I’ve been waiting to write this post for a while, I wanted to include all about my skin from the start. Finally explain all the different medications and products I have tried over the past 4/5 years. I also wanted to see how my skin was doing after stopping taking the roaccutane…
Okay, so I’m going to start from the beginning, back to when I was 14/15 and my skin was literally covered in spots. Not only my face but my back and chest. I didn’t wear any clothing that showed my back or chest. I also tried my hardest to cover up any spots on my face. I remember even on hot days I would wear a cardigan or longer sleeved tops to cover my shoulders, as they where covered in spots. The most frustrating thing about my acne was that sometimes it would clear for a week or so, and then with no changes to my routine it would come back awfully for no reason. Sometimes the spots on my face would bleed and they would be so dry too that any make up would just make them look worse. Being 15 and having skin this bad was horrible, it was so upsetting and frustrating.
I started going to my G.P a lot and trying different creams, some made my face burn and sting a lot such as benzoyl peroxide which is supposedly an amazing acne treatment, I just had a very bad reaction to it. I tried some courses of antibiotics and these still didn’t make much difference. I then went on the pill dinette which they give to people who suffer from acne – it’s not actually the best contraceptive. And this was one of the first treatments that worked, it made me feel more confident and really improved my skin. Unfortunately, this treatment could only be used for a year as it can be very damaging to your body. Once they took me off it all of my spots came back. I managed to get them give me it for 3 more months but that was the limit.
After this, my skin went back to how it used to be. Very spotty on my face, back and chest but it continued to flare up and then settle a little. I tried other pills and had many different antibiotics and creams again. I then started to go to hospitals and specialists by being referred by my G.P. I was given a cream called epiduo, for many people this is a really good treatment. But it contained benzoyl peroxide, and it made my skin so red and painful like sunburn. I physically couldn’t use it. She then also gave me the antibiotic erythromycin. This didn’t really do much for me, I ended up using this for over a year. Roaccutane / accutane was mentioned a few times but I didn’t really want to go on this. I had heard so many bad stories about the side effects and it making people depressed and I didn’t feel it was worth it. Everytime I seemed to go to a doctor my skin would have cleared up so it didn’t look as bad so I started taking photos when it was at its worst so I could show them.
When I started university last year my skin wasn’t too bad, after being on holiday I had got a lot of sun to it, and I was actually quite happy with my skin. A few months into university it was really getting me down again, at Christmas I decided I wanted to try roaccutane. A few friends and my cousin had been on it previously and I thought that after all these years it was my last resort. I went to a specialist in Leeds and they allowed me to start the treatment. I was told I would be taking it for 5 months, from February to July.
Most people have a big flare up when they start taking roaccutane, this didn’t really happen for me, it kind of just stayed as bad as it already was. My skin was extremely dry on my body, my face wasn’t too dry but my lips where awful. These side effects started just three days into taking the tablets. I also wasn’t drinking any alcohol (I had the odd few!) For the first month I took 25mg, and then for the rest I took 50mg. For those of you that have been on it you’ll understand more about doses and how they’re different depending on the person. Roaccutane effects different people in different ways. Many people can get depressed so you have to be very careful with this. It also dehydrates you so much, I was very serious with the amount of water I drank – at least 2 litres a day! If I didn’t I was guaranteed a headache. In my third month I had a a pretty bad break out, this scared me a little as I only had two months left. However, after this breakout my skin started to be literally perfect. The final 2 months my skin was flawless, I had never been so happy. When I went back for my last appointment my dermatologist said I could have another month if I felt I needed. So I added another month on, and the length of my course was 6 months in total.
Whilst taking roaccutane I washed my face every morning and night with Cliniques Mild Facial Soap. I then removed any excess dirt and make up with Loreal’s Micellar Water. I also used Cetaphil’s Moisturiser every morning and night. On days when my skin was particularly dry or red I applied some coconut oil. I used Dr Dan’s Cortibalm and Eucerin’s Aquaphor on my dry lips. I am trying to keep up with this same routine post-accutane and am still trying to drink lots of water, eat healthy and drink green tea!
It has been just one full week since I finished. I have a couple of really tiny spots at the minute but they’re not noticeable at all. It is making me nervous, but I am trying not to stress as this will only cause more! I will keep updating on how my skin goes post-accutane. Its currently not very dry and is a lot less red. Im using La Roche Posay’s Effaclar H to reduce the scars and redness, so I will post a review on that soon. My doctor has also given me Differin cream, this is 0.1% adapalene and it is aimed to help keep spots at bay. I am going to post My Accutane Essentials in a few days!
Everyones skin is different, and others who try antibiotics or creams may work for them, it all depends on the individual. I just wanted to share my story, and help anyone who is thinking of trying roaccutane as a last resort. Going on it was one of the best things I have ever done, and I am praying my skin stays how it is. I’m so much happier and confident now and it also gave me the inspiration to start my site. Such a long post, but I had a lot to say! Let me know your skin stories tweet me @prettylskin, find me on instagram @prettylskin or on Facebook /prettylittleskin