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My Roaccutane Diary @ 40mg Once Daily

Hey! :surprised:

Im a 20 Year Old Student, Studying Pharmacy and I have plagued by acne since ive been 16 and having been through every antibiotic thats indicated for use in acne treatment, i finally managed to get my head round to getting started on roaccutane.

Due to the widespread scare and hoo-ha on the use of roaccutane i thought i would try and share a little information on it including my thoughts and symptoms as i go through it in the hope that its a help to someone! (p.s i hope i dont confuse you.. with some of my ramblings.. if anyone needs clarification please don't hesitate to say!)

So anyway.. might as well start from the beginning!

From the ages of 16 up until i was 18 I had been through the following :




Topical agents.

Benzoyl Peroxide (10%),

Nicotinamide (Freederm)

Adapalene (Differin)

Thats naming the common ones i can remember. They had their initial effects of reducing inflammation and having a general improvement of my acne, but again this was initially. Unfortunately my acne managed to survive this and come round to bite me in the ass! As it seemed worse than i started off with and no matter how much i used the tablets and creams/gels it had no effect whatsoever!

For the last two years i have been on and off Minocycline 100mg in combination with :

Retin-A cream (topical tretinoin..not to be confused with isotretinoin),


Duac Once Daily gel (Benzoyl Peroxide and Clindamycin).


Differin (Adapalene)

The longest course being around a year on the minocycline.

I found the minocycline to be quite effective, and it controlled my acne quite well, reducing minor spots, but however i still managed to get quite large cystic type spots which would take at least two weeks to go away and never come to a whitehead. They were very red, large and irritated looking making me look as if i had been shot with a BB gun or a paintball! Not the best thing for my self esteem. My acne tended to flare at different times on minocycline.. one week it was good.. the other week it would be chaos. there was 1 month i could go without having a single spot.

During my two years being on minocycline when my acne did flare badly i had thought of going on roaccutane.. having been offered to get referred to a dermatologist but i refused.. i had the impression that the drug was awful.. having heard about the side effects via the news.. suicide.. mood swings etc..

Various friends had been put on it and i did notice the mood swings with one of them! And after finishing it they still were a bit crazy. They ended up dropping out of school.

Another friend had been put on it and he got excellent results, and it really made me see the problem in my head with painting everyone with the same brush so to speak. I realised that it isnt just a danger drug, but quite an effective one.

After much reading up on side effects, the mechanism of the drugs action and more general related pharmacy stuff i decided to approach my doctor and get reffered to my local dermatologist.The Waiting list was four months so i decided to go privately and got seen around a month ago.

After the blood tests and giving 2 weeks to get the minocycline out of my system..... i got started, on a dose of 40mg once daily, as my acne had calmed quite a bit and was mild / moderate.

So far i have been on it two weeks and things are looking up!


Day ONE (3rd Of September)

After seeing the dermatologist and got my prescription went into town and bought some of the boots anti shine tea tree and witch hazel moisturiser,having used it before and because i wanted to try and get ahead of the whole face drying up game

That night after taking my first full dose it I got a slight bout of nausea and a headache but this went after a good nights sleep! Woke up the next morning feeling grand!


Woke up to find my face in a very greasy condition,very oily but this went after getting a good shower. Later on that day found my face to feel very very tight especially around my forehead and cheeks.


Woke up with my face in quite alot of pain, looking quite red everywhere bar my eyes! i looked like a sunburnt panda to be honest! Not a good day unfortunately. After managing to calm the redness a bit i went in and bought some stronger moisturiser, the

eucerin dry skin relief night renewal face cream one (it reduces skin tightness), and the

standard eucerin face cream,

and a bar of the oilatum moisturising soap.

Normal soap gave me the impression it was drying my skin to much to irritation in combination with roaccutane.

By 5pm it was embarrisingly red! so piled on the e45 before i went to sleep in the hope that it would solve the problem


Spent the weekend with my parents, and woke up with less pain than the day before but still quite red.. i was probably being over paranoid but the redness bugged me something serious and didnt particulary want to head out into town that day but after persuasion and face with the prospect of being stuck in watching jeremy kyle and daytime TV i decided to head out!Was glad i did because after walking in the cool air my face calmed incredibly. Plus i managed to get out of my head the idea that ; the minute my face was red i wasnt going to go out. incase someone poked fun or i got embaressed! At the end of the day i can't help it! So what! I didnt want it to get in the way of me living my normal life!


Redness started to reduce which was pleased with thanks to the eucerin night cream! Started to get whiteheads appearing near my lips , in around my nose and 3 red blighters much like the cystic type ones i had before appear on my forehead in a triangle. I assumed this was the initial breakout i had read about and not a map of the bermuda triangle on my forehead!

WEEK TWO (Beginning 10th September)

Haven't been able really to keep a daily log this week as i have been so incredibly busy organising everything before i get back to uni! So general updates this week!

Symptoms-wise the following :

Skin Has felt alot more tender, and whenever i shave it feels slightly rough after washing!Breakouts have calmed down towards the end of the week, have a strange pinkish lump under my left eye just on the upper cheek bone! but nothing really to worry about as i think its a swollen facial lymph node which should clear in two days timeHave resorted to shaving at night , washing face and moisturising before bed to help reduce any irritation and redness experienced.Found that the night moisturiser leaves my face greasy at night but thats simply because its a rich moisturiserFace is alot less tighter and redness is reducingLips have started to dry out and shed but it was only a matter of time! a quick purchase of blistex and a neutrogena chapstick solved that!


Feel in great form, back to uni and settled in my house no problem, spent saturday in the city in around ALOT of people, which i felt did me real good! I think the first week i lost a bit of confidence and became a bit quiet but i feel back to normal now! everything is beginning to improve. Wake up in the morning feeling great.

Saying this and looking back at my 1st week I think its more important to get out and about now as much as possible whilst on this drug and NOT care what everyone thinks you look like!Easier said than done i know.. but even if your out for a walk it helps!

WEEK THREE (|Beginning 17th September)


All rightey! symptomwise so far this week:

Skin on my arms have started to peel and because i didnt moisturise my hands they now have small red eczema type lesions on the tops! but have some neutrogena hand cream lying around so that should do the trick.

Lips are very very dry, constantly using blistex

Alot of blackheads have appeared on my nose, due to the drug effectively pushing them out from my skin i believe! so fingers crossed they should be gone by next week

Hair feels quite dry so have been using conditioner

Have been taking cod liver oil capsules (ones without vitamin A in them) to try and resolve the dry hair problem

No more spots this week fingers crossed!

And Moodwise!

Feel in great form still, am pleased that the drug is beginning to make progress, can't think of much else!

hope this is a help to whoever reads this and will try and keep it updated regularly especially once uni kicks in!



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oo Nice one m8

Nice log upto now! where bouts in uk u from?

To reduce the redness i advise Aveeno Ultra Calming spf 15, Aveeno ultra calming Night Cream & Aveeno ultra calming foam wash! these are all availible on ebay as we are english.. i have also been told that boots and superdrug stock the aveeno range even though this is not shown on the websites.

I have just started and am on 20mg per day for 4 weeks then upto either 40mg or 60mg. Wish me luck on mine:D

Good luck anyways man btw what acne do you have servere?

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Hi Steven,

One ahead on ya! i have been using for the past week :

Avene Anti Redness Light moisturiser spf 10. Its been working great to reduce the redness and is light enough to wear during the day so your face doesn't look too greasy. Plus the sun protection factor stops u getting burnt due to roaccutane making your skin hypersensitive!

As regards my acne.. was moderate to start off with.. but as of today u wouldnt think i have any.. bar some scars.. things are looking good so far..

how about yourself? let us know how you are doing! and im from northern ireland, near a place called portstewart. (very tip of ireland) but studying in sunderland.

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Have now developed a large red cystic spot on the bridge of my nose along with a whitehead trying to surface between my eyebrows on the middle of the nose! so much for me saying my skin was Spotless!

Lips are quite dry, and a bit of facial redness still!

Another thing.. even though its cold outside.. im constantly warm! who knows whats going on there.. but it could be psychological, need to sit back and have a good think.

Regards dryness on hands.. used neutrogena and its cleared them right up, the skin feels nice and soft now.

Managed to change my local GP surgery today too! i had to walk 25 mins from where im living now to get to the surgery , but managed to change to one 2mins away from me so pleased with that.

Due to me having to fly home to ireland to see my consultant dermo, i discussed that it would probably be best myself getting the blood tests done over here in england and just fax them over! plus il probably tell from looking at them myself if anythin is irreg.. so at least that gives me a bit more peace of mind! :)

17 days until my next appointment!

moodwise good! tho dissapointed at irelands defeat in the rugby tonight! :(!

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Saturday/Sunday/Monday (Days 20,21,22)

Face is Looking great!, redness has calmed down ALOT but flares ups and downs, lips are just very dry along with my arms and hands.

Red cyst on nose is gradually calming down and going away. Back is calming down too, very pleased with results so far.

Moodwise! Pretty good! Tho still take the random temperature flares, had a fair few at uni today!could be nerves who knows! ive always taken them!

Was reading up a fair bit more on Roacc too as well in uni, so learning more and more about it too!

il upload a pic to show improvements!

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