Roaccutane – Part One of my Journey

Roaccutane Is My Last Hope

If you have read any of my previous beauty posts, you will be aware that I have had acne for the last 16 year, (Click here to read Why I Choose to Spend a Higher Value on Skincare). But basically it has never gone away. Sometimes it got better but it would always go back to how it was. And I was fed up of the constant battle. So I finally wanted to do something about it, and I got a referral to see the dermatologist. Although I knew I would get options. In the back of my mind I knew I needed to try Roaccutane or Isotretinoin as it is medically know. Thanks to the world of social media more and more people have been sharing their story. I had managed to gather a lot of research, and felt it was the only option to get where I wanted to be with my skin.

Acne before Roaccutane
Believe it or not this was taken a week or so before I started my treatment. It was the best my skin had looked in months.

Month One

The first month on this drug is the hardest. Your skin gets worse before you start seeing any changes. Please bare this in mind when you start. Although I’m pretty sure your dermatologist will warn of this at the start of your course. Also make sure you read all the documentation and leaflets you get given about the drug. This will make you are aware of side effects and how to take your medication. However your dermatologist will say how they prefer you to take the medication. I’ve heard conflicting stories within my research on how people were taking the drug. I was personally told just to take it straight after a meal which would most likely have the most calorie and fat content. So I stuck to taking it straight after my evening meal.

Acne one month after Roaccutane
This was my skin after one month on Roaccutane. The main side effect was major breakouts as my skin adjusted.

Side Effects

In terms of side effects in the first month, there wasn’t many. The most noticeable ones being a drastic breakout and a yo-yo appetite in the first week or so. With the breakouts though it has been the only time I’ve really noticed my mood dipped. Which is understandable as the last thing you want is your acne to get worse. But my biggest tip for you at this point would be to tell as many of your friends, family and work colleagues as possible. Not from the point view that you need to give them a reason as to why your face looks worse or why you haven’t got make up on. But more so because they will probably check up on you, ask you how you’ve been feeling or even comment on how great your skin is starting to look.

Acne after One Month
A better look at the texture and breakouts on my skin

This is a major course of action to treat acne, and for a lot of people this wouldn’t even be an option. So it is important to have support from the people closest to you, or at least the people you see the most.

Month Two

This was the month, for me, I saw a things starting to change. First of all this is when you dose is put up, so I went from taking 20mlg to 70mlg, so I had 4 tablets to take once a day. First thing I started noticing was I was no longer getting breakouts, or new spots forming. I’ve always been lucky of having very soft skin, and on my face it would be more oily than it was dry. So at this point I still wasn’t experiencing extreme dryness and I was still able to continue with the skin routine I had before I started the medication.

Acne after Two Months on Roaccutane
Although my breakouts had started to get better, that was closely followed by lots of dry skin appearing

However when it came to dryness my lips became as dry as a prune. It meant I was constantly applying lip products pretty much 24/7. They would also get very painful and basically the only way I can describe it is like a raw feeling. My appetite at this point was pretty much back to normal, but I found myself getting put off food with strong flavours. Like I prefer pasta but without a sauce, I would have been quite happy eating fresh bread and butter for dinner if I could. That was something I hadn’t read about, the only that made me more comfortable about this side effect was after watching a YouTube video of someone’s side effects and they mention this too.

Hospital Visits

Month 2 also really sort of kicks off your monthly visits to the hospital for tests. You won’t see the dermatologist every time but you will at least see a nurse. The main test believe it or not is a pregnancy test. You can not under any circumstances get pregnant while on Roaccutane and you must sign basically contract to say you won’t. So the measure to ensure this is doing a urine test every month. Otherwise you won’t get your next month course of your treatment. Other things they check with this test is your kidneys, liver and such likes they can be affected by Roaccutane.

Acne after Two Months
A clearer look at my skin, dryness was appearing around my lips especially

Another test that may be required monthly is blood tests. I think these only get done on the first couple of months. As it will be a way to check that your body is coping with the strong drug. And of course you will also receive your monthly course of the drug while you are there is well. (This is based on my experience with my hospital, this process may vary from hospital to hospital).

So this is the first two months of my Roaccutane journey. I have now finished my course and currently on my discharge month which means the drug is still in my system. Hopefully I will be able to update you at the end of September with Part 2 once I’ve had my last hospital visit. I’ve tried to be as detailed as possible with this post. But if you would like to know more please do not hesitate to comment. I will try my best to answer.

Acne at the End of Month Two
Results were beginning to show by the end of month two.

If you want to hear more about roaccutane, Katie Snooks created some great blogs on her experience. I found these really helpful so I’ve linked them here.

Do you have any of your own experiences with Roaccutane? I would love to hear them.


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