So I thought I would start a diary really of how I am getting on with Roaccutane to give others like me an insight into what its like etc.
So from the beginning, I didn't have acne growing up, even as a teenager my skin was clear. It wasn't until I was about 19 that I started getting Acne. My acne for starters is closed comedonal acne. So its basically whiteheads but in EVERY SINGLE PORE but just on my face so my face is just made of whiteheads - that's what it looks like anyway. When I was 20 I got really down with it, stopped going out and got really really depressed. I was a mess, I had time off work because my self confidence was so low I couldn't face seeing people and as I worked in hospitality I felt like I was on a show all the time.
After trying every treatment under the sun (antibiotics, topical gel, differin, various makes of the pill) I finally saw a doctor that referred me to a dermatologist. It was then that I was offered Roaccutane. I read up alot on it and made the decision that I was going to start fresh with Roacctuane - I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to cope having seriously dry flaky skin serving guests in the restaurant so I also made a career change and got a job in an office.
So I started Roaccutane in November 2010 and along with it a new job. It was a tough first couple of weeks, my face was red and sore as my skin is super sensitive anyway and I was scared of what my new colleagues would think of me. but a month into it, I could already see results. The more I could see the results the more my confidence was growing. The main thing I would say about this drug is, STAY POSITIVE there's alot of talk in the press about it causing depression. And yes there have been cases that have but don't let this sway your mind, if your anything like me I tend to think about things too much until I've convinced myself that I definitely have the side effects of whatever I'm taking. I didn't ignore my symptoms or pretend I wasn't taking them at all, I just made sure I balanced my life properly. Forced myself to do exercise to help with the muscular pains and saw my friends as much as possible to avoid staying in and over thinking things.
Over Christmas it was hard as my skin was so dry and sore but you just have to get on with it, no pain no gain and all that. The things we put our bodies through for no long term benefits are ridiculous, so as harsh as it sounds, toughen up. No one ever got anywhere by taking an easy ride.
6 months later I was at Glastonbury, pill free, make up free loving life and loving my new self confidence. It worked!! I couldnt have been happier.
My skins was amazing for a long time.- 3 years. I then moved to another country and became cabin crew. I'm not sure if it was the change in pressure that affected my skin or the heat of the country I was living in but i started to get very small closed comedones again. At first I ignored them putting it down to stress or eating junk on board but it gradually came back. I moved back to the UK about 4 and a half months ago as I'm getting married and to be honest cabin crew life just wasn't for me. When I first came back my skin wasn't perfect but knowone would have noticed the whiteheads. Then 2 months later it came back completely, not as bad as the first time but still a face covered in closed comedones. I went straight to the dermatoligist - luckily I have private medical insurance so I could do this quicker this time round than when I last did it through the NHS.
When I saw the dermatologist he asked me what follow on treatment I had had after Roaccutane - I didn't have any. He was shocked by this. Apparently after a course of Roaccutane especially with Comedonal Acne you should be using Vitamin A products (retin) regularly. I should have been using differin as soon as I came off Roaccutane to keep the oil glands at bay. Thanks NHS for telling me! Not!
So now unfortunately I am back on Roaccutane for a second time round. I have been on it a week today so I wanted to keep a diary this time to offer advice to others and to document my progress. So now you have had the full story, here we go!
1 Week on Roaccutane
Okay so my skin hasn't seen too much improvement so far, its just very dry as expected. My ears are red and inflamed. If anything my spots are worse. The closed comedones are forming into cysts - this happened last time. It gets worse before it gets better so I'm optimistic. My Lips are cracked - especially in the corners. I think if I tried to eat a bacon baguette right now my mouth would bleed!! My face is extremely itchy, all I want to do is scratch!! The dermatologist advised that I do not use any oil based moisturizers - the trouble is, these are really hard to find. I have been using one from the Body Shop - a seaweed one that is oil free. Its okay, it doesn't irritate me but it doesn't moisturize great. So I have come into work today a little bit flaky. But it's obviously working so I am optimistic for now. I will update again soon