Hey guys! My name is Elouise, I am 22 years old from London and I am officially starting my isotretinoin journey (also known as accutane and roaccutane)!
Just some quick info which you probably all know: Isotretinoin is an oral retinoid deriving from vitamin A which is used to treat persistent cystic acne which has not responded to previous treatments. Isotretinoin works by reducing the production of sebum in your sebaceous glands whilst shrinking the oil glands. This ultimately diminishes the acne bacteria in the skin whilst reducing inflammation. A course typically lasts 6-9 months and is found to extremely successful in curing acne.
My acne started when I was roughly 15 and has always been moderate to severe. What started off as blackheads and whiteheads has more recently become increasingly cystic with cysts lasting up to 10 weeks and even preventing me from lying on my side or smiling without it hurting!! Over the last seven years I have used several face washes, topical creams and antibiotics from my GP, contraceptive pills, changed my diet to incorporate healthy fats and greens, cut out dairy drank 3 litres of water a day. Anyone with acne will understand how disheartening it feels when every product and medication fails to cure your acne. The damage to your self-esteem and confidence is indescribable and the constant eruption of spots makes the dream of clear skin seem further and further away.
After exhausting each and every option , my GP suggested seeing a dermatologist to be prescribed something stronger…isotretinoin. After lots of research and hours of blog reading and vlog watching I have decided to take the plunge! The side effects of this drug can be moderate to severe ranging from dry skin and lips which is the norm, bone ache, nose bleeds, dry scalp, headaches to depression and suicidal thoughts – Monthly blood tests are compulsory to check lipids, triglycerides and liver functioning and you CANNOT get pregnant whatever you do as children can be born with birth defects (another scary fact!). Gosh this is sounding negative?!
During my first meeting with the dermatologist he examined my skin, asked me all the routes I had previously taken and after becoming very teary and emotional from feeling hopeless in my own skin, he was 100% sure Isotretinoin will be the answer. Due to the initial breakout that is commonly caused in the first few weeks of the course, my dermatologist has started me on erythromycin – an antibiotic with great anti inflammatory agents. The aim of this is to suppress the initial breakout so hopefully I will avoid this! I have since had my first lot of blood tests and I CANNOT WAIT for the 30th of August when I pick up my first prescription of what will hopefully change my life!
I am not expecting this to be an easy road. I have already stocked up on products to make the journey a lot easier (uber prepared!). I have also warned my boyfriend my lips will probably be too crusty to kiss LOL, but everyone is behind me as they know how much acne has trodden me down over the years.
Despite the negatives, I am looking forward to my isotretinoin journey and I will be doing frequent updates to keep you all in the loop!
If anybody has any questions please just ask.
Lots of love,