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my roaccutane/dianette journal

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My history

I have had acne since the age of 13 and now am 23 years of age. I have been put on various antibiotic medications and dianette. They all worked for a short period and then the acne came back as bad as ever. So I went to my dermatologist who put me on 35mg of roaccutane per day and I weigh 70kg. She also put me on dianette. My course is to last 16 weeks. I intend to give an update on my progress weekly and I hope this can be of help to anyone out there as I have found this site excellent.

After week 1

Initially I noticed no effects in my skin but by day 5 I think I got my first out-break and hopefully this will be it as it was awful. I counted 15 whiteheads around my mouth area. This was highly unusual for me as normally I'd only have maybe 1 or 2. I also noticed a cyst on my cheek which is something I only get once every month or so. I noticed my skin feeling itchy and by day 6 that my lips were feeling rather chapped so i've been using vaseline. I have also noticed that the muscles in my legs are aching. Hopefully I'll see some improvements next week:)

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Day 9

Oh my god...I'm freaking out! Has anyone ever experienced rectal bleeding? Dont know whether I should stop it now??? Aah!

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Week 2

Well I continued anyway. Compared to last week...such an improvement. I still have pretty much the same amount of spots but at least they're not whiteheads! Anyway my side effects include chapped lips every day no matter how much vaseline I put on them. My skin is becoming dryer and also my bones were aching compared to normal after a 20 minute jog. I also noticed that I get palpitations after the slightest physical exertion. Hoping to get my blood tested tomorrow so fingers crossed:)

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Week 3

Well this past week has been pretty bad. I broke out big time at the start of the week on both sides of my face. By the end of the week, they were starting to fade but then I got one beautiful cyst on my cheek and a couple of whiteheads to go with it. Overall a crap week for the aul self-esteem. Really hoping they start to clear up soon. My dermatologist said it'd take up to 6 weeks! Trying to be patient.

As for my side effects....thankfully no aching bones this week or palpitations. My skin just feels dry after I wash it and my lips are constantly chapped. I bought Blistex today so hopefully that'll be better than the vaseline. Roll on week 6!!

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Rectal bleeding? You should tell your dermatologist about this, I think its serious.

And also be careful taking dianette cause several people have died on it due to blood clotting.

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Feiph: Thanks for your comments. The bleeding stopped after a few days but I will mention it at my next doctor appointment. Regarding Dianette, I was on it before and it was fine but I will be vigilant while on it this time. Thanks.

Week 4

Well this week started out pretty bad as well. I had two giant spots on my cheek; one whitehead and one spot that looked like a disgusting wart( never got one like that before!). I must say that I was in a right mood and my friends noticed. I didn't want to leave the house at all or even have my friends call over. I was so down about those spots. I don't think it had anything to do with roaccutane apart from the fact that it probably brought those whoppers out in the first place. Anyway after 3 days, the whitehead was completly gone and by the end of the week the mark was even gone. Regarding the wart beaut, it remained throughout the week but now is like a wierd looking whitehead so I feel it's progress anyhow. When the whitehead went, my mood returned to normal and I was feeling myself and meeting my friends again. I still had the wart beaut but I could cope with that.

The spots around my mouth are quite flat compared to last week and there are some red marks left from last week but at least they weren't blooming this week. I decided to leave foundation out of my daily make up routine this week and they were improving no end. However i put it on the other night but woke up the next day with four whiteheads where they had just been spots. So this week again, I'm going to try to avoid foundation and just wear my concealer and powder.

I also changed moisturiser this week from Decleor regulating moisturiser for combination skin to T-Zone light moisturising cream which I find is more effective as my skin was flaking on my old moisturiser. I also found that the Blistex relief cream worked wonders for my lips. It really softens them. I just use vaseline to keep them topped up but the blistex is a lipsaver!!

I also noticed this week that my hair is dry and my scalp is flaking so I'm washing it less often and using a good conditioner.

Overall I'm quite happy at the end of week 4. I feel the spots have returned to the level they were before I started this programme so I hope the initial breakout period is coming to an end and that it's going to get better from here on in. I'll keep ye posted!:D)

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For dry lips: pure lanolin cream. I use the kind that comes in a tube and is for hands/skin, but it works better than anything else I have tried for lips.

Good luck!

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Thanks Allie, will try it too!

Week 5

This week has been quite good. I only got three new spots, one of which was a whitehead. Regarding my other spots, they're more like scars particularly any spot I had on my cheeks. I really hope these marks clear up.

Drank alcohol last night. Went on a bit of a binge as it was my first drop in 5 weeks so I went a bit mad. Anyway I had no probs but I was eating plenty too so that probably lessened any potential bad effects.

Side effects in week 5

Bloodshot eyes for no reason (I'm not sure if that means they're dry from the roaccutane or if I'm just a bit under the weather). Then I had the usual dry lips and itchy skin.

Overall my skin definetly is better than when I started but still has a long way to go.

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Week 6

Well my advice to anyone starting roaccutane is not to count their chickens before they've hatched. Last week I thought I was on my way to recovery. I felt my skin was improving and that there were no bloomers on my face. Well this week was a complete different story. I got nine new spots on my cheeks, 10 whiteheads around my mouth and chin area and then two whiteheads on my neck and I never got them on my neck before. Yuck! I can't express how disappointed I am. My derm said that by week 6 I'd see an improvement in my skin from what it was like before. I was happy last week and felt that was the case but this week, its alot worse! Aaah it's just not fair. I'm not sure if it had anything to do with the alcohol binge last week but I won't be chancing it again. I didn't go out at all this weekend cos I didn't want to face anyone. I'm just hoping that this might be my last breakout cos I'm sick of hiding away! I bought a new product the other day containing salicylic acid and I hope it does something cos my normal antiseptic cream seems to do nothing for them.

Side effects this week

Dry hair, dry skin and chapped lips.....and loads of spots!!!!:((

Anyway it will all be worth it in the end. I'm sure of it!:D)

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Week 7

Well this week I got no new spots. The ones from last week were just drying up. However I had a couple of spots on my lower lip which kept forming scabs and whiteheads. I'd think when the scab was gone that that would be it but oh no, a new whitehead would form! Anyway I was killed putting on germoline on it and it didn't help. However last night I put nothing on it and it's getting a bit better I think. As for my other scabby spots....they seem to be on my face for weeks. The skin is all flaky around the spots. I have found in the past that when I moisturise the infected areas that they get worse again. Hence, this week I didn't moisturise those areas and the spots are scabby and the area flaky. It's a vicious circle. It totally means that foundation is not an option.

I got a headache last night too but didn't take anything for it cos I wasn't sure if I could when on this stuff. I had the headache because I was tired.

So side effects this week again include bloodshot eyes, chapped lips and dry skin.

By the way that gel I bought last week containing the salicyclic acid was a complete waste of time. It just stung the spots and made them redder so I wouldn't recommend it.

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8 and a half weeks

Well I must say that I am ticked off. I'm on it 8.5 weeks now and my skin is worse than before I started. I wouldn't say I have actually more spots on my face but instead of whiteheads and normal sized red spots, I now get whiteheads that form scabs and stay on my skin for weeks. It's disgusting. Otherwise the scab will go and a new spot will come in it's place. I also have 3 cysts which were something I rarely got before! So overall the amount of beauties is the same but they are much more prominent than before. I just wonder whether my alcohol binge in week 5 had anything to do with this batch of spots that have remained on my face for the last 3 weeks. I don't know if anyone has had a similar experience? Then I was wondering whether I should ask the derm to up my dosage?? Has anybody else had a similar experience regarding the period of time it took to see an improvement? I really hope one comes soon!

Anyway I didn't moiturise my jaw areas and around my mouth as that's where I'm getting these spots. My skin felt quite itchy so I may have to moisturise them again.

So side effects this week and a half include itchy and flaky skin and chapped lips.


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Week 12

Well I haven't written in a few weeks now because I've had nothing positive to report until now. Since my last post I've had spots that have come and gone and that have come back again. Highly frustrating as I'm sure some of you can identify with. Anyway I contacted my dermatologist during week 10 about my dosage. She said that my slow reaction to the drug was quite normal and that it can take some people the full four months before they'd see any improvement. It certainly made me feel better after I contacted her.

Anyway I had been getting two spots at the sides of my lips for about 5 full weeks. Nothing would work on them until I put zovirax on them for cold sores. Like a miracle, they were gone within 4 days. I feel so much better now. Then I even used it on the other spots around my jaw line and they have dried up no end so thumbs up for the zovirax. I had been using tooth paste and other antiseptic ointments. The toothpaste initially helped.

So its just now after 12 weeks that I feel my skin is back to the way it was before. I have alot of red marks from the spots that have come and gone though. I just hope that they fade soon. I can cover them up with concealer but from past experience I know that I'm better off leaving them alone or another beauty will pop up the next day.

So I'm feeling confident. I only see a few more bumps underneath my skin at the moment that I fear will turn into spots as these bumps have always turned into spots before. However I am feeling optimistic for the future that by month four, I'll be there. Peace:-)

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How do you mean by redness? The only redness I have is from the actual spots and from the red marks or scars they're leaving behind. Apart from that, my complexion is normal. Does that answer question?

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