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Hey there, I just thought I'd tell you about my experience with Accutane. I have taken it 3 different times in my life. Each time I had different experience - none of them were too terribly bad. Everyone has a different experience, but I will tell you that the first time I took Accutane (back in '91) I had a horrible initial outbreak. It started about a week after I started taking it and lasted for about a month. I had always had cystic acne since my teenage years and was getting pretty frustrated and depressed about it. I thought by my mid-twenties - the acne would clear up on it's own. During the first month of my initial Accutane treatment the cysts were the worse than I had ever experienced and were very painful. I was even very embarrassed to go to work and be seen, and I didn't socialize much for that first month after work hours (oh VANITY!). The cysts all centered about my chin and mouth area and my face was very swollen. That first month was extremely tough - physically and emotionally. I cried a lot, not because of the medicine, I cried because I didn't think Accutane was going to work for me. I thought I was destined to have acne for the rest of my life - and this made me very sad. But after a month, things started to change and WOW - I started to see miracles. In 3 months - I was totally clear with the exception of the red and purple marks left by the cysts. By month 4 - people were coming up to me and asking me about my "beautiful" complextion! One day my boss asked to see me in her office for a private "meeting". I thought I was in trouble, but when she shut the door and told me to sit down she said she just wanted to ask me what I have been doing with my skin and did I have some type of procedure. She couldn't get over how different I looked and told me how beautiful and glowing I looked. She really couldn't believe that all I had done was taken Accutane to clear up my skin. This was the ultimate compliment. Suddenly my life changed and for the first time in my life - I wasn't embarrassed to look people in the eye - I stopped "hiding" behind my long hair - I engaged in conversation, I started being more active in my community - I came out of my shell and became very outgoing. Accutane REALLY changed my life. I had always felt like an ugly duckling because my pimples were so big - the size of quarters! I have a tiny face and the pimples just completely covered it. I was very conscience of my pimples not only because they were so big, but I had very painful acne. After Accutane - with a clear face - I became more secure, happy, NORMAL, and today I feel (not bragging - but) I feel beautiful - and I am told that I am without even soliciting any compliments! I think before all people saw in me was this insecure, little girl who had huge, disgusting pimples all over her face. Accutane helped me physically and psychologlically. My advise is to you - do you research, talk in depth to your dermatologist - weigh the pros and cons - and make your decision. Always be sure to get the lab work that is required as well. Personally, and luckily, I did not have one side effect other than being very dry and the horrible initial breakout (which did not leave me with any scarring). I never got depressed (I think having zits made me a little depressed, but not the Accutane). I never got joint pain, never got an upset stomach, never got headaches- nothing - just great clear skin after about 3 months. I took it about 5 years later because I started getting cystic acne around my chin and mouth, but only stayed on it 4 months. I did not have any horrible outbreaks during that episode of treatment. The last time I took it was about 4 years ago. I probably didn't need it, but I had developed a long and good relationship with my dermatologist and when I asked him about going on it again for some small zits I was getting around my chin, he did not hesitate to give me another perscription. I highly recommend it, but only you and your doctor can decide. Don't be afraid if you have an initial outbreak - it's really minor - and you will see a huge improvement. I have many friends who have taken it (all female) and not one had any side effects and they have all told me that they wouldn't hesitiate to take it again. Hope this helps. Sorry it was so long, but I just had to share my great experience. I believe in Accutane so much that when I see people suffering from acne, I want to help them. I don't want any one to ever feel as ugly and insecure as my acne once made me feel. Good luck! I hope you make the right decision and have beautiful skin too!

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