How to Survive Accutane

posted on: January 13, 2014

Accutane is a medication primarily used to treat severe, cystic acne. Accutane is not for everyone, but for those people in need, it can work wonders. If you and your provider decide that Accutane is the right treatment for you then here are some tips that will make the few months you are on Accutane a little easier

  1. Treat your skin gently. Your skin can be very sensitive during this time so make sure you are using a gentle cleanser to wash your face.
  2. MOISTURIZE! Accutane works on your acne by reducing the size of the skin’s oil glands causing your skin (and lots other things) to become very, very dry. Over 90% of patients experience dry skin so make sure you are moisturizing multiple times a day. My favorite treatment for very dry skin is Aquaphor Healing Ointment. If you find that is too greasy for daily use look for oil based creams like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream.
  3. Some patients on Accutane will experience nose bleeds because their nasal passages are dry and crack. Keep the inside of your nose lubricated with a Q-tip and a little dab Aquaphor or Vaseline.
  4. Care for your lips. Very chapped lips is the biggest complaint that I see from my patients. I love Aquaphor for lips too. You should probably pick up a few small tubes of Aquaphor because you will want a tube in your car, bathroom, purse, nightstand, pocket, etc…
  5. Soothe your eyes. Many patients experience dry eyes during the treatment. Pick up some lubricating drops for instant relief.
  6. You’re going to be dry. I know, you get it by now. Add a little moisture to your skin over night by sleeping with a humidifier in your room.
  7. Protect your skin from the sun. Accutane can make your skin more prone to sun burns so make sure you have sunscreen on whenever you’re in the sun.
  8. Remember it takes time, nothing works over night to cure acne. While over 95% of patients clear from acne it usually takes a few months to see those results. The average length of treatment is 6 months. Pick a milestone a few months out (like prom or 4th of July) and stay optimistic that your skin should be much improved by then!