Taking Accutane for acne usually comes with mixed reviews from horror stories, to little to no side effects and clear skin for years. A large number of people end up taking this medication, including me. If you asked me if Accutane was worth it, my answer would be a complete yes.
How Long I Took Accutane For
I began taking Isotretinoin (also known as Accutane/Roaccutane) for 4 months at 60mg. Taking the medication has been a tough decision for me, which was an absolute last resort for my acne.
I struggled with my skin at the age of 12, with my acne getting progressively getting worse at age 24. My deep cystic acne broke out in my body and face, convincing me to change my diet and skin care routine to keep my face clear of acne breakouts.
I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome at the age of 23, which usually plays a role in causing acne as well. I refused to take contraceptive pills to manage my hormones and tried healing myself through holistic and natural means.
I set off by visiting a homeopath, leading me to cut out gluten, dairy, eggs and sugar from my diet along with taking different supplements. I also took acupuncture and consulted different skin specialists which recommended treatments such as light therapy, chemical peels, laser, microdermabrasion, among the huge range of skin care products.
My journey to clearer skin began full of hope and positivity, but it was soon gone when none of the efforts I exerted had worked.
So by then, I decided to visit a dermatologist and decided to take Accutane after months of trying different things that didn't work. Here's my Accutane experience and whether or not it was worth it for me.
On January, I began taking Accutane after having consultations and blood tests. I did my research so I already knew the good, the bad and the ugly truth heading my way. My dermatologist started off giving me a maximum dosage of 60 mg (based on my weight) and warned me that it will get worse before getting better – which it effectively did!
I Had Purging 3 Weeks Into Accutane
I had terrible purging on the first 3 weeks of going on Accutane but kept going despite its horrendous effects.
My main side effect was a really huge purging effect which really sucked.
My skin rapidly improved week by week, but it wasn’t without some noticeable and manageable side effects.
I dealt with dehydration and dry itchy skin all over my body and my eczema flared up all over my body.
I was drinking 5 liters of water while I was on Accutane which minimized the dehydration and dry cracked skin side effects. I had to apply moisturizer all over my whole body to keep the dry skin side effect away.
Another side effect that I felt was that I was really physically tired and fatigued easily. Normally I'm quite fit and active since I'm a personal trainer. However I noticed I really needed to rest more compared to my usual active lifestyle. The good thing is that these side effects weren't too bad and were very manageable for me.
So, was Accutane worth it?For me, it was all totally worth it. Seeing my skin improve each and every day kept me going and gave me so much hope! My acne cleared up so much and I'm very happy with the results. I decided to take Accutane because my acne had really started to have an impact on my mental health and I knew that it would be irresponsible to not address that.
After 4 months of taking the medication, my dermatologist was very happy to see a tremendous improvement and took me off the meds!
I am currently 4 weeks post Accutane, and my skin is still continuing to improve while the side effects are subsiding. I have a lot of scarring left but I have been using the BANISH Pumpkin Enzyme Masque, Banish Serum, and Vitamin C Creme, to help combat this - and I’m noticing a difference as on my scarring after using these products.
Scarring products to use after Accutane
Pumpkin Enzyme Masque - An exfoliating mask that won't dry out skin
Banish Serum - Vitamin C Serum with L-ascorbic acid. Made with natural ingredients and stabilized with ferulic acid and vitamin c
Vitamin C Creme - Full of antioxidants to prevent skin damage and vitamin c to brighten. Lightweight feel.
Accutane can be a strong medication and is considered to be a dangerous drug in certain cases, but for me, it was worth it for clearing my acne and I could deal with the temporary side effects.
If you have plans of using this medication for acne, heed my advice: make sure you do plenty of research beforehand, ask your dermatologist loads of questions and talk to supportive people around you as they will really be a big help.
Always remember to be kind to yourself whilst on the medication and drink loads of water, and use moisturizer everyday!
Be true to yourself and your own journey. Whether you decide to take medication, or heal your skin naturally, please know that you are beautiful as you are - with or without acne!
*photos courtesy of Instagram: @emilykeel