I thought i would share my journey with how i got prescribed accutane, what it took to be referred to a dermotologist through the NHS and update on my journey throughout my 6 month course!
So i’ve struggled with acne since i was around 13 years old, through 13-17 it was never really proper acne i thought, just the normal few spots some people got as a teenager so it didn’t really bother me too much then because i just thought it will get better in a few years..which it didn’t. It actually got a lot worse after i left school, i started developing more cystic painful acne around my chin/jaw and cheek area and with this i always still had the normal little spots and blackheads. I hated my skin, my pores were huge, i was never ever comfortable wearing no makeup, all my friends around me have always had clear skin, my cystic acne had started to leave slight scars on my cheeks that i would notice and cry about in the mirror, it really really effected my mental health and my self esteem. My skin wasn’t always bad, i did have some weeks where it was what i classed as “clear” but still had red scars from where big spots had been and gone, i have never been happy in my own skin and only felt confident enough when i covered it with makeup. I had been to my doctors a few times about it, and they tried me on different gels and antibiotics, i tried benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, tetracycline and doxycycline. I also tried changing my birth control pill numerous times to see if that effected it until i found one which i was happy on and remain on now. So also in between trying these things from my gp, i also must have spent hundreds of pounds on different recommended face washes etc. I tried changing my diet to non dairy, tried not eating fatty foods etc, nothing ever changed. So 6 months ago i booked an appointment at my doctors again and i basically told them i was fed up, my skin is getting worse as i get older, its ruining my life etc, they had a look what i had tried and without hesitation sent a referral to a few dermatologist’s. I felt like i was finally on the right track to solve all my problems with my skin! A few weeks later i received a letter in the post asking me to pick which dermatologist i wanted to go to, i picked the hospital that was most near to where i live, then i waited a further 6 weeks until i had another letter in the post to confirm my dermatologist appointment! I was so happy to finally have a date, although this date was a further 3 months away because as you know this is probably the average wait through the NHS. So i waited in total 6 months from my gp referral to my actual appointment date. I had in my head i wanted to go on accutane, i didn’t want to try anything else as i just saw this as wasting more time, i just wanted it sorted for good. My dermatologist was so nice, i feel lucky that she was really understanding and friendly. I went in there thinking i would have to beg for accutane, but after checking my skin, looking at everything i had tried before (she had these sent through my gp and on file) she asked me a lot of questions regarding my health and because i was a girl she asked me things like am i planning to get pregnant any time soon etc. After this, she gave me a booklet on accutane (Isotretinoin) and said this will be the best thing for me, i was so happy i wanted to cry with relief! i didn’t even have to ask for it! She told me to have a read of the booklet back in the waiting room with my parents and then she called me back in and asked what i thought, i told her i wanted to go on this medication anyway and understand all the side effects. After that she weighed me and measured me, to work out my doses, i am going to start off on 30mg, then she said she will look to increase this in after the first month or two. She then gave me another appointment date which will be to pick up my prescription and see her again so she can explain how to take the medication etc. I then had to go and have a blood test so she will have the results when i go back just to make sure everything is ok before i start. So i officially will start accutane in 12 days time! I apologise for the long essay but i just know when i was looking to go on accutane i loved reading people’s journeys and experiences with accutane, i am planning on keeping you up to date on my journey and i can not wait to start!