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Hi guys,

I've had acne for a while now (around 2-3 years but it got worse this last year) and of course, have tried everything in my power to treat it e.g. monitoring diet, changing sheets everyday, fasting, steaming, natural remedies, PanOxyl, BP, Duac, RetinA, Adapalene, Lymecycline, Oxytetracycline to no avail.

I had an appointment on the 17th February with my GP and he finally referred me (here's referral pathway http://www.18weeks.scot.nhs.uk/downloads/1292945067-acne.pdf) to see a consultant at a local hospital. Today I called the hospital myself and found out that my appointment would be for the 7th May, two months away in the middle of my exams. Bummer.

There are 79 days between me going to see my GP to ask for a referral and my scheduled appointment. I'm grateful to have an appointment and I know there are other people who need to see Dermatologists more urgently (for things like Skin Cancer), but that's a really long time isn't it? That's enough time for someone's condition to change completely...It's still within the NHS 18-week time limit and I knew this so I can't complain.

I'm looking to go on Accutane, and would have preferred to have an appointment at a more convenient time, but as this isn't possible, I'm considering private treatment. I was wondering what the process is at a private clinic? Do they just agree with whatever you say and prescribe you what you want? I was also wondering about what the cost of being on Accutane is, I'd like to know what I'm going to be getting before I go in for a consultation...If anyone has any experiences of NHS or Private Accutane treatment I'd be grateful if you could share your experience (not of being on the treatment there are logs for that, just things like how many times you had to go to the doctor, pick ups meds, general opinions and stuff like that).

Sorry for being long winded!


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I went to see a dermatologist privately to enquire about Accutane. My acne isn't too bad, just persistent (I am now in my 40s).

Managed to get the private appointment fairly quickly - it depends on where you live and what is available.

My first consultation cost £200 or so. i was in there about 40 minutes - my follow up appointment was a little shorter and was just over £100 or so. It turns out that for me, Accutane isn't the answer - so the Private Derm referred me back to my own GP with the name of a specialist NHS derm which I should be referred to.

This was a good move really - as the appointment didn't take too long to come through - and I am not paying for anything.

I did enquire how much, roughly, a course of Roaccutane - with all the blood tests etc - would come to - and was told perhaps £2000. I would have expected it to be more, it's not really so much in the grand scheme of things.

I am surprised that your NHS appointment is taking so long to come through. Can you ask again and see if there is a chance of seeing NHS Derm at a different hospital. You don't HAVE to go to your local hospital. I have been to various hospitals for different ailments - some have better consultants/outcomes/treatments.

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Thank you for your detailed response waytoooldforthis, that answered a lot of questions for me. I live in London and the cost of a first consultation for me is £150-200. I'll assume that only the price of of consultations differs from one clinic to another as the medicine is likely to cost the same wherever you go.

It's nice to see that your derm actually assessed you properly and didn't just prescribe medicine for the sake of doing so, a lot of people i've spoken to have told me their derms (NHS or private) more or less gave them the drug when they asked for it without much of an assessment - whilst that's probably good for people who are just desperate to go on accutane, i'd like to discuss perhaps the underlying cause (as in why I produce excess Sebum, not just being told that reducing the size of my sebaceous glands will stop it) and have medical advice relevant to me.

I'll enquire about changing my hospital to try and get a sooner appointment. I was stressed out to hear that it is two months away, but thinking about it now, perhaps if I begin that treatment midway through my examination period then I won't experience the full force of the side effects until that period is over. But yes, 79 days is too long if I'm honest, I checked and the waiting times of different hospitals around London are usually about 51 days from the moment you are referred. I suppose my patience with my current condition will decide if I book with a private derm or not or just wait it out! Thanks again :)

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I paid to see a private derm in Glasgow, it was £ 110.00 for the consulation, he ended up prescribing me birth control and differin, but said if that failed then we would try Accutane. Once he has prescribed your treatment he should write a letter to your GP and they will prescribe you the medication or in the case of accutane the derm will give you a prescription. Your prescription shouldn't cost you anymore than it would if your GP prescribed it. In the UK almost all private dermatologist work for the NHS, they do extra private work, so going private still gives you access to the same level of care just a bit quicker. I found my derm through the Nuffield Clinics I think they have them throughout the country.

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Thanks for the reply gkitten25, I didn't know Nuffield did clinics as well gyms and what not! Yeah I'm still debating what to do, i'll give it another week or so till i figure out what i have going on in May exactly, if I can't make the NHS appointment and they don't bring it forward I'll have to just ring up a private derm, the whole and chooseandbook/waiting times thing is a bit of a killer :(

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