Roaccutane: Feeling the fear

I haven’t blogged about my Roaccutane journey for a while now. That’s because it’s been going (whisper) quite well. People who haven’t seen me for a while are in awe of how good my skin is looking and I’ve had lots of compliments, which I’ve really appreciated.

I have NORMAL skin.

If you’ve always had normal skin, you won’t understand what a big deal this is. But I’ve had acne since I was 12. I haven’t had normal skin since I left primary school and I’m 42 now. I never thought I would have normal skin.

Technically, I’m supposed to be off the Roaccutane now, but, don’t tell my dermatologist, I’m not quite off it yet. The plan when I last saw him was two more months of every day, taking me up to Christmas, followed by a month of every other day and a month of one a week and then OFF! That all seemed a bit sudden to me. So I quietly decided to add a couple more months of my own in there – a month of twice a week (which I’ve just finished), followed by two months of once a week. This is literally a handful of extra doses, but it just makes coming off them a bit more gradual.

I noticed a couple of months ago that I have a weird texture on my forehead. This ISN’T normal skin. What I don’t know is – is it scarring from when my acne/ rosacea was so bad last year, is it part of the healing process or had it got better, then got worse again? I was so intent on looking at actual spots (and I still usually had two or three at a time as recently as last October) that I probably wouldn’t have noticed a few months if my forehead had a weird texture. And I don’t think I have any clear enough photos from the last few months for me to metaphorically say whether my forehead was weird or not.

Selfie, Skin, Acne, Roaccutane

Look closely – my forehead has a weird texture!

Then, one evening I noticed a spot on my forehead. When I got up the following morning, I had three spots on my forehead and one on my chin. Yes, they were small, but I was scared. When my skin went badly wrong before it started off with just a couple of spots and then it snowballed out of control.

I have a six month open appointment with the dermatologist, so I decided to cash that in. I was initially offered one in two months, which was then brought forward by three weeks because I was willing to attend a different hospital. That’s a long time to wait when you’re worrying.

PicMonkey acne2Collage

I really don’t think I can bear to go through that again. It took months to recover from it. When I look back on photos now, I’m amazed that I was even able to face the world.

I hope I’m worrying about nothing, that the spots were just a blip. I seem to have a fair amount of Roaccutane left in the cupboard. There’s a temptation to quietly up my dose again, but I know I can’t stay on it forever.

Sometimes I wish I’d never started on this journey. Sometimes I wish I’d carried on living with the spots I’d already lived with for nearly 30 years.

Acne, Skin

Me in March 2014, before Roaccutane. Maybe I should have just stayed like this?


Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. I think you look amazing. My husband took Roaccutane in his twenties and it totally changed his life. It’s not an easy choice to make. Hope all goes well with the Dermatologist and it’s just a little blip x

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    • Thanks very much! Good to hear that Roaccutane changed your husband’s life. It changed mine for the worse for a while, so I’m really hoping this is just a blip like you say.

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  2. I think you look amazing now….You had such a rough time of it I can see why you were reluctant to come off the Roaccutane so suddenly. I really hope you are worrying about nothing spots are like you said a blip. Good luck xxx

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    • Thanks very much! It is a scary time, but hopefully it’s just nothing. x

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  3. You’ve had just a long tough journey and your skin looks amazing now. My doctor always tells me sometimes it’s just a hormonal blip, so hopefully it’s nothing more than that and everything will settle again xx

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    • Thanks very much. I always forget about hormones, but I guess there’s bound to be a bit of fluctuation. x

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  4. Oh my goodness Sarah, what an incredible difference, I do hope it was just a blip or hormone fluctuation. I am so incredibly lucky and have good skin, I rarely even get hormonal breakout but when i do I act like it’s the end of the world! I honestly have no idea how I’d cope if mine ever got as bad as yours so you have my upmost respect.

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    • Thanks very much, that’s such a lovely thing to say. You have my utmost respect for all the health issues you have to deal with.

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  5. Oh I do hope this is just a minor setback for you, it must be a total nightmare living with the fear of it coming back, nevermind the actual reality. Keeping my finger’s crossed for you.x

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