Real talk: acne treatment with Accutane (Isotretinoin)

treatment Accutane Isotretinoin

Almost everyone suffers from spots occasionally. But for some of us, it goes further than that. Sometimes much further. Personally, I know everything about it. From the age of 13 I’ve been struggling with genetically linked cystic acne. It’s hard to describe in words how much my these stupid skin imperfections destroyed my confidence and positive outlook on life. I felt ugly, couldn’t really look at something else when I looked in the mirror and my face felt sore and inflamed all day, every day. It made me feel insecure and I did not want people to stand close to me, cause I didn’t want them to see. About 2,5 years ago I was totally fed up and I decided to go to a dermatologist once again. After having tried topical creams and antibiotics for over years, he told me my last resort was to go on Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane or Roaccutane, a severe prescription drug used to treat those with heavy acne. He told me to research the drug thoroughly before deciding to go ahead with the treatment. Since I was desperate and in need for change, I decided to get it started. Honestly, it was one of the scariest things I’ve been doing to my skin. I was blown away by the potential side effects, including heavy back pain, chest pain, flaky skin, heavier acne in the first months, depression, higher cholesterol and even harming your liver for good. My experience with Roaccutane has been both good and bad. I’ve suffered from almost all side effects and the medicine didn’t do its job for the first couple of weeks. It’s really a drug you need to take for months, up to a year, and you shouldn’t give up on it in the first months. Which is super hard, cause it makes you feel worse from the inside and outside at first. It’s really important that you speak to your doctor regularly and seek psychological assistance if you feel you’re suffering from mood swings due to the medicine. Since that’s quite common and you shouldn’t be dealing with this all alone.

skin after Accutane

Many of you been asking what it’s like to get off of Roaccutane and if the acne stayed away for real. Well, of course that’s different for everyone that completed a treatment with the drug. It depends on the causes of your acne (is it only genetics, is it also food/lifestyle related?), the severity of the acne when you got on Roaccutane, the dose you were on, as well as the length of the total treatment. I completed my 10-month treatment about 1,5 years ago and I was on a quite low dose of 40 mg a day. The flaky skin and dry eyes were gone within a week really, and my back pain and lower mood went away within a month I would say. As we speak I’m 28 y/o and I’m still suffering from pimples occasionally, but it is absolutely nothing like it was before. It’s more like the pimples you have around your period, the ones almost all ladies have due to hormonal changes in your body. At that time of month, I try to take some extra good care of myself, for example with my skin care but also by eating less sugary things, cause healthy skin also comes from within. In times when I eat something greasy or more processed than I usually do, I notice that I get a little more trouble with impurities. But to me, that’s just nothing too bad, especially since I’ll always remember where I came from. Although an occasional pimple explosion still stresses me out and can get me drenched into tears every now and then, I always remind myself that I’m so much more than what I look like. The imperfections do not define me as a person, neither my body or my weight does. I’m still the same person and besides that, I know the storm on my face will not last forever. Sunny side up!

What’s your experience with acne/pimples, do you have any tips for us fellow sufferers? And how do you make sure you’re not focussing too much on your skin when it’s having a hard time? Tips are welcome! Take care. ♥

xoxo Frederique

Written By

My name is Frederique and I run this personal style blog. After graduating from law school in April 2014 – University of Utrecht (The Netherlands), exchange: Uppsala (Sweden) and UC Berkeley (USA) – I built FAB le Frique from scratch and decided to spread my lifelong interest in fashion and lifestyle with the world (wide web). Taking a leap of faith, making a career transition, leaving a known and charted career path is scary. But if the only actual obstacle blocking me from doing what I’m truly passionate about is ‘fear’, I hereby conquer my fears and go forward with my passion.

  • This is such an interesting post. You look amazing though, very beautiful skin! I would have never guessed that you suffered from acne. Have a great day

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box
    Instagram: littleglitterybox

  • OMG looks really good !
    Gros bisous

  • I took this in college and ended up loving it. It made a huge difference for my skin in the long run though it was awful during the treatment.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  • I’ve always said no to this treatment as the side effects are so scary. I’m so glad it cleared up your skin for good!

    Rachel xx

  • Raquel Comprido

    I’ve suffered from that in the end of last year. I did dermatology treatment and now finally I’m okay, but I still have stains on my face.


  • Tina – Styleappetite

    Love this real talk post babe – and that youre son honest. I think there are a lots of girls outside that will read this and get hope ♥ And you are so beautful – in- and outside!! 🙂 xxx and kisses from Berlin ♥ Tina.