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Summary so far...

Sarah35

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I thought I would create a blog, as this site really helped me when I finally decided to take the plunge with Isotretinoin (aka Accutane) and I thought my experiences may help others in my position.  

I am a 35 year old female who has suffered with cystic acne around my chin and sometimes my forehead for 20 years, probably linked to hormones, but I suspect also partly genetic.  I would say my acne was moderate rather than severe, but it still very much affected my confidence and self-esteem, particularly as I got older, as I expected to 'grow out of it' and never did.  Working in a professional environment with spots all over your face wears you down, especially when people just stare at them rather than look you in the eye...!

Over the years I tried everything - the teenage stuff (clearasil etc), oral contraceptives (worked for a while, but always came back or caused issues with moods), light therapy, facial peels, changing diet, benzoyl peroxide/salicylic acid combinations, antibiotics (again, worked great for a while, always came back worse).  I spent a fortune to no avail.

I was first offered Isotretinoin in early 2015 because my skin still hadn't settled down and it was causing red scarring.  At the time, I immediately dismissed the idea because I though it was too extreme given I only had moderate acne.  However, in 2016 another doctor suggested it was my best option, so I did lots of research before taking the plunge.  I also spoke to a couple of people who had taken it with success.  I was still very worried about it, as you read a lot of negative stories on the internet, but at this point, I had exhausted all options and was tired of constantly despairing about my skin, so I decided to take the plunge.

I now wish I had done it 10 years ago!  I went private, as the NHS waiting list was long and I had waited long enough.  I am now about to complete 6 months of treatment, with one month left to go and I have had totally clear skin since the first month of taking the tablets - not a single spot anywhere on my face!  My red scars have also gone.  I started on 30mg per day and have worked my way up to 60mg, which I have been on for a couple of months now.  

I have been very lucky in that I have experienced limited side effects.  I have had a few side effects each time I have increased my dose, but my body seems to adjust within a week each time and almost continued as normal.  I was concerned about skin dryness, as I have naturally dry skin anyway, but even this has been minimal.  My lips are quite dry and my eyes, but nothing that lip balm and eye drops cannot sort.  The other side effects have been a few headaches in the first week of each dose increase, which then subsided.  I also have a patch or two of dry skin on my hands and arm and my chin is quite dry, but Cetaphil cleanser and lotion sorts that out.

I also have noticed that I ache more after going to the gym, but it is manageable and I still work out.  I also had hot flushes when first taking the tablets, but again that has stopped.  The only ongoing side effect is I am more tired than usual, but it hasn't stopped me doing anything, I probably just go to bed a bit earlier than usual!   

All in all, so far, I can truly say this has been a miracle drug for me.  I wanted others to know about my experience because I was put off taking it for so long because I only saw the bad press.  Obviously the test will come when I see if the spots return after I stop taking the tablets in a few weeks, but at the moment, my skin has never been this clear and it is amazing to not feel self conscious without any make up on and not to rush to the mirror first thing in the morning to check if it's got worse or better.  

I may post some before and after photos shortly...



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