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My Roaccutane Journey

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Second course of Accutane

Hi, I'm on my second course of Accutane. Started on 15 July 2015, my first course ended in July 2013. I'm four months in and don't know when my course will end. I'll be seeing my Derm on the 4 Dec, I'll ask her.

I went back to my GP as soon after finishing my first course the oil came back and then so did the spots. I was told to wait a year, if my spots came back. I was given retain a gel, which didn't really do anything. But I gave it time to work. I asked for a referral to the Derm, which I got.

The Derm just gave me the prescription straight away, after making sure I wasn't pregnant and I did a blood test. I was given 40mg a day for the first month then went up to 50mg. 

I had a break, a week in, as I had to have emergency surgery (gall bladder removed) missed 3 weeks. I started again, I noticed dry lips, slight skin peeling and itchy scalp when I was on 40mg.

After starting 50mg my side effects were worse, I had really bad sore red eyes which had puss in them (still get puss) crusted over eyes in the morning, not now though. Seriously itchy dry scalp ( I was scratching my head like I had lice!) The dry itchy scalp has calmed down and mild hair loss.

The hair loss was mild now it's bad. I've lost about one quarter of my hair, it's very noticeable. I wake up with an achey lower back and had kidney or liver pain (upper right side of my back) the upper back pain isn't noticeable now. I still have dry lips and I get headaches, every day. 

My skin though is good, dry, no oil and only very small spots. Only noticeable to me, I'm not worried about them.  

I got a few compliments about my skin, that made me feel good! My concern is how will my skin be when I finish my second course and how will my overall health and hair be? I guess I'll have to wait and see. 

Feel free to ask questions or share your experiences of second courses. I look forward to reading them. :-)





I am now finished with Roaccutane, I had my last capsules on March 17th 2013. I was on 40mg a day, 20 mg in the morning and 20mg at night. My treatment lasted for six months. I was trying to be as realistic as I could be, I knew that popping a pill for a few months would not change my skin type, which is very oily in the long term. I loved not worrying about the oil on my face and the touching and spreading the spots.

I'm quite disappointed as within three weeks of finishing the treatment I becme oily again. From going from no oil to oily again I can literally feel the oil sit on my skin and feel it spread. You guys know what oily means, it doesn't take long for the spots to show up. I now have pustules and papstules on my forehead, around my hair line and chin. I have noticed a couple of papstules on my chest as well. So as you can guess I'm not a happy bunny.

In the u.k. there is no follow up visit to the dermatolgist (post treatment) I saw the derm every two months. I had my last visit with the derm on the 6th of March. I did ask the derm about follow up treatment if the spots came back and was told I would have to wait 1 year to really see the full out come of the treatment. And then ask the GP for another referral.

I wash my face in the morning with oily combination skin face wash, I add a drop tea tree essential oil and leave it on my face for five minutes while I do other stuff, I then go back and wash my face a second time with just face wash. I am clutching at straws to see what works for me. I get lazy sometimes and forget to wash my face at night.

I guess I don't really know what to do next... Do I go back to the GP and most likely they will give me antibiotics which is bad as I have been on them on and off for too long and I get thrush on my tongue (it goes white). I want what is best for my health and I know from years of treatment that I don't want to go down that road again. But at the same time I have noticed that I am getting anxious about the oil on my face and I can see the spread of spots. I hate going back to worrying all the time about the oil on my skin, I wasted an amazing amount of space in my mind and my time with worrying about something other people will think is stupid and such a small thing to worry about. So i decided to do research into more natural cures. The downside to natural cures are that you have to do them consistantly over a long period of time. I get lazy sometimes and I now put reminders in my phone so I know when I need to take something. Better organisational skills, lol.

I read someones forum entry (SebumSucks) where they used vitamin D3 to control their oil. They used 1000iu a day and were able to control the oil on their face. I decided to look into this, I found so much information such as vitamin D is actually a hormone and not a vitamin and that you shouldn't take vitamin A with vitamin D. I did a lot of research on websites one was very good earthclinic, I found that you can take v D in high doseages. But please be aware I am not a health professional these are things I am trying, to eliminate very oily skin these are not clinical trials based in a lab. I am just trying to find what works for me, as we are all different and react in different ways.

I am now trying it too. I have been playing around with doses, I am taking the tablet form at 400iu. At first I tried v D3 at 400iu twice a day for a week. (I got impatient) When no change occured I upped it to 400iu four, two times a day for another week, two in the morning and two at night for another week. When again no change, I again changed the doseage to six a day, two in the morning, two in the afternoon and two at night again I tried this for a week and again no change. So I am now taking eight a day spaced out at two at a time. I have noticed a slight change and will keep at this doseage for two weeks. I am hoping to reduce this to six a day as I don't really feel comfortable with this treatment. But I guess I have had enough of the oil and spot cycle. So I am trying this new treatment.

Any feedback would be good if anyone is on a similar journey to mine. whistling.gif)

So my appointment went well!! smile.png

When I walked in there was a trainee derm in there waiting for me with my derm, from my first appointment I had two other derms walk in and check out my gross face, which made me feel very uncomfortable. They didn't ask me if I was comfortable with people popping in during my appointment so I thought this time I will bring it up. As soon as I was introduced to the trainee derm I expressed my feelings and she left. Which made me feel comfortable.

I discussed all of my concerns with the derm:

  • styes
  • eye pus
  • light sensitivity
  • headaches
  • migraines
  • internal pain
  • cysts

She said that the above was all normal, then she checked through my bloods and said everything was good my cholesterol level was 48 before roaccutane and the second bloods were 50. The liver results were good, so no more blood tests. Yay!! Still have to have the pregnancy tests though.

As my skin hasn't progressed to where she expected I'll be on Roaccutane for six months instead of four at 40mg once a day. I don't mind as I'm feeling good about skin, its amazing how much time I wasted feeling shit about the oil and spots. I do have cysts and more of them than I would like but hey ho, my skin is healing all the gross under the skin spots have gone.

I'm having a laporoscopy in two weeks so I'm worried about healing time, but I was told to just keep the stitches clean and dry.

I've walked away from my appointment happy, my derm addressed all of my concerns.


My current side effects...

  • Dry Lips
  • Stys in both eyes
  • Pus in both eyes
  • big, deep painful cysts
  • headaches
  • general all over dry skin
  • light sensitivity

Cons so far...

I'm not liking the dry peelng lips, headaches. I noticed I've been getting pissed off very easily and dropping lots of F bombs. I've been super horny and also super not horny, if that makes sense lol. I'm usually in the middle. ;). I've had a lot more migraines than I'm used to. :(. I've been feeling some internal pain, might be my liver or kidneys. I'm still getting big cysts, which I didn't get so much before raccutane.

Pros so far...

I have dry skin and no BIG FAT PORES!!! YAY. As you can tell, I'm loving it. lol. All the horrid under the skin spots that were all over my face have gone!! :D. My skin all over my face feels very soft and smooth. Like I've had a chemical peel, but without having to deal with the seeping skin.

How I feel at the moment...

I have my derm appointment tomorrow, which I'm conflicted about. On the one hand I'm looking forward to it, on the other hand not so much...

I'm scared that my derm will take me off the Roaccutane, this is just based on my gut feeling. The internal pain and the two blood tests I've had are factors, but as I haven't seen the blood results and I don't know the cause of the internal pain. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

I feel that the roaccutane is slowing down and my body has adjusted to it. Maybe the derm will increase my dosage, again I don't know and will have to wait.

I've been naughty and haven't been drinking enough water, which may be why I'm getting internal pain. I'm going to up my water in-take.

I'm seeing my derm two weeks earlier than the stated two months as I have a laporoscopy scheduled for the 7 of novemeber, so I'm not available for the derm. I am concerned about the healing time of the procedure due to the roaccutane, will discuss it with the derm.

I'm going to discuss all the above with my derm tomorrow. Lets hope I come home a happy bunny.

Day 38

Today I feel like absolute crap!! I was sooo tired and lethargic all day and still feel like doing nothing!

I was so tired that I didn't even pick my daughter up from school today, (took her though) my husband did it. I also got him to crack my neck, he did both sides today and yesterday, I can still feel the tension in my neck. The only good thing is I don't need to pay a chiropractor. smile.png

I have a headache/tension headache/migraine my eyes have been very sensitive to light today, more so than usual. And it's grey and cloudy in the UK. WTF? My vision was blurry today. I do usually suffer with migraine's but have never had blurry vision until today.

I don't get migraines often and usually only have light sensitivity and headache. Closing the curtains and no tv and no laptop for a few hours sorts me out. I don't even take pain medication. But today and yesterday I popped some co-codamol, (really strong pain meds) I used a hot compress which seemed to help. sad.png

I can feel a cold coming on too! I hope this blows over very quickly, I have shit to do!!

Day 37...

I don't know how to start today. lol

Well effects so far

  • peeling lips (o so sexy)
  • itchy and flakey scalp (using coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint and lavender essential oils)
  • lower back pain
  • dry skin over more of my body
  • headaches (I need to drink more water, havn't been drinking enough)
  • hands feel dry
  • face is oil free, yay!!
  • dry and light sensitive eyes

So I take supplements, vitamin c 1000mg a day, vitamin E 800iu a day, iron, vitamin B complex and I started taking zinc this morning. I have no idea if taking any of the above are helping. Lets hope so.

Eye drops for the dryness and sunnies for light sensitivity.

Surprisingly I feel strange without my usual oily chops. lol. My cheeks feel numbish and overal face feels dry. I'm a picker and I can find things to pick, which is bad! I have scabs on my cheeks and neck from my avid picking. Do really need to stop but I think its a habit now. I read on someone's log that she drinks water every time she picks, I'm going to try it. To counter the dry feeling face I use a moisturiser for dry skin with a drop of bio oil (now changed to wrinkle cream). I've noticed it's thicker and takes longer to soak in and my face looks sort of oily but not oily. lol. If you get what I mean. I like this though.

I've noticed the lines on my forehead are deeper. :(. To counter this from yesterday I bought Simple regenerist day and night creme with sp15 I add a drop or bio oil to this at night. The cream's are both super thick and take a very long time to soak in. Again I have no idea if this will help the lines in my forehead. Lets hope it helps.

Day 26

I haven't posted in a while, due to life getting in the way. lol

My side affects so far are...

Dry skin on my face, so much that my cheeks feel dry and need moisturising 3x a day. Dry hands.

My lips are super dry and peel like crazy. Constant application of lip balm isn't really helping.

Flaky and itchy scalp!

Dry eyes.

Dry skin on my arms, have flakes of skin. Not a hot look!

I feel lethargic during the day and at night I'm finding it hard to sleep. lol, I've found using ear plugs help me sleep. ( My house isn't noisy).

I have an amazing amount of cysts on my right cheek and neck and chest (stopped counting them), they are itchy and I do pop them! Popping them stops the itchy sensation and they seem to disappear quicker. But as I have darker skin I have massive scars left over. :(. Which take ages to heal and I am left with huge scabs that take ages to fall off. Also after popping, there is a lot of blood.

As it hasn't even been a month yet I am still monitoring what is happening. The main thing is that the oil on my face has disappeared and the all over under the skin spots that I have are becoming flatter.

I have to go to the hospital this Tuesday to get my urine and blood test done. So that I can get next months supply of tablets. As I'm getting this on the NHS I get 2 months prescription but I have to get the tests done before I get the next months supply.

I have my Derm appointment on the 24th of October, the Derm told me I would see her every 2 months. I'm looking forward to seeing her and relating my experiences so far...

Feel free to ask questions and add suggestions. :)

So day 17...

Today was fun, I had another photo shoot with my friend the budding photographer. I would have normally had to blot my face about 3 times by 11am, I didn't have to do that at all. NO BLOTTING SKIN AT ALL TODAY!! Yay

Lets get back to my skin...

The initial breakout is really hitting me hard. I have about 20 cysts, that are painful and red. O what fun, but saying that as I had a photo shoot so I wore makeup for the first time in 17 days and covered just my spots, and used finishing powder just on my cheeks. The cysts are mainly on my cheek and chin area, but I do have 3 on my chest. :-(

I did notice yesterday that I had hair growth half way down my forehead!! WTF. Well anyway I couldn't honestly say the hair growth is from Roaccutane or not, but I think it is. I plucked out those stray hairs.

Lips are still sore, over the past week I have bought lots of different lip balms. I used plain vaseline during week 1, have since bought Blistex Medplus, Rose & Almond Oil Vaseline, Nivea Sun Protect SPF30 and lastly Palmer's Cocoa Butter Moisturising Lip Balm, Vitamin E & SPF15. I'm using the last 2 they seem to working better to keep my lips from feeling too dry. My lips are still tingly and peel.

Overall I feel good and the oil staying away has really helped me feel good about my skin. I do still have the under the skin spots all over my face, but they are getting flatter as the days go by. I am still picking and touching my face, I really don't know how to stop. :-(

I guess that I have to come to terms with the fact that POPPING A PILL IS NOT A QUICK FIX! It will take time and I have to be patient...

Day 15...

I've started my 'initial breakout' I have 13 cysts in various stages, from drying out to starting. I've never had that many at one time, usually 3 max. I have been helping my cysts dry out by spot treating them with Calamine Lotion. I don't know if this is helping as I have been doing it from when they started popping up...

I have been using Dermol 200 as a face wash and shower gel as well as moisturiser for my face, it seems to help with the itchy sensation. I am still using the antihistamine for the general itchy sensation, but I have been waiting for the itch to come and get me. lol

My scalp was really itchy again yesterday!! Scratch scratch.... So I got online and was looking up itchy scalp home remedies..

I used a mix of olive oil and jojoba as the base, 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 3 drops of peppermint essential oil. I warmed up the mixed in the microwave, then used a hair dye brush to brush in the warm mix into my scalp in sections. I left the mix on my scalp for a couple of hours, I could feel a cooling and tingly sensation. Gave my scalp a good massage before getting in the shower and whilst washing the oil mix out of my hair.

It felt sooooo good! Washed out my hair, dried it and waited for the itch. No itch as yet, 12 hours and counting... I don't know how long this will last, it's working now that's what counts...

This morning woke up with no oil on my face today, yay!!

So this is day 13...

My side affects are really coming through now...

  • Itchy scalp to the point I had my mum check my head for nits! Have been using coconut oil for the flakes on the scalp, thought it might help with the itch but it doesn't after washing my hair and it drys gets back t being itchy. :-(
  • My lips are really bad, tingling, throbbing peeling tight and sore.
  • The skin under my nose is peeling off and my chin, it's very uncomfortable it stings and is itchy.
  • My whole face seems itchy. So I have been touching and popping spots. This is bad I know but I can't seem to break the habit.

My side affects were so uncomfortable over the last few days. I booked an appointment to see my GP today. She was very helpful and pointed out that whilst on Roaccutane I would get these symptoms. She wanted to make sure it wasn't an allergic reaction, I would have had to come off it. It wasn't a reaction, just side affects.

She advised me to take antihistamines, said that would help the itchy sensation. Which it has already, I took a Piriton tablet as soon as I got home!!! I can't believe I didn't think of it myself, I have hayfever so always have some sort of antihistamine at home, in the car and in my bag!! lol. She also prescribed me a bath emollient (Dermol 200) as well.

I feel so much better, my skin isn't itchy, neither is my scalp my lips still feel tight and throb hopefully that will get better over time.

In general my skin is looking better, I am still covered with spots and still have new cysts pop up on my face and neck. But the cysts seem to go quicker but remain very red. The other spots I have all over my face are getting flatter. :-)

I am also less oily :-D

Day 9

Going back to day 8, my scalp got itchier and itchier to the point where I was scratching like I had nits! lol

I was with my mum yesterday, about 3 weeks ago she asked me what was going on with my skin! I was upset by that but I guess being my mum she was concerned and my skin was never that bad that my mum noticed. But I guess at least she voiced her concern's about my skin instead of staring openly. So yesterday I asked her how my skin looked. lol. I told her about Roaccutane and she said that my spots looked flatter and there wasn't as many as there was before. Yay!

Yesterday I also noticed the skin near my left nostril was very tender, red, itchy and a burning sensation. I did rub it a few times. huh.png Before bed I rubbed in some Balneum Plus Cream, it's an itch relief cream which seemed to help.

I got so feed up of this I covered my scalp in coconut oil then thought I might as well do my hair as well, I put it into a hair turban and left it over night. I was so ready to wash my hair this morning I didn't even remember to look in the mirror to see how my skin was looking first thing!! I use a moisturising shampoo, washed out my hair twice, first time left it in whilst I brushed my teeth. I then put some moisturising conditioner into my hair, not scalp.

So far so good, no itchiness yet I did spot some flakes but not as many as yesterday. I might try a dandruff shampoo if doing this twice a week doesn't help.

Any helpful suggestions always welcome... cheer.gif

Wow, woke up this morning and my face look's matte, you know like when you've just washed your face! I love it, but I think I may now have to drink more water. I was struggling with 2 liter's. saywhat.gif

On the downside, I noticed that my scalp is itchier and when I scratched it I had some blood on my nail and the skin on my face feels itchy so I'm going to moisturise more and see if that helps.

I have been taking supplements from day 1 of roaccutane. I take vitamin e twice a day @400ui, iron and vitamin b complex both once a day. I don't know if they are helping I need vitamin b complex any way for my creaky bones which I had before and the iron as I'm slightly anemic.

The pic I have used for my profile is me, not in 1985 but in July just gone lol. My friend is a photographer and he took some snaps of me. I asked him if he photo shopped me but he didn't. Yay! He said he took the pic's far away enough that you can't see my spots! It's good to have friends like that.

I'm also a makeup addict, or I was until day 1 of roaccutane. As I had my dermatologist appointment that day I thought it best to go in without foundation or concealer. It was one of the hardest thing's I have done, I need makeup to help me feel good about myself. I wore makeup every single day! But now I only wear mascara and liquid eye liner. I hated it at first but I want to make sure I am doing all I can to help my skin whilst on raccutane.

I know that my skin needs to breathe and I have to stop clogging my pores with makeup. After washing and toning my face I use 50 factor Simple sun screen and Nivea oil free moisturising day cream. At night I after washing and toning I use Simple night moisturiser mixed with vaseline.

It's the first day in many years that I have woken up and like my skin. I still have spots but they seem to be flattening, I have some cysts under my neck and I have scars.

I feel good today!! cheer.gif

Day 7

I'm on 40mg of raccutane once a day and today I noticed that when I woke up I didn't have as much oil coating my face. Yay!!

Usually I wake up with an extremely greasy face I can see the shine from my nose whilst still half a sleep! This morning however I couldn't see the oily shine and that woke me up fully! I'm really pleased. I looked in the mirror and I even though I could still see oil on my face it wasn't as much as it usually is.

Other side affects I have noticed is an itchy scalp, dandruff, itchy eyes. I also got quite angry last night whether that was due to not eating since lunch, spending 3 hours at my daughters various dance classes, a last minute request to pick up my son from his friends house and then going to pick up my husband only to find he'd gone somewhere else and didn't tell me. I don't really know. I managed to eat my dinner at 8.30pm, way too late than my norm.

I have also noticed I'm more tired and have been sleeping deeper. The deeper sleep is good.

That's it so far...

I should have started blogging earlier, I'm on day five of Roaccutane.

A little about my acne, spot and pimple journey. I've suffered with spot's since I was 12 years old, at times it has been an extremely traumatic journey and sometimes I had no spots at all. I noticed that when I was pregnant I had no spots and I had amazing skin! Why couldn't I have skin like that all the time? I love my children but have no desire to spend the rest of my life pregnant. lol. tongue.png

In the last 15 years or so I have been on so many different types of medication from over the counter to prescriptions. A list of a few prescriptions below.

  • Benzoyl peroxide wash
  • Doxycycline
  • Oxytetracyclitine
  • Zinc acetate lotion
  • Erthromycine
  • Lymecycline
  • Adapalene

Currently my spots and pimples are the worst they have ever been! My face is covered with small hard pus filled spots and a few cystic large and painful pimples. When I say covered I do mean covered. The only area of my face that is spot free is my eye area! I usually get a few spots on my forehead and chin area. But at the moment I also have spots and pimples under my neck, going down my neck to my chest and my back. I finally had enough when I noticed spots under my bra line!! WTF. So I went to my GP and asked for a referral to a specialist.

This is on the NHS, so there's a waiting list, I had to wait for about 6 weeks to be seen. I didn't know what to expect. The dermatologist jumped straight in and started discussing Roaccutane. I had heard about it, but didn't really know much about it. The dermatologist didn't discuss any other options, she said I couldn't get pregnant on it as the high levels of Vitamin A would cause birth defeats.

The thing I didn't enjoy about the appointment was that during the appointment a trainee derm walked in and the main derm asked if I was comfortable with her having a gander at my face. I would have said no if she wasn't in the room, but I felt I couldn't say so in front of her. Also after this the derm next door came in too and had a gander as well! I'm already very self conscious about my skin I know people may stare but actually having people in my face and looking at my skin up close was really horrible. My derm, said I have severe spots and pimples and extremely oily skin. Ummm yeah I don't have a mirror and I don't know the state of my skin!

My derm asked if I wanted more children, I'm not looking to get pregnant. lol. I was told to discuss it with my husband as there is also a risk of depression and she said it was important for him to monitor my moods. lol. I'm slightly crazy already but not too crazy. wink.png. My ol man is on board as we haven't had sex in months, due to the spots taking over my body, so he's on board the sooner I get clear the sooner he thinks we can have sex. lol.

I signed the paper work and had to do a urine test to make sure I'm not pregnant and then I had to get blood tests done. I'm not pregnant, yay! I don't know when the bloods will come back but I went back to the derm and was given the prescription. The process was positive for me and seemed very quick, I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. The whole process took about 3 hours. I have to do monthly pregnancy tests and get some paperwork from the derm nurse with the prescription to get the next months tablets. This has to be done at the hspital and prescription can only be filled at the hospital pharmacy. sad.png

So as I said this is day 5 on Roaccutane for me. The side affects I currently am experiencing is dry lips, my eye's are more sensitive to the light, more headaches and dry feeling in hands.

I have been reading other people's experience of Accutane and I always keep my lips moisturised with vaseline, e45 on my hands and I been putting vaseline up my nose with a cotton bud. I am also drinking more water, I have been drinking 2 litres a day, on day 2 I only managed 1 liter of water I felt the difference. So I'm making sure to get those 2 liters.

What I want out of roaccutane is more manageable skin, a few odd spots here and there and maybe less oil. But I know that popping pills for a few months isn't going to change my DNA and stop the oil production, that's just not realistic. My oil production is crazy, if I do anything to stop or limit the oil production my oil glands go crazy and produce more oil. Like jelly fish, when they get threatened they produce more jelly babies. lol!!!

I also love my hair, its super long and thick. So I'll be really upset if my hair starts falling out but I also know that I have to pay for accutane in one way or another. cry.gifI'm also a picker, which is really bad but it's a habit now, so I will try and break the habit to limit scarring.

I also am staying away from reading the negative experiences about accutane, so I don't start becoming paranoid and crazy. I'm going to try and think positive thoughts and hope for the best and stay away from mirrors!! lol.

I hope this helps somebody. cheer.gif

I forgot to add pic's... here they are

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