I wasn't really sure the best place to write this, itâ€™s sort of part positive accutane experience part life story so yer.
Iâ€™m male, 17 years old now and had severe acne from i guess about age 12, it was awful and made my life hell.
I tried: Over the counter creams and washes, the regimen, changing my diet in pretty extreme ways (no dairy, vegetable oils, saturated fat, sugar etc), fasting for up to 5 days, meditation, hypnotherapy, homeopathic remedies, antibiotics from the doctor.
I tried all these things over about 3 years as my acne seemed to get progressively worse. I guess I had been slightly fearful of accutane this whole time so had never really considered it, always sure that this next cream or diet I spent a ridiculous amount of money on would be the "miracle cure." Then one day when i was feeling pretty low anyway, 3 girls sitting at the opposite end of the bus to me decided to spend most of their journey shouting at me that my face was disgusting and that i needed to take a bath, to the laughter of the other people on the bus. People can be pretty cruel sometimes.
Anyway in a way as horrible as that bus journey was, looking back it may have changed my life as it was the thing that finally made me see sense and realise nothing was working. Accutane now seemed to be the best option. After plucking up courage to speak to my parents about it (who were fantastic throughout the whole thing) I got an appointment with the derm. I ended up going on an 8 month course, progressing from 20mg to 80mg. I experienced all the common side effects, learning the true meaning of the phrase dry lips as well as dry eyes, skin and joint pain. I guess one advantage of living in England is that there was hardly any sun, so I didn't really have to worry about that.
I donâ€™t think I really started to notice significant improvements until about 6 or maybe even 7 months into my course, but then my god did my skin start clearing up. I was probably 80% clear at the end of the course and within 2 months of ending the course I was probably around 95% clear. People at my school were pretty amazed; other people with acne were coming up to me, some who Iâ€™d hardly even spoken to before and asking me what I had done, how I had achieved such clear skin.
Side effects Iâ€™ve been left with are next to none. My lips still get a bit dry and every now and then when Iâ€™m nervous/stressed my skin will become horribly itchy but this never lasts for more than a minute or two. These are the only adverse effects I have really noticed since coming of the course.
In contrast the positives have been absolutely huge. There is no doubt in my mind that accutane saved my life, I had just about reached the point of giving up when I started taking it. In the past with acne I would bunk school for days on end, I was so depressed and ashamed, not to mention making excuses to my friends so I wouldnâ€™t have to go out at the weekend. I stopped taking accutane about a year ago now and my skin has been excellent, around 90% clear since then. My quality of life has improved dramatically, I go out every Friday and Saturday night now and go to school all the time, while pretty much eating/drinking whatever I like. The summer of 2010 was also the best of my life by far.
I guess the reason Iâ€™m writing this is to encourage anyone with serious acne to not despair, it will get better and also not to be fearful of taking accutane. I understand it can be a scary drug to take with all the horror stories you can read about it over the internet. However these are incredibly rare Iâ€™m sure. Get yourself a good dermatologist, one you feel comfortable talking to and start of at a low dose and work your way up if you are worried. The most important thing is to pay attention to your body.
When I had bad acne these forums and message boards would be a huge source of strength for me, reading about other people in the same situation and finding out about new things I could try, and after having clear skin for about a year I really feel I should post this, encouraging people to give accutane a go, and not to mess around wasting time and money on other ineffective and often completely rubbish treatments.
If anyone has any more questions about my course or what I did, or would just like to chat generally, send me a message to my account and Iâ€™d be happy to swap email addresses or something.
Thanks for reading,