Starting My Accutane Journey + Some Tips

I’ve had acne ever since I could remember, and while it was something that never really bothered me, it was always recurring. I went to different dermatologists and was prescribed different topical creams and medication, but nothing ever seemed to work. After a while, I learned to live with it and embrace it. It was not until this summer when my acne was at an all time high. It caused me to feel so insecure about how I looked that I stopped seeing my friends. Oftentimes I found myself alone mostly because I did not want to be looked at. Every time I was out it felt like everyone’s eyes were on my face, and not in a good way. I felt just as insecure WITH makeup than I did without it, and sometimes I couldn't even stand to look at myself in the mirror. It was only then that my mom and I decided to try out a new dermatologist here in the Bryan/College Station area and see what they recommended. 

I ended up going to this new dermatologist who suggested right away that I get on Accutane. I was a little hesitant because I have heard how strong it is and how much it can affect your body. I was a little scared, especially after hearing stories from family and friends about their experience with Accutane, but I was desperate to try anything. Afterall, I did not think it could be that bad, right? I started my Accutane journey on November 3rd of 2020 and thought it would be just like any other oral medication. Little did I know that Accutane is a whole different ballpark. With the medication comes monthly dermatologist check ups, monthly blood work and some severe side effects (did I mention that you couldn't consume alcohol?). 

The five to six weeks I started Accutane were probably some of the hardest months of my life, and I say this with no exaggeration. Of course like any other medication, it got a lot worse before it got better. My skin had a huge flare up and my acne looked worse than it did before. I had little to no appetite which resulted in me losing weight, and I got horrible back pain that would not go away with Advil. It would take me forever to get out of bed and get moving in the mornings. I had terrible mood swings and was overly emotional, like I had no control over my body and emotions. My skin got so dry that my lips were constantly cracked and/or bleeding, and I would get non stop nosebleeds. I was mentally and physically tired all the time. I started to wonder whether paying all this money and taking this medication was going to be worth it and if these side effects would ever go away. These severe side effects slowly started to fade after 2 months, and I started to see a huge change not only in my mood but in my acne as well.

I am now going on 5 months on Accutane, and I could not be any more happy with my results. I still have about a month to a month and a half left, but my skin transformation thus far has been unbelievabale. I have reached a new level of self-confidence, and I feel so comfortable in my skin with AND without makeup. Of course Accutane is not a permanent solution, and there’s a possibility that I might need to get on it again. But is it worth it? 1000 percent!!! I would totally go through this process again if I needed to, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is struggling with the same acne and self confidence struggles. 

If you are starting Accutane or are interested in it here are some tips that have helped me along the way!

  1. Drink LOTS of water!

  2. Carry chapstick/aquaphor with you at all times. Literally. Keep one in your purse, your room, backpack, car, everywhere!

  3. Make sure to use a thick moisturizer every night and morning + vitamin E oil.

  4. Always put sunscreen on every morning!

  5. Use a cleanser for dry skin.