There are many success stories told about Accutane. But is Accutane a save and sustainable way to get rid of your acne? Will your acne stay away forever? I tell my side of the story.
A couple of years ago I suffered from severe cystic acne. It became so bad that I didn’t even dare to leave the house and be social. After visiting my doctor he told me to go to a dermatologist. The dermatologist prescribed me Accutane to treat my acne.
What is Accutane?
Accutane is a heavy drug used for treating severe cystic acne. Accutane belongs to a class of drugs called retiniods, which means it is related to vitamin A. Dermatologist prescribe Accutane when all other topical creams, antibiotics or any kind of other drug fail to work.
In the pas Accutane has been used to treat cancer. The drug was given in extremely high dosages. For the treatment of acne the dosages prescribed are much less.
Many people found success in the use of Accutane by using doses anywhere from 20mg to 80mg. Some even took dosages of 100mg. It is common for users to take a second course of Accutane when the first course did not give the desirable results. This is when acne reappears again after several months of stopping Accutane.
Browse around on the internet for people their experiences with Accutane and their before and after pictures!
Side effects of Accutane
If you ever heard about Accutane, you might be familiar with some of the negative side effects. It is known that the appearance of acne might get worse at first when taking Accutane, but over the course of time the worsening of the acne reseeds and the skin starts to clear up. More common side effects are dryness of the skin and lips, joint pain, headaches, dizziness, feeling down, skin sensitivity and thinning of the hair.
My experience with Accutane
In my twenties I got very severe acne. My face was completely covered with red bumps, white heads and deep cystic acne reaching all the way up from my hairline down into my neck. It probably was a result of a combination of bad lifestyle choices, stress, bad eating habits and me stopping taking the birth control pill. That period of my life was mentally challenging, painful and upsetting.
Majority of the people around me told me it had nothing to do with the foods I was consuming. I just had to get the right skin care products and wash my face two times a day. Let me assure you I tried any kind of skin care routine, but non of it seemed to work. So I went to see my doctor in the hope for a cure and he send me to the dermatologist. The dermatologist glanced at my face and prescribed me with Accutane right away. She found me to be a good candidate.
I was pretty happy inside, because I knew what Accutane could potentially cure my acne. I really didn’t care about the side effects, I just wanted clear skin. Without a doubt I signed papers of me stating I wasn’t pregnant, that I wasn’t planning on getting pregnant and that I would also take the pill while on Accutane.
The dermatologist send me home with the directions of taking 30mg of Accutane a day. This meant that I needed to take one pill of 10mg and one pill of 20mg. Every once in a while I had to get my blood taken to see if I was doing alright.
Bad side effects
It didn’t take much time before my acne became a lot worse. I knew this was coming, but wasn’t fully prepared. My face became more red, swollen and painful. It was as if everything was getting pushed out of my skin a lot quicker. I also had to be very careful with the sun, as I started taking Accutane during the summer. Nevertheless I kept having faith that my acne would soon be gone.
Now during my time on Accutane I did experience a lot of side effects. The most prevalent ones were:
- dry skin
- dry lips
- joint pains
- pain in my lower back
- occasional headaches
- my skin was super sensitive, also to scarring
Worst side effect ever. I stopped Accutane immediately
I am going to tell you about the worst side effect I experienced during Accutane. It is quite embarrassing, but I know there will be somebody out there finding what I shared helpful. I know it. Or at least it is really cringeworthy.
Around the sixth month on Accutane I got super constipated. I was unable to go to the toilet. I felt so terrible, because I never experienced something like it in my life before. Whatever was stuck inside me, couldn’t come out.
Then came the day that I will never forget…
I released myself from what was the biggest lump of poop I ever made. It was solid, black and big. Really no moisture to it(yes, very graphic sorry haha). However I was finally able to go to the toilet which wasn’t an easy tasks and took me quite a while. I will spare you further details of how I managed.
But man, my butt hurt for days.
Pooping would never be the same again, for a long while.
Yeah, no surprise I stopped taking Accutane right after that. I also stopped taking the pill. I knew, or at least my feelings told me that Accutane was the cause of this.
Accutane is supposed to dry you out. So why wouldn’t it be doing that to my intestines?
My skin was clear!
Each and every month I saw improvements. My breakouts were getting less, I would have less cystic acne and the redness in my face went down slowly. After almost a half year on Accutane my skin was completely clear. Combined with the constipation issue, a good enough reason to stop taking Accutane. I could look at myself in the mirror without feeling disgusted. I could actually see my face again.
Unfortunately my acne came back
Fast forwarding six months after I stopped taking Accutane I went on a vacation. My destination was Japan, very famous for its cuisine.
I ate a lot of meat. Really a lot. Meats I normally wouldn’t eat, like beef and pork. Sometimes in combination with the most fattiest ramen.
Guess what? I got constipated again. Not so severe as the other time, but instead of doing a daily duty it became a weekly duty.
And the worst part of it was that my acne came back. My face started covering itself with a lot of small bumps. Eventually I got small cysts, which became bigger ones. It didn’t get as bad as it was before Accutane, but it was not far from it. The irritations, pain and bad feelings came back too. I was lost.
Using Accutane again?
Browsing through forums, YouTube videos and medical websites I found out that people experienced their acne coming back after several months of stopping Accutane. It was happening to me too.
Because of this I was going back to my unconfined, unhappy self again. I started making bad food choices, I didn’t want to be social and I isolated myself from the world which led me into a downward spiral of negativity.
I was desperate. So desperate that I considered taking Accutane again, yet I knew it wouldn’t be the solution. I knew there was another way. Besides I didn’t want to experience all those bad side effects again just in order to get my clear skin back.
But I also didn’t wanted to spend all my young adult life with acne on my face!
This time I started thinking for myself. I said to myself that there must be a better solution to get clear skin than taking all kinds of medication.
I started dedicating a lot of time in figuring out how to clear my skin. Reading studies, watching videos, listening to podcasts, reading articles and reading anecdotes. All of this time and effort led me to a solution that eventually gave me the best clear skin results without needing to torture myself for it.
My solution to clearing up acne
It took me around three months to come to a solid conclusion. The answer lied in what I was putting in and on my body. So I started making beneficial changes in my diet and lifestyle.
Eventually I started to eat a Vegan diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables. I started drinking a lot of water, eating tons of fruits during the day and cutting out all processed foods.
Literally in the first two weeks of eating this way, the redness and cysts on my face disappeared! I was astonished! By that alone I knew I was on the right path. A path to clear skin and overall health. Without the fear of it coming back.
I have been eating completely Vegan for over 2,5 years now. I learned a lot about food and what causes me to breakout. I know what to avoid and what to eat more of. In overall my skin health improved tremendously.
Throughout my journey a lot of healing was done. Not only from antibiotics, the pill, Accutane, various of other medications and all the chemical products I used to clean my skin, but also emotionally. Starting a healthy Vegan lifestyle has helped me pave a real path to health.
Results – Photos before and after
This is how I looked like. A face painfully covered in cysts and acne breakouts.
Then Accutane cleared me up a lot! It was amazing. Accutane did surely work for getting rid of my acne, but it came with nasty side effects that I wish upon no one.
Unfortunately my acne came back after 6 months. I was covered in acne again.
But after adopting a plant based diet and having patience, my skin completely cleared up.
What I learned and my advice
People like to argue that acne is just a common thing for teenagers and young adults. My question for them is: “What are the majority of teenagers and young adults eating?”.
Acne is something that mostly, if not all, comes from within. Your gut health is very important when it comes to your skin. You want your gut to work properly and keep it from getting clogged up. You come in contact with food at least three times a day. It is a huge environmental factor of how you look like. Remember that you are what you eat.
Do an effort to make real changes in your diet and lifestyle.
When you find yourself with troubled skin consider cleaning up your diet, exercising more, changing up your skin routine and the products you use, practice positive thinking and do activities to reduce stress. Ask a skincare specialist working with natural products questions about dealing with acne. Consider not using skin care products and make up for a while to let your skin rest and breath.
The internet is full of stories and studies showing that acne can definitely be dealt with by natural and non harmful methods.
First consider taking the natural route and try every natural possible solution before you decide to take Accutane. Accutane is a very heavy and quite dangerous drug that can definitely do wonders for the skin. Yet it comes with a lot of horrible side effects. I experienced a bunch of them and I can tell you it is not pretty! It ruined my mood, my mindset and body. All in the sake for clear skin which in the end I did not get from it. I should have tried natural solutions first before even taking Accutane.
Accutane should be seen as a last resort and not a quick pill to pop to clear up your skin.
So don’t get Accutane before you have really tried out all the other options. Accutane is a harsh drug. It does tremendous damage to your body. See it as a last resort!
Thank you so much for reading this post. Just to let you know I am not a doctor, pharmacists or nutritionist. This is my experience with Accutane. I hope it makes you understand what I have been through with. I also hope it is of any help to you.
Please watch my video on this topic too.
Lots of love!