As many of you know, I have been open, and will continue to be open, about my struggles with acne. I’ve lived with severe acne for over 12 years and recently started Accurate, or Isotretinoin, a prescription drug to treat and prevent acne.
Before starting Accutane, I tried many over-the-counter topicals, antibiotics, oral medications, and other forms of acne treatments. Of course, I want to make it known that having acne does not make you dirty, gross, or ugly. It’s natural, and most people experience it at some point in their lives. However, my journey with acne has been long and difficult. I decided to consult with many doctors including my dermatologist, psychiatrist, and psychologist to create a treatment plan right for me, my lifestyle, and my skin type. I recommend you do the same before starting any prescription medication.
As a woman in the US, there are many hoops to go through in order to start this drug because it is not a medication to take lightly.
For starters, it has some pretty severe side effects including mental health issues and birth defects. Birth control, pregnancy tests, and check-in pregnancy quizzes are required every month to ensure the safety of you and the baby if you become pregnant while taking this medication.
Before describing my side effects, products, and treatments I’m using, I want to be clear that I am not a doctor and cannot stress the importance of consulting with trusted professionals before trying any medications.
What side effects have I experienced?
Common side effects include dry skin, itching, rash, dry nose, nosebleeds, dry mouth, dry lips, and can include more uncomfortable side effects like joint pain, dizziness, drowsiness, or nervousness.
During my first month of Accutane, I’ve been relatively lucky and have experienced minimal side effects including:
- Dry lips
- Oily skin
- Skin purging (My doctor reassured me this is normal! It has to get worse before it can get better.)
- Moderate moodiness
What products have I used?
Because my side effects have been relatively easy to manage, I’ve relied on easy to access products you can get at any drugstore. Again, ask your doctor before using these products.
Aquaphor, Ibuprofen, and Glucosamine have been my go to products.
Aquaphor is a healing ointment made for sensitive skin. I’ve been using Aquaphor to combat my dry lips, but it can also be used for chapped, blistered, or irritated skin. Irritated skin is a common side effect for Accutane users, so this might be a cost-effective option if you’re experiencing these issues.
Ibuprofen is known to treat mild fevers and mild to severe pain. I’ve been taking the recommended dosing to help prevent joint pain. Ibuprofen can also be used to treat headaches associated with this course of treatment.
Glucosamine is a natural compound found in cartilage. I’ve used this to supplement the Ibuprofen to help prevent any joint pain.
How am I taking care of my skin while on Accutane?
Like I said before, I’ve tried many products to help with my acne. I worked with my dermatologist to create a skincare routine that will work for my skin and work well with Isotretinoin, the drug inside Accutane. Your skin can be very sensitive while taking Accutane, so it’s best to reduce your exposure to any UV rays and lather up on the SPF!
My Tula products (use code MIKZAZON for 20% off) have been approved to use by my dermatologist. Here’s what I’ve been using to take care of my skin:
- Tula Purifying Cleanser
- Tula Acne Spot Treatment
- Tula Breakout Star Oil-Free Moisturizer
- Tula Protect and Glow Sunscreen
- Tula Acne Clearing and Tone Correcting Gel
- Tula Deep Exfoliating Blackhead Scrub
I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my results from one month of Accutane and look forward to continuing the process!