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22, Female, First Time On Accutane!

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End of Month 3 (-2 days)

So I think I have turned a corner in my treatment.

My face has never been more red, sore, sensitive, itchy or flaky in my whole life - but it's also never been clearer since I was about 10.

LOOK AT HOW SMOOOOTH MY CHIN IS YOU GUYS.

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Okay, so my lips are still a gross mess and the air-con in my office has made my skin blister and dry up on my arms worse than ever, but I'm so happy with how it's actually clearing up my acne I don't even care!

I am wearing some light make-up in the photo because I'm going out in an hour, but there isn't a single spot on my jawline or chin, and those were my absolute worst areas when I began the Roaccutane. I still have a few pimples on my forehead and cheeks, but hey ho.

Will post some more photos early next week, as I will also be going for my final (probably) blood test to check my liver function. I didn't drink in the month before my first test at the end of month 1, but there have been loads of reasons for me to celebrate since so to be honest, I have been having a couple of beers/gins here and there. My diet is largely excellent because I don't eat dairy, so I'm hopeful all is good.

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End of Month 3

So here we are, some cheek shots of end of month 3... I am 3/4 of the way there now! Woohoo!

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One more month to go!

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your skin is awesome!! Thank gawd this treatment is working for you!!

It's working for me, just very slowly...today is day 79 and I am still getting cysts...oh well. surely it will improve. I'm not even half way thru. 6 months (180 days) for my total treatment.

anyway, very happy for you~it's gotta feel great!! :)

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It looks like it's going very well for you :) I can't wait to get to the end of my 3rd month.. long way to go

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Thanks - I'm only glad that my progress log may offer anyone hope that it's a fairly straight-forward process in the vast majority of cases. I know when I was about to start treatment, I scared myself sh*tless looking at all the stories where it goes wrong. People respond differently to medications, I suppose keeping a positive mind and following the guidelines (keeping hydrated, not scratching skin off face, keeping moisturised) helps a lot - the time flies by anyway!

I still have a month to go, plus a bit more if I have any extra pills left from when I began with a lower dose for a week or so. I will have to book another £120 follow-up consultation with my Dermatologist, and he might want to have me take another month, but I'm hoping not because I want to go on holiday this summer!!

The main issues I am having at this point are facial flushing, very dry, thin skin all over (I brushed my hand over a plastic bottle edge yesterday very lightly, and it started spurting blood), and enlarged pores which may or may not be scarring from previous acne, I can't really tell. Also I have inherited rosacea which has become a LOT more obvious since there are no active spots to hide it.

Anyway, DO NOT LOSE HOPE - this stuff WORKS. Just give it time and keep smiling :)

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Apologies for the creepy photo, but my skin continues to improve and I am so pleased with the results I am getting so far in my course of treatment!

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There are a few pink marks here and there, and some scarring on the other side of my face from where my acne was really awful:

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The only annoying thing now is the dehydration, which is made worse by my hayfever. I take a lot of antihistamines (all through the year for various allergies) which are very drying. I need to drink at least 2 litres of fluids per day in order to keep on top of the lip dryness (which has been absolutely horrendous lately, but good today because I have been using Aquaphor and Nivea SOS balm religiously).

I have something like 5 weeks still to go! But the end is in sight smile.png

Edit: I realised you can't really see any of the scarring on the above photo, so here's one with flash... it's like a kind of big pore with red pigmentation.

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Well, this is it. One week to go.

I'd love to tell you my skin is looking perfect. It's actually taken a turn for the worse in the past fortnight, due to a very, very heavy period (14 days of bleeding, anyone?) which I'm putting down to taking the contraceptive pill for short bursts of time - I don't agree with many brands.

My Roaccutane course is supposed to finish a week today, I have 8 days-worth of pills left. I'm going to see my Dermatologist on the 11th July, hopefully it will have sorted itself out by then.

Anyway here's a photo of my skin right now, without makeup and I've just had a shower so it's looking particularly red/shiny:

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The red spot was a huge cyst, like what I used to get before Roaccutane. My lips are split on both sides and I have a patch of skin missing from under my nose, because I have had a chest infection all week and the constant blowing my nose has rubbed away some of my skin. I was kind of disappointed, but as with other users on the forums, it's not like you don't get the odd spot now and again.

The overall texture of my skin is poor, it is very red and dry, and very bumpy. I think it's just that last weekend was my birthday and I went out boozing for a good four days, and I'm paying for it now!

Good news: final lipid and liver function tests came back fine. I think if I were to give anyone starting Roaccutane any advice re: drinking alcohol, just don't be a dick about it and you'll probably be alright. I have to admit, I haven't been turning drinks away, but on a night out I will drink loads of water in-between the g&t's. You know your own body better than anyone, so if you start to feel really dizzy, you should take a break.

Will check in with final pictures next Sunday and then a follow-up once I've been to see my Dermatologist next month.

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End of month 4

'kay, so, went back to see Dr. Dermatology on Thursday, he had a tentative look at my face and we agreed I need another month of Roaccutane to really get my face clear. It's not quite there yet, after four months, but this is why you try these things, to see how much you need - so I'm not particularly surprised or disappointed.

I'm still getting spots. I've had some major pill-related issues this past month, resulting in fluctuating hormonal highs and lows, which of course has triggered my cystic acne right back again. It's not as bad as it would've been, obviously, but it's still an issue, hence agreeing to a fifth month of Roaccutane.

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Some photos above - bad lighting but you can see the red marks, which I'm told will fade in around 6 months' time.

With makeup on, my skin looks pretty okay, which is nice. It's still very dry, my lips are still cracked and bleeding most of the time, and I'm always dehydrated. But these are very mild - and common - symptoms considering what else is on the list.

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Sorry to read you haven't quite got the results you wanted right now. Damn those hormones!! Hopefully this final month will blast it. Not long to go. :)

The difference between your earlier pictures to now are still amazing!

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Thanks! I'm not too bothered really, I've kind of got used to my new dry way of life haha. It's not like I'm going on holiday (or anywhere remotely sunny, let's be honest) until right at the end of the summer, so it's not so bad :-)

Oh gosh, the nosebleeds though - I wake up in the morning, blow my nose, and it's like blood clots all over the place... don't know how to get around this really as I'm still getting over a chest infection/cold.

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5 MONTHS

Guys, I'm done.

Well, to be completely honest I had three days' worth of pills left, but I had a hangover from hell yesterday so I couldn't bring myself to take any more. We've been in the midst of a heatwave, and the combination of sun/sunburn/heatstroke/air-con/pollen has just made me say "GTFO, roaccutane". I would make the point to anyone who lives somewhere much hotter like Australia or the USA, I literally do not know how you all manage to cope taking this medication in any kind of heat/humidity. *claps*

So what have I discovered in the past five months? Here's a round-up:

• It is not worth worrying about scary side-effects, chances are you won't get them. But if you do get anything you can't deal with, for heaven's sake stop taking the pills.

• Drinking heavily is never a good idea, but don't deprive yourself (I usually drink a pint of water per alcoholic beverage on a night out, not kidding. My friends roll their eyes and go 'oh you with your water'...)

• One or two spots that pop up are nothing to worry about in the grand scheme of things. People get pimples from time to time. Compare your reflection to a photo of when you began treatment, and then decide which is worse.

• Roaccutane makes you bruise like a bitch, so try and avoid bumping into stuff/vaulting over 5ft metal barriers at speed:

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(Literally the size of a tennis ball)

• Kind of a given, but oh my god STAY OUT OF THE SUN. It's barely been 21ºc where I live but I am so, so flaky from the hour or so I spend walking home from work. Sun cream of ANY FACTOR will not protect your skin from burning!!!

• Twice-daily nasal irrigation with a saline spray is the best.

• Sometimes you bleed for no reason, like you might slice your hand open on a blade of long grass when you're walking through a field, and the red marks left do not go away for a long time. But they will eventually (so I'm told). Carry plasters.

• People do not understand how tough this medication is to take. They just do not get it. But please don't hate them for it. Hate them for never having acne and then giving you grief about why you can't do those shots of tequila, if you really must.

My skin is covered in tiny cuts at the moment, and it's still a little bit flaky/red from the sunburn last week, so I will post some final pictures this weekend when I will be going camping SANS SLAP*

Hope the above is useful to anyone reading up about starting the medication. It's really not that bad :)

*"Slap" is a British colloquialism for 'makeup', fyi.

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Congrats on finishing!

I would recommend you start a maintenance therapy such as a topical retinoid to retain the improvement produced by Accutane.

Good luck

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This is such an inspiring log to read, I'm so pleased for you - your skin is looking great now! I'm due to start roaccutane soon (3 weeks, 6 days... not that I'm counting, haha) and I now just really want to get started. It's brilliant to see how well you've progressed! :)

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One month on... (last post)

No spots smile.png beautiful clear skin. Good luck to everyone - you won't believe yourself when you look back at old photos pre-Roaccutane xxx

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Also, just because I love products and maybe other people reading this do too, since stopping Roaccutane I've been using 'Nuxe' skincare which you can buy here and also in big Marks & Spencers... It's French and so gentle on skin, also smells beautiful. A night cream I use is 'Even Brighter' by Eucerin (Boots) but I think I will switch to Rosehip oil, because I've heard good things.

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UPDATE!!!! One year on...

Hello so I have decided to post a few photos of my skin as it has been a year since I took my last dose of Roaccutane...

I have been very lucky with my skin in the past 12 months, I've had a couple of 'spots' in the basic sense but nothing cystic, which is what I suffered from before.

I am taking the combined contraceptive pill Yasmin to stave off the bad skin again - I'm not risking it, despite the side-effects - and using soap-free cleansers and no harsh chemicals because I have been getting quite bad dermatitis on my face around my nose and mouth. This was caused by my skin being very sensitive after taking Roaccutane, so this is a word of warning for anyone coming off the drug. I use an Avene moisturiser and the Aloe vera foaming face wash from the Body Shop once a day, and remove any heavy makeup with coconut oil

I also had problems with hair loss when I was taking the drugs, this has now rectified one year on and my hair is back to normal! My nails are still very weak but I can live with that.

Good luck to anyone else on the treatment, it is worth it :) xoxo

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