few friends who have went on Accutane in the past and who swear by it for keeping their skin perfect ever since. I really want perfect skin and most of all, I want to enjoy some authentic no makeup days without feeling embarrassed about blemishes. I've read that most people go on a course of 16-20 weeks taking the medication, with most people not requiring further medication after the first round. After 6 years of crappy skin, I feel like 6 months of dry uncomfortable skin would be more than worth an end to my adult acne. 

A part of me feels like I have given up and yet I feel ready to try something new in the hopes of achieving the clear complexion I've always strived for. I would like to hear more of your experiences on Accutane, if it worked for you and how you found the treatment itself? 

Have you tried Accutane (Isotreninoin)? Please let me know about your experiences, good and bad.

Thanks for reading. 


  1. I haven't tried Accutane (yet), but my acne has gotten pretty bad that I'm seriously thinking about it. I know a lot of stories of people's acne getting a lot worse before it gets better and that scares me. The only other thing that scares me more about it is that some people even fall into depression. One of my psych professors would tell us that she would get a lot of patients with depression that was induced by Accutane and warned us to have at least the number of a reliable psychologist or psychiatrist. It is also not super common like the other side effects, but I'm still worried about it.

    I wish you luck with it, though! My adult acne is worse than my teenage acne and so I understand the struggle.

    1. I've heard some horror stories about depression as a side effect! Very scary but I don't personally know anyone who experienced it while taking Accutane. But like with all drugs, there's always that risk of unpleasant side effects. I'm hoping I don't experience those problems! And thanks so much for the support, I really think that people don't fully get it until they are dealt with acne themselves. I'll keep you posted on my progress, I'm patiently waiting for my upcoming dermatologist appointment. Thanks again for commenting Hao! xo

  2. I've never tried Accutane myself, but I can say that my cousin did use it. I was very against it because of all the horror stories I had heard about it in the past and he was also concerned about them. He told his doctor about it and the doctor agreed and decided that biweekly blood tests would be taken to make sure that the Accutane wasn't harming him. Everything went okay for him the only thing he really complained about was the extreme dryness, especially his lips. He swore by the Eucerin line (the lotions and the lip balm)! His skin is amazing now and he's very happy!
    I hope this helps you a bit and I wish you luck! :)

    1. Hey Stephanie! Everyone I have spoken with has also told me that dryness around their mouth and nose was the biggest issue. I'm definitely more than willing to deal with that if it means having nice skin, haha. The one good thing about taking Accutane is that even though there is a risk for side effects, you are closely monitored by a GP with the blood work. Thanks so much for the tip about the Eucerin, I will definitely pick some up (assuming this can be found at Shoppers?)! Also thanks so much for commenting and sharing your cousin's experience, I hope I have the same good results. xo