Real Talk: Why I Chose Not To Take Isotretinoin

Real Talk: Why I Chose Not To Take Isotretinoin

Yesterday was the first time I ever visited a dermatologist. I always do my research before going ahead and making appointments, and this guy had a five star rating. All seemed good.

Before I get to the tea, here are a few things about my skin:

• I’ve got combination skin. This means my nose and the sides of my nose, my chin and bits of my forehead get oily.

• I don’t have a terrible acne issue. I’ve only got whiteheads.

• I accidentally pop the occasional pimple and I get scarring which often takes months to go away.

• I always use a sunscreen and moisturizer and exfoliate my skin twice a week. I use face masks, mostly homemade, once a week and I sheet-mask once in a while.


Your doctor is always supposed to take proper history before making any diagnosis or giving you any treatments. My dermatologist didn’t do that. All he asked me was, “What’s your issue?” and I told him about the whitehead issue and the scarring problem and he went ahead and gave me Isotretinoin. The next thing he did was hand me a leaflet with instructions as to how to proceed with the drug. And that was that.

If you’re someone who’s been on any Isotretinoin medication like Accutane, you’d know that the stuff works. BUT, you need to only take it if you’re suffering from terrible acne. It’s legit. You’ve to be very consistent with your routine and you’ve to avoid eating a lot of stuff. It’s a retinoic acid derivative and this makes it lipophilic. It also means if you’re on keto – a diet rich in fats and protein – you cannot continue with keto anymore. You can’t be consuming any vitamin A supplements. Dairy and sugar are also not recommended because Isotretinoin can mess with your cholesterol levels.

Also, if you’re planning on conceiving, you can’t. Isotretinoin potentially damages the fetus so you’ve to be on birth control for at two-ish years. People with PCOD say that Isotretinoin messes with their cycles.

If you’re a man and on Isotretinoin, you could be suffering from erectile dysfunction. It’s rare but it happens.

Also, during the first few weeks of the course, you’re probably going to experience a lot of dryness of the skin, sometimes your blood sugar levels (if you’re diabetic) won’t stay in check. There are so many contraindications again, it’s crazy. And so many adverse effects. I’ve only listed a few. You can do your own research before going ahead with the treatment, but I’ve chosen not to.

Also, I took a second opinion from someone else and I’ve been told that a chemical peel would fix it. There’s no need to apparently take pills that cause a million side effects than good.

Have you ever taken Isotretinoin?