Post Roaccutane

Week 29 Post Roaccutane – Tuesday 17th September 2013

Wow, here we are Post Roaccutane!

It is too early to see any dramatic changes and I know it will take a while for my skin to stop being dry. The peeling and soreness on my legs and arms have been quite troublesome during this last week. My lips are still dry and have split in the corners this week. My nose and ears have been dry and crusted too, so at the moment I’m really not feeling any different to when I was on full dose.

I like that the Isotretinoin seems to have made my hair and fingernails much healthier. My hair doesn’t need washing as often. My nails stay longer for longer and the large amount of cuticle growth that I always used to get has reduced to nearly nothing!

I have to say it is a little bit scary to stop the medication. I have been spot free on Roaccutane for six weeks, even through my menstrual cycle, so there is a part of me that is a little anxious and I rush to check my face each morning to check it is still clear! Don’t get me wrong, I am really pleased and amazed by what Roaccutane has done for me, maybe it’s just that I am having trouble truly believing that I am finally free from acne!

Week 30 Post Roaccutane – Saturday 28th September 2013

Hi! Wow, eight weeks spot free and feeling very happy!I have to tell you that I have not been using the Vaseline on my lips anymore, my dry lips are gone, they are all back to normal! In fact, all the dry crustiness in my nose and ears has gone too. My legs and arms are healing now and will soon be back to normal. My face is soft and there is no more dryness or peeling, my complexion is clear, Yeah!!! 🙂

If you look at this week’s photo you can see the redness that is still left.

I am still using the Hydromol cream on my face in the mornings because it feels so nice. I have continued to use the Hydromol ointment in the shower on my face but actually it is no longer required and actually feels wrong if that makes sense. My skin does not need it anymore and this morning I washed my face with my bar of Dove soap instead.

23rd September 2013

Week 31 Post Roaccutane – Monday 7th October 2013

A full 9 and 1/2 weeks with no spots and I am one very happy girl! I have stopped counting now as this is the norm for my skin 🙂 Whilst I have stopped rushing to check my face each morning I do find that I am still amazed if I catch myself in a mirror or see a photo that someone may take of me. The redness has gone now in my face and all the dry sore patches on my arms and legs have gone too.
I am still not wearing any make up and am happy like that. I would still like to invest in some nice make up for when I go out in the evenings but haven’t done so yet.

Week 33 Post Roaccutane – Thursday 24th October 2013

I know I said that I had stopped counting but curiosity got the better of me. I am now one month off Roaccutane after six months on. And an amazing 11 and 1/2 weeks spot free! Definitely a feel good moment!!

All the side effects are reversed now and my skin is normal, no dryness, redness, etc. That said I know I can’t resume waxing my legs and all that, until well into next year. I’ve got used to shaving instead and it’s not so bad.

I am still a keen ambassador for this wonder cure and would recommend it every time. Whether you are male or female, whether you have facial acne like I did or have acne on your back and shoulders, Roaccutane will get rid of it. It is worth the few months of strange things happening to your skin and I can now say from experience that they are only temporary side effects.

Post Roaccutane – Saturday 7th December 2013

Hello Readers, I am pleased that a few of you have joined in our comments and I felt it was time for me to do my own update!It’s now 2 and 1/2 months since I finished my Roaccutane and spots are history. A miracle cure, it worked for me and I hope it’s working for all you too.

My goal (and treat!) at the end of my Roaccutane treatment was always to have my make-up professionally done. I had purposely left a few weeks for my skin to calm down and return to normality first. I am still using a small amount of Hydromol cream on my face as a daily morning moisturiser. My skin feels so nice to me now the acne is gone.

So, last Friday I went to see a make up specialist who helped me choose colours that suited me and showed me how to apply all make up from foundation to eye colours, blushers and lipsticks. It was a lovely experience, I felt amazing and I now have the confidence to make my face up for a daytime work look and also a more colourful evening look.

The funniest part was when it came to the lady showing me how to apply the foundation. When I tried to do it myself my mind was telling me to plaster it on, like I had been used to for so many years. I didn’t though and have learnt to only put on a very small amount to keep my face looking natural.

We all have our own journeys and our own goals for conquering acne and I look forward to sharing these with you. I wish you all the very best x

Post Roaccutane – Sunday 22nd December 2013

Hi to all Roaccutane friends and followers. Wishing you all “Good Luck” and a very “Happy Christmas!”
With love and support from Andrea xx

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75 Responses to Post Roaccutane

  1. Stephen says:

    Hi! Im currently going through accutane and have been taking it now for 6 weeks! I havent really noticed a difference in my skin yet but reading your blog u are such an inspiration! Can i ask….. Whilst u were on roaccutane did you change your diet at all in terms of cutting out diary, gluten etc? Did u try diet change in the past?

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Stephen, and thank you!
      I did change my diet when I started Roaccutane simply because I was warned that the tablets would affect my cholesterol and my liver so I was very careful to not eat processed foods like crisps and sausage rolls. I tried to eat as healthy as possible without becoming obsessed. I did stop drinking alcohol for the same reasons. I have never tried diet change in the past to help my skin because I believe the two are not related. Maybe I can test that theory better now my skin is clear – it will be easier to see if any types of food trigger spots but I very much doubt it.
      Good luck in your Roaccutane experience, stick with it, stay focussed and be positive!

  2. Stephen says:

    Thanks for that Andrea! Just checking to see how your skin is doing post Roaccutane? R u still acne free ?

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Stephen,
      It is now 8 weeks since I stopped the Roaccutane and I am still acne free. It’s amazing, for the first time in my life I feel that the spots have gone forever. How’s it going for you?

      • Stephen says:

        Im now 8 weeks in and even tho iv seen some improvement i still get 1-2 neww spots every day! Going to stay positive because i have seen ur progress and results from taking this medication! Please keep updating on ur skin as it wid be nice to see how well ur getting on post Roaccutane! Thanks stephen

  3. Gary says:

    Thank you for documenting your experience its helped a lot in making an informed choice.
    I’m lucky in the respect my acne is located on the chest and back and I generally have a clear complexion. however like you I’ve become tired of living with it.
    Today I took my first dose 60mg. Have a 4 month supply to start.
    Wish me luck.
    Gaz. x

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Gary,
      I am pleased that I have been able to help you through my own experience and I wish you every success in your own journey. Feel free to keep in touch, I would like to read about how Roaccutane affects you.

      • Gary says:

        Hey Andrea
        Its been five days and nothing to speak of on the side affects front, but after reading your blog i’m awaiting the 7th day to really notice a difference. A few new spots on upper shoulder, not sure if that’s the Accutane or just a bad spell however I don’t normally get them there its normally centre chest. So hopefully its starting to kick in, like spring cleaning looks worse before its gets better.
        Thanks for allowing me to bug you about this, in all honesty your the only person who knows i’m taking this drug, because my acne is hidden no one really knows I’ve got it. I’ve passed my not drinking off as a course of anti-biotics for a random ear infection. Silly I know but hey it’s what blokes do. I’m also eating healthy not that I didn’t anyway, to be honest i’m generally an active person.
        So you may hear from me from time to time if that’s ok, if only to get things off my chest (what’s on my mind not the spots lol).
        Again Thanks for Listening/reading.
        Gaz x

        • Andrea Louise says:

          Hi Gary it’s great to hear how you are getting on and I am really pleased that you feel you can confide in me and that my expereince can help you. And who knows with me your experience may help others. It made me chuckle how you say you’re telling everyone you’re on antibiotics and so are not drinking… I did the same 🙂 It was easier than the lengthy explanation of something most people haven’t heard of. Take each day as it happens and if it helps read my pages that correspond to the week you are in with your treatment. Look forward to your updates, Andrea x

  4. Gary says:

    Hey Andrea,
    Quick update.
    Day six woke up with noticeable dry skin on face mainly around the forehead and nose, lips have begun to feel chappy, a good dose of moisturiser sorted this right out. Noticed a lot of new acne mainly where I’ve felt lumps before, seems the Accutane is doing its job pushing out all the c**p. Days 7-10 much the same no cracked lips just a bit dry. i’m doing as you suggested and applying Vaseline before bed and it seems to do the trick.
    I haven’t felt any indifference since starting the course, in fact i’m feeling more positive everyday knowing this is it, it’s just a matter of time. I have a count down on my phone allowing for 8 months treatment, its quite guchy with pie charts and doses and stuff (I was bored). Can’t help thinking my life over the next few months acne wise is already documented on this website. it’s like having a future diary.
    I tip my hat to you for letting me know in advance what to expect, allowing me to prepare in advance.
    Much Love
    I’ll keep you apprised.
    Gaz xx

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Gary,
      How are you getting on with the Roaccutane? It’s still early days, it is interesting to hear that you are experiencing the dryness on your face and you’ve got the famous dry lips! Are you taking the same dose every day? I had to buy a pill box because the pharmacy only had 20g tablets available when I needed 10g ones so I had to split the dose 60g one day, 80g the next, and so on. I like the idea of having the countdown on your phone. I did my own counting the other day and I couldn’t believe that I am now one month off treatment after six months on it. Even nicer was counting up my spot free days and today I am at eleven and a half weeks. That is nothing short of a miracle for me 🙂
      Being positive is key, here’s to the next phase in your Roaccutane journey 🙂
      Andrea xx

  5. gary says:

    Hey Andrea
    Sorry not replied for a while ive been away on a course with work.
    Roa treatment is going well, its mainly been a mixture of dry lips and sensitive skin.
    I had my blood test the other week and had to have a conversation with the doc, it seems my cholesterol level has risen considerably, they were worried by this but wanted to check with me if I had changed my diet recently, well the course i’ve been on meant I stayed in a hotel for a number of weeks and as I can’t drink I think I may have over compensated with comfort food, basically I was living like a king.
    So currently getting my HDL/LDL ratio back in spec before my next blood test. Ah also got a major bruise on my arm post blood test, body is very delicate at mo.
    Had some rashes appear on hands and back of neck also I have the dry inside of ears thing going on that you had, and have the occasionally breakout still, I say breakout but its normally one or two randomly placed spots. and they do dry out fairly quickly.
    Forget sometimes to drink extra during the day which can lead to a mild headache but nothing to complain about I just drink more and it clears. STAY Hydrated.
    looking forward to the days when it clears and I don’t feel like a dry prune. I would say dry your eyes but they already are lol.
    So now eating oats and fruit for breakfast, fish every other day and absolutely no fried food/mix grills/full frys damn that hotel was worth it.
    I’ll keep you updated.
    Cheers for responses.

    Gaz x.

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Gary,
      Good to hear your experiences! And more than happy for you to share them here, it’s like your own little diary too.Things for you seem to be going in same pattern as it did for me. Some things are bit wierd eh? like the dry rash on the backs of the hands? I don’t think I ever got used to my body/skin being delicate whilst I was taking the treatment but I can tell you it has very quickly returned back to normal. Quicker than I thought it would. Good luck with the healthy eating and good luck with week 9 !
      Speak soon,
      Andrea x

  6. gary says:

    Just realised i’m in my 8 week and just read up on your week 9. I am now mentally prepared for what could be a storm on route.
    I have the same overall redness on the face. People have commented on it, mainly they think I become a wino lol.
    I’m gonna prepare dinner now, mackerel salad. I just been a little sick in my mouth.

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Are you keeping to your decision not to tell anyone Gary? No need really, I respect that, I only told those close to me x

      • gary says:

        Yeh it’s still under raps, my dry lips just come off as winter time chapping now. Very dry eyes yesterday had to stop off for some drops. oh I’m on the same dose each day. got the dermatologists appointment in a weeks time as a follow up, I imagine it’ll be a your doing ok here’s some more meds sort of thing.
        all the best
        Gaz xx

        • Andrea Louise says:

          Good luck Gary, I hope the follow up appointment will show everything back to normal now you’re not living the high life in the hotel! No nasty acne breakouts yet? Have you experienced the dry rash or delicate skin that feels like sun burn?
          It sounds like you’re doing really well, Has your dermatologist given you an idea of how long your treatment will be?
          I wish you continued success xx

          • Gary says:

            The follow up with the derm went well however he was surprised I was still getting new spots. That breakout you had in week 9, I had very large spots on centre chest and back, its like they came outa nowhere. I weigh 90kg (muscle obviously) and when I started he gave me 60mg a day, from research I did previously I found the general dosage was 0.5-1mg per day per 1kg of body weight he pretty much asked me how I felt about how its going and asked me what I wanted to do. I suggested upping the dosage to 80mg a day, which he accepted as my side effects haven’t been too extreme. No idea how long he wants to keep me on the drug but he gave me a two month supply at 80mg and i still had 8 weeks worth at 60mg so I’ve got a stash of about 3 months at mo, which would take me upto 20 weeks.
            So without asking a women her weight were you dosage/weight ratios similar.
            My Blood work is still abnormal but it hasn’t increased so there happy enough to just carry on monitoring.
            Very achy bones at mo mainly strangely enough around my ankles and feet which makes me look like an old dear when i stand up.
            The new breakout spots have already dried up just waiting for them to disappear.
            Still get the dry lips,eyes,ears but nothing as in sunburn type skin yet.
            Hair, i cut my own hair using clippers, nice easy number 1 all over. but recently the clippers have found it hard to chomp through short number 3 or 4 hair. i can only assume i am becoming superman.
            Apart from all of the above i feel fine in myself, and very very sober.
            All the best to all.
            And if i don’t post before, Happy Christmas.

          • Andrea Louise says:

            Hi Gary
            It’s great to hear your updates, it sounds like you are doing well and are being closely monitored just as I was. Don’t worry about the new spots it all sorts itself out in the end. I remember getting the new spots, that’s when I wrote my Acne versus Roaccutane ditty! Roaccutane will win!
            I don’t mind telling you my weight / dosage ratios, especially as I have lost weight since the treatment! I think my first weigh in at the beginning mixed with being worried about my bloods kicked me into eating a bit more sensible! I started Roaccutane on half dose for 2 weeks and then was put on full dose for the rest of the duration: 70mg, 1mg per kg of body weight.
            I would say stay on it until advised otherwise, different people have different lengths of time on the treatment.
            You have the right attitude and are coping well. Sober is fine, I don’t seem to drink as much alcohol since my detox on Roaccutane, better for my health I guess.
            Until your next post, I wish you a very Happy Christmas xx

  7. Stephen says:

    Hi Andrea! How is life post Roaccutane going? Is your skin still clear?

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Stephen, my skin is still clear and has been now since I completed the Isotretinoin treatment. It really does feel like, for the first time in my life, that I will not be having spots anymore. I hope all is going well for you x

  8. Charlotte says:

    Hi Andrea.
    Thank you very much for this amazing diary/blog. I went to the dermatologist today for the first time and have been prescribed roaccutane. I have to say I felt very overwhelmed and afraid after the visit. I also saw the documentary about the suicides a couple of year ago which added to my distress. The dermatologist gave me every opportunity to say no though but I was sure I wanted to give this a try.
    Your diary has made me feel loads better about it all. I will at least know what to expect and won’t panic the first time something happens. Your account is much better than the scare-mongering paperwork I’ve been given today.
    I think i will keep a similar account too as I think this helps with the mental health side effects, giving you some way of getting your feelings out and documenting a journey so you can look over the changes.
    Keep your fingers crossed for me, I am 28 and have suffered for approx 15 years. I’m taking big action in preparation for my wedding next October. I hope I’m spot free and have good skin and hair again by then.
    Thank you again x

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi and welcome Charlotte,
      I absolutely empathise with you, I had all the same feelings and apprehensions but as you have read I have no regrets, it was all worth it. I do recommend keeping a diary, you are absolutely right it does help with the mental health side effects. Another massive help was the support of my boyfriend. Your story is so similar to my own and you have a lovely reward at the end of it – to look stunning for your wedding!
      Please feel free to read and re-read my daily entries if it can be of help to you and do keep in touch via this comment section for any support and understanding I can give you. I wish you all the best in your journey.
      Andrea xx

    • Gary says:

      Hey Charlotte
      I agree, what Andrea has done here is amazing. I’m in week nine now and even though there are high and lows, it is nothing that cannot be managed. Always look on the brighter side and know that this is a way out of everything Acne has held you back from doing.
      I wish you the best and look forward to hearing how you get along.
      Gaz xx

    • Andrea Louise says:

      HI Charlotte,
      How is Roaccutane going for you? I know you were apprehensive and wondered if you had settled in to the treatment now? It would be great to hear how you are finding it and how it is working for you.
      With warmest wishes
      Andrea x

  9. Stephen says:

    I have been taking this drug now since August and i can say that i have been completley spot free for about 2 months now! Its the best feeling in the world not having to hide ur face wen u go out in public! The only side effects i’ve had are dry lips and thats it and i’ve been on 70mg a day for the last 3 month 🙂 jus hope my skin stays clear wen i come off the drug in 3 weeks time cos thats wats worrying me the most! Just hope my skin stays clear wen i vist New York in Feb 14

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hey Stephen, great news, it does feel good doesn’t it?! You will stay spot free, this is it now, I’m so pleased that Roaccutane worked well for you too. x

  10. Elise says:

    I’m very glad to have found this diary – thank you so much, Andrea, for sharing such an honest and detailed account of your experience. I am in a vaguely similar situation – I’m 46 and have had acne all my adult life. Have tried every antibiotic available, alternating them in cycles for years, but while they worked as a short-term fix, as soon as I came off them the acne would come back a few weeks later. Sometimes I would become desensitised to a particular antibiotic and it would stop working actually while I was taking it. I was going round in circles for years, decades actually.

    I’m now on day 14 of my Roaccutane treatment. I was alarmed by the very long list of potential side-effects, and especially so since my dermatologist said that there isn’t really any data available on the long-term effects on “older” people (as I am, alas…), because I guess the drug just hasn’t been used for that long. So I had a few misgivings. I still do. But hey, living with ugly painful acne when you’re in your mid 40s isn’t a whole heap of fun either, is it?

    So far, not much to report. I’m on 40mg for the first month, so have to go back on 27 December for my next month’s supply, at which point I’ll be put on 70mg. My acne was the worst it had ever been at the point when I started taking Roaccutane. It is looking much better already, although I suspect it’s not the Roaccutane but really just the fact it had got as bad as it was going to get and is just healing up a bit of its own accord. The area where the spots are (my entire chin, my entire forehead and a bit area on one cheek) is now flaking, so it’s spotty and flaky at the same time. Gorgeous. Lips are fine, as is skin everywhere else.

    No aches and pains other than those I’d expect (after a long run, for example). I have had half a glass of prosecco in two weeks. I don’t drink very much anyway, although over Christmas and New Year I’d normally drink a fair bit more than usual so there will be none of that this year. It’s kind of bad timing, as there are a lot of parties and other events going on, so I’ll be the one with the red flaky face nursing a glass of water. I’m hoping the Christmas excesses don’t mean that my cholesterol levels go shooting up. I do eat healthily, but all the rules go out the window a bit at Christmas, don’t they?

    I’m a little scared of increasing the dose and waiting for the side effects to get worse. I think the dry skin I can deal with and am just hoping nothing more alarming occurs. Thanks again for your helpful insight into your own experience. There are a lot of terrible blogs out there but this one is the first I’ve read that actually gave me a true insight into what I might expect over the next few months. You really look fantastic and I can tell it has all been worth it for you. x

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hello and Welcome Elise,

      It’s great to have you on board, your situation is very similar to my own and we are of similar age so I totally get all your feelings and apprehensions. Even when you say your acne was at it’s worst when you started, that was me too. Well done on starting your journey. Believe in the Roaccutane and remember the side effects are manageable and will go when you stop treatment. Like all medications you may or may not experience all the side effects that they warn you about. Try to stay healthy and positive, take each day as it comes. Do keep in touch, I am happy to support you, read my diary through the stages as you reach the same number of weeks. One tip that helped me through it all, was whilst I knew I looked bad, it had been my choice and my chance for it to be the last time I was going to look bad. Whereas with acne it was a constant state of looking bad with no end in sight. At the end of Roaccutane you find a new self confidence of not worrying what other people may say or think, you’ve been through the worst and you know it was all worth it.

      In terms of the long term effects on older people, you may be interested to know that my dermatologist is about our age too and he has taken Roaccutane himself. He has been prescribing this medication for over twenty years, he has given it to his son as well, which he told me he wouldn’t do if he didn’t believe it to be totally safe.

      Good luck and I wish you a very Happy Christmas, hope to hear from you soon xx

  11. Elise says:

    Hi again, Andrea, and thank you for your kind reply. And happy new year, of course!

    All is well here – I am now on my sixth week of Roaccutane but am still on a fairly low dosage (40mg/day). I had been under the assumption that the dose would be increased for the second month but the pharmacist said not until next month. I wonder if it’s because I didn’t see the dermatologist after the first month, only the nurses, and perhaps the pharmacist needs the consultant to approve any increase. In any case, I still have very few side effects. My lips are very dry and seem to suck up lip balm every ten minutes, but they’re not flaky or peeling at all. The skin on my face is a bit dry but again no red patches or anything too concerning. I’m just using a moisturiser for dry skin (how weird is that??!! First time in my life I’ve had to buy any products for dry skin!). Body skin remains unchanged – I’m slapping on body lotion when I remember (not often).

    The only side-effect I’m still getting is the aching muscles and bones, but it’s still never bad enough to have to take painkillers and I’m getting out for long walks every couple of days so I can live with it quite happily.

    I have had precisely three drinks in six weeks, including one glass of prosecco on Christmas day and another on New Year’s eve. I ate all the wrong things over the Christmas holiday but am back to my usual routine of lots of fruit & veg, nothing processed and a generally healthy diet.

    I cannot say that my acne is getting lots better, but it’s clearly healing and I have had only three new spots since starting, all of which dried up much much more quickly than usual (the norm is to have spots that literally won’t budge for anything between six weeks and four months, so this is really a major breakthrough). My skin still looks awful but you know, I don’t actually care. I’m just letting the drugs do their work, being patient and happy to just let things take their course. At the end of the month, when my dose gets substantially increased, the pharmacist said I could expect much quicker healing, so I’m looking forward to that.

    Thanks again for all your support and wise words. I hope everyone else who has commented here is also doing well. I’ll keep checking in as this is by far the most helpful blog I’ve found.

    Elise x

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Elise,
      Great to hear from you, it sounds like you have been doing really well. I guess you will be on full dose by now and I hope all is still good with you. Have you had any increased or new side effects? I admire your positivity and I like the fact that you, like me, are just so relieved to have found a cure after a long time of suffering with acne that you are being patient and letting things take their course. I wish you the very best and do hope you have the same success as I did. Are you sharing your experience with family and friends?
      I appreciate my new skin (as I call it!) every day!

      Andrea x

  12. Elise says:

    A small point: i’ve just looked back at your first posts and see that you were on 40mg only for the first two weeks while I’m on that dose for the first two months. Interesting. I wonder why there is such disparity in the doses the dermatologists are prescribing? I guess the side-effects I’ll get in month 3 might compare to those you got in month 2 or even before.

  13. Joanne Tilley says:

    Hi Andrea I have just spent the last hour reading your diary, so interesting, my son age 14 was prescribed Roaccutane last year around the same time as yourself, he had a very similar journey to you, he was spot free after 5 months and suffered much the same symptoms as yourself during the time he took the tablets. Everyday he remained positive and said saying it would all be worth it, and nothing could be worse than the Acne he had suffered for the last 3 years. I was so proud of the way he coped with the side affects and all the other teenage emotions a 14 year old goes through. In Septembert this year he couldn’t stop looking at himself in the mirror and how his skin was so clear and spot free.
    So we had a great Sept and October then in November the spots started coming back on his face, my heart sank as I saw the disappointment on his face. Fortunately the Dermatologist had told us he could have an open apt for 6 months in case of problems so I immediately rang up, we saw him in November and his reaction was that my son had been extremely unlucky and he rarely sees a recurrence so soon after the treatment is finished. He gave him so topical cream and asked us to go back in a month, there was no change although the spots did heal much quicker than pre-roaccutane. When we went back just before Xmas the Dermatologist recommended my son went back on Roaccutane but this time just for 2 months and if they settle down he will put him on a maintenance dose of one 20mg tablet every other day – not sure how long for at this stage. The very good news is that his skin started to clear almost immediately, the dry lips are back as are the aching muscles and he is having worse nose bleeds this time, in fact the side effects have kicked in much quicker this time. He now only has 3 spots on his forehead and the rest of his face, back and chest are clear again and that is only after 1 month. His skin is not as dry this time but is red. He has to go back to see the Dermatologist next week and then has another 3 weeks of tablets until the 2 months are up. I just wanted to write this on your diary page in case anyone else experiences the spots starting to return, for my son the option to go back on the Roaccutane has certainly been worth while he says it has been a miracle for him even though he suffered a small set back at least the 2nd time around he was prepared for the side effects.
    As a mother it was a huge decision to consent for my son to start this treatment given all the press about depression etc. I have watched him so closely since he began the treatment and there isn’t a day goes by when I ask him how he feels etc etc. His reaction everytime is that Acne is what causes depression not the drug that starts to make it go away.

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Joanne,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I cannot agree more with your comments; in my opinion Roaccutane was given a lot of bad press but I agree with your son and believe the depression comes from how the acne makes you feel. Please do update me on how your son is getting on. I would be interested to know how long they keep him on a maintenance dose. If it were me I would want to stay on it until I felt sure I was cured. In my case my dermatologist wouldn’t let me stop treatment until I had been spot free for a full 30 days.
      Andrea x

  14. Gary says:

    Hi All
    Belated Happy New Year
    Now in week eighteen, and everything seems to going as it should. Skin is very dry these days and rarely get and new spots and when I do they dry pretty quickly.
    Just very very very very dry and lips peel almost instantly if I don’t constantly apply vaseline. I now long for the day when I don’t have to moisturise.
    Its a strange feeling the skin feels tight and when its knocked or rubbed it feels like a Chinese burn. shouldn’t be long now though next derm appointment is end of feb. hopefully he’ll give me the clear or only a couple more months to go.
    Chin up all


  15. rebecca says:

    Hi Andrea. thanks so much for this detailed blog. I am just about to start isotretinoin (Roaccutane). I am 37 years old and so fed up with being this age and having acne. I’m so glad I can go on this treatment & look forward to the end result! I may have a few Q’s along the way for you! but reading this blog is really helpful.

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Rebecca I’m sorry for not replying sooner.
      I guess you must be 6 months into your treatment now and I hope you are hanging in there to get the same great results that I did. Trust me it is worth it! I hope to stay in more regular contact with my site again now as I am so pleased it is still helping people like us. I look forward to hearing how you are getting on via this thread.
      Andrea x

  16. Jenny says:

    Hello, am amazed to find someone for whom this treatment has worked. I have had acne for nearly 20 years and have been through the Roaccutane treatment back in 1997-1998 but am sure it was longer than for 6 months, it didn’t work. There were no improvements and hardly any bad side effects either! A bit of dry lips (which has never gone away either). It was otherwise almost as if I hadn’t taken anything! I have been back to the doctor at various times through the years but they don’t seem to have listened and just start me off on the very same topical treatement, anti-biotics, blah blah blah and if it didn’t work, there is no way I am going to try that same drug again. I am pleased that it has worked for you and this website would have really encouraged me had I never come across Roaccutane before but even though I can see your amazing transformation, I am not convinced for myself. I have just been to the nurse today as I have another new cyst on my face and it is not pleasant so a course of anti-biotics has been prescribed and I will be referred to a GP with an interest in skin conditions. 🙁

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Jenny,
      I understand your frustration and you are living proof that any treatment does not always work for everyone. I hope your GP and nurse help you to find an alternative solution as living with acne is terrible. I remember spending years having to try lots of different doctors and different treatments before finding the one that worked for me. I sincerely wish you all the very best.

      Andrea x

  17. T says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Hope you are well and still happy with your new skin.
    Just wondered if you still use this site as it’s been a while now? Would love to message you…..
    Best wishes x

    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi there,

      Apologies for not replying sooner but yes absolutely do keep in touch via these pages. I have been away for a few months but will be checking back here regularly again now. I am so pleased that my site and experiences are helping people on their own Roaccutane journeys or helping them to make informed choices.

      All the very best
      Andrea x

      • T says:

        Hi Andrea,

        Thank you for your reply, nice to know you still check this blog.
        How is your skin? Are you still spot free and happy? Hope so!
        I’m 40 and have tried almost every supposed miracle skin care there is, have had numerous topical creams and antibiotics, plus the pill as well. My skin was good when I was on the pill but when I came off it to go travelling my skin went mad and has never been the same since. I have been suffering with nasty, painful cystic acne for the last 4 years and my doctor finally referred me to a Dermatologist – yay!
        I had my 1st appointment in August and after trying yet another antibiotic, this was the last resort, until I could be prescribed Roaccutane in October.
        I’m almost 3 months in and am still getting break outs, admittedly not as bad as I was getting in the begining, I started using Hydromol at your recommendation and my skin did not dry out at all – thank you!
        I haven’t suffered any dryness on my face, lips or body but I have the worst joint and muscle pains, i feel like an old woman, everything hurts!
        Am really worried the treatment isn’t working and will have gone through all of this for nothing….aaaghhhh!
        At what point did you feel the treatment was working for you? I know everyone is different and reacts differently to things but just feel abit impatient with it at the moment…grrrr!
        Hope you still have happy skin!!
        Thank you for taking the time to read this.
        Best wishes….T xx

        • Andrea Louise says:

          I feel your pain, you are in the same age group as me and it sounds like you waited as long as I did too for a treatment to work. I do
          hope you stick with this. It does seem like a long journey and the improvements are slow day by day. I found it really useful to take photos so I could look back over a longer period of time and see better changes. My dermatologist told me to stay on Roaccutane until I was spot free for a full 30 days. Since coming off the treatment I have not had one single spot at all. Pretty amazing when I suffered so bad for so long. Remember every day passed is one step closer to a spot free skin!
          Best wishes, Andrea xx

          • T says:

            Hi Andrea,

            Hope all is well with you, so happy to hear you are still spot free and happy with your Roaccutane journey.
            Thank you for your lovely and supportive reply.
            I’m still getting breakouts, it is slightly slowing down, but they are still coming through.
            Going to see the my Dermatlogist on Thursday, will have been on them for 3.5 months, so will see what she thinks, will be interesting if she says I need to be spot free for 30 days, I hope so!
            The body aches are still so so bad, I feel like I’ve aged over night but am determined to see this through!
            You’re right, it is a verrrrrry slow process and anyone going on this should be so patient, hard to do, but needs must!
            Take care and chat soon.

  18. S says:

    Hi Andrea

    Congrats on your wedding – hope you had a fantastic day!

    I too suffer with acne and have been prescribed Roaccutane.

    Could you please tell me how your dose altered during the time you were on the tablets?

    Thanks a lot


    • Andrea Louise says:

      Hi Suzanne,
      My doctor started me on 40mg for the first 2 weeks then I went onto 70mg for the remaining 26 weeks.
      What have you been prescribed and what plan have they given you?
      Wishing you well on your journey, keep in touch
      Andrea x

      • S says:

        Thanks Andrea.
        I’ve been given 20mg to start with (am quite small).
        Did it help with red marks/scarring in addition to the spots? If not, could I ask what you used for this after you finished the course as your skin looks great?
        Do you mind me asking, are you still without acne?
        Thanks a lot for doing this blog – it’s useful.

  19. dean scholey says:

    Hi Andrea,
    Firstly what a inspiration you are, top marks for never giving in. I am on my 2nd day of Roaccutane now for the very first time… 40mg per day for 4 weeks and then 80mg per day for another 4 when i finally get to see the dermatologist again in January for his assessment of which i should imagine he will prescribe me another dosage of Roaccutane as 8 weeks doesn’t seem long enough compared with everyone else.
    My treatment is for scalp follicultis and i have had this awful disease now since 2006 and aged 51 i am sick and tired of it, i sincerely hope that this treatment works, i take inspiration from you when i know my battle to beat this has only just begun, the side affects do not outweigh the pain and suffering that i have had to endure this past year, so as from today i am ready and raring to go. bring it on. From Dean.

    endure .

    • Andrea Love says:

      Thank you for your kind words Dean and I wish you all the best. Try to be positive and take each day at a time. That was the only way I could get through my journey. Giving in wasn’t an option even when days were bad I kept telling myself there was an end and the spots would stop whereas before with no treatment the spots kept coming. Do take support from my journey pages to keep you motivated.
      Andrea x

      • dean says:

        Hi Andrea,
        It is now day eleven of my treatment and i can not empathize enough the sudden change of skin..from being extremely greasy it is now dry and almost smooth..well all apart from my lips which are now beginning to chap. i have alternate days where one day will be good and the next will be bad but day 5 was definitely by far the worse in fact almost unbearable owing to a severe break out.. but what was so remarkable and pleasing was how the following morning everything calmed right down just as if nothing had happened at all,. it came as quite a shock tbh as i had never experienced such a dramatic improvement in such a short space of time. it is only early days yet so i must not get to carried away but i have already prepared myself for a lot worse to come as i am well aware that in order for me to be cured i will have to endure plenty more pain.
        I cant thank you enough for your kind support and thank you once again for being an inspiration, you deserve a medal and i really mean that.
        I am extremely fortunate for the fact that i have a wonderful wife who has stuck by me throughout.. because lets face it when suffering a condition such as ours one is bound to become a bit grumpy from time to time.
        All the very best, Dean.

        • Andrea Love says:

          Hi Dean, It’s so good to hear your story. You sound like you’re doing well and have the right mindset. You are so right that it really does help with the support of your wife; my husband supported me daily which gave me the strength to get through. No-one can imagine how it feels before and during treatment. Do keep in touch I am interested to know how your journey goes.
          Andrea x

          • dean says:

            Hi Andrea,
            I certainly will . i’ll give you an update in about 2 weeks time.
            Thanks again for your interest,

  20. sarah says:

    Hi Andrea, i’ve been prescribed roaccutane and have felt reassured and inspired by your blog, thank you its helped a lot with my decision, could i just ask if there was any products you would reccomend to use whilst taking them?

    • Andrea Love says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Thank you for your comments I’m really pleased my site has been helpful to you. Feel free to continue to use it as support throughout your journey. Please see week 6 of my site for the products I used. I used these through the whole of my time on Roaccutane and even now today I still use the ointment as a moisturiser. Wishing you every success, Andrea x

  21. dean says:

    Hi Andrea,
    The past few days haven’t been so good , one particular spot is getting right on my nerves it is extremely painful, very inflamed and stubborn as hell, whilst the others seem to clear naturally this particular one wont, i am determined not to squeeze it. being able to bear pain without squeezing is pretty good for my standards, as usually when they give me this kind of grief i resort to squeezing..if for nothing else but to release the pressure. and give me some form of comfort. i don’t ask for much.
    Apart from that everywhere else seems to be ok, my skin is dry and ls looking so much better for it especially my face. please remember that the problem here is on the back of my scalp and nowhere else.. scalp folliculitis is a extremely rare condition and unfortunately there is no known cure for it , having said that i have no doubt in my mind that this treatment will do it’s job and rid me from this awful condition way will i let it beat me.
    All the very best from Dean.

  22. lauren says:

    hello Andrea,
    ive just been prescribed roaccutane and today is the first day having 20mg im so sooooo excited for my acne to dissapear all together or have a ramatic difference. ive got my supplies for the dry skin side effects im really looking forward to the journey i face with this medicaton! bring on perfect skin. also do you still have acne free skin after a few years or have you had little brakouts here and there?
    hope your skin has been treating you well
    lauren 🙂

    • Andrea Love says:

      Hi Lauren
      I can feel your excitement and it reminds me of how I felt along my journey. The only thing that kept me going was the belief of perfect skin at the end of it. I hope your first month has been ok for you. I am a few years on and I can say for me spots are a thing of the past! I still cant believe it but you really can have clear skin just like the majority of other people. Good luck and do keep in touch, Andrea x

  23. Dean says:

    Hi Andrea,
    Just to let you know and anyone else who is interested that Roaccutane has finally worked for me. My scalp has cleared up completely.
    I started the course last November and went through some very challenging times, several times during the course i almost quit due to some very severe outbreaks but nevertheless i persevered with the course. May of this year was when i finally realized that it was all worth it, I have been clear ever since.
    I am currently on whats known as a maintenance course, one 20mg tablet every alternate day, I am still under a specialist who when i see next will tell me whether or not the maintenance course should be continued.
    Finally thanks Andrea for giving me the inspiration i needed to get through this. It was hell at times believe me.
    All the best, Dean.

  24. Ashley says:

    Hi Andrea,

    Thank you so much for sharing your accutane journey. I’m 7 weeks in, still experiencing cystic pimples which i’m battling with cortisone shots. It has been a trying 2 months – I alternate between hope and despair at whether the medication will work for me, but a part of me acknowledges that i’m probably too anxious and this is a slow process. Reading your story gives me comfort that the ups and downs are normal, and we just have to hold on and have faith in a positive outcome. I hope you’ve been well, esp since this post is coming almost 2 years after the last comment. Cheers.

    • Andrea Love says:

      Hi Ashley,
      Thank you so much for your message, it still makes me happy when people comment and share their experience with me even so long after my own journey. My own Roaccutane experience was so important in my life, curing me of all the acne misery that I had suffered from age 12 to age 43!!! I am glad that my blog brings you some comfort during the ups and downs and I do hope you have some support from someone close to you. Feel free to keep in touch and let me know how it works for you. Andrea x

  25. liz says:

    Hello! Just come across your blog and it’s been so interesting and useful. I am now week 1 on roaccutane and it’s been really helpful knowing potential side effects that could happen. It’s been a few years since you’ve been on it how is your skin now and has it changed ? Do you use products for dry skin ?

    • Andrea Love says:

      Hello Liz, So lovely to hear from you and I’m really pleased that my blog of my journey is helpful. Yes, it’s a few years ago for me now and I can tell you that my skin has remained spot free and healthy ever since. My skin was very very dry during treatment and I regularly used Hydromol to moisturise it. It did work well. In fact I continued to use only soap and water and Hydromol on my skin after my treatment had ended. Not because my skin is still dry just out of habit and it was keeping my skin nice. Once my skin had settled after treatment it was very normal no oiliness and no dryness. Until very recently I stuck by my soap and water and Hydromol routine but have now discovered Arbonne Calm products and so have swapped the Hydromol for their facial moisturising serum and cream for normal skin. I have no need to use products specifically for dry skin. I wish you all the very best on your own Roaccutane journey and do feel free to revisit my blog as you go along and share your own experiences through the comment sections. Andrea x

  26. Rachel says:

    Hi Andrea

    I just wanted to say thank you for this website…. I have been debating for a few days now on what to do for myself. I’ve had acne since I was 10 years old and it was my 44th birthday three days ago. Over the years I’ve tried all sorts of things, antibiotics, various creams and the pill. All worked for me but with the exception of the pill the acne always came back. I had to come off the pill last October due to having migraines and I was gutted because I knew what would happen. Everyone told me that I’d be fine, I was older now and there’s no way it would come back again…. and guess what, it’s coming back, and it’s coming back big time. Just as I knew it would! I was put on Lymecycline at the end of Feb and it worked for a few months but now the spots are coming back as bad as ever and I feel so depressed about it. I feel I’ve reached the end of the line with what my GP can offer me…. I really want to try roaccutane but scared by what I’ve read elsewhere. I’m so grateful for your blog as it gives me hope for what I might be able to achieve for myself if I’m brave enough to pursue it…. wish me luck!

    • Andrea Love says:

      Be brave Rachel, your story is very similar to mine and I was scared too! I have been honest in my diary and shared every detail of my journey. Hopefully you can see that it was worth it to be acne free! Something I never thought would happen to me after years of suffering. I do wish you luck and every success in your own journey. My blog is here to reassure you along the way. Best wishes, Andrea x

      • Rachel Dyer-Williams says:

        Hi Andrea, thank you so much for your reply, it means a lot…

        Since I messaged you I had a last ditch attempt to speak to my GP…. it turns out that there IS an antibiotic I haven’t yet tried, called Doxycycline. My GP was adamant that any dermatologist would need me to have tried this before they would prescribe me Roaccutane. I’ve begrudgingly started on this now – so far it is just making me feel nauseous! It’s frustrating because I am well aware this won’t be a long-term solution. I will be lucky if it does much at all because I imagine that by now I’ve built up a resistance to tetracyclines. All I feel I am doing is kicking the can further down the road… just to ensure I’ve jumped through all the necessary hoops. I understand that Roac has serious side affects but I’m beginning to wonder if they are any worse than having a resistance to antibiotics which I might need in later life. It doesn’t make sense to me. I’m determined now to try it – your blog has been so inspiring – my GP wants to see me in 6 weeks and in all honestly I’m hoping that there is no improvement so I can just get on with the referral. Wish me luck! Take care of yourself and thank you again once again for all you are doing and for keeping this website up, it’s invaluable to people like me x

        – and I know that all I am doing is kicking the can further down the road…. it’s so frustrating to have to go through all these hoops

        • Andrea Love says:

          Hi Rachel, I love that you came back to share your update with me. In my experiences it has depended on which GP or dermatologist I saw. I would recommend seeking a second opinion from another GP. I saw plenty of GPs over the years that gave me various antibiotics and topical solutions. Until one day, years into my acne journey, I was told by a GP at my surgery that some GPs are specialist in skin problems and dermatology and why hadn’t I booked an appointment with them! If I’d have knew then I would have! So, that’s what I did next, I booked into to see a skin specialist GP at my GP surgery. She was the one that could see my despair and referred me to a dermatologist at the hospital for Roaccutane. On my first visit I was refused (just as your GP in your story had said) on the basis that I hadn’t tried absolutely everything! This was untrue and so I went back to the GP and was referred a second time to the same clinic but this time I got to see the head consultant who totally agreed that Roaccutane was the solution! My point is it might be worth trying a second opinion with a different GP to get a referral. Also you could mention the nausea and check that it is a normal side effect? I truly feel your frustration and your absolute need for the acne to be gone. I do wish you all the best Rachel and look forward to hearing how you get on. Andrea x

  27. Rachel says:

    HI Andrea, thanks so much for your reply and advice. I cannot believe my last message to you was two months ago as things have changed quite a bit since then. The doxycycline had no longer term impact at all. I kept taking it, determined to go straight back to the GP as soon as the 7 suggested weeks were up, and was hoping for some improvement for my self-esteem, but not perfection as I was determined to see a specialist this time… anyway, I needn’t have worried, I had a terrible outbreak about a month ago and was so upset that things have now moved on. I saw a very lovely dermatologist this week who was so understanding and is more than happy for me to start roaccutane, and says it will really help me. So I’m just waiting for my bloods etc to be done – fingers crossed for this! – and then off I go.

    I’ve started a little note book to help me over the coming months; it contains questions for the doctor, hints and tips I’m getting from you and others online about products to help with dryness, plus a list of things I can do for my self-care to keep me going if I get low, as well as inspirational quotes, a (long) list of the reasons why I’m doing this and another list of trusted people I can speak if I need an empathic and non-judgemental ear! I’m also making the most of my glass of wine each evening over dinner as I know this is something I will have to forego until the spring… but that will be a small price to pay. Please keep your fingers crossed for me and I will be in touch again to let you know how it goes.

    Thanks SO MUCH again for this amazing website and your kind comments, they mean a lot!

    Rachel x

    • Andrea Love says:

      Hi Rachel, it’s been a few months now and I was wondering how your Roaccutane journey is going? My fingers have been crossed and it would be lovely to hear how you’re getting on? Andrea xx

      • Rachel says:

        Hello Andrea! I’m so sorry I never replied…

        My experience has been almost entirely positive and I have just ten days left! My dr put me on 30mg to begin with last October but after a week I woke one morning with a very bad eczema reaction – it was pretty intense. This was on halloween so it will always be a date to remember! My dr was very supportive though and after a week’s break (and LOTS of hydromol ointment together with mometesone cream) I re-started again on 10mg. I have taken a cautious approach since then, going up very gradually to 50mg and am almost there…. no spots, and very few side effects (though due to the early eczema experience I moisturise a LOT!!) I’m disappointed I never got up to 60mg (which was the highest dose I could have been on anyway, unsure why).

        So Andrea, despite my fears and after putting it off for several years due to ‘scare stories’, going on Roaccutane was the best thing I ever did… I think about my skin completely differently now… I don’t worry about it, obsess about it, feel bad about it… it’s amazing. I just wish I’d done it 20 years sooner, that’s my only regret.

        I am concerned about my acne returning but if it does I’ll go straight back for another course; I know now that I don’t have to suffer.

        I’m so grateful for your diary – and for asking after me.

        I hope you are well and that you and your family are safe….

        Very best wishes

        Rachel xx

  28. Kim Castro says:

    Hello Andrea
    This site is so helpful and you’re an inspiration sharing your experience. I’m considering Roaccutane, I’m 48 and have suffered with acne flare ups all my life. Since summer 2020 I’ve been battling a major flare up that I believe is menopause related this time. I’ve also just had a hysterectomy and my skin is awful. Dermatologist has suggested Roaccutane. Can I ask has your skin remained clear since your treatment in 2013? Thank you

    • Andrea Love says:

      Thank you Kim, that’s exactly why I wrote my story here. I wanted to share my journey to help fellow acne suffers. When I started Roaccutane I had no idea what the outcome would be. I only believed it would work and I was desperate for a permanent solution. So, it’s an honest day by day account of what happened to me and my skin. I would absolutely recommend it, it’s worth it! Since completing the treatment my skin has been amazing, no spots and no acne! It’s been 9 years now that I have had ‘normal’ skin and I am grateful every single day. I only wish I had started Roaccutane earlier. I totally understand how you feel and I wish you the same success in your own journey. Andrea xx

  29. Natalie says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I have today been prescribed with roaccutane and am reading everything i can about it. Since my appointment this morning with my dermatologist I have felt so anxious and am not sure what to do. I have only told my best friend who has been on this before but as I am only 21 this is a very nerve racking experience for me. I was wondering what you would suggest to feel a bit more confident with regards to taking it? I also do not know how to react when people will say something about the improvements in my skin as I haven’t told anyone I am taking it. I know that I will feel embarrassed as I have never spoken to anyone about my acne even though I have had it since I was around 9/10. Hearing your experience has made me quite nervous for the effects that will come but seeing your outcome has made me feel a bit excited?! I hope you don’t mind me blabbering on,

    Thank youu,

    Natalie xx

    • Andrea Love says:

      Hi Natalie,
      I don’t mind at all and I am glad that your reached out and commented. I totally understand your anxiety. I felt the same before I started taking Roaccutane too. I guess for my situation, I had suffered with severe acne for 30 years and whilst Roaccutane seemed drastic it was the only solution left to me after having tried absolutely everything else! My dermatologist was very good and reassured me every step of the way. I would suggest voicing any concerns and all your questions to your dermatologist. They can check that your symptoms / side effects are normal and put you at ease. Everyone’s experience is different and everyone is given a different dose so there is nothing to say that you will have the same symptoms as me nor to the same degree. I hope by reading my blog that what you can see is that by taking your treatment day by day it makes it easier to deal with. A big thing for me was to take photos every day so when I had a bad day I looked back on the photos before to see the progress I had made. I also found it a massive help to have someone close to confide in every day that will keep you feeling positive. You say you have told your best friend; I hope they have been supportive and can be there with you on this journey. It’s good they have had Roaccutane too, so you have mine and their stories to help you. I am also here, and you can send me comments via my blog as often as you want for some positive moral support. As regards to everyone else you don’t need to tell them if you don’t want to. If they comment because it looks a bit dry and red you could say it’s a reaction to some face cream or some antibiotics you’re taking. Again, if you choose, only you and your best friend need know. If they say that your skin is better say thank you and accept the compliment (you don’t have to explain!) Actually, it will be nice for you to have compliments about your skin once the acne is all cleared up.
      I wish you all the very best Natalie, it’s important to always remember the nice acne free skin that you will have at the ned of the treatment. It will help you. Andrea x

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