Effects of Accutane on hair?

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  • 1 Post By crimsonshedemon

Hello everybody,

my doctor told me that I need to take something like accutane soon because of my acne. Now I've done some research about the side effects and one of them was that it can dry out the hair. This can lead to hair thinning or even hair loss. Now I'm afraid that this could happen to me because my 3b hair is already naturally dry and fine and I've been waiting a long time to get it healthy.

Does anyone have experience with this?

Thank you

Oh and please excuse my english, I'm not a native speaker.
I took Accutane a LONG time ago when the dosing was much more aggressive (like, 20 years ago). I had some thinning, noticeable only to me. There may have been some drying but even then I colored my hair and swam so much, it would've been hard to notice. It all went back to normal after my six months on Accutane and a growing out period.

The dry skin was a much bigger issue but it's only temporary. If the side effects are unmanageable to you, you can always quit.
Thank you for answering
I took accutane 10 years ago. It made my hair fall out. I had extremely thick, hair that was heavy and difficult to manage. I was left with 25% of my hair. From being unable to put my hair in a ponytail due to the weight and thickness, my ponytail became stringy and thin. It took a couple years to grow back, but never grew back to the original state. It grew back to 50% of my original hair. I then experienced another phase of hair loss a few years later.

Also, while accutane worked to heal acne while i took it, two years later it came back and I still have acne.
I took accutane 10 years ago. It made my hair fall out. I had extremely thick, hair that was heavy and difficult to manage. I was left with 25% of my hair. From being unable to put my hair in a ponytail due to the weight and thickness, my ponytail became stringy and thin. It took a couple years to grow back, but never grew back to the original state. It grew back to 50% of my original hair. I then experienced another phase of hair loss a few years later.

Also, while accutane worked to heal acne while i took it, two years later it came back and I still have acne.
Originally Posted by LotusWarrior
I am so thankful for your reply! I don't even know what to write... I'm a little bit shocked right now... I'll definitely refuse to take this stuff after reading this. Thank you so much.
I am so thankful for your reply! I don't even know what to write... I'm a little bit shocked right now... I'll definitely refuse to take this stuff after reading this. Thank you so much.
Originally Posted by Galaxy
Isotretinoin is a truly vicious drug, hair loss is not even the biggest of your worries. Here in the UK family doctors cannot prescribe it, it has to be a hospital consultant dermatologist - that basically means supply is as controlled as chemotherapy.

Have you consistently eaten an anti inflammatory, very low glycaemic index, nutrient dense diet alongside oral antibiotics and/ or gentle topicals? Many dermatologists seem to be very poor at targeted lifestyle modification.
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Have you consistently eaten an anti inflammatory, very low glycaemic index, nutrient dense diet alongside oral antibiotics and/ or gentle topicals? Many dermatologists seem to be very poor at targeted lifestyle modification.
Originally Posted by Firefox7275
Yes, I've tried but it didn't help, not even a little bit. I've done it really consequently.
I was put on accutane twice (both times longer than reccommeded! ) acne never went away but my hair stayed the same thank goodness!
Mostly 3b with 3a and traces of 3c.
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After hearing the experience of you all I have decided to use only essential oil for the hair and acne. Natural products donít harm our hair and make them healthy and beautiful.
I've known five or six people who've taken it, none with serious side effects, and all with significant and long-lasting improvement in acne. This includes both my sons, one of whom is also hypothyroid and on meds. Topicals and antibiotics had very little improvement for either of them (facial and extensive back/chest acne), so accutane was our last resort. They had the usual dry skin/chapped lips, but no hair thinning. For them, their acne was 100% gone and has remained so except for the occasional small spot for nearly six years for the elder and four years for the younger. Both were monitored very carefully while on it. I wouldn't recommend it for mild acne, but it does work and usually does last.
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Hi,

I took Accutane a few years ago. Really consider other options before signing up for it. I was on two rounds I believe. The second time my acne came back and I refused to put my body through that again. While on it my hair dried out terribly and it took years to recover. I'm not even sure if it's fully recovered. I did not suffer hair loss or thinning, just hair like a brillo pad. It was awful. The other common side effect I experienced was chapped lips. Lastly, I had Lasik surgery a few years prior to Accutane. The Accutane reversed my eyesight!!! Good thing I had a lifetime warranty on my surgery. I was able to get it redone for free.
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"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." --- Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
What works for my teens- bha and benzoyl peroxide all over every morning
And at night bha and retin a

Also supplements like probiotics, magnesium malate, zinc and fish oil


There are also salicylic acid peels and a blue treatment.
Some have success with milk of magnesia treatments.

Good luck! I'm willing to try absolutely everything before putting my teens on Accutane.
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What works for my teens- bha and benzoyl peroxide all over every morning
And at night bha and retin a

Also supplements like probiotics, magnesium malate, zinc and fish oil


There are also salicylic acid peels and a blue treatment.
Some have success with milk of magnesia treatments.

Good luck! I'm willing to try absolutely everything before putting my teens on Accutane.
Originally Posted by crimsonshedemon
None of these things helped my kids significantly enough to be worthwhile.. What often happened was something would work in the very short term, and then the effectiveness would wane. Very frustrating. When it gets to the point where your son won't take his shirt off to go swimming, something has to be done. I also wasn't very happy about the prospect of years on antibiotics for virtually no result. I think it's a decision that has to be made with care, but there aren't always a lot of side effects that go along with it. For us it was 100% worth it.

ETA: Just wanted to add that I actually regret not putting my older son on it sooner, because he ended up with a vast amount of scarring on his back. It looks like milia, but dermatology biopsied it and it turned out to be scar tissue. He has literally hundreds, if not thousands, of scar bumps on his back. He may be able to have his back peeled, but it probably won't remove the bumps entirely. If he'd gone on accutane a year or so earlier, he probably wouldn't have the scarring.
3a/b, fine, normal porosity, high density

Wash: CJ Daily Fix, As I Am, TJs TTT
RO: YTB
LI: Suave TC + CJ CCCC, brushed through with Denman
Styling: Smooth in LAL Wet Look gel, scrunch, and plop 10 minutes, then add a little more gel, cover with silk cap, and sleep on it
Refresh: 3:1 water/Suave mix as needed

Last edited by CurlyInTheFog; 07-22-2013 at 12:23 AM.
I did one round of regular/high dose, about 20 years ago, and it stopped the cystic acne in its track. Since then, I've started and usually stopped because of unrelated health issues, a couple of rounds of LOW dose Accutane. Amazing results, but I usually only stay clear for about 2 years afterwards (still, much better than originally).

My lips were dry, my eyes felt dry, but that's about it in terms of side effects.

I am planning to go on a low dose, starting in the Fall (away from the summer sun) - hopefully this will be my last round! I tend to be forgetful in taking the medications, esp when I get clear relatively quickly.

I wish that I had started on Accutane in my teen years and am thankful that it is in our arsenal for my daughters, as acne can be so damaging, physically and emotionally.
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Thank you for your replies! I found it interesting to read about your experiences, but I still don't want to take it.
I just wanted to make sure that anyone reading this thread knows that while it can have significant side effects, many people do take it without problems beyond the typical dry skin and chapped lips. And as Chloe_s _Mom said, serious acne can be devastating emotionally. It's been such a wonder drug for so many kids I know. Often all you read online is bad. I wanted to let people know it can have really good, long-lasting results, too. If your quality of life is affected by your acne, and other medications aren't working, then it's worth consideration.
3a/b, fine, normal porosity, high density

Wash: CJ Daily Fix, As I Am, TJs TTT
RO: YTB
LI: Suave TC + CJ CCCC, brushed through with Denman
Styling: Smooth in LAL Wet Look gel, scrunch, and plop 10 minutes, then add a little more gel, cover with silk cap, and sleep on it
Refresh: 3:1 water/Suave mix as needed
I just wanted to make sure that anyone reading this thread knows that while it can have significant side effects, many people do take it without problems beyond the typical dry skin and chapped lips. And as Chloe_s _Mom said, serious acne can be devastating emotionally. It's been such a wonder drug for so many kids I know. Often all you read online is bad. I wanted to let people know it can have really good, long-lasting results, too. If your quality of life is affected by your acne, and other medications aren't working, then it's worth consideration.
Originally Posted by CurlyInTheFog
That's really nice of you. But right now I don't let it affect my life quality. I guess I can live with it.
I think it's probably worth pointing out what my dermatologist told me regarding acne. Teenage cystic acne will eventually go away, so the goal is to prevent scarring, which won't go away, and to help with self image. Adult onset cystic acne doesn't go away by itself. The only cure we have is accutane.

It's entirely up to you whether to take it or not.

3a, low porosity, protein sensitive, medium texture (with random coarse strands), growing out a pixie cut

Located in Tasmania, Australia



I think it's probably worth pointing out what my dermatologist told me regarding acne. Teenage cystic acne will eventually go away, so the goal is to prevent scarring, which won't go away, and to help with self image. Adult onset cystic acne doesn't go away by itself. The only cure we have is accutane.

It's entirely up to you whether to take it or not.
Originally Posted by TassieAnge
Well I've got teenage acne so there's still hope that it will go away when I'm older.
I took accutane in a low dosis for about 10 months. I don't think it really dried out my hair. The only side effects I have is dry skin, dry lips and sometimes pain in my muscles and back (that's normal on accutane for a adolescent who does a lot of sports). Now I'm doing my second round.

But it's actually very logical that accutane can dry out your hair. It will cause your skin to maken less sebum, so your acne will be less, but also the sebum on your head will be reduced. It's probably not a problem if you just use some extra conditioner and oil in your hair.
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