I had severe acne for about 10 years, starting when I was about 11. I endured a lot of heartbreak and some teasing and it ruined my self esteem as well as making me feel very self conscious. I tried many things...diet, exercise, vitamins, egg yolks, the birth control pill, B5, benzoyl peroxide, minocycline and other antibiotics. I had been very very scared to take Accutane but finally I did it as a last resort.
I went on Accutane for the first time in 2001 when I was 21. For the first time in my life I had clear skin. I felt like a new person. It cleared my face perfectly....made it very soft and smooth. However, after about 6 months my acne started coming back slowly. It was never as bad as it had been in the beginning though. I tried taking vitamin B5 and various other vitamins which helped a little bit but not enough.
Finally I went back on Accutane about 6 months after my last course had ended. I took it for a few months and ever since my acne has never come back. There are a few things that have kept my skin clear ever since:
1. I started taking Diane-35
2. I moved to a drier climate
Those two things really help. I notice that when i visit more moist areas for a few weeks I break out a little bit.
The main thing that really really really really made the different though is Accutane. I would recommend it to anyone. I never even think about the fact that I had bad skin at one time. I am eternally grateful that I had the sense to try Accutane as it really was a godsend for me. Everyone has to make their own decisions and weigh the risks and benefits.
As for me, when I was on Accutane I had some side effects: nosebleeds, dry lips, slightly sore ribs. All of that was worth it though, and all of those side effects are manageable with moisturizers, vitamins, rest and exercise. I also had some terrible initial break-outs. But I tell ya, now that I have flawless, soft skin, I am soooooo glad I went through that.
If you have any questions go for it and ask...I'll try to check the board whenever I can.
Oh yeah...one more thing. My current regime involves rinsing my face with warmish water before bed and showering in the morning. I use nothing but water on my face. I sometimes use St Ives Apricot scrub to make my skin seem smoother. After my shower I put on Ombrelle Extreme SPF30 sunscreen. Sometimes I use a little bit of Oil of Olay tinted moisturizer (I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!!) and a bit of mascara and that's it!
we all knew already how effective accutane is but thanks. It's real nice that you went out of your way to let others know about it. But, what you use to wash your face with doesn't really make that much of a difference. It's really just a matter of what's going on inside your body and not what you're doing to your face.
alright, I know accutane is great and it clears up most people but what I don't understand is how one can go from severe acne to perfectly clear and smooth skin. If the acne was severe wouldn't there be scarring and red marks left over? As far as I know accutane does not get rid of scars and red marks, or does it?
Mary....thank you for your positive post! So many people suffer with acne that don't have to. Acutane has helped tons of people and if its monitered carefully is totally safe. Yes there are side effects..but the serious ones are rare. A lot of people who come to this board are the ones who haven't had success. Those who have move on and don't need to come here anymore. I believe if you have bad acne that acutane is worth the risk. If a person has problems they can stop. Most creams gels cleansers etc. don't work...or only for a time. Antibiotics can be harmful if taken too long. If your acne is not severe then there is a new treatment that is very effective..Clear Light...ask your dermatologist about it. People you don't have to suffer there is hope.
Thank you for sharing your experience Mary. I really needed to hear that. I just started accutane 11 days ago and sometimes I'm terrified that it won't work and I'll look like this forever. You've given me hope! By the way, do you have any side effects from diane 35? Enjoy your clear skin! Take care, Annie
That is the basic point the sooner you take the accutane the less likely you are to have scarring. I took it three times and boy i am glad i did. I have scarring but not pitted all over the skin. The longer the bacteria is active in the skin the more destruction to the skin.
And I know for one, at least five people who have perfect, I mean flawless skin after taking accutane.
Thanks Mary for the positivie post! I am on week three and feeling great about accutane.
Clear Light is an option...BUT a PRICEY one! It is not covered by most insurance companies for acne and can cost 2 to 4 hundred dollars per treatment and most derms recommend 2x a week for 2 months and then as needed after. Very costly.
Okay. First of all to answer your questions. I did have a lot of red marks when I first finished accutane. Over time those faded. Accutane does help fade the red marks faster because it exfoliates your skin. I notice that I still have a few really faint red marks that appear when I'm exercising but other than that I hardly notice them. I have a couple of pitted scars on my left temple but those are nothing compared to having acne all over my face.
I know most of you already know this, but it's true that people with clear skin don't visit acne boards. I mean, I hardly think about this place anymore. I used to log on many times a day checking and posting messages. Now the idea doesn't even occur to me because my thoughts don't really go to my skin. I am much more focused on my body clothes hair or whatever. Not that I'm disatisfied with myself at all..in fact at this point in my life (24) I feel the most comfortable about my appearance that I ever have.
So remember, this is not the place to hear about people who were successful in curing their acne. You will mostly hear from people going on yet another course of Accutane, antibiotics, ProActiv or whatever. The clear skinned people are out enjoying their lives. I just really want to come back so that people don't NOT try Accutane becuase they think it might not work. It really worked for me and I'd recommend it to anyone.
And about the birth defects...you won't get birth defects if you wait a month after taking Accutane to get pregnant. If people take Vitamin A their babies have a higher chance of birth defects as well. Accutane and Vitamin A are related and cause birth defects in the same way. So...I really wouldn't worry about that as tons of people also take vitamin A and stop taking it for a bit and have healthy babies!!!
I am with "YEM", I am very skeptical with the claims of "flawless skin". If a person had "severe acne" for ten years, there would most certainly be scarring. Accutane DOES NOT remove acne scars. But if what Mary says is true, then I am happy for her. However, I would not recommend Accutane. I regret ever taking it. The comment that Accutane's side effects "are manageable" is offensive to me. Accutane has caused me problems with my vision, which began as mild blurred vision at night and got progressively worse. This so called "temporary side effect" remains 2 years later. Also, acne returned 6 months after my first treatment. Needless to say, I would NEVER consider a second treatment and I could not recommend it to others. It is a very serious drug, with very serious potential side effects not to be taken lightly. Good luck to anyone taking it or considering, just be aware of the dangers and stop taking it if any occur.
It is up to the individual to weigh the possible risks with the benefits. For me it was the right choice and I haven't had any adverse effects from the drug. Accutane changed my life.
And as for not believing that it's possible to have severe acne for 10 years then take Accutane and get clear unscarred skin....I spent most of those 10 years on very expensive antibiotics which partially controlled my acne.
Just wanted to keep updating you guys....my face is still clear a year after finishing my course of Accutane. I know that Diane-35 probably has something to do with this but before Accutane the BCP never did anything for me.