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MY ROACCUTANE (ACCUTANE) SECOND COURSE - pictures, walkthrough of the second course of my treatment, sharing tips.

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Have been on Metformin for one month now. I was prescribed it by my endocrinologist as I was diagnosed with P.C.O.S and my acne is hormonal and tends to flare before I get my period (only when it is late. regular periods see my skin improve massivley - therefore, if my periods can be regulated hopefully so can my skin).

Metformin works by treating the insulin resistance in your body, which sends your hormones out of whack and causes raised androgens which in turn creates raised testosterone which is the hormone that gives females all the crappy side-effects they DO NOT WANT. (My understanding is sketchy so I apologise if I may have glitched somewhere). This will hopefully make my periods more regular and help my skin...

Personally, I don't feel hopeful. First of all, it is not treating the acne primarily but secondarily so I don't expect to see results any time soon. I am trying to control it with topical treatments but since starting Metformin I have experienced painful cyst-like spots on my back and NECK of all places where I have never had spots before. Acne on face has not improved and I have more spots on my cheek...big painful ones. It's early days I guess but...I am unsure. I am trying to keep this at bay with topical treatments but with no luck.

Secondly you have to be on the right dose...I am currently on 1000mg BD. I might need more or less. Who knows.

Thirdly I have read a lot on this treatment about diet, etc. I eat pretty healthily anyway and enjoy going to the gym and doing adult ballet once a week. But I also like to treat myself from time to time, have a few glasses of wine go out drikning with my friends eat a brownie, etc. But apparantly you need to be quite strict with your diet and avoid sugary foods and stuff. Now, if I was overweight I would'nt mind.But I'm not and I'm sick of adjusting my life for shit medications that don't seem to work. But met seems to be massivley affecting my appetite at the moment and i can't even look at some foods without feeling sick. Also have bad gastro problems and stomach cramps, looser BM's. My endo says I should carry on as it takes a while to work.

Going to Holland and Barrett tomorrow to buy some vitex I've been researching.



So I decided to do a useful post after moaning and sinking deeper into depression about my skin and I've been doing a lot of thinking over the past few weeks and seeing my endocrinologist etc..

For anyone currently on/considering/reconsidering roaccutane a.k.a accutane, here is a list of my pros and cons after two courses.


1) IT WORKS - for a time

Yes roaccutane will clear you up, yes it does work in that respect, but at a price, and only for a limited amount of time in my case. I have heard of miracle stories where people go on one course and TA DA thats that and years down the line thier skin still doesn't trouble them. However, I have also heard of many stories similar to my own, where skin only stays clear for an amount of months/years until you find yourself breaking out again. In my opinion, it is always worth giving roaccutane a try if you have tried everything else and if you want to discover if you are one of the lucky ones accutane offers permanent results to.

2) It gave me clear skin and therefore, confidence

Okay, anyone that knows me personally will know that I am a pretty loud and seemingly 'confident' person but scratch the curface, dig a litter deeper and get to know me a little better and discover someone riddled with insecurities and low self-esteem. My bad skin was a constant reminder to myself that I was ugly, worthless and disgusting, I hated people touching me, I hated my boyfriend touching my face, I used to apologise for my skin when I broke out bad (my boyfriend of the time was very understanding and kind about it), I felt like I could become nothing with my skin the way it was. Roaccutane was the answer to uncovering the real me amongst all of the insecurities. When my skin was clear, I woke up every day in disbelief. It was like I had shedded an old skin, stepping out of the door fresh-faced and leaving the shadow of my former self behind obsessing in front of the mirror and slapping on layers of foundation and concealer. I didn't worry about what people thought of me or my face or if they were staring at my spots. I was just me.

3) It offers relief

Not just relief of acne for self-esteem issues and aesthetic reasons - but the relief of acne and the physical pain it causes. Lets face it, acne is UNCOMFORTABLE. It itches! Its sore! It gets in the way! I could FEEL my break outs move on my face as I talked sometimes and they were annoying as hell.

4) It was a temporary answer

TEMPORARY. It bought me time, for a while, to have fun, acne aside.


1) The side effects

Now, personally, the side effects I suffered were bearable. I had dry lips, accutane induced eczema on my arms, I lost a little weight, and my nose was runnier. Oh and I was obviously more sensitive to sunlight, but I live in England and it rains 80% of the time so I didn't have to worry about that too much. The WORST was what accutane did to my hair - thinned it to the point of..god I don;t even know. Anyway needless to say my hair went from beautiful, almost elbow length to now a short bob. Don't get me wrong I love my hair in a bob now. But lets face it, I wouldn't have cut it that way if roaccutane hadn't of thinned it so much. Its now recovered but it's taken a good year and a decent haircut to make it healthy again.


Roaccutane is a harsh drug. You have to be CAREFUL when you are on it. Look after yourself. Eat well. Stay out of the sun. Mousturise. Look after your hair. Stay off alcohol. That will minimise side effects a little. But they'll still happen. For me, going on a drug that harsh was not worth it, as it didn't clear my skin up for good. I won't be going on it again. But that is a risk you must take to find out if it works for you.


Personally, I didn't suffer depression. If anything, I was more depressed before I took it due to my skin being so bad - if anything roaccutane elevated that depression because it gave me clear skin. Depression/Suicidal thoughts is a possible 'side effect' of accutane but I havn't come across anybody that seems to have suffered this whilst on accutane. I certainly did not.


It's entirley up to you. Weigh up all the pros and cons - you can include mine if you like but remember this is just one personal opinion. You will get people who rave about accutane and people who hate it. For me, deciding to try accutane came down to this:

-I had exhausted every other possible option - face creams, herbal remedies, various cleansing regimes, cutting out dairy, cutting out sugar, cutting out alcohol, cutting out junk food (that I didn't eat a whole lot of anyway), exercise (that I do a lot anyway) drinking ONLY water, antibiotics, facials, sun beds, make ups, various birth control pills -AND STILL MY ACNE WAS THERE.

- I was sick sick sick to death of my skin and ready to take drastic methods. Accutane is drastic I'll give it that.

- I wanted to feel beautiful.

- I figured, compared to how my skin makes me feel, it can't be all that bad.

It was tough at times. And even after two courses, I am still suffering break outs due to a late diagnosis of P.C.O.S. Was it worth it? Well...yes. No, it hasn't worked for my permanently. But it has improved my break outs a little. And it did work for a time. I know that I tried it, and I know that I won't try it again, so at least it is worth it for that. I am now working on controlling my acne from the root of the problem which is hormonal. Any questions jsut ask, and you can see my accutane journey from my blog (my second course) :)



When Do I Get A Break

I have been on Metformin for three weeks now and I just don't feel like it is helping at all. If anything I feel like it is making my skin worse - it feels oily and disgusting I have smaller spots all over my face where I don't usually get any and my acne is red flared faded and disgusting. I can't handle looking in a mirror. I don't recognise myself. I'm teary and depressed. I don't want to go out or see people. I keep trying to put things into perspective to make myself feel better but I can't seem to do it. I have dreams about waking up and seeing my skin smooth and clear again. After two courses of Roaccutane I feel like this is so unfair, which sounds childish but I just feel like I'm owed a fucking break for once. I need help.

There is no way I'd go on accutane again. For me, it obviously doesn't work as the route of my problem is hormonal.



I've been prescribed metformin 500mg a day for PCOS to regulate my periods and hopefully control my break outs but I don't know anyone that has been on it ?

Any info? Does it work?Any tips?

My two concerns are - I'm not on Birth control.

I binge drink with my friends pretty much every weekend. Friday night/Saturday night I start with a few glasses of wnie then go onto vodka and lemonades with lime and shooters maybe 5/6. I know binge drinking is bad anyway but I'm young.


Good Skin Bad Skin

When my skins good I'm euphoric.

When my skins bad it's not even worth getting out of bed in the morning.

I feel like accutane is this horrible drug that lulls you into a false sense of security until your skin comes back with a vengance

I have just been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovaries) and therefore discovered that the two courses of roaccutane I have been on were, in effect, useless and pointless

i really need help


Feelings On Acne

Sometimes I feel like I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.

After buying and trying all the over the counter creams, lotions and potions under the sun, to using topical and medicated creams to having every available anti-biotic, cutting out various food groups from my diet, self esteem plumetting to an all time low, two courses of gruelling courses of roaccutane (accutane), I feel my acne slowly returning.

I am now at an endocrinologist but i feel as though i have lost all hope.

I feel like, to an extent, I should try and keep a posotive outlook on things, which I can sometimes in an "it could always be worse" sort of way.

But its hard to feel like things can get worse when you feel so low. I feel selfish feeling like this but I hate what I see when i look in the mirror.

Do I try and accept myself the way I am, or keep returning to life-ruling, gruelling medications that take toll on the rest of my looks whilst givnig me the skin i desire?

This is taking over my life and I don't know where to turn


Its Been A While


Its been a long long LONG while since i posted here.

I began this blog as a follow along for my second course of accutane (or roaccutane for us brits). I wanted to also keep people that followed this blog updated and also because, just because I am cleared of acne (for the time being at least, one can never be too optimistic) I shouldn't abandon this blog!

So anyway I had a very successful course of accutane and came off the drug at the begining of May 2012.I was acne free, very very happy and relieved that I didn't have to worry about my skin anymore.

The side effects -

Dry lips

Dry skin (accutane induced eczema - patches on my arms)

Hair loss/hair thinning - this wasn't extreme, however my hair did get noticably thinner and , after two courses of accutane, my luscious locks couldn't hack to abuse and I have gone from long almost elbow length hair to shoulder length. Hair grows alot faster than self-esteem and confidence, so thats a price I was willing to pay.

Weight Loss (?) - I query this because I met a friend who went on accutane and she said she also lost weight, however I went on accutane at a very stressful period in my life, I hadbroken up with my boyfriend, was in my final year of University, worked two jobs along side an Internship and was saving up/planning to go work and live in America for three months. So really, I dont think I can put accutane as the sole cause of the weight loss.

Nail weakness - my nails snapped and split and peeled alot. I still dont think they have properly recovered.

Thats about all :) Its now 8 months on almost and my skin is still clear !! however, I have been to the doctors and discovered something very interesting.

Since I started my periods, they have been irregular. and not just at the start, and a few days out. I mean crazy irregular. I'd have one one month, then maybe not have another for up to four months and then have them every month for one-three months, then miss a few or so again and so on and so forth. I went on the pill at 16 up until jan 2012 and, after comingoff the pill i was sort of glad to give my body a little break and see if i could get regular periods now i was older.


I am fully aware it takes your body time to re adjust after being on the contraceptive pill. However, last year I had 4 periods in total. All year. So I went to the doctors and discussed this. I also mentioned how maybe since I suffered so much with my skin the two could be related.

She took some blood tests and found that I have a higher than average level of testosterone in my body, and thats the hormone that causes acne. It also contributes to my irregular periods. Now I am having more bloods taken and an ultra sound scan. So I will keep you posted with what happens.

Ladies, if this sounds like a problem you've had, its worth mentioning it to your GP/Doctor and maybe seeing if there is something you can do about it!

I will post pics of my skin soon :)


ok ok soooo...since being in the sun the skin on my face is so so sore ;'( and like rough and flaky. also since saturday night my jaw got helllaa sore (the left side) and now there is a sore lump along it. this is so tender to touch. its like along the bone.. none of my teeth hurt at all and im not due dental work or anything so it can't be that. im just wondering if its a possible side effect of accutane?? but i dont even know where lymph nodes are.. ithought they were like underyour jaw on the side of your neck rather than on jaw bone as such?


okay sooooooooooo maybe this kinda only applies to people in the UK where sun and nice weather is rare ...we've had a rate nice week up in York which brought me to procrastinate and leave me assignments for a week in the sun with my friends... PUT SUN BLOCK ON. within about 10 mins my back was burnt to shit and then i put sun cream on but it didnt really help allthat much. my face got burnt pretty bad ...but not like normal sunburn.. it made me red across me nose and cheekbones but my whole skin got sooo dry flaky and tight :( so just be so careful... skins so sensitive... only 2 weeks to go i cant waiiittt to be off it. results are looking great (minus the sunburn) so ill post some pics soon


Day 91 - Success

not long to go now, only until the 17th April and then my 4 month course (or 16 weeks...whichever) is over :))) !! i noticed that my side effects are actually subsiding. they weren't terrible at all really, there was a point a few weeks ago where my lips were painful and cracking but i kept up with the carmex and its got a little better.

the ecezema on my upper arms has subsided, my hairs gotten alot thicker and less dry, my appetites a little better, my sight is improving.

all is gravy :)))))))))))


okay for the past three days this has been pretty awful now...its only just dawned on me that its probably a side effect frmo the med. IM. NOT. HUNGRY. ever. and when i try to eat because i realise i havn't eaten in ages (i can go all day/over a day without eating and not realising it) i try to eat and i feel... sick and really overly full and lethargic like i can't keep anything down. in total since being on accutane i have lost around 7lb and that was a few weeks ago when i got weighed by the doctor for my medical and god only knows what i weigh now cos its getting really bad.

mind you this could be a number of things, i'm going through a break up and i'm also very stressed with uni work and deadlines so it might be that.... i don't know has anyone else been through this????


Day 85 Pictures :)

okay so late but as promised some PICTURES :)



as you can see my lips are now so sore...i've got carmex on but they're just dead bitty all the time and if i don't kee carmex on they crack and bleed yaaay. i don't have any foundation on . :)


okay.............i've noticed something. and i want to know if anyone else has experienced this on accutane. my nose is really runny ALLL TTHEE TIMEE.

its so annoying. it's never usually like this and at first i thought i just got a cold cos i started med in december and i did actually get a cold in jan....but by feb i was like wtf why am i still not over this. and now its like.......... definatly must be accutane. its worse in like warm places (so like work) and im constantly sniffing. anyone else ever had/had this ??


Day 74 - Success!

yayyy good news from my derm :) only 5 weeks left, i dont have to do any longer only the 4 month minimun cos my skin has responded so well. my lips are dry of doom and kinda painful but i keep pickingthem and making them bleed which obviously isn't helpful. i'll post pictures tomorrow. my blood tests have all come back fine except my liver enzymeis slightly raised...i have been abit naughty with alcohol so im going tobe really strict andnot even touch it now for the final5 weeks :)


Day 67 - Good News

okay soi i had my dermatology appointment today and she said......................... i only have to be on it a total of 16 weeks!!! which means 17th aprilis my finish day and that means i only have around 6/7 weeks left!!!!!!!!!!! wow!!!!!!!! she is not upping my dose as she said if 40 mg works for me then theres no need to up my dose..which i thought was weird.. so i will ony do 4 months on 40mg. to be fair my skin was never /has never been atrocious just persistant but i guess once your clear then thats the job done...not the amount of time you stay on it? whats everyone elses experiences on length and dosage and advice from derms??


Day 63

not much more to report. i have a medical tomorrow because im doing camp america this summer and im worried the side effects from the med will affect it :/ ? i also have my consultation on the thursday FINALLLLLYY after 9 weeks!! so i'm hoping for some good news (good news as in blood tests are okay and my dosage can be upped and that i maybe dont have to be on this that much longer) i have picked a really good time to go on this medication being a third year, we are all under alot of stress and can't really afford to go out drinking (time wise and money wise) so its not been as hard as i thought it would be. wow in fact its 9 weeks today i will have been on this medication O_O thats a long time!! anyways, im trying to stay posssiitive :) and i cant wait to see my derm

worst of the side effects are my lips and my hair. the eczma is pretty annoying but not too much. my friend told me.. wierdly.. that some sort of nipple cream is supposed to work realllyy well on dry and sore lips!!! so i am going to try it as i cant stop biting my lips and making them bleed, they're so dry and sore :( !!

adios for now! ill update after my consultation


okay as promised here are some pictures where i have no make up on

the right side of my face is still very stubborn and the thing on my cheek on the left side hasn't fully gone down yet which is frustrating. As you can see my lips are getting pretty sore now



still got a long way to go i guess. i had to cut off a lot of my hair :(


OKAY GUYS! sorry i havn't been as dilligent in my blogging as i was at the begining, university is hectic T_T !! as far as my skin goes...all i can say is.. wow. even though this is my second course, so i've been on it before, i forgot how amazing this can make your skin. its soft, its clear, it looks healthy, here are just a few of the compliments i've recieved over the last week alone,

"your looking well!"

"oh god you look radient!" (followed by my hasty 'im not preggers dont worry lol! reply)

"you look dead different. in a good way, really bonnie. whats different?"

the difference is, my friends, colleagues and fellow students, MY SKIN. i am more confident , no more checking in the mirror that my make ups come off, no more voice in the back of my head when i meet new people saying "they're looking at your skin they thing your a scruff" NO MORE PICKING, NO MORE EXCESSIVE SUDOCREM AT NIGHTS, NO MORE LAYERS UPON LAYERS OF FOUNDATION :)

i am still getting the odd spot here and there, and i am only halfway through the course (at least, minimum of 4 months she said). I will post a make up less photo tomorrow :)

side effects wise :

dry lips (obviously, but still managable)

dry eyes, that get more watery but this isn't excessive

my hair is a mess :'( dry, brittle, shedding/thinning. i had it cut to make it appear thicker and its just something i will have to persevere with. its not major major so no panic.

my sight is back to normal, my stomach isn't as iffy any more, even the eczma like dry patches on my arms have gone


Okay so day 41 and my skins looking really good. Initial breakout over and done with, nothing more seems to be coming up any more, i'll post a pic tomorrow where im not wearing any make up :). this is with minimal foundation


even with foundation before hand you could see all the lumps and bumps under my skin in the sunlight. i'm really happy with the outcome so far :)

side effects : dry lips (of course, not too bad still at the moment, its managable) dry hair, dry skin on face that feels tight and looks dry with foundation at times, eczema on thetops of my arms (right arm worse than my left for some reason :/), nails keep breaking.

my sight still doesnt seem quite right. its mroe when im studying cos im english literature so i read alot of books and write alot of essays (fun -_-) so its when ive been reading and when i look away everythings blurry for a few minutes. i'll tell my derm about this though because i didnt experience this at first at all and its worrying me. and i am due another consultation soon. and recently i've noticed a slight change in my mood, i feel really tired alot of the time, wanting to sleep alot more and im abit teary. however im not going to tell my derm about this because im scared it will stop her upping my dose and i dont want to be on this med any longer than necessary. if it gets worse i will come off it my self. other than that! its fine, going well, hopefully this'll do me for ever but, i doubt it -_-


Day 34

okay so i finally managed to get my second months worth of med. my blood test results were fine, i went through a hell of alot of hassle to get the second months worth which im really pissed off about. I am paying to go private to get this med (becuase if i would of gone NHS i wouldnt of even had my first consultation yet, let alone had any accutane, plus i went NHS last time and he was shit and kept forgetting to give me blood tests and my colesterol was really high and he never told me until 2 months later so i didnt even know which could of been dangerous >;( !!). But the lack of communication is shocking, the last time i went i was given a slip of paper with the outpatients number on it and told to ring when i needed my next blood test and months worth of med. so i did and went on tuesday. then on tuesday they told me they couldnt give me the med that day cos they needed to check my blood results first and the derm wasnt going to give me any more meds tril she saw my results were okay. so i was like well whens that cos i only have two days worth left. she said friday, so you'll miss thursday but i dont think one day will make a difference. so friday i was told to call so that i could pick it up. so i rang friday and she was like "oh... erm well i'll have to check you records ill ring you back" then she rang back and hd to check my name cos they'd got my second name COMPLETLEY WRONG (FELTON instead of DOUGHton..i mean come on seriously?) then rang back to say they hadnt even sent my blood results away yet cos they dont have a lab in that hospital and need to send em off. so i KICKED off and wa slike well i dont have any meds left, i wasnt told any of this, otherwise i would of booked my appointment way sooner. then they managed to get the prescription but said i had to come back to pick it up later but i was working. so i got outta work early especially to make it to the pharmacy and she refused to give me the med til she saw a slip with my pregnancy test results on showing it was negative. so i was like i dont have it cos i had the test on tuesday and they didnt tell me i needed to bring it with me >;( !! then i had to get anothe rpregnancy test. it ws just alot of hassle and im very busy with uni work and work and stuff. is this just british hospitals?!?! absoloutly useless. anyway rant over.


Day 31

I caught a cold >.<!!! so im feeling really run down today (hence why my eyes are closed)


I got some huge cyst thing on my cheek about a week ago >;( !! but thats been the worst so far i think and no more after that


its too soon for miracles but im seeing effects :) side effects have calmed down (apart from the dryness obv) i havnt' had a day where i've felt bad in a while. anyway if i looked tired and stuffy its cuz i am!! damn january weather


Day 30

Okay warning especially for girls DO NOT get waxed whislt on accutane!! and also do NOT use plasters, this seems stupid but i had my blood test yesterday and she put a plaster over the inside of my elbow and when i took it off today it ripped my skin off with it! not loads but i have a big red square mark >;( !! so my skin has thinned already after one month. pictures up tomorrow