If you’re on / are about to use / have used Accutane chances are that the mainstream wellness movement hasn’t always catered to your needs. You’ve burned the palo santo and rubbed your crystals raw. So really, where are the voices speaking to you? Well, I hope we can be one of those voices.
I may get a lot of side eye for this, but breakouts are part of life! You’re supposed to have skin that speaks to you, but sometimes it yells. When even your acne has resting bitch face, desperation starts to creep in. Personally, I’d like to see more images of people with pimples, scars, hyperpigmentation, rosacea, you name it! Inclusivity in wellness looks more like the people who actually engage in it, and not all of us are glowing all the time.
Sometimes it may feel like you have a completely different brand of acne, but there is still a lot to gain from the wellness movement. Finding ways to appreciate who you are and finding ways to honor your spirit and body can go a long way. For anyone managing acne and their self image, taking care of your mental health is just as important as daily cleansing. It probably won’t be an insta-perfect bath or a smoothie but honestly, who cares. The unifying theme of the wellness movement is that you are at the center of your priorities.
Accutane is a brand name for the drug isoretinoin. There are a couple of “accutanes” on the market provided by multiple pharmaceutical companies. These drugs are prescription-grade retinoids that are really the only cure the industry has for acne.
It works by reducing sebum production, a main cause of acne, especially for those with oily to combination skin. This often leads to sensitive, dry flaky skin during treatment, so dermatologists recommend frequent moisturizing and lots of SPF.
As you transition away from isoretinoin you will need to adjust your routine to accommodate your new normal. That could include changing the products you use as you learn about what your skin needs now that its landscape has changed.
You may still get a few breakouts here and there, but for most people with severe acne it provides dramatic improvements. Recent studies are investigating the effectiveness of isoretinoin in other skin conditions like rosacea.
Relapse can be devastating. You just spent months trying to remember your meds (we know this is no small task), dealing with dry skin and watching it improve, only to have another massive breakout. First of all, there are a number of reasons why your acne might come back including hormonal changes.
Relapse can happen to people who use isoretrinoin in their teenage years and 20’s when they enter their thirties and beyond. In most cases you can go back on accutane and that should do the trick. If you took accutane even 5 years ago, you were likely given a weaker dose than is currently standard practice.
Additional options include using another prescription topical retinoid that you can get from your doctor. There are also over the counter options like Differin which used to require prescriptions but are now available at your local bodega. So grab a bottle with your afternoon shawarma, why don’t you.