Hi, I'm new to this forum and have ventured here trying to figure out whether I want to go for it with accutane...
I am a 23 year old girl and have had mild acne since about this time last year, which developed into more severe acne round about the start of July. I had been on various topical meds and antibiotics since about November with no joy. I have tried other things as well, like lemon juice, also with no joy.
Over the past few weeks, I have been using a skincare regime from Lush (I don't know if they have them in the US or if it's an English chain but basically stuff made with all natural ingredients which I got advice on in the shop to be helpful for acne skin). I have also been drinking buckets of water every day, being far more diligent with things like using a clean pillowcase each night, a different towel for my face and my hair, and so on. I have also started trying to eat as much fresh fruit and veg as I humanly can, and I have cut out dairy completely (as I originally thought increased dairy consumption may have caused my acne, but I've been cutting it out since June and that didn't make much difference on its own).
Since I have been on this new skincare and eating/drinking regime, I have noticed my skin improve. It's still clearly a faceful of acne but it is less red and angry-looking, and I'm sure fewer new spots are forming while some of the old ones are fading away. I have also been taking selfies regularly since June to monitor my skin, so I know that there objectively has been an improvement!
I'm still frustrated though and my mood comes and goes with it - some days I feel so grateful for any improvement I can get, other days I look in the mirror and just want to cry. So I made an appointment to see my doctor who said I could have accutane as soon as the dermatologist can get round to giving me an appointment - in a month or two.
So... I had heard of accutane, the wonder drug which cures all, and was happy and prepared to take it. But doing some research I am now not sure if it's right for me. I wonder if anyone can help me weigh up my options, with the experience of having taken accutane themselves?
My worries are - 1) hair loss - ok this is super scary and I know it's rare, but my acne isn't THAT bad now the redness is getting better, I mean it's still bad but I can show my face in public and not want to hide - but if my hair thinned out, that would pretty much destroy my confidence forever.
2) The depression thing. I was never diagnosed with depression, but I have suffered from some issues in the past which are now much better thanks to years of counselling. I personally think I did have depression at one point, although as I say never diagnosed, and was a self harmer for years (but have now been recovered for years and am very mentally well-balanced - honest!). Accutane scares me because I don't want to be pitched back into feeling crazy and uncontrollably unhappy and unbalanced again. My doctor knows (it's in my file) that I was a self harmer in the past so he wouldn't have recommended it if there was any chance it could make those issues recur, would he?
3) If my skin is getting better on its own, which I feel sure it is, just very slowly, should I leave it and see what happens, even if it never gets back to being actually normal, just less bad than it was?
I would so appreciate any insight on accutane with respect to quite bad but not horrendous acne, and specifically with depression/mental health problems in the past but now recovered. I'd love to know if you think the benefits are worth the risks.