If you’ve ever had acne, you’d know the struggle of attempting to get it to go away. From countless skincare products and treatments to taking desperate measures like using Windex on pimples (yes, that really was a thing) clearing your skin can be a frustrating task. But while there’s no defined one-size-fits-all cure for acne, there is a treatment that may come close. Isotretinoin, commonly referred to by one of its brand names, Accutane, is commonly known as a beneficial last-resort when absolutely nothing else will work. While this treatment is known for its seemingly magical powers, just how well does it actually work?

The Benefits of Accutane

You may have seen shocking transformation photos or have simply heard amazing things about Accutane, and it’s for a good reason. According to Allure, Isotretinoin is an “internal retinoid” that works to lessen inflammation, reduce the production of skin oil, improve cell turnover inside pores, and decrease the naturally developing bacteria on the skin. If you’ve dealt with cystic acne for even a short amount of your life, these effects of Isotretinoin may sound especially appealing. While there are many pros that come with Accutane, there are also many safety warnings that come with it.

The Side Effects of Accutane

In 2009, Accutane was pulled off the market due to its dangerous possible side effects. These can include extremely dry skin, serious complications with pregnancy, and a possible increase in your risk for depression and anxiety. While Accutane is no longer on the market, it’s generic brand, Isotretinoin, can be obtained by prescription from a doctor in no more than a 30-day supply. Still, this treatment should be taken seriously and should be discussed with your dermatologist in detail to see if it’s a good fit for you.

The Results of Accutane

If you can’t believe that a treatment such as Accutane can have all of these incredible benefits, let these before and after photos speak for themselves. 

Instagram user, @minimualist, discovered the true benefits of Accutane only 5 months after she started her treatment. According to her post, seeing these pictures left her shocked after struggling with her severe acne more or less than 3 years ago. 

This next Instagram user knows first-hand how great of a feeling it is to look back on how far you’ve come on your journey to clearer skin. Instagram user, @barefacedbelle, took Accutane for 7 months before seeing the progress shown in the after photo. 

Instagram user @breeallevato tried everything in the book before starting her journey with Accutane. While she experienced side effects such as back pain, fatigue, chapped lips and dry eyes, according to her, “it was worth every single day (for 6 months).”

The Bottom Line

If after seeing a few transformation photos after using Accutane, it’s obvious that there are clear benefits to trying this last-resort treatment. If you’re completely fed up with your acne, it may be a suitable and realistic option for you to try. But while it can be great, it’s not suited for everyone. Before trying Accutane, meet with your dermatologist or doctor to make sure it’s a proper fit for you.