I know exactly how you feel right now.
Since you're looking up Accutane, then I'm guessing your acne is somewhat severe, or on the verge of being severe.
And I think you'll agree with me when I say it's one of the worst feelings you could experience as a human being.
I dealt with fairly severe cystic acne for more than 3 years, but it felt more like 30 years.
Everyday was a mental battle that just kept getting worse.
I was worn out, mentally exhausted, stressed and miserable (to say the least).
After months of seeing 3 separate dermatologists, I was only left with one option - Accutane.
It's also called Roaccutane.
I wasn't completely opposed to it - but I REALLY didn't want to take it.
Plus, I would need my blood tested twice before taking it - so it would have been another 4-6 weeks until my doctor could even write me the prescription.
And I couldn't just wait another full month while my face kept getting worse everyday...
But it turned out I didn't have to - and I still ended up clearing myself over the next couple of weeks.
Don't worry I'm going to explain everything.
The reason I'm writing this post in the first place is to share my experience (so I can help others like you with the same problem).
Anyway let's start,
How Did I Clear My Face Without Accutane?
I'm going to just come out and say the answer to make things easier to follow.
In short, the answer is with a liquid antioxidant treatment.
You might have heard of these types of treatments recently, since they're only a few years old.
If you haven't, I'll fill you in quickly.
But if you want to know everything, here's a solid article all about them.
What's an Oral Antioxidant Acne Treatment?
It's a new type of acne treatment made for people with moderate to even the most severe cases of acne.
People still use them for mild acne though (but they'll just take a much lower dosage).
It works by drastically increasing your immune system's strength.
The heavy dose of antioxidants is what makes it work so quickly.
I was around 80% clear at the end of my 2nd week, and probably 40% my first week (I'm NOT exaggerating).
It might sound corny, but those were the happiest weeks I've ever experienced in my life.
Maybe it was just because I hadn't felt genuinely happy in so many years that I forgot what it felt like.
But either way it doesn't matter.
The point here is that antioxidant treatments work better than accutane and I'll tell you why.
Then I'll tell you who makes them and where to get them.
First though I need to tell you what Accutane is or else you won't understand anything.
What is Accutane?
Accutane (aka Isotrentinoin) is a retinoid like beta carotene, meaning a natural and safer form of vitamin A.
Your body already produces them naturally too.
Also, it's found in the majority of red, orange, and yellow vegetables like you can see in the vitamin wheel below.
Isotrentinoin is basically a mega-dosage of this retinoid.
Taking pure vitamin A is apparently not safe for anyone to do.
That's why they created retinoids though, because your body converts them into vitamin A.
If you want to know more about where it comes from, you can read this post from the AOCD.
How Does Accutane work?
It works by drastically speeding up cell reproduction and collagen. It also has major anti-inflammatory properties.
Surprisingly, retinoids like Isotrentinoin are the only thing known to do this.
And believe it or not, scientists still don't know why it works specifically.
If you don't believe me you can read the studies for yourself here.
But I'm not promoting Accutane.
In fact it's the opposite - I think you should avoid the drug at all costs.
What Are the Worst Accutane Side Effects?
You've already heard of how dangerous it can be, but have you ever wondered exactly how dangerous?
Apparently there have been thousands of tragic deaths and suicides linked to Accutane or Roaccutane (I'll get to that more in a second).
The worst effects though (according to me) are the long term effects is has on your organs and brain chemistry,
I'm not saying that it shouldn't exist, because there are some people who truly have no other option.
All I'm saying is that you should try every possible option before you even consider going on Accutane.
I'll list the worst ones for you,
If you consider yourself to be mentally fragile than I would HIGHLY recommend avoiding Accutane.
I've seen what depression can do to people.
It's like a black hole sucks out all your joy and meaning to live.
Here's a first hand experience of how much it can change your mental stability.
I would never in a million years consider trading clear skin for depression - definitely not something you'd want to mess with.
Severe Birth Defects:
This is obvious, but you can't be on Accutane if you're even considering to give birth anytime soon.
Unfortunately people weren't aware of this at first, but now it's a confirmed fact.
Destroys Primary Organ Functions (Especially Your Bowels):
If you don't believe me, just read this extremely long list of reported patients that developed colitis, IBS, Hepatitus, or Chrohn's disease.
If you looked at the list, you'd notice there are thousands of other cases against Accutane for all kinds of diseases and disorders (even death).
That just shows you how serious the effects can be.
You might think these cases happen rarely, but think again.
According to articles like this, Accutane has killed thousands of people.
But only a small percentage of those cases were people who actually died from a physical reaction.
Most of the deaths were caused by suicide or homicide.
When I say homicide, I mean innocent people (who never used the drug).
They were simply victims of someone else's horrible side effects from it.
The Positives of Accutane?
I know I just convinced you that it shouldn't be taken, but that's not entirely true.
To be fair, not everyone experiences these side effects, only certain percentage of people.
In fact, Accutane has cleared many more people than it's harmed.
Over 13 million people have successfully cleared their SEVERE acne thanks to it.
Sure, some people had some nasty side effects.
But does that mean you should discount the millions of lives it's changed for the better?
Remember this is severe acne we're talking about, not just a few pimples.
You know first hand how miserable it feels to have your skin ruined by acne.
If it weren't for Accutane, all of those people would still be searching blindly for something else.
So is Isotrentinoin a Miracle Drug?
The answer is no.
It is not a miracle worker.
If it didn't have so many side effects then yes, it would be.
Here's the good news though,
Vitamin A IS a miracle worker for acne.
The problem is that Isotrentinoin is basically a cheap version of vitamin A, that's given to you in MASSIVE dosages.
This way the companies selling it can keep their cost low, and still clear your skin.
The issue though is that this cheap version of vitamin A in such a high dosage will annihilate your organ systems.
The Huge Breakthrough That Came Next
Clinical trials showed that a LOW DOSE of a quality form of vitamin A, will be almost just as effective as Accutane.
You can look at the data here if you want to see for yourself.
Since this study was done in 2015 - there have already been a few treatments created.
You don't need a prescription for them as a mentioned before.
They're called oral antioxidant treatments.
I've tried a few of them, but Derma's treatment is the only one with enough vitamin A to work quickly for me.
The others I used did help, but it took weeks to see a decent improvement (which is too long for me).
The only bad thing about them (at least in my opinion) is their price.
Why are Oral Antioxidant Treatments Better Than Accutane in Most Cases?
There's really no comparison in my opinion.
The Same Results For Most People:
Oral antioxidants have shown to bring the SAME results as Accutane. Except with a much smaller dosage.
I've talked to a good number of people who've said they even work faster too.
Little to No Side Effects:
I don't need to repeat the side effects of isotrentinoin again.
As far as my experience goes there were absolutely no side effects when I was using Derma's treatment, but I can't speak for anyone else.
Here's Melissa's post if you want to read a first-hand account of someone on Roaccutane.
Keep your Microflora:
We all have something called microflora (or gut microbiota) living inside our stomachs.
They are basically a healthy type of bacteria responsible for protecting our gut and digestive organs against outside pathogens and diseases.
Without them your body experiences MAJOR digestive system failures like Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Crohn's disease like I mentioned before.
You can read everything about microbiota from this journal.
They are Actually Safe for your Body:
Unlike Accutane, these antioxidant treatments don't just have vitamin A.
They also have derivatives of other antioxidants and minerals like zinc and copper - which have also been proven in the past decade to clear acne.
You can look at this clinical study if you want to see some more evidence for yourself.
Alcohol Isn't Off Limits:
I would still watch how much your drink if you're using an antioxidant treatment, but at least you don't have to stop completely.
No Prescription Required:
Most of these treatments you can order straight from their website.
No prescription is required, but the price makes up for that (usually prescriptions are cheap and covered by insurance).
Who Makes Antioxidant Treatments and Where to get Them?
Like I said before, I used Derma Drink but there are a few others your can look for as well.
If your acne is really severe though, the recommended amount might not be enough for you, so you might want to take a little bit extra.
For example - if your acne is leaning towards severe, you would take 2-3 bottles per day for weeks or so.
But for moderate acne, you would only take 2 bottles per day for 1 week.
Here's their instructions page if you want to see it.
Conclusion on Both Treatments
Now you can see why Accutane is slowly being replaced by oral antioxidant treatments.
Still though, it's always going to be needed for that tiny percentage of people who have the WORST cases of acne, like nodulocystic or conglobata.
But for the majority of others with regular cases of severe acne - antioxidant treatments are perfect for you.
I know it took almost 50 years for someone to make something like this - but the important thing is that it exists now so most of you don't have to use Accutane anymore.