***I am a Certified Holistic Nutrition Health Coach however, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not be used as nutrition or medical advise. See my blog’s disclaimer for more information.
*This was my experience with cystic acne and my opinion based on my own education and research.
Accutane has become a first line of defense instead of a last resort. I’ve seen way too many “influencers” on Instagram and TikTok promoting Accutane to make their skin smoother. Most of them don’t suffer from bad acne.
In my opinion, Accutane shouldn’t even be considered as an option…hear me out! Your skin is the window to your overall health. If you suffer from any skin issues, whether it be acne, eczema, rosacea, etc. there is something internal that is causing these issues.
Acne (and other similar skin issues) are a symptom. They are not the problem. Instead of treating acne like the problem, we need to be treating it like a symptom and find the root cause of the problem.
This might sound crazy but stay with me…
I have a dog and am in multiple facebook groups for my dog. In these groups, if a dog is getting ear infections, scaly skin, tear stains, acid reflux, etc. people always ask what food they are eating. People always chime in with “my dog used to get ear infections and when we removed chicken from his diet, he stopped getting them”, or “giving my dog “x” brand food helped with my dogs scaley skin!”
People love to tell other dog owners how they healed their dog by switching their food instead of pumping them full of drugs. Why are people so quick to hop on the pharmaceutical train for themselves instead of seeking the reason behind the symptom?
I’m beyond thankful I realized big pharma products were not the way to go with treating my acne. That wasn’t before trying many prescriptions that didn’t work. I got so fed up with my dermatologist and primary care doctor I sought alternative methods.
If you want to read about what I learned in the process and why I opted out of Accutane, keep reading!
Why I chose not to try Accutane:
I’m thankful my dermatologist used Accutane as a last resort and wouldn’t put his patients on it until all other pharmaceutical options had been tried. When I had tried everything and nothing was working, he gave me a whole folder with pages and pages of information on Accutane.
I read through the list of side effects which sounded miserable! Side effects include but are not limited to…
- Dry skin & chapped lips
- Joint & muscle pain
- Liver & other organ damage
- Vision problems
I also read through the list of things I couldn’t do while on Accutane which included but isn’t limited to…
- Wear contacts
- Wear tampons
- Strenuous exercise
Accutane reduces your body’s oil production. You can’t wear contacts because your eyes are too dry. You can’t wear tampons because your lady parts are too dry. Only light exercise is recommended since it’s hard on your joints and muscles. I don’t even remember what else was on the list because after seeing those 3 things, Accutane was a HARD NO for me!
What I learned about the effectiveness of Accutane:
Accutane is apparently 50% effective which means it “cures” acne in 50% of patients who go on Accutane.
I say “apparently” because I know multiple people who claim Accutane “cured” their acne. These people still get acne and they are in their 30’s. Their acne isn’t as bad but it’s still a struggle they have.
I’ve also learned that a LOT of people that Accutane didn’t work for were able to clear their acne in the same way I cleared mine. I cleared mine by finding the root cause and treating that.
Some potential “root causes” of acne:
I have an entire post dedicated to finding the root cause of acne however, a quick list of things that commonly contribute to cystic acne are…
-Food sensitivities, especially dairy and gluten
-Poor gut health
-Hormone imbalance (and no birth control does NOT cure hormone imbalances. I did another post on that.)
-Toxins in your environment and food
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So what should you do about acne?
I’m not here to tell you what to do. Everyone has different priorities when it comes it health. If popping a pill and potentially causing long term damage is your jam, that’s your choice!
If you are on the fence with Accutane, I highly encourage you to figure out what is causing your acne. Acne is not random. Acne is a sign of inflammation and you need to figure out the source of that inflammation, not just put a bandaid on it and continue to attack the surface without treating the source of the problem.
In the mean time, I also recommend eliminating as many toxins from your day to day life as possible. Especially toxins in your makeup and skincare products! Just because a product is on the shelf does not mean it has been tested for safety. A lot of ingredients in common skincare products can cause skin irritation and make your acne worse!
I highly recommend Crunchi Cosmetics makeup and skincare products. They are completely toxin free and third party tested. They are also leaping bunny certified and gluten free! The ingredients in their products are so nourishing for your skin and can really improve the texture and condition of your skin.
If you’re interested in trying Crunchi for the first time, use my link for $10 off your purchase of $50 or more! And get free shipping if you spend at least $125!
Read all about my journey with acne and how I cured my acne for good. I also cured many other symptoms that were connected to the same root cause as my acne. You can read that post HERE.