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Advice On Accutane - Is It Worth It?

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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.

THanks!!!! x

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All these questions you put above and your stories is literally- to a point- a mirror image of myself. Let me start off my saying - i never had a bad diet to begin with- its a long story- and i ended up going to see an allergist- who ran tests that showed i was sensitive to many of the fruits/ ingredients i had been eating (some include, oranges, oats, apples, peaches, yeast and the list goes on) Well that killed me because i thought those were supposed to be good for you (which they are) but for some reason my body didnt like them. I would always get rashes on my forhead if i ate too much of those sensitivities. So i had to tweek my diet which wasnt a problem.

Okay i have like less than moderate acne- with rosacea (im irish woohoo!) Anyways topicals always inflamed my sooooo sensitive skin and it just wasnt an option to apply stuff like that on my face everyday because it would feel like acid to the face. anywho after about 3 and a half years i just told my derm that i refused to just be given things to "try" and find out months later that nothing had improved. So i was like i would like to go on accutane- my brother had gone on it and his skin is fricken amazing!. So we did all the normal preparations to start the course. And then about a week or two before my last derm app blood test i god butterflies in my stomach from all these side effects.

Fast foward 5 months

I now am sitting on my bed writing this in my dorm room. Now 5 months into treatment- i am shocked i hadnt done this two years ago. I do agree this med is harsh on the body- the dryness you get from the course is - horrible, but i found a skincare routine to lessen and avoid it for the most part. And for side effects i dont have anything besides that. The reason you have all these blood tests, and meetings with you derm is to avoid these possible side effects. blood tests dont lie- and if something out of order you stop taking it. Your not shackled to the meds for 6 months- lisen to your body whilst on the meds, if you see somethinng you or your derm is worried about stop taking them.

Anyways im sorry for the ramble-

also.... about lush. Erhmmmmm that brand isnt suited for everybody even though its all natural. Im not alloud to use all natural products because of sensitivities and allergic reactions to everything put in them. Thats just my opionon.

"Pass the marmalade" - Hermione Granger

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I just wanted to post my experience. Accutane has changed my life for the better.

It has been 3 years since I finished my last Accutane pill. Its the best decision I ever made. I was a hermit for like 4 years my acne was cystic most likely made worse by polycystic ovaries. I had tried 8 different antibiotics and 4 birth control pills. nothing worked.

I hated looking in the mirror I would hardly leave the house and lost all my confidence. I was sceptical about going on Accutane but did my research. anyway 5 months later my skin was clear. I had some side effects like dry eyes and skin but I used cetaphil moisture bar which really helped and moistured all the time. Accutane did not make me depressed, my acne made me depressed. Accutane gave me a new lease of life. I am now very confident and feel like I have got my life back. I will never forget the feeling of being so low thinking people are staring at your face and crying yourself to sleep. It annoys me when people tell people not to go on this pill. Every one reacts differently but I am posting to say it has changed my life. My skin is still clear 3 years on, I have not had a spot for like 6 months. I look after my skin. hope that helps.

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Unless you have extremely severe acne avoid accutane like the plague. The risks of taking accutane far outweigh any benefits you might recieve from it. Accutane works great on many people but it has also destroyed countless lives, me included. Seriously if your not suicidal about ur acne forget accutane even exists.

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