Before and After: Accutane

Earlier this year I wrote about my daughter Kalissa’s acne.  I wrote the post because Kalissa asked me to.  She was sure that one of my readers might have a child or grand child who might be suffering with severe acne like she was.  We had tried everything that we knew how to do…everything over the counter…everything that is on the internet.  Nothing worked.

We ended up at the doctor and she was prescribed accutane.  It is a controversial medication.  It is not for everyone.  You can read more about that HERE when I first told about the medication.

Tuesday marked her final appointment so it was time to take some before and after pictures.  Here is Kalissa on the day when she went in…on what we thought was a good day.

Here she is today.

Here is a side by side picture that is very telling.

Kalissa’s acne had gotten so bad that I was sure it was going to scar.  I was sure that she would end up with a “crater face”.  Thanks to the medication she doesn’t.  Below is another before picture.


As I said, accutane is a controversial medication.  Some of the side affects are hard to manage.  The ones Kalissa had trouble with was the severe chapped lips, head aches, dry skin, sun burn easily and chest pain.  She did not have any emotional problems because of it.

At Thanksgiving I was looking at her and honestly I didn’t realize how bad it actually was.  When you’re a mom, your kids are always beautiful to you….acne or no acne.  I don’t think I really “saw” it until now when it is no longer there.  Now she so much happier and it was definitely worth it.  Another after picture with her boyfriend Craig.

I see kids when we are out and about and I just want to walk up to their parents and say…acne can be fixed.  Thankfully my husband has amazing insurance and it covered 90% of the doctor visit costs and the medicine was minimal with our insurance.  Many aren’t as lucky with their insurance but honestly, even if we would have to pay it out of pocket, I still think it would be worth it.

Kalissa has been very generous with her time and has offered to answer any questions you might have.  Feel free to contact us by leaving a comment here…  Life is so much easier when a person feels good about themselves.  I am so glad Accutane was here to help Kalissa.

11 thoughts on “Before and After: Accutane”

  1. Congratulations to your daughter – I had acne growing up – but not nearly as bad – however, my husband still has it – I believe its called Cystic Acne – when he was growing up – there were no options – so I am happy to see your daughter has tried and succeeded. We are now in our 50’s and it still haunts my husband – I don’t really see it anymore – we have been married for 27+ years (I think he is perfect the way he is) – I have encouraged him to seek a dermatologist if it really bothers him. I am just glad that now there are options for the younger crowd. Good luck to your daughter – she is beautiful before and after. She does look extremely happy in her after picture.

  2. Thank you, Kalissa for being brave enough to share this. It’s not easy posting pictures of yourself when you are struggling with skin issues, but you have done a good thing.

  3. Like you say, every child is beautiful and perfect in our own eyes. I wish I had realized how bad my son’s acne was. He was finally able to get it under control with medication in college, but as an adult he has “crater face,” as you call it. Thank you for sharing.

  4. My son used accutane successfully with only the severely chapped lips as a side effect. My daughter tried it and was unable to stay on it because it made her feel depressed. It can be a wonderful drug, but the effects vary from person to person. Kalissa looks wonderful – I’m glad it worked for her.

  5. My daughter also used Accutane. This was almost 20 years ago when it first came out. She was lucky and did fine on it. My niece had a dangerous issue with it about 2 years later. She ended up having to have a shunt put into her brain to release fluid off the brain. It was one of those really rare things. She is fine now. Kalissa, I am glad you have done so well.

  6. Kalissa,
    You look wonderful. So proud of you to do the before and after photos.
    I had acne growing up- but it was more cyst-like and painful. The dermatologist gave me tetracycline, and some cream. The only product I could use was Purpose, by Johnson & Johnson. But, really, I just had to grow out of it. I was very self-conscious and I never picked at my skin, in fact I used Vitamin E on the red marks once it healed and I have no scarring and great skin for 50.
    My brother wound up with the same thing between the ages of 15 and 22(?).
    If you wanted to stop the Accutane, there are many things on the internet regarding a more natural diet, and some supplements, which you may want to look into. Lots of water is a must.
    Enjoy life young lady, you are lovely inside and out!


  7. Hi, I found out (now later in life) that being allergic to wheat and potatoes (as well as nuts and nightshade vegetables) contributed to my condition which is a form of eczema. I ate wheat, potatoes, green chili until age 51 when all skin areas showed irritation, not just my face were involved. As your daughter gets older, please be mindful of diet. I read over and over how diet and chocolate and such have nothing to do with acne. I strongly disagree that what I thought was acne may have been food sensitivities.

  8. Wow–you are beautiful….I know the pain—I had cystic acne and took three rounds of Accutane treatments. I did not have side affects except for the chapped lips..

    God Bless—isn’t modern medicine wonderful…..I love seeing happy after pictures……

  9. Hello! I’m thinking about going on accutane. How much worse did your breakouts get during the treatment?

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