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.