Wto Use Accutane or to Not Use Accutane.. This Is the Question

Updated on August 09, 2011
A.G. asks from Clinton, MA
16 answers

Good evening ladies!!!
OKAY, so I have had acne since I was 12.. in the past 16 years (wow cant believe i am typing that #) my acne has gotten worse, cleared a liitle, became cystic, and now I just feel like I am a bumpy white head, blemish queen! If only "bad" skin would be in style... anyways my dermatologist recommended a year ago I go on accutane as the last resort... well after all the reports of liver damage, depression, ulcerative collitis i have been extremely weary... so much so that I just figured i will live with this skin forever and deal... BUT i dont want to have bad skin forever, and it actually seems to be worse now :(
Does anyone have any positive or negative stories regarding using accutane??
Thanks!

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So What Happened?

well it really does seem that lots of people have great results with accutane, i just dont want to be one of those few in the statistics that has horrible reactions later on or in the present..
I greatly appreciate everyone's comments! I will be setting up an appt with my dermatologist to go over the idea of it or if there is some other amazing product i have yet to try.
Again thank you everyone!

Featured Answers

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L.F.

answers from San Francisco on

I personally have NOT used it, but i have a good friend that did use it and she had AMAZING results. She had horrible, painful, cystic acne and in a matter of weeks, her face was SOOOO improved!!!

I would give it a try.....you never know. Even though there are risks, there are risks with everything! Just to prove my point, I am ALLERGIC to Benadryl!!!! That medicine is supposed to HELP you---but for me, my throat closes, I get hives and had to get a breathing tube. So....my point being, anything you take you could react to---you have to weigh the pros/cons.

GL

M

3 moms found this helpful

B.K.

answers from Chicago on

I finally took accutane 5 years ago at the age of 43. I waited that long because I never could be on the pill and you had to use two forms of birth control to be on it. So after I had a hysterectomy, I decided it was time for me to try it.

Next to the hysterectomy, it was the best thing I ever did for myself. I finally have clear skin after years and years of acne. I had no problems with it -- other than being really dry all over for several months -- and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I know not everybody is so lucky and there are some bad side effects. I didn't have any. I would say all you can do is try.

2 moms found this helpful

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S.T.

answers from Boston on

I think the concerns about this drug are overblown - my husband and I both took it in our early 20s and both had great results. If my kids get acne as teenagers (as I'm sure they will) then I will recommend it for them too. It is life-changing for some people. You just have to be aware of the possible (if rare) side-effects and watch out for them. Be aware that you will have very dry lips and skin and may not look your best while taking the drug.

4 moms found this helpful
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J.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I took Accutane about 20 years ago when I was about 22. Many people think people with acne have bad diets, don't take care of their skin, don't wash their face, etc. My doctor would not prescribe Accutane to me until I tried everything else....washes, ointments and many many courses of several different antibiotics. I was healthy, had a good diet, used good skincare products, but absolutely nothing worked! Mine was also cystic, mostly on my jawline (usually hormonal) and back. It truly made me depressed. I took two courses of Accutane...each being 20 weeks, I believe. My eyes became dry, my lips became very chapped and my skin very sensitive, especially to the sun. But my results were AMAZING!!! Even my dermatologist said she'd seen good results from her other patients but my results were the best she'd seen so far. I was so happy. I've heard of several long term side effects that Accutane users have suffered, but I haven't suffered from anything long term, luckily. There are very serious risks, and that's why blood tests are required while you're taking it.
I have heard great things about Proactive and would give that a try first.

2 moms found this helpful

C.C.

answers from San Francisco on

I was on accutane at 22, and it worked like a charm! Then I had 2 kids, and my skin became crazy oily again, and it didn't settle back down and my skin became worse... so I did accutane again at 34. And it worked like a charm then, too!

I think (and this is just my opinion, and I'm not a doctor) that if you are very careful with your diet while on accutane, you will probably not have liver damage, ulcerative colitis, etc. The thing is, accutane is similar to a super-dose of vitamin A, which is processed through your liver, so you CAN'T drink alcohol, and you need to be VERY careful about cholesterol, because your blood cholesterol will be higher on accutane. So... no milk, no red meat, no cheese, butter, etc. Or at least, very little of these items. And drink plenty of water, of course. You will be soooo dry on accutane. But 6 months of hassle is really worth 10+ years of beautiful skin, in my opinion. I would do it all over again.

2 moms found this helpful

K.M.

answers from Chicago on

How about you try using all natural products ... lush brand is WONDERFUL and has helped many that I know ... it is all natural, animal friendly and my skin has never been better. I reccomend finding a local store www.lushusa.com and talking to a consultant before ordering online, they are very helpful.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.L.

answers from Boston on

Ask your doctor about Benzaclin. It has cleared my skin for years-no side effects. It's excellent.

1 mom found this helpful

E.T.

answers from Boston on

Hi A., Have you ever tried Shaklee's all-natural Acne Clarifying product? It has worked wonders for some of my customers. Check it out at my website www.GreenHomeBusiness.net just type in 'acne' in the search box at the top right. Hope this is helpful.
E. Taft [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
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B..

answers from Dallas on

I have not persoanlly used it. My great friend did for a short time. It did clear her face, but it made her joints hurt severely, she had digestion issues, and her lips were chapped and cracked. Nothing she did helped either. (Except not taking it anymore!) One thing, you HAVE to make sure you do NOT get pregnant anytime you're on this medication. You need to be off it for a while, before you should get pregnant again. The Dr. was VERY specific that it is incredibly dangerous to get pregnant, and to wait for a period of time after to try.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.O.

answers from Detroit on

I took accutane twice.. at about 20 and about 30.. it works great.. really cleared up my skin, I have no long term side effects. but while I was taking it I had lots of bone pain, dry dry lips dry skin.. lots of minor annoyances while I was on teh drug.. but it all went away afterward.. I think you are suppoosed to stay out of the sun so winter time is best.. very expensive drug, I would do it again.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.M.

answers from Lake Charles on

My brother had cystic acne forever! It was SO bad. He did all the other things then resorted to acutane (against my warnings to my mom). He wasn't on it for too too long.. but his skin is PERFECT now. LIke better than mine.. it's ridiculous. Weigh your options and watch for symptoms if you can do it with little to no damage to your body then go for it.. I know they did blood work on him like monthly too so that's another precaution you can take.. I think you've been living with it long enough.. If you're just getting white heads have you tried clyndimiacin (sp?) theres foam and creme.. also benzofoam.. and theres a sulphur mask that my husband uses that has worked WONDERS on him.. I doubt we'll have to get to the acutane stage based on the combo of the benzofoam, clindamyacin foam and sulphur mask. Hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful
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B.P.

answers from New York on

Have you tried pro-active? Do you suffer from constipation? I used to break out really badly when I was chronically constipated. Chocolate made it really bad for me. Try pro-biotics and pro-active if you haven't already. Accutane is intense.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.J.

answers from Milwaukee on

I took it and would take it again if I had to. I take something else now an it doesn't have the drying side effects and is cheaper. I guess I don't need something as strong anymore.

You can always stop taking it and they WILL pull you off is your blood work comes back with issues. You can NOT get and should NOT pregnant while taking this drug. I'm sure the doctor explained that to you already.

You'll need a ton of Chap Stick while you take it. That was the only side effect I had.

Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

L.!.

answers from Atlanta on

My husband took it as a teen. He says that it is the reason his eyes are permanently dry (messed up his tear glands). What kind of foods do you regularly eat? I would radically change my diet (drink more water, cut out processed sugars and food made with white flour, cut out fast food and fried foods) and see if that helped my skin before resorting to Accutane.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.A.

answers from Dallas on

My cousin took it when he was a teenager and he is now in his forties with colon problems. The law firms keep showing commercials asking if you have certain colon problems and took accutane to call them. I personally would stay away from it.

1 mom found this helpful
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L.P.

answers from Pittsfield on

Before trying Accutane (I think it gave me IBS), I'd recommend trying these 2 products every morning and evening.

http://www.amazon.com/Booth-Vitamins-Healthy-Facial-Clean...

http://www.amazon.com/Booth-derma-Glycolic-Resurfacing-So...

I discovered these a few months ago after someone else recommended them. They are the ONLY thing that has worked for me!- and I swear I think I've tried just about everything, including proactive (which didn't help). I was told the birth control pills I was prescribed would help (2 different kinds)- they didn't.

The c. boothe products are wonderful and leave my skin so soft. They don't dry out my skin at all- I don't even need a moisturizer.

Was the accutane the recommendation of a dermatologist or your general practitioner? If it was your general practitioner, you could ask a dermatologist for a 2nd opinion.

Best wishes!! =o)

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