So I’ve suffered with severe acne for 3 years (on and off thanks to antibiotics) and I’ve always managed to cover it up on pictures (the wonders of makeup!) I broke out when I was 20 years old and my doctor told me I had ‘acne vulgaris.’ But when I came back from Canada in August, I broke out badly.
This is probably the most personal post I’ve done (with pictures) but reading other people’s experience online and knowing that others are going through a similar thing, helped me SO much.
Despite the controversy around the drug, I decided to take Roaccutane in December and this is what my skin looks like now compared to 5 months ago when I began my treatment. I still have 1-2 months left on accutane so the scarring should begin to fade! I apologise for the mugshots and the fluffy blue nightgown which appear in many photos aha!
Month 1 – December (Dosage: 30mg)
Side Effects: Initial breakout
Achey Joints after sport
If you read up on Roaccutane, you’ll know it has serious side effects including cases of suicide, depression, anxiety, painful joints, feeling nauseous and migraines (to name a few.) But despite the side effects I experienced, it was totally worth it for me. I’m not going to lie, these past few months have been really up and down for me and at times, I haven’t felt myself. 5 months ago, I walked into the dermatologists for my first consultation and broke down when he asked me how the acne made me feel. However, 5 months later, my skin isn’t perfect but my self esteem and confidence have been restored.
Leading up to my decision to go on Roaccutane, I had lost all my confidence to the point where I was washing my face in the dark every night so I didn’t have to see my reflection and began walking with my head down to hide my face. I gradually stopped playing sport and stopped wanting to go out to socialise. Acne is often dismissed as a temporary adolescent problem and its effects on mental health and self esteem are often ignored.
But one of the worst things about acne is how painful it is on your skin and despite changing your diet, products and taking different medications, your skin remains the same and you begin to feel like there’s no way out.
But the worst thing is people’s insensitive comments. I once got asked if I washed my face enough by a sales woman and in January during my initial breakout on the medication, one man walked passed me on the street and shouted that I was spotty. (Yeah, thanks for that one mate!) I know that many people who offer advice are only trying to help but acne is a long term skin disease and when you have suffered, you have looked at and tried every product, diet and medication in the book!
So most importantly, if you decide to go on Roaccutane, make sure you have good people around you who you can talk to and who can spot when you’re feeling down while you’re on the medication. Secondly, make sure you have a good dermatologist since you’ll be seeing your derm monthly with your monthly blood tests ( I’m really not going to miss the blood tests!)
I know so many people who have suffered with acne who have very similar effects to myself. I loved seeing acne being discussed on the television last month (in the UK) and I think more awareness should be made whether that’s by creating documentaries and educating people or simply talking openly about it.
I’ve never written such a personal post but hopefully I am able to help someone out there and make them know it’s okay to have acne and that there is a way out.
Thanks for my family and my friends who were really there for me these past few months.
In terms of my skin routine, I use Bioderma for moisturiser and wash (a French brand that you can now buy in Boots), Clarins for toner and Kiehls for scar treatement.
If you have any questions about my experience on Roaccutane, don’t hesitate to ask!