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Right, now I'm a little unsure as to why I'm making this thread or why I'm posting it here. I suppose the reason I'm posting it here is because I spent most time here when I was most active on the boards and always found good friends here.

I am about three weeks off accutane, which I took at a relatively high dose for five months. It stopped new acne almost straight away (I'm not exaggerating), and my red marks were pretty much gone at the end of the third month - only one scar left, which I can live with. I had no initial breakout whatsover.

My side effects were .... dry lips. That's pretty much it. I felt a few aches and pains in my joints in the first few weeks which soon disappeared. (I'm now weight lifting again without problems.) I found myself very tired over the last two months, but that went two weeks after I stopped, along with my dry lips. I had occasional dry skin, but that sometimes happened before anyway.

Now please don't imagine I'm trying to disparage the nutritional route to curing acne. In fact I would strongly recommend that everyone try any and all natural diet and lifestyle changes first before even considering accutane, and I greatly respect anyone who cured their acne this way.

I am just writing this because before I took accutane I was scared witless about taking the medication because of all the stories about its side effects, and only took it in the end through desperation. (By the end of my course I was scared to come off it!) They stopped me from taking it for a long while, and I am sure that if I hadn't taken it I would have regretted it.

I know there are no absolutes in life, and my acne might still come back, and I might be seen trawling these threads in a year or so's time looking for advice. Let's hope not! But when I read threads by people who injured themselves by taking other routes because they were scared of the drug, or are stilll struggling, I feel honour bound to offer my testimony as someone who was cleared by accutane and did not suffer ghastly side effects.

I fully believe people who say their side effects were pretty nasty, and respect their testimonies; but I would say that these testimonies, however well meaning, must be balanced by the testimony of those who benefited immensely from the drug. This includes that of a friend I have who is a derm and who took it three times, without long term side effects, before he permanently cleared. (He cleared each time, and each time it came back but much less than before.)

Accutane is worth a try if you have tried everything else, and it is not always the monster that it is sometimes made out to be. Over the last five months my life has improved greatly, and I even if my acne comes back they will be the only time I have not suffered every day from acne since puberty, and I will remain grateful for this time of clear skin.

I would like to thank everyone who helped me with advice and emotional support when I was on these forums almost every night, but especially Danny, Healthoid, Alternativista and NDNRomeo. You are all a truly inspiring group of people, and I don't know what I would have done without you. I will still visit and drop by to listen to advice from people who know an awful lot more about nutrition than I ever will, but I am going to try and put some of the wasted years behind me and get on with my life.

I wish everyone the very best of luck in their quests for clear skin. Ambrosius

(Ignore my sig - haven't changed it!)

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