It's been a while hasn't it?! In fact, it's been 1 year and 2 months since I last took an Accutane pill, and I'm delighted to say that my quality of life has improved vastly since.
The Early Days
A few months post-treatment I still got a few spots, which seemed to be brought on by stress and hormones, but that has calmed down further where I get a (usually) small, pimple-like rather than cyst-type, spot every 2-3 weeks, and the life-cycle of these spots is usually a day or two rather than a week of growing bigger and angrier. When I tell new friends I used to have acne they literally don't believe me and demand evidence, as I am now considered to have 'good' skin, not average skin, 'GOOD' skin * dreamy sigh*. The first time someone said that to me I left the room and literally shed a little tear, I never thought I'd hear that said about me. All that dry skin, bleeding lips and random toe ache was worth it.
The Emotional/ Psychological Damage Caused by Acne
As you may remember I had LOTS of psychological issues caused by having acne, i.e. social anxiety, which I received Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for as I could barely leave the house without feeling unbelievably anxious. Well, either i coincidently gained confidence or the few sessions I had made something click because I have no problems anymore. Of course I still get anxious now and then, but in the sense that I'm just generally quite a shy person, not because I have a deeper problem. In fact, since getting rid of the acne I take care of my skin a lot more than the average 18 year old girl, making sure I always remove my make-up, moisturise, exfoliate, tone and apply bio-oil every night, and I also treat myself to the odd honey and oatmeal facemask...so maybe it did me some good in the long-run.
The Good News
All this confidence building (and good skin of course!) enabled me to eventually net my first boyfriend. Although the relationship didn't work out, there were points in my acne-life where I thought I was too unattractive for anyone to ever want to go out with me, so I'm still glad it happened as it has helped me to further remove myself from the old, negative mindset I had and move on from 'acne Renn'.
All the problems I had with my acne has motivated me to take Psychology at university level, as I hope to one day be in the position of the woman who helped me through this. Uni and my new social life is the reason for not updating (sorry!), I never knew it was possible to be so busy, it's such a massive comparison to the life I had previously, where I was practically housebound for months and months. Oh, and I just have to say THANK YOU to all you bloggers for being so supportive during my acne days, I appreciate it so much
The Not-So-Good News
Well after sorting out my acne and getting that out the way, I decided to sort out my other medical issue. As you might recall I mentioned having joint pains and dry eyes, which I believed to be due to taking Accutane and because I have hypermobility and often have sore joints. Well after some tests it appears that I in fact have Lupus (an autoimmune disease) which has potentially been lying dormant for my life until now. I've read some journals which state Accutane is considered to cause temporary lupus-like symptoms (until the patient stops taking the drugs) and it is possible, according to my doctor, that my Lupus was drug-induced. Of course the predisposition was already there as I carry the gene, but the Accutane may have triggered it to rise. So if it's not one problem it's another. If I could go back and choose not to take Accutane...I still would anyway; personally I found the acne harder to cope with than having Lupus is, but it's early days, a few years down the line and I may not have the same opinion.
So would I recommend Accutane? YES. If it works for you it can transform your life. It's the best decision I have EVER made (minus turning down tickets to go see One Direction). I have lost nothing from taking it, but have gained confidence, friends, entry into the dating world, an education, knowledge (in the sense that it lead me to discover I have Lupus, which was caught early and can now be treated far better than I would if found later in life). I would like to upload photos, but you may have noticed I deleted all my albums. I chose to do this because my friend typed in 'Accutane' on Google Images and my face popped up and I was really freaked out, but believe me I am 'cured' . I may upload a close-up skin picture soon