This is it, here we go. Today was the day that I took my first dose of Roaccutane. Now I need to point out, and you will see from the image on the right, that I am actually going through a good stage with my skin at the moment so I have started this 16 week journey on a good skin day. The acne is clearly active though, and still not at all normal for a 42 year old! Although the dermatologist has told me what to expect from Isotretinoin, I know that each person’s experience is different and so I have no idea whether my journey will be a good one or a terrible one! I have been told to start on a half dose for the first two weeks and so I will be taking 40mg a day. I might call them my ‘spot busters’! I have been told to take the tablets with food so I have chosen to take them with my main meal in the evenings. We happened to go out to dinner this evening so my first tablets were taken just after a lovely Tournedos Rossini Steak! It was an easy thing to do and it just felt right. I had no concerns and didn’t feel at all anxious or worried about what I was doing.
“All day I have felt happier than I have for a long time. The fact that I had such a pleasant experience with the dermatologist helped a lot. In my head, I feel that the bad side effects that I may experience on Roaccutane can no way be as bad as having to live with these constant outbreaks of my cystic acne. I finally feel that I have a solution that I can believe in.
I have told the people that I work closely with what I am doing and pre warned them of what to expect. They have been great and fully understanding. I also have the full support of my family and everyone is giving me positive vibes which is making me feel good about the months to come. My partner has been there for me all through this journey and he was fantastic today; he came with me to the appointment and I just know that he is going to keep me positive and in good spirits.
Day Two – Tuesday 5th March 2013
Well, it is too early to talk about any side effects as the Isotretinoin has only been in my system for a few hours. I was told that it would be 48 hours before I might feel anything and that it would start with dry lips. On the advice of my friendly dermatologist, I have been out today and bought two massive tubs of Vaseline, two big bottles of conditioner for dry hair, some eye drops and I have ordered some Hydromol ointment to use in place of soap. I even bought some tinted moisturiser to replace my usual Clinique foundation as I thought it might be easier to apply when my skin goes dry. Now I feel fully prepared.
I feel totally normal and have complete faith that I am easily going to be able to cope with the side effects as and when they do come. I have spent quite a lot of time today thinking about the treatment and the results I have to look forward to.
Day Three – Wednesday 6th March 2013
Still no side effects to talk of. I have four or five new whiteheads today but this is kind of the norm and so I am not concerned. I know this is not a miracle overnight cure and that things will get worse before they get better. Feeling calm and relaxed about life today and looking forward to a spot free future!
Day Four – Thursday 7th March 2013
Feeling normal, no dry skin, no dry lips. I have cancelled my waxing appointment today with my beautician. As per the advice leaflet its back to shaving my legs and underarms! I am thinking that considering the last few days it maybe that I won’t notice any changes until I start taking the full dose. Or dare I think I may be lucky all the way through?
Last night I watched a video online of another girl’s Roaccutane experience. Her skin was amazing at the end of the treatment, even her scarring was massively reduced, and it was almost gone completely. I can’t wait for my new skin, I have decided that I want to celebrate with a professional make-up make-over and pretty photos!
I’m still feeling normal, if just a bit tired… but then it is Friday and I have been at work all week! I woke up this morning a bit amazed at my skin; it was almost better than it would normally be on a good day. I promise you I took this picture this morning before I put any make up on. I know that my usual foundation make up is not going to be suitable when my skin starts to dry out so at the beginning of this week I started to use the tinted moisturiser that I bought instead. It feels nice to use but of course it doesn’t give me the coverage that my foundation does so that takes some getting used to.
Day Six – Saturday 9th March 2013
When I woke this morning I had a very small patch of dryness on my face. It was nothing visible but I could feel it on the top of one of my cheeks so I decided to wash with the Hydromol ointment for the first time. It was a strange lard-like texture and it didn’t lather like usual soap. It actually made my skin feel soft and hydrated after my shower, not all dry and tight like it can do with normal soap. I chose not to wear any make up today and just used some Hydromol moisturising cream. During today my skin has felt slightly sensitive and I have developed a couple of fresh spots. Whilst I was out and about today in the natural light my skin did look blotchy and a bit red across my chin. It has all calmed down again this evening.
Day Seven – Sunday 10th March 2013
This morning after my shower my whole face felt dry, so I have to admit that the reality has set in today. I would also admit I felt slightly scared. I quickly rubbed in some Hydromol cream and felt much better. I have put all my usual make-up on today mainly to make myself feel better and in the thought that it may be one of the last few times I am going to be able to for several weeks. I’m guessing that when my skin dries out a lot more that I will only be able to put moisturiser on my face and I will be topping it up throughout the day. I have already prepared myself for the fact that I will be wearing the ‘au-natural’ look for the next couple of months, all in the quest for a smooth normal complexion!
I have noticed tonight that my skin is drying out, the area on my chin is starting to flake a little bit. When I washed my face this evening with the Hydromol ointment I was really pleased at what a good job it did of removing my make-up. A couple of minutes after I had dried my face I could feel a few more patches of dry skin so I applied more Hydromol cream. My partner commented on how fresh and energised my face looked! I think I will be a Hydromol fan for life!
Q: What is Roaccutane and how does it work?
A: Roaccutane, also referred to as Accutane, is a medicine that contains a drug called Isotretinoin and it is used to treat extreme cases of acne. It is the strongest acne medicine available and is only prescribed under close medical supervision. Spots are caused by overactive sebaceous glands in your skin and Roaccutane works by simply suppressing the activity of these glands which reduces the amount of grease and oil they produce. The drug will also reduce the size of your sebaceous glands as well as the inflammation that occurs with acne. Isotretinoin is only prescribed when all other treatments to cure your acne have been explored and have failed.