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Dying for Clear Skin: The Dangerous Side Effects of Accutane

December 03, 2012

Dying for Clear Skin: The Dangerous Side Effects of Accutane

I recently watched a documentary called Dying for Clear Skin, a story on the dangers of using the prescription accutane for the treatment of acne. The film showcases personal stories of individuals who have used accutane in hopes of clearing their skin, and reveals some of the devastating effects of taking the prescription.

Accutane is a widely prescribed drug used to treat acne by drastically reducing oil production in the skin. Unfortunately since the drug is taken taken internally it works on the whole body and can also drain fluid from your intestines, uterus, spine, joints, and other organs. The negative results and bad side effects of accutane/roaccutane/isotretenion can therefore include:

  • erectile dysfunction
  • trouble getting pregnant
  • miscarriages
  • back problems from spinal fluid drainage
  • long-term and sometimes permanent digestive issues
  • depression
  • suicide

With such devastating side effects involved, it is no surprise that there have been over 7,000 lawsuits regarding the traumatizing aftermath of using this drug. And while it is considered by many in the medical community as a last resort in the treatment of acne, it is all too often prescribed unnecessarily and sometimes to those just experiencing a few breakouts. “Dying for Clear Skin” revealed just a few of those cases.

One of the hardest stories to hear was that of Jesse Jones, a young man struggling with cystic acne. With no previous signs of depression and only a few months taking the drug, Jesse began to have suicidal thoughts.

After taking the drug, Jesse writes, “Dear Mum and Dad, Roaccutane seems to have changed the way my mind and body works in a big way. I can barely bring myself to type its name because I hate it so much.” A short while after he wrote this email, Jesse went out for a seemingly happy night out with friends, never to return home. Jesse was found a few days later, dead on a beach – the apparent result of suicide. In the aftermath his dad stated, “This drug could drive your child to suicide and that risk is too high a price to pay for clear skin.”

Another interviewee in the film was an advocate against Accutane named Stefan, who mentions that SEVEN years after taking the medication, he still deals with mood swings and depression. Stefan also mentions the devastation of a complete loss of sex drive, the effects of which he says may be even more traumatizing than the acne itself. “I’m dead inside now, I can’t feel anything. If I get another girlfriend now, I have to tell them ‘Oh, it doesn’t work properly.’”

The Role Of Diet in Acne

I was shocked to see that not a single medical doctor broached the issue of diet before asking patients to consider this harsh and sometimes deadly medication. In my opinion and experience, nutritional counseling should strongly be considered before undertaking any serious steps towards clearing acne. I cannot stress how much diet actually has to do with the occurrence of acne, and more and more studies are starting to show the same.

After spending decade of my life suffering from breakouts, I changed my diet and my skin changed drastically – and permanently. Starting at the root cause is always the best way to solve any skin condition. And for almost everyone, shifting your diet will result in clearer skin without the use of harsh prescriptions or their potentially negative or deadly side effects.

There IS help! If you are looking for assistance to clear your skin, please check out information on our consultations page for information on help we can offer you. You deserve to feel good about your skin. And in every way we can, we are here to help you along the way.

 

Elise May, CN + LE, is the owner and practitioner behind SKINutritious. She has helped over 1,000 clients clear acne with detoxing treatments, clear skin coaching, and holistic skincare. 

Work with Elise. Book online here.