Hello, my name is Danielle and I'm 19 years old. I wanted to write this review because of the poor stigma that is placed on the drug Accutane, or isotretinoin, to cure cystic acne. I was in a very bad spot with my skin. I had tried everything and all of the products that I tried didn't do much for me at all. I would dry my skin out like crazy with over the counter scrubs and my face would literally feel like it permanently had windburn. I tried to pick my battles and figured my severe acne looked better as dry skin than oily skin. But as I continued to get older in my upper years of high school I knew it was time to start looking into my options. I went to a dermatologist to try and see what I could do to fix my blemishes.
During our first appointment they wanted to put me on a prescription benzoyl peroxide, but I quickly inquired about going on Accutane. I told the doctor that I knew about all of the potential side effects such as depression, dry skin, and potential birth defects for my children down the road. Honestly, now that I have completed the acne treatment, all of this is really just so they don't get sued if something happened. I am guessing just like at the end of most pharmecuetical commercials warning about side effects, that someone had a very poor experience and it now must be disclosed that this "could" happen.
During my treatment I had zero serious side effects. The only problem I had was severely dry lips so I carried around lip balm all the time. I would stash chapsticks in areas that I usually was like my car, my room, my school locker, etc. I did have a bit of drier skin as well but I was very diligent with putting lotion on every morning and evening after a shower. It is important that you apply sunscreen everyday because your skin will be susceptible to the sun and will burn easier.
I made sure to stop my birth control before starting my acne treatment. It is not advised to be on birth control, and I also did not want to be taking multiple pills. One thing to note is that before you start Accutane you need to take a blood test, and have to take one each month to make sure your vitals are in line. This was another reason why I didn't feel so worried while taking the drug. If something was wrong they would have picked up on it and had me stop taking the medication
My first month of Accutane I was actually quite discouraged because it seemed like my skin was exactly the same or even a bit worse. I did read up and saw that this was common for it to get worse before it gets better so I wasn't that worried, but it was difficult and a bit embarrassing for my cystic acne to be very present. Probably around the 6th week I really started to notice a difference in my skin. It started to clear up a bit and cysts that were there started to subside.
There is not much more updates on what to expect besides it continues to clear your skin over time. I ended up taking Accutane for 5 months and was absolutely thrilled with my results. I really look like a different person and have so much more confidence. I do have a few acne scars because my acne was so bad but the dermatologist discussed that I will have options to try and rid these scars such as microneedling, or lasers.
My Accutane journey has led me to my new life with clear skin. It is odd because I always had oily skin (like explained above when I would try and dry it out), but after taking Accutane my skin is not over oily anymore and there is no more discoloration. I would probably recommend Accutane for individuals with severe cases of acne. If you are just going through puberty it might not be necessary to take it. But like I said above I had no issues and couldn't be happier. Good Luck!