It has been well over a month since my last post. I think as the tablets become a daily routine and as your skin starts to clear up, you just seem to forget how big of a deal it was when starting on them and therefore forget to update! So lets just recap... Month 1 I was on 20mg a day - had a horrendous breakout (worst I've very had in my life)
Month 2 I was upped to 30mg a day - Breakout continued and was not seeing much improvement. I was almost giving up and felt like NOTHING was going to help my acne. I was convinced that acne was just something I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life! I was so down and helpless at this point for about 2/3 weeks. Towards the end of the month, it cleared up significantly and I regained faith in the tablets!
Month 3 - Almost 2 weeks ago on Halloween day, I went back to my derm for my monthly check up. Blood test results came back perfect so she upped me to 40mg a day. I have only seen improvement from here on out. I actually cannot believe my eyes! The cluster of painful cystic spots I had on both sides of my jawline have totally vanished.. I currently have 2 or 3 active spots (2 on my cheekbone and one on my chin) and a few bumps here and there and where the cysts used to be, but nothing compared to the 20/30 spots and cysts I had this time 1 month ago. Any spots I get now come and go within a day or two which is AMAZING. I've been left with quite a lot of scars though but I'm not going to worry about them until I'm acne free. I want to treat my acne before treating scars. (Someday I will be smiling in these photos, promise!) Also, I know you're not supposed to but I've drank quite a bit over the last month or two due to my birthday, holidays, halloween bank holiday, etc and the tablets do not effect you when you drink. But my godddd do they make you feel it the next day!! Obviously with the dehydration in your skin caused by the tablets and then the alcohol on top of everything, you get a major headache and feel like no amount of water will make you feel alive again.. so if you're going to drink, maybe drink water in between each alcoholic drink... or more importantly..... just don't drink at all!
Side effects: Dry skin Very dry lips Dry irritated eyes Tired almost all of the time - but this could be due to endless college assignments too! These side effects are just part of the parcel and nothing out of the ordinary. They're still totally bearable. I'm going to do a blog shortly on the products I've used and been using because when I was researching before going Roaccutane, I found it hard to find good lists of decent products used to battle acne whilst helping to moisture the skin too.
I haven't been posting much because I've been so busy with college and work etc and to be honest I just hadn't had much change to report.
I met with the dermatologist on Monday. I didn't have too much to report to her apart from the fact my skin was really bad (breakout wise) and I was getting more and more cysts on my jawline that just seem to get comfortable and don't move for WEEKS! She told me she was hoping to move me from the 20mg upto 40mg but decided that we should probably only go to 30mg if I found my skin was breaking out pretty bad on the 20mg... She said by going on 40mg it could be all too much for me and the 30 will ease me into it.. she told me that my skin "WILL get worse"... This scares the absolute life out of me because my skin has NEVER ever ever ever EVER been this bad befor ein my life and the thought of it getting worse makes me soooo anxious and down I'll be on 30mg a day for this month and then hopefully move upto 40mg for next month.
I'm currently in Portugal at the moment for a week, so I've been staying out of the sun as much as possible and using a high factor all over (SPF30). I'm SO conscious of what I put on my face as I really don't want to fuel this breakout even more so I've been wearing Coppertone Clearly Sheer SPF30 as it states on the bottle "won't cause breakouts". To be honest, I don't know if this has made my skin worse or better or anything at this stage, I literally have 2 or 3 new spots popping up very day with old ones staying for ages so at this stage I just give up.
I keep telling myself "it'll be worth it in the end"
Also, on the make up side of things, I found an AMAZING foundation.. It's called NARS!! You can only buy it in BT2 in Ireland. I had seen so many make-up artists using it and it's also a water-based foundation so no oil.. So decided I'd give it a try. I went into BT2 hoping to buy a bottle of the NARS Sheer Glow as I felt it would suit dry skin as opposed to a matte finish foundation. The girl behind the counter wouldn't let me buy a bottle until I had tried it and made sure it suited my skin type and the colour suited my skin tone. Unfortunately she didn't have the sheer glow samples, she only had the sheer matte. Still, I wore the make up from 12pm until 3am that night (I was at a festival) and found it had AMAZING coverage and didn't seem to go blotchy or stick to the dry patches for the entire time I was wearing it. The tiniest bit goes a mile, you don't need much at all. I think I only topped up once and even after topping up it didn't look cakey! I might go back and ask for samples of the sheer glow and then decided which one to buy but either way I will DEFINITELY be buying a bottle
I'll be back to post if there's much change, wish me luck! x
So it's been 2 weeks and 1 day since I started roaccutane and, I'm not going to lie, it has been really really hard.
The last 2 weeks my skin broke out to the worst it has ever been. My confidence was rock bottom and I felt no amount of make up could help the situation as the texture of my skin was awful due to the dry skin caused by the accutane. I kept thinking, "nothing is going to work, I'm going to have this acne forever". As much as I'd like to post a photo to share, I'd be way too nervous to, it was THAT bad this week! But I, along with all my family and friends, have been reassuring myself that it has to get worse to get better as it works from the inside out so I'm really trying to see that positive side of things. Wen my skin got to the worst, I stayed at home all day and applied some benzoyl peroxide which i don't really find helps all that much. What I really do find that helps is the Witch Hazel & Tea Tree Night Treatment Gel from Boots. I bought it ages ago when I had a mild breakout and haven't used it since. But the other night I found it in my drawer and said I'd give it another bash! Oh. My. God. LIFE SAVER. I applied it at night and again after I moisturised the next morning before putting on my make up... It totally killed any active spots I had and dried them up completely in the space of about 48 hours. Even ones that had not surfaced yet and were really inflamed, it totally soothed them and it didn't dry out my skin, only the spots. HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRYING.
I'm going to continue using it, even when my skin is pretty much almost clear as it doesn't irritate my skin and it also prevents new spots. Lets hope this is the last of my initial breakout!
Side effects: Other than that, side effects are just dry skin and lips. Scalp is starting to get dry too and the palms of my hands (weirdly).
Hello ello ello, So today marks my 1 week of being on Roaccutane.
So far, I haven't had many side effects apart from the dry skin which is mainly around my nose and mouth. My skin is a little red but nothing major, kinda just looks I've a bit of a tan on my face so I can't complain! The last few days I've been getting white heads in places I wouldn't usually get them like higher on my cheeks and 2 on my forehead where I NEVER get spots. I find some of them go and come back in the same place 2 or 3 times before they finally leave. Obviously the accutane is just pushing everything out so it's working!
As my skin was really bad a few days ago, I was freaking out and couldn't resist trying to help the little buggers move along quicker, so I started putting Benzoyl Peroxide 5% gel on the spots that needed a push. I've read mixed opinions on using other products while on accutane and realistically I should have just let them pass themselves but the benzoyl peroxide just dried them out a little quicker and flattened them loads. The cysts have totally gone on my jawline on my right side ( just still a little bumpy) and theres only 2 cysts on the left side but they're passing! Skin is just still bumpy in places but it will all pass eventually.
I took these photos just after my moisturising session so the redness of old spots makes my skin look way worse than it actually is!
All in all though, my skin is definitely clearing up and I'm feeling very positive. I'm hoping the breakout I had over the last few days were the worst to come and things will hopefully just get better from here, but I'm still expecting the worst, just incase!
Products I've been using: Cleanser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purrifying Foaming Gel Toner: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Toner Moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Effaclar H (amazing) Lip balm: La Roche-Posay Nutritic Lips Spot cream: Acnecide 5% gel (benzoyl peroxide)
(yes, I'm a bit of a La Roche-Posay freak) Looking forward to seeing what week 2 has to bring
I started my course of Roaccutane (20mg) on Wednesday. Skin was quite dry yesterday after only 1 pill, I don't know if that was coincidence or they're actually taking effect already. But I've woken up today after second pill last night and I feel my acne is worse than it's ever been! Its mainly cystic acne on my jawline and a few spots on my chin, around my mouth and on my cheeks. It's really really inflamed though and sore and red. Could this be the initial break out? Are the effects of the accutane kicking in this fast?
I feel pretty down that I'm starting back in college on Monday after months off for the summer and my confidence is at ZERO. But keeping the faith that it'll all get better.
If anyone can share their experience with their initial breakout that would be really reassuring!
So let me fill you in really quickly on my acne journey, a real journey of trial and error! I started getting acne when I was about 12/13. It was never too bad but as I got a little older it started getting worse and began to bother me. When I was 16, I went to my GP about it and he prescribed me Dianette (contraceptive pill). This surprisingly worked so well but I think I took it for granted looking back now. I always had the odd spot or 3 but my skin became the least of my worries and was totally bearable compared to now. In may 2015 when I was 21, I came off the pill and got the Mirena Coil fitted. A few months down the line, my acne gradually got worse and worse so I began taking Tetracycline (oral tablet antibiotic) and using Duac cream (antibiotic cream). They worked temporarily, but when I stopped taking them, the breakouts became more frequent and more inflamed. So I then decided to try IPL laser treatment. It hurt like a bitch and it cleared my skin for no more than 3 weeks, and then the acne came back but way more angry and a type of cystic acne, which I had never had before. I'm now 23 and my acne is the worst it has ever been causing my self esteem to plummet to nothing! I know for a fact it is hormonal acne and I get really bad breakouts around my jawline and cheeks. The ones on my jawline are cystic and really under the skin - a real pain in the arse!!!
Basically, I have tried everything. It has taken me 11 years or so (and god knows how much money spent on products), to finally realise that nothing will work unless I go to a dermatologist. I met my dermatologist today and I have been prescribed 6 months of Roaccutane. I'm starting on 20mg dose and see how I get on from there.
Below is a photo of the first day! I'm honestly scared and dreading the side effects, but at this stage, I KNOW it will be worth it! I'll post a weekly update, for both others looking for advice and for my own motivation and peace of mind.