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Roaccutane- Journey To Clear Skin. Edited-Pictures Added.

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So, I've decided I'm going to document my Roaccutane journey. It's a long old process as we all know, so might as well have it written down somewhere. I'd love to read back on this at the end, and hopefully be a completely different person to who I am now.

I'm a 23 year old female. As a teenager, I never had troublesome skin. It's when I hit 18 it all changed, and is getting steadily worse. I suffer with acne on my face, chest and back. I have superficial scarring according to my Dermatologist, but will be looking at private treatment once I've finished this course, as the scarring has been on my back for 5 years (have it on my face too). I'd love to be able to wear backless maxi dresses in the summer, go swimming again, and not forever pulling up my tops/cardigans at the back to cover my spots/scarring.

Face wise, I long for the day I can have conversations with people and not be thinking in my head "my hideous skin. They're looking at my hideous spots", and having my hands up near my face to mask it. Forgotten what that feels like! I don't want my skin to determine whether I venture out the house or not anymore. Actually going to my Dermatologist appointments makes me feel so uncomfortable. The lighting in the waiting room is so bright; my worst nightmare. I'm pleased it's dark early in the evenings at the moment, because when I'm entertaining friends at mine, I can have the lights on dimly. I'd also love not having to take off my make up and reapply again more than once a day. And finally, not to wake up and one of my first thoughts being "what does my skin look like today? Please, please let it be acceptable for me to go out".

So that's me! I have moderate to severe acne (scored by the Dermatologist) and I am on day 5 of Roaccutane.

An hour or so before bed I apply Palmer's Cocoa Butter (the actual butter, not the cream) to my face and lips. I keep it on overnight. I've chosen Palmer's Cocoa Butter, because I was given some gel by the Consultant ages ago to apply to my face, and it dried out my face horribly. Cetaphil made no difference to my skin, but the Coco Butter, within 2 days improved it dramaticially. So here's hoping it will do some good this time too. Though last night, my skin itched so much when I applied it, so had to take it off. I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of money on products over the next six months! Dreading the dry skin and lips, as I know wearing make up will only highlight the problem. & I love wearing lipstick. Not such a great look-dry, cracked lips and lipstick!

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Day 5

I am itching like crazy all over. Since taking my make up off, it's eased up a bit on my face. I took my make up off with my usual wipes, but it really burnt the area around my eyes. So will be looking to change to a lotion for sensitive skin.

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Hi, I love simple's products they are great for sensitive skin.. I noticed that my skin started off sensitive however I can now use an exfoliating face wash. You will go through a lot of lip balms, I never really found one that works wonders, the best was probably blistex relief cream helps with healing, carmex was also ok... it's all trial and error really. I use dermalogica moisturizer, it's quite expensive but really thick and creamy, also simples moisturiser if I feel it is needed.

Makeup doesn't make my skin worse, so I wouldn't worry stick to your normal products and if you feel it is becoming a problem maybe try other brands. Stick to waterbased problems not oil and try not to use too much powder as this can dry skin.

Really hope it all works out for you! :)

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I don't know where you live,but if you can get it, Aquaphor is great. I use it as chapstick a lot and it works wonders.

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Thanks for the replies. I live in the UK. Good to have products recommended to me. Will make a note. Sorry, I didn't mean the make up would make my actual skin worse. Just foundation would make the dryness stand out more.

Day 6

Itchiness has increased some more today. My face stings a bit too and very slightly red, but no definite dryness as of yet.

I thought I would add some pictures of my face (too difficult to photograph my back) of what it looks like. I forgot to do it before I started the treatment, so it's been taken today. Going through a good patch at the moment (not down to the tablets).post-197599-0-17732100-1359212712_thumb.post-197599-0-68286500-1359212760_thumb.

My face normally looks like this:

post-197599-0-38228400-1359212868_thumb.post-197599-0-65252500-1359212885_thumb.

Ah boy, the pictures are huge. Sorry!

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post-197599-0-68286500-1359212760_thumb.

post-197599-0-38228400-1359212868_thumb.

post-197599-0-65252500-1359212885_thumb.

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Day 8 (forgot to add I am on 40mg per day).

My itching has died down on my face & body, plus my face no longer stings when taking my make up off. The redness has died down too. So, currently nothing has changed smile.png

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Day 10

Just had my first nose bleed since starting the treatment (2nd nose bleed in my life). Has anyone had it this early on? Was a little surprised, especially as my nose doesn't feel too dry/sore.

My lips are drying out, but very easy to manage at this point. Face still feels the same in terms of dryness. Loving Palmer's Cocoa Butter right now smile.png

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I had a blood nose in the second week, maybe third cant remember, was a pretty small one but definitely due to the dryness, I'm do get a few each summer though. Since then I've been putting vaseline on a q-tip and making sure my nose isnt too dry inside, feels weird but I do it before bed, was doing it religiously every night but got slack and now i do it 2-3 times a week/when it feels dry and haven't had one since.

Thought I'd add some useless information:

Our acne is somewhat similar, especially in the sideburn and jaw line area (Do you find these marks take forever to fade aswell?) I also not a fan of Palmers Cocoa Butter, mainly cause of the smell.

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Ah ok, thanks. Ill start using Vaseline from tonight. Yup, take forever to fade! A pain isnt it!? Often left with scarring-a red/purple colour. How long have you been on Roaccutane for (or have you finished)? Are you pleased with the results (so far)?

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For lips: Continue with lip balm, or if you prefer (since you're a girl), glitter-balm (or whatever they call those things, since my mother uses them).

As for your skin, there are ways to approach this:

1) don't take excessively hot + long showers. This will dry your skin and make break-outs easier.

2) use your lotions DIRECTLY after you shower and change into your clothes. After a hot shower, your skin is dry and will want to "breathe" to absorb moisture. I don't recommend heavy cremes at this point, since your skin needs to breath, so get some light oils that may be good for your skin (avoid citrus based ones because they make your skin sensitive to sunlight).

My personal recommendation: Neutrogena facial cleanser to clear pores > Dickenson's Witch Hazel to balance ph and tone skin > Baby oil (In that order)

3) wash your face with distilled water. Tap water generally contains a lot of chlorines/flourines and your skin MAY be sensitive to this stuff at your age, so neutral PH and absolutely clean water will help. Evian Water isn't a bad choice or get a countertop water filter.

4) use creme lotion in the winter. I know creme (I've use hand creme) is really uncomfortable, especially since it's thick and just "sits" on your face with a layer, but you'll have to deal with it, as it is the best in the winter solution I've found so far

4) for summer and early fall, i recommend using spray moisturizers. Touching the skin with hands allow bacteria to transfer from your hands to skin, which may cause more acne outbreaks. Spray moisturizers are also light and allow your skin to breath better. Hot weather also promotes bacterial growth, so avoid touching your skin with your hands too much.

4) for spring and late fall, I recommend hand lotion on your skin (my favorite is Eucerin: Intensive Repair Hand Creme because it absorbs into the skin and doesn't make you feel awkward outdoors)

5) sleep early. Inadequate sleeping causes Acne. It's been scientifically proven (you can do your own research on that) and sleep decreases your stress.

6) hydrate yourself well. Drink water or ion energy drinks. Stay away from caffeinated drinks, or if you need the caffeine, go with green tea or white tea, as there are anti-oxidants that may combat acne internally and also help filter your body of impurities, such as fat and certain metals. Tea doesn't help you overnight, but it does in the long run. If you have trouble sleeping, try Chamomile tea.

7) Wash your face with mud soap. I recommend Adovia or Jericho Brands. They've had a history with treating people with heavy acne outbreaks and even works for men! (shockingly). Use it when showering.

8) Eat some Biotin pills from your local pharmacy. It's a supplement pill with almost no side effects. It helps increase metabolism, hair growth/care, and most importantly, skin rejuvenation. It's mostly used for hair purposes, but it passively works for skin care as well. I also recommend occasional doses of Fish Oil (Omega 3).

9) This is a rumor, but it's up to you to test it out (I haven't tried it yet). Vodka supposedly tightens your skin so outbreaks occur less often. However, heavy alcohol damages and dries your skin in the long run, so it's up to you to try that out.

Sources: Me and a LOT of searching on the internet. I've had acne outbreaks similar to yours but not as extreme. My acne cleared out in 2.5 weeks and my skin has loved me ever since (for the next 3 years). I'm now 21. Hope this helps!!!

Disclaimer: The recommended brands worked for me and skin composition varies from person to person. I also had no intention to mention these brands on this site, but I created an account just to mention these steps, as they've worked for me and the OP (Original Poster) seemed to have extreme difficulty with acne. Effects will vary with time spent and quality of care used.

P.S. Most Eucerin lotions uses a chemical compound known as alpha-hydroxy acid, which makes your skin very sensitive to sunlight. It states so directly on the back of their products on the labels. Don't use if you're an outdoor person (which is why i recommend use in the winter, when you're indoors more often).

GOOD LUCK!

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also, since you mentioned cracked lips, i think you're a bit short on vitamins, particularly C and E. You might also want to take supplements for that. You should consider a pill of Centrum for a day or two and see if there's any difference on your lips. Well, you might not be able to "see" it, but definitely would be able to feel a difference. And of course, drink fluids.

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^ thank you for your tips smile.png

Day 13

Boy, oh boy! I've been awake since 4.15 this morning due to my scalp burning and itching like crazy. Would not stop! Was so tired, but I just couldn't fall back asleep because of it. Ended up having a shower but the force of the water hurt my head. Did ease the itching though. 5 hours later and the itching has started again. Have gone out and bought shampoo especially for it. Bottom lip still drying out and finding myself applying stuff a lot more often. Face still fine smile.png just occasional itching on it (as well as body), and intermittent redness.

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Good Luck! Maybe I need to buy new shampoo incase I get an itchy scalp!

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I will be following your log. Do you moisturize your body as well?

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I just use a regular lotion on my body right after I shower (in the morning), and then before I go to bed if needed. I don't shower every day though, so sometimes I won't use any one day.

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Ah ok, thanks. Ill start using Vaseline from tonight. Yup, take forever to fade! A pain isnt it!? Often left with scarring-a red/purple colour. How long have you been on Roaccutane for (or have you finished)? Are you pleased with the results (so far)?

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Just to chime in as a past Roaccutane user (90mg/day - 16 weeks) and now onto my second course. I hope you're doing well, just keep in your head "Well, that's Roaccutane for you." - I used to say it to myself when my lips were bleeding, or my hair felt like it was falling out (It never did, I was just paranoid) - just keep on taking those little pills.

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Whoartthou-tend to just use oil after my shower. Need to start using moisturiser, as my hands are slowly drying out now.

JDW- Ah, hope you manage to find a product that sorts it for you.

Lukuk- Thank you :) Definitely agree with you. I'm someone that just takes everything in my stride anyway (not anxious or paranoid about being on this drug). Knew the side effects before I started, so just have to suck it up and get on with it. Hope the second course goes well for you.

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Day 15

My itching on my scalp has come to a halt (yay!)

My bottom lip is drying out more, top lip still fine. My face still doesn't feel dry. Though when I applied make up, it didn't blend as well. So now, I (very gently) use a natural exfoliator in the shower each morning and it does the trick. So I'm pleased. Though one of my nostrils (hate that word lol) has cracked.

In terms of spots. No worse or better. When I do get a spot it's been and gone within a day which is very unusual for my skin. Pores are noticeable on my chest. Can't comment on oil, as my skin was never oily to begin with.

So I'm a happy lady so far. Palmer's is my new best friend smile.png

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Day 19

Gosh, it's flying! My lips at the corner are very slowly starting to crack, so will be buying Aquaphor today which everyone seems to rave about on here. Though to be honest, I'm not using stuff for my lips as much as I should, so that's no doubt why it's not being well managed at the moment. My hands are red and dry, plus body keeps itching but no obvious dryness. The only thing I do religiously is use Palmer's for my face which is working so well. So slapped wrists for me. Must stop being so slack about things elsewhere!

My scalp starts burning and itching a lot if I go longer than 24 hours without washing it. Not too much of a problem washing it everyday as I did before hand (or every other day occasionally).

Dermatologist appointment is on Wednesday (13th).

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how often you apply palmers on your face?

Do you use the palmers cocoa butter? And it doesn't break you out?

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I apply it just once a day before I go to bed. I do it an hour or two before hand, so it has time so soak in so to speak, instead of it coming straight off on to the pillow.

Yes, I use the Palmer's Cocoa butter. The actual butter in the tub, not the lotion as find that doesn't work as well & I'm not breaking out anymore than what I normally do.

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Day 24

Had my Derm appointment today, and heard the words "you'll be pleased you're not pregnant", woo!

She's keeping me on 40mg for now, as had my third nosebleed in the night and kept stopping and starting all day today. My nose doesn't feel dry at all, so she thinks it could be that my lipid levels are abnormal, & she said persistent nosebleeds could mean having to stop it...boo, hope not sad.png

In terms of other side effects it's not too bad. Lips are well managed now with the beauty that is called Aquaphor! Still no dryness on my face. On my body the only dryness I have is on my forearms. Looks like I'm sunburnt as it's peeling. Eyes are a little irritated too.

Now on to the sodding spots. Well, on my chest I don't have a single spot, yay! Still breaking out on my back, though not sure how much as not paying too much attention to my back.

Have spots appearing on my face, though they are smaller than usual, and dry up much quicker and are gone quickly. Though one disappears and other arrives. So am happy with how things are progressing with the spots. smile.png

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Glad you're happy with how things are going & well done on not getting preggers! Your side effects seem to be quite strong though :( I'm lucky enough to still only have the dry lips.

I'm finding my skin seems to be really slow to heal at the mo. I'm hardly getting any new spots but the old ones just don't seem to be fully going away which is annoying.

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