Skin After Accutane [Problems & Solutions]

Accutane is one of the most effective and commonly prescribed treatments for acne. In this article, we discuss problems with the skin after Accutane and solutions to the issues.

skin after accutane
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Skin Breaking Out After Accutane – What to Do

If you find that your skin is breaking out after taking Accutane, consider several factors. These factors affect whether or not you relapse after the acne treatment.

1. Severity of Acne Case

Roaccutane and isotretinoin are some of the medications used for Accutane. But isotretinoin is the most effective and, therefore, popular. The drug is usually reserved for severe acne cases. But you will find mild to moderate acne cases taking isotretinoin for treatment.

You see, if you have a severe case of acne and use Accutane treatment, a few pimples here and there will not seem like a big deal. But the reverse is the case if you have only mild acne, undergo the treatment, and see a breakout after a few months.

If your skin is breaking out after Accutane, it is nothing to worry about, especially if it has been months after the treatment. More likely than not, you are eating something that encourages the breakout. You may also have other lifestyle habits that promote acne.

2. Duration and Dose

Taking a dosage lower than recommended for your case affects the result and possible relapse. Typically, there is minimized relapse if you take 120mg/kg, at least. Cumulatively, the drug lasts longer in the body system and works longer with this dosage or dosage up to 150mg/kg.

Therefore, your doctor must determine the length of the treatment and how to administer the dosage for a longer-lasting result. Taking higher dosages does not equate to better results that last longer. It is basically how your body responds to the treatment.

3. Age

Studies show that older patients are less likely to break out after undergoing Accutane than younger patients. The reason is that older people don’t have as many hormonal changes or lifestyle shifts as young people.

But starting Accutane early to treat severe acne reduces possible scarring. It also reduces the chances of eventual relapse. Even if there is one, it won’t be as severe as when you started out.

4. Demographic

The sex of the patient has a role to play in whether or not the skin breaks out after Accutane. If you are a male patient with severe acne lasting less than seven years, you may be prone to relapse. The same cannot be said for a female patient with a less severe case of acne, mostly on the face.

In other words, men with severe truncal or facial acne are more likely to relapse and have skin breakouts than females with less severe acne on the face. If you find your skin breaking out after Accutane, consider this factor.

5. Food

Isotretinoin tends to get absorbed quickly and work better if you take it an hour before, an hour after, or with food. Specifically, it works better with food that has a considerable fat percentage. The drug does not work so well if you take it without any food.

Avocados and nuts contain non-saturated fat that is healthy for you. So, if you are using isotretinoin for Accutane, always take it with food to maintain therapeutic blood concentration and better gastrointestinal absorption. This process is for your safety and to improve the drug’s effectiveness.

If you are breaking out so soon after Accutane, you may have misused it. Improper and inconsistent absorption keeps the drug from having the needed effect on acne. And it does not last as long as it should.

6. Metabolism

One of the side effects of proper isotretinoin absorption is dryness around the lips. If you are ingesting and absorbing the drug in increasing measures, you should experience dryness, also increasing measures. However, if you don’t experience it, it may indicate that your body is not metabolizing it well. Needless to say, the chance of relapse also increases.

7. Hyperandrogenism

If you are a female patient, hyperandrogenism may affect the speed at which you respond to the drug. And if you don’t receive anti-androgen therapy, your chances of relapsing are high. If you have a hormonal dysfunction, it may cause a breakout. Plus, isotretinoin won’t work quickly without hormonal balance.

8. No Cure for Acne

Skin breaking out after Accutane may stem from the fact that acne has no cure. Accutane and every other acne treatment methods only send acne into remission. If the acne does not return, it does not indicate that the treatment is a general cure. So, while Accutane is highly effective, it does not guarantee any breakouts in the future.

Also, consider undergoing more than one Accutane course for longer-lasting results. You may have a relapse, but it won’t happen quickly. Cumulative toxicity plays no role here, so your doctor can recommend several courses according to your specific needs.

Note that Accutane does not treat acne permanently in everyone. Therefore, the factors above play a role if you have a relapse after the treatment.

Bumpy Skin After Accutane – Solved

If you have bumpy skin after Accutane treatment, it is entirely normal. That is if the bumps are even-textured and are not red. The bumps are likely your skin’s way of adjusting again to the natural oil production, and with time, the bumps will dissolve.

You can gently exfoliate your skin if you notice these bumps. Salicylic acid works excellent in such cases, especially on sensitive skin. However, concentrate on the areas with the bumps. If they don’t appear all over, don’t apply salicylic acid on non-problematic areas.

Also, you have the option of using a soft cloth to rub the bumpy skin area gently. That is, if salicylic acid seems too harsh. It is just a way to remove dead skin cells and leave your skin able to breathe. That way, the bumps disappear quicker as your skin readjusts to oil production.

Furthermore, consider factors or lifestyle habits that promote faster oil production. Stress is one factor that encourages breakouts. So, if you tend to feel the bumps more when you are not relaxed, take yourself out of stressful situations.

Additionally, try spearmint tea and licorice roots. They work like magic on skin bumps that appear after Accutane. Also, try reducing your intake of sugar. Not everyone reacts to sugar, but reducing it may help with the bumps on your skin. If you recently increased your intake or have always had lots of sugar, cut it out and see if there is a marked improvement.

skin after Accutane

How Do You Take Care of Your Skin After Accutane?

It does not take much to care for your skin after Accutane. First, it takes some time for the drug to wear out of your system. And by the time you are done with your treatment, your skin won’t need many products. Remember, too many chemicals may cause the acne to return.

Therefore, use gentle cleansers in the morning and at night. Since Accutane reduces oil production, you may want to avoid cleansers containing salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and glycolic acid.

Wash your face morning and night unless your skin is always dry. In that case, wash it once and use a moisturizer. Whatever your skin type is, using moisturizers is an essential part of taking care of your skin. A moisturizer helps to keep your skin hydrated and lock in moisture.

Exfoliate a few times every week but know your skin before exfoliating. For some people, exfoliation adversely affects their skin. They work better with just cleansing, washing, and moisturizing. But if you are going to exfoliate, choose a suitable scrub, use a soft cloth, and don’t scrub hard.

The products you will use will depend on your skin type and what your dermatologist recommends. However, stick to a simple skincare routine for the best results.

Eat healthy foods and avoid those that exacerbate acne. While studies have not proven that certain foods contribute to acne breakout, people with acne-prone skin have noticed a spike in acne breakouts when they eat some foods. Dairy products and sugar are some of the foods to avoid.

Cultivate healthy habits. Sleep long and well, avoid smoking, and reduce alcohol intake. Otherwise, you wear your skin out and risk susceptibility to acne.

Dry Skin After Accutane – What to Do

You can alleviate the dryness by regularly using moisturizers and lip balms. But time will take care of most of it. When you get off isotretinoin, skin dryness begins to wear off.

Typically, Accutane does not cause permanent dry skin. So, if you find that your skin remains dry even after ending Accutane, you may have naturally dry skin. Otherwise, some of your skincare or laundry products are causing dryness. See a dermatologist for a consultation.

Dry skin is one of the commonest side effects of taking isotretinoin. You will notice dryness around the lips, eyes, and sensitivity to sun rays. But the dryness starts to wear off two weeks to a month after you complete the treatment.

Isotretinoin shrinks the sebaceous glands responsible for producing oil in the skin. When the glands shrink, the oil in the skin dries up. As long as you are taking the drug, the glands won’t produce as much oil.

Does Skin Get Oily After Accutane?

Your skin may get oily after Accutane, but not like it was before the treatment. Most people with acne-prone skin tend to have oily skin. And after Accutane, they may find that their skin is getting oily again. But the degree is usually less than what it was.

Therefore, if you notice your skin getting oily after Accutane, it does not necessarily mean your skin is returning to its pre-Accutane state. Your sebaceous glands are simply opening, and your skin is receiving oil again, only not in the same volume. Typically, your skin should have some oil, but Accutane helps cut it down so it does not build and cause acne.

If the oil on your skin becomes excessive, on the same level, or more than before Accutane, visit your dermatologist. Don’t rush into a second Accutane treatment if there is no severe breakout accompanying the oil. Let your dermatologist recommend the right course of action.

Tanned Skin After Accutane – How Long Should You Wait?

Wait about three or four months after Accutane before you can go tanning. If you tan within less than three months after Accutane, you risk severe adverse effects. The skin is sensitive and vulnerable to sunlight during Accutane. And since it takes weeks and months for the drug to wear off after Accutane, the skin remains sensitive for the duration.

As a result, the UV rays from the sun can penetrate deeper than they should. The rays are harmful to health and can cause severe damages to cells in the skin and body.

Bottom Line

Skin before, during, and after Accutane tells different tales. But your skin after Accutane is usually the best because the skin is always smoother, cleaner, and spotless for the most part.

Report any adverse reaction in your skin after Accutane to your doctor. Better still, learn what your skin should look like after Accutane so you can recognize signs that need medical attention on time.

Skin After Accutane – FAQs

1. Does Skin Improve After Accutane?

Skin significantly improves after Accutane. Within five to six months of Accutane treatment, your skin noticeably clears of acne and scarring from acne. For many, the acne never returns. But for others, the acne may return, and a second Accutane treatment becomes necessary.

However, most people do not need more than two Accutane treatments. Their skin remains free and clear of spots, bumps, pimples, cysts, and scarring in the wake of Accutane.

2. How Long After Accutane Does Skin Return to Normal?

It takes between two weeks and a month for your skin to return to normal after Accutane. But this timeline is not a general one; people react differently to isotretinoin. You may find your skin returning to normal – read better skin – after a few weeks. Another person may find theirs taking months to return to normal.

3. How Long After Accutane Can You Get Skin Needling?

Six months is the shortest time to wait before you can get skin needling after Accutane treatment. You can scar and have skin irritation if you get skin needling within less than six months after Accutane. The drug leaflet advises accordingly, and the same comes from the Food and Drug Administration. Always consult your dermatologist for the best course of action.

4. Does Accutane Cause Skin Peel?

Accutane may cause skin peeling in some patients. The peeling of the skin results from extreme dryness, which is one of the side effects of taking isotretinoin. But when you stop taking the drug, skin dryness and the resultant peeling begins to wear off. Regularly use moisturizers throughout the treatment to help combat dryness. If your skin keeps peeling despite the use of moisturizers, contact your doctor immediately.

5. Does Accutane Cause Skin Redness?

Accutane should not cause skin redness or a skin rash. Skin redness or any rash is a rare side effect and should be reported as soon as you notice it. Stop taking isotretinoin and contact your doctor. It may be a serious issue that can lead to illness.

6. Thin Skin After Accutane – Solved

Typically, Accutane does not cause the thinning of the skin. It only depletes the oil in the skin, which leads to sensitivity and dryness. If you experience a significant skin thinning after Accutane, see a doctor to determine the cause.

7. Does Accutane Make Your Skin Worse Before Better?

Accutane may cause more breakouts on your skin when you first start the treatment. You will notice the acne increases as your skin reacts to the powerful drug for the first few weeks. But after two to three months, your skin begins to calm down, and you see the first positive results from the treatment.

8. Can You Get Chemical Peels While on Accutane?

You must not go for any skin procedure such as chemical peels, dermabrasion, and needling while on Accutane. You increase the chance of skin irritation and, worse, skin scarring if you do. Wait at least three months after Accutane before getting a chemical peel. Your doctor is the best person to advise you, according to your skin type.