Isotretinion capsules (Roaccutane) - Adult Acne Support

Adult Acne Support

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Isotretinion capsules (Roaccutane)


Hi all. I’m new here. I’m 20 years old, soon to be 21 and I have suffered with severe acne since I was 14 years old. I have been on various different medications prescribed by doctors, including lymecycline, and various others, changes to diet, etc. Nothing has ever cleared my skin, and I’m at my wits end with it. It’s affecting my mental health, my confidence, and also my job as I work frontline with customers. I’m embarrassed by my skin and it’s disgusting - I have pimples, cysts and scarring. I suffer on my face and back although my face is worse.

My question is, has anyone been on Isotretinion capsules (Roaccutane) and were they as effective as they say? According to NHS, “4 out of 5 people who use them have clear skin after 4 months”

I’ve done plenty of research, and I know the side effects and how to manage them, who can and can’t take the tablets and cautions with other medicines, etc.

Please help!?

15 Replies

Hi there,

I'm sorry that you're struggling with your skin. I had bad skin in my late teens/20s and can totally understand how it affects your mental health. I'm now in my 40s and both my kids have inherited my skin issues. Knowing how it made me feel, we visited the GP.

My son (who suffered from severe cystic acne) spent a year trying various different creams, antibiotics etc.. with no improvement, in fact it got worse. He then went on Isotretinoin, 30mg for the first month followed by 3 months at 60mg. He had dry lips, one weekend were the skin on his face went bright red and at times achy joints (esp his knees). But, for him, these were managable side effects and as his skin improved, he didn't complain at all. After 4 months his skin was flawless, 3 years on he gets the odd pimple, nothing he's too bothered by.

My daughter has now been on Isotretinoin for 5 months, she probably has about a month left until she's finished. She is more sensitive to side effects so in an attempt to avoid them she started on a very, very low dose, 10mg/day for 2 months, then 20mg for 1 month, then 30mg for one month, she is now on 40mg for the last 2 months. Again, her skin is now spot-free, she has quite a bit of scarring, especially on one cheek, but that is improving and the skin feels completely smooth so could be covered easily with makeup.

One thing to be aware of is that when you first start on Isotretinoin your skin might become worse for a few weeks. It's not easy, but if you know to expect this I think it helps. Also when it starts to improve, it does so quickly, spots don't linger and clear so much quicker.

There are loads of youtube videos and diarys out there and you sound like you've done your research. Like you I was very cautious about letting my kids take this medication, there are a lot of scary stories out there! For us though, the benefits have far, far outweighed any side effects (My daughter has not had any). I feel it gave them their confidence back, I wish I had known about it when I was their age!

I always remember the dermatologist saying to my son that "these days no teenager should have to put up with spots, that it's just a case of finding the right medication for you."

Not sure if any of that helped, hope so. Good luck.


jennywrenpink in reply to Glas46

Thank you so much. That’s a huge help! It makes sense that it’s inherited, however no one in my family (that I know of) have ever suffered with acne, so I’m a bit of an “odd one out”!

Thank you for letting me know that your skin gets worse before it gets better. I was expecting that and had heard it else where, but just wasn’t sure how long my skin might get worse for.

I too have lots of scarring, as admittedly I’m a picker! But I think if I knew this medication would clear my skin then it would be a big reason to stop touching my face and back!

Can I ask if either of your children suffered any mental health issues before or during taking this medication? I only ask as I was diagnosed with depression when I was younger, so I feel that the dr may try to avoid giving me this medication giving the 1 in 1000 side effect of mental health. No problem if you would rather not answer this.

Glas46 in reply to jennywrenpink

Hi there,

No neither of them had any issues with mental health, although I feel that if they had not had their acne treated, this may have been a problem as my son was getting really down. I think when you talk to the dr you can stress the fact that having acne is affecting your mental health and if that factor was treated you would ultimately be a lot happier. Being a girl they will want to see you every month (for a pregnany test!) so you will be closely monitored and if you feel any changes in your mood you can discuss these then. I think my daughter seems a bit more moody, looking forward to her coming off the pills now, I'm hoping they're the cause but unfortunately might just be a regular teenager : )


Glas46 in reply to Glas46

Should also say that it does really help with scarring as the skin cell turnover is increased the marking heals so much quicker.

jennywrenpink in reply to Glas46

I have lots of scarring so that’s great! Although I wouldn’t mind the scarring so much if I didn’t have acne no more, but I guess in the future I would then feel down because of the scarring.

And that’s good to know in regards of the mental health side of it - I live at home with my parents still and have discussed this medication and side effects with my mum, and she has agreed that she will monitor my moods too, and I of course would update the doctor of any changes. But I do feel that I am more down now because of how I look with my skin!

ananape311 in reply to Glas46

Roaccutane without a prescription - great results in quick time. this helped me reduce the signs of my acne in time for my brothers wedding!

Sounds like you have done your research, maybe your grandparents had troublesome skin,I suffered with acne when younger and ended up with ulcerative colitis in my late teenage years,a stomach problems, and ended up with a skin condition called hydragenitus,20 years later which started going into my early fifties!!! my daughter also has inherited the same skin condition she has had bad skin since a young teenager, and has also been on roaccutane,with good results, this medication is normally only prescribed by a dermatologist at a hospital, and not by your doctor, the hospital like to keep an eye on you,and take bloods, and also ask family members to keep an eye out for any mood changes ,as it does lead to depression, as for saying you can manage these, you are young and it will need to be monitored,the only reason I mentioned the ulcerative colitis was another member had skin problems on here and unbeknown to me she also had a stomach issues,so sometimes these things can link up problems to each other, good luck to getting a blemish free skin.

jennywrenpink in reply to Cb1963

Thank you for your advice! I have done LOTS of research! That’s interesting that doctors won’t prescribe it, although completely understand. I will have to speak to the doctor about it at my upcoming appointment, and if need be, ask to be referred to a dermatologist if the doctor can’t prescribe it.

I’m not aware of anyone in my family suffering with any kind of acne, my mum and dad definitely didn’t, and my grandparents never suffered either although I’m not sure about those further down the line so I guess it could be a possibility. The doctor has never told me what kind of acne it is, all I know is that I have cysts, pimples, scarring, etc. I feel like the doctor has always brushed me off as a hormonal teenager, although I have been prescribed various different drugs none of which made any difference. And now that I’m coming up to my 21st birthday, I’m desperate to get the issue resolved!!

Cb1963 in reply to jennywrenpink

It's such a powerful medication only a dermatologist can authorize a prescription I think, and so you'll need to go under a skin clinic, I know how you feel, my daughter was exactly the same, so I wish you well, and good luck

Glas46 in reply to jennywrenpink

I totally understand that you've had enough! Just ask your doctor for a referral to dermatology, tell them everything you've said here, you clearly know a lot about the drug already. It can be a bit of a wait, my son was put as urgent and it took 2 months for the appointment to come through (we're in Glasgow). GPs can't perscribe it and you will need a monthly dermatology appointment as girls need a pregnancy test. High levels of Vit A (Isotretinoin) causes severe birth defects, they recommend that you use 2 types of birth control and will spend a long time discussing this with you even if it's not a concern. If you've made up your mind to give it a go, I'd get a GP appoinment asap as you will probably have to wait for dermatology. xx

I’m so sorry you are struggling with acne. I know how miserable a condition it is. I presume you have seen a dermatologist and exhausted all other treatments. I have had successful treatment with Roaccutane and it has made a massive difference to my skin, which is now normal rather than oily. I am no longer preoccupied with my skin and feel comfortable being in close proximity to other people. The side effects can be managed and the dose adjusted if your skin becomes too uncomfortable. I used Cetaphil face wash for dry skin throughout the treatment and continued using it as my skin seems to like it. I buy it from Amazon when there is a good offer. You will need good lip balm and a good fragrance free moisturiser with 50 spf as Roaccutane will make your skin very sun sensitive, a wide brim sun hat will be useful too if you are in the sunlight.

I wish you all the best.

I went on to accutane my spots went away but I was left with red scars which I still have it’s definitely worth a shot but beware of side effects

Great news! Finally had my dermatologist appointment today! And have been told to come back in 4 weeks to start the course! I’ve gotta book in for a blood test before hand and I’m going to book an appointment to go back onto the depo injection, although the doctor told me I don’t need to go on any contraceptive as long as I sign a form saying that if I get pregnant I know that I need to abort! However everywhere I have read it says you have to be on 2 methods of contraception, one of those being a barrier method (condoms)

That's quite impressive that they kept your appointment! Great news, not long to wait now. Let us know how you find it. xx

You’re still allowed to leave the house for anything medical, which this would come under obviously. I’m excited to start the course, yet weary at the same time! Xx

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