Coping With The Side Effects Of Accutane: Tips For Patients

Coping With The Side Effects Of Accutane: Tips For Patients

Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, is a powerful medication prescribed for severe acne. While it can be highly effective in treating stubborn acne, it often comes with a range of side effects that can be challenging to cope with. From dry skin to mood changes, patients undergoing Accutane treatment may experience various symptoms that require careful management. However, with the right strategies and support, navigating these side effects can become more manageable.

Understanding the side effects

Before delving into coping strategies, it is essential to understand the potential side effects of Accutane. While not everyone will experience them, common side effects may include:

1. Dry skin and lips: Accutane is notorious for causing dryness, particularly in the skin and lips. This can lead to flakiness, chapping, and discomfort.

2. Sensitive skin: The medication can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and certain skincare products, leading to irritation and redness.

3. Mood changes: Some individuals may experience mood swings, depression, or other mental health changes while on Accutane.

4. Muscle and joint pain: Accutane can cause stiffness, soreness, and discomfort in muscles and joints.

5. Vision changes: In rare cases, Accutane may affect vision, causing dry eyes or difficulty wearing contact lenses.

6. Liver problems: Accutane can strain the liver, leading to elevated liver enzymes in blood tests.

7. Birth defects: Accutane is highly teratogenic, meaning it can cause severe birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Therefore, strict contraception measures are necessary for women of childbearing age.

Coping Strategies

1. Moisturise regularly: Combat dry skin and lips by using gentle, hydrating moisturisers and lip balms throughout the day. Look for products free from harsh chemicals and fragrances.

2. Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day to maintain optimal hydration levels.

3. Use sunscreen: Protect your skin from sun damage by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily. Reapply every two hours, especially if you’re spending time outdoors.

4. Avoid harsh skincare products: Steer clear of abrasive scrubs, exfoliants, and acne treatments that can further irritate your skin. Opt for gentle, non-comedogenic products instead.

5. Manage mood changes: Stay connected with friends and loved ones, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you’re struggling with mood swings or depression. Therapy, support groups, and medication can all be helpful tools.

6. Stay active: Engage in regular physical activity to alleviate muscle and joint pain. Gentle exercises like yoga, swimming, or walking can improve flexibility and reduce discomfort.

7. Monitor your liver health: Attend regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your liver function and ensure that Accutane isn’t causing any adverse effects.

8. Follow contraception guidelines: If you’re sexually active and capable of becoming pregnant, use two forms of contraception simultaneously to prevent pregnancy while taking Accutane.

Seeking support

Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. Reach out to your doctor if you’re struggling with the side effects of Accutane. They can offer personalised advice and support to help you manage your symptoms effectively. Additionally, joining online support groups or forums can connect you with others who are going through similar experiences, providing valuable insights and encouragement.


Coping with the side effects of Accutane can be challenging, but with the right strategies and support, it is possible to navigate this treatment journey successfully. By prioritising skincare, staying vigilant about your health, and seeking support when needed, you can minimise discomfort and achieve clearer, healthier skin. If you’re seeking professional assistance with acne treatment in Singapore or cystic acne treatment, consider reaching out to APAX Medical & Aesthetics Clinic. Our experienced team offers comprehensive acne treatments and cosmetic dermatology services to help you look and feel your best. Don’t let acne hold you back – take proactive steps towards clearer skin and improved confidence today.

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