Roaccutane update

Well it’s been over a month since I started my Roaccutane treatment for acne. How is it going?

The sore scalp was unexpected. How am I supposed to moisturise that? Every time I touch my hair, skin seems to fall out (sorry!). The unexpected plus side of this is that I don’t need to wash my hair as often. I’d been on the treatment two and a half weeks when I went to wash my hair and realised it really didn’t need it at all. It just wasn’t greasy in the slightest. Now I can go a week without washing it! Win!

Dry lips were absolutely promised from about day five. They actually kicked in at day 10. They’re not as bad as I imagined, they’re not sore, cracked and bleeding, but they do need regular Vaseline and I’m aware I’m constantly licking and biting them! 

I’d been told that aching limbs and tiredness were likely and that I shouldn’t do ‘intensive exercise’. Training for a half marathon isn’t intensive exercise, is it?! Strangely, the aching leg which has woken me up daily for the best part of a year now has actually gone away since I’ve been on Roaccutane and the half marathon training is going very well. 

After two weeks, I could see an improvement in the spots on face and back, even on top of the improvement from previous treatments. My chest also looks much clearer and, to be honest, I wasn’t even that aware I had spots on my chest! When I do get spots they disappear much quicker, which is nice.

One of the biggest downsides is feeling sticky all the time as I’m coated in suncream.  I put on eight hour suncream (the extra thick, sticky stuff – yuk!) at 8am every day whether sunny or not. The advantage of eight hour suncream is that I don’t need to reapply, the disadvantage is it’s thick and sticky and I never feel really clean, especially as I coat myself in moisturiser in the evenings too to avoid my skin drying out too much.

Another downside is a couple of nasty, deep wrinkles that have appeared around my mouth and chin. I’m guessing they are connected to the treatment, although they could just be something to do with me being nearly 41!

I’ve had my first check-up at the hospital, where I was offered the opportunity to increase my dose. But why fix what isn’t broken? I’m happy to take Roaccutane for a bit longer, knowing I’m not getting any side effects. So I’m going to be on it for 11 months. I’ve also signed to say I’m happy not to have monthly pregnancy tests, after all I’m 40 and have managed to not get pregnant for nine years, so what are the chances of it happening now? A big reason for opting out of the pregnancy tests is that they’re at 8.30am, which is completely non-negotiable. What mother can manage to get herself to a hospital for 8.30am when she’s supposed to be getting her kids to school?

All in all, I’m really pleased with how the treatment is going so far – both in terms of my skin and the lack of side effects. It’s really good to see the real me appearing under the spots. It’s a shame I didn’t do it years ago while I was still young enough to appreciate what looks I had, but I couldn’t have done it while I was having kids and the side effects always scared me.

Roaccutane, acne

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Yayyy so glad it’s working so well and that you can have it a bit longer. You were gorgeous with it and just as gorgeous now. Olive oil works really well with a dry flaky scalp. Might be worth doing a bit of a patch test maybe?

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    • Thanks very much, I’m so pleased it’s working well too and that it’s been hassle free! That’s such a lovely thing to say, thank you! 🙂
      Olive oil sounds good, I might give that a go!

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  2. Brilliant that the side effects seem to be so mild and that it is already working! How much longer is the treatment for?

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    • It’s for 11 months in total as I’m on a low dose. Over nine months still to go! I don’t mind though because of the mild side effects. I could opt to increase my dose and finish quicker, but I risk more side effects.

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  3. That is such good news, it does sound like the side effects aren’t half as bad as you expected. The hair washing is a definite bonus. I hope that it carries on being so positive.

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    • Thanks very much, I’m feeling pretty optimistic. I reckon if I’ve come this far without any negative side effects I should be OK for the rest of the course now 🙂

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  4. Oh Sarah that’s brilliant news that the side effects haven’t been as bad as you’d expected. I think you were quite right to opt for the lower dose but for longer. My dermatologist said that she would recommend that for us ‘older women’ – teenage skin needs the higher doses I think.
    Will there be any more side effects or is that it now?
    So hope it continues to go as well. Keep piling on the cream for now and remember that 11 months of stickiness is really only a small price to pay for beautifully clear skin for the rest of your life. Much love xx

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    • Thanks very much, I’m so pleased with it!
      My dermatologist explained how it didn’t really matter what dose you took – everyone has to take the right number of mgs (which is worked out in relation to their body weight) to complete the course. It doesn’t matter if you complete it quicker by taking a higher dose for longer or by taking a lower dose for longer.
      I’m hoping that’s it for side effects – I’m assuming it doesn’t all stay in your system for the duration and there must be a finite amount of the drug in your system and that I’ve reached that level. I’m certainly feeling confident for the rest of the treatment. x

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  5. Goodness I didn’t realise what a big deal it is. Sorry you’re having to do it, but brilliant that you’re coping so well with the side effects. I hope it’s going to be a lasting cure even once you finish the programme?

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    • It should be! I think it’s permanent in about 80 or 90% of cases, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’m one of them! It is a very serious treatment, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how easy it’s been. Now I wish I’d done it years ago!

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