Roaccutane changed my life, for the better.
Back in May 2016 I finished a six month course of Isotretinoin, a form of the roaccutane drug which is prescribed by dermatologists to treat serious acne. Roaccutane is usually prescribed as a last resort to patients whose acne can’t be cured with lotions, antibiotics and other treatments. In this post I am going to be explaining exactly how roaccutane changed my life for the better as well as talking about my initial results, the side effects and how my skin is today, almost a year post accutane.
My acne wasn’t just bad spots, it was cystic. I often came up in huge painful boils. Boils that made simple tasks like eating and talking become agonising, spots in or around my nose which resulted in me being too scared to blow my nose and fearing sneezing. Spots so big that they gave me a black, weeping eye. Many people assumed that I wanted to be rid of acne for cosmetic reasons, and yes, part of it was, but the main push for me was the pain. My acne was affecting my everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, names like ‘pizza face’ bothered me, but after suffering for so long I had just gotten used to the fact that I would always have acne.
I was initially told that I could be taking isotretinoin for anywhere betweens 6-9 months, depending on how well it worked. I had monthly check ups where the nurse checked my skin, asked questions about side effects, concentrating on mental health, and carried out a pregnancy test. When I went along to my usual monthly check up in May, after taking the drug for six months, I felt a mixture of emotions when they told me that I no longer needed to take it. I felt shock as I had just assumed that they would simply give me another repeat prescription, I felt relief as I no longer had to worry about the side effects and I felt upset as, although my skin was a lot clearer now, I still had spots on my back.
The dermatologist explained that these ‘spots’ were actually scars and roaccutane, or the NHS for that matter, couldn’t help with these. There is an option for laser treatment but I would have to wait for at least a year for my skin to recover from the accutane before perusing that, and I would have to pay privately.
Roaccutane worked for me, but it isn’t a miraculous cure and won’t remove all traces of acne completely.
Once over the initial shock I was relieved that my journey was over. I could get on with my life, I could have the tattoos and piercings that I wanted, I could consider trying for another baby, we don’t have plans for that just yet but it is nice to know that if we decide to try we can, as getting pregnant on roaccutane is a big no no.
I would no longer have to put up with the nasty side effects of roaccutane. Thankfully I didn’t suffer too much but it still affected me. It can cause suicidal feelings and depression, this wasn’t the case for me, instead I suffered with occasional mood swings and exhaustion. It dries your skin out which some find unbearable, for me it wasn’t unbearable. My usually greasy skin on my face went quite dry but it wasn’t too bad, if moisturised well it felt super soft and smooth, and still does. My lips were awful and leaving the house without lip balm would cause a mental breakdown and, at times, anxiety attacks, which sounds crazy now but at the time it was like a life line.
The purging stage was horrible, I broke out in spots literally everywhere, even areas that weren’t a problem previously, including my arms! The drug seemed to work on my body from the top down, so one month my face would break out, the next my back, and so on.
My skin is so much better than usual, yes, I have quite a lot of scarring on my back but so what. The skin on my face is amazing now. I no longer get greasy skin and for the first time since I can remember I can go out without make-up on, today I have even updated my facebook profile photo to a photo of me without make-up. Granted I have filtered it a little but I am not wearing make-up, that in itself is a huge achievement for me.
Post roaccutane I only ever wore make-up on nights out, I was so excited to be able to leave the house without make-up! This phase has now passed and I wear it most days, but if I am rushing or running late, or just nipping up the shop I don’t bother, and it feels amazing to have that option.
Roaccutane has changed my life.
Unfortunately approximately three months post roaccutane spots started to appear again. One or two on my face now and then but nothing unbearable, just your typical hormonal spots. What did bother me was that the main problem areas started filling up with big, painful spots again, my breasts, armpits and groin area. I was in pain and unhappy again.
I made the decision to come off the pill to see if this had any effect on the return of the spots, I had been on the pill for a while as females aren’t allowed roaccutane without being on some form of contraception. Fast forward three months and my spots have almost completely gone again. I still get one or two around that time, but nothing that bothers me, both vanity or pain wise.
I am so glad that I decided to take the risks and try roaccutane. It doesn’t work for everyone but it worked for me, roaccutane really did change my life, for the better.
Find out more about roaccutane here.
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