Roaccutane – here we go again?

After my son and I suffered so dramatically with our skin a while back, the dermatologist asked the billion dollar question: Have you got any more children? Because, when it comes to skin, the odds are massively stacked against my kids. (My husband also had bad acne as a teenager, so they’re basically buggered.)

Without even seeing my younger kids, he set out an action plan for them. See the GP at an earlier stage than normal, get antibiotics at an earlier stage than normal, see the dermatologist at an earlier stage than normal, get Roaccutane at an earlier stage than normal.

Roaccutane is usually a last resort and it takes most people years and years before they are prescribed it. But, the fact is, my younger kids will probably need it to stop them suffering like their big brother suffered.

It was last autumn that my younger son’s skin started ringing alarm bells. He’d already been on antibiotics for three months and they hadn’t made much difference. So we got a referral to the dermatologist. And we waited.

My son’s skin got a bit worse, a bit better, a bit worse again.

‘When am I going to go on Roaccutane?’

We got more antibiotics. And we waited.

‘When am I going to go on Roaccutane?’

We got yet more antibiotics. And we still waited.

The GP said to chase it up if we hadn’t heard anything by the end of January.

They hadn’t had the referral, check with the GP’s surgery. Yes, the referral had been made in September last year. They found the referral. It had been passed on to the paediatric dermatologist, and we’d heard nothing.

Yes, my son is a child. They don’t like to prescribe Roaccutane to under 16s. But my son doesn’t need to see the paediatric dermatologist. And our dermatologist and his secretary know that. All it would do would be to delay the inevitable (Roaccutane) and potentially lead to painful acne that scars badly and affects my son’s self-esteem and mental health.

Would we mind seeing another dermatologist? We wouldn’t mind, as long as they knew our family history and knew the theoretical plan that had been agreed with the dermatologist a while ago.

So my son is going to see our dermatologist in a couple of weeks. His referral might have disappeared for over four months, but once I got in touch with the dermatologist’s secretary and she talked to the dermatologist, it was all resolved within a day – an appointment soon, with the right doctor, who understands our family and how important it is to get the medication early.

Having sorted all of that, I went to pick my son up from school. As he walked towards the car, I thought he’d had an accident on the playground – there was a bruise or graze on his forehead.

But it wasn’t a bruise or a graze, it was a spot.

We may have got his dermatology appointment in the nick of time.

Roaccutane, Son, Acne, 365

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. That’s really good of them to put a plan together already for him instead of just brushing him off till he’s older. I guess it’s not ideal but you’re well equipped to deal with it all from your own and your elder sons experience. x

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    • Oh bless him, sorry to hear he is going through it as well. It’s good that you are managing to get it sorted early for him though, I hope that when you see the dermatologist he follows the plan and it works for your son.

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      • Thanks very much. He’s a long way off being as bad as his brother was, but we’re on high alert because we know how quickly it can go downhill. I really appreciate the dermatologist giving our family extra support. Under normal circumstances they would never see someone with acne like my younger son’s is at the moment.

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    • Thanks, I’m really pleased that they’re prepared to intervene early. Generally people wait years for a referral to a dermatologist, but because of what happened to my eldest and me they are prepared to see him (and my daughter if necessary) at a much earlier stage. Hopefully my younger son won’t get in the state his brother was in. X

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      • Oh it makes me cross when they don’t follow up and do what they said they were gong to do – all these hoops we have to jump are ridiculous! I do hope he gets started on the drug quickly, it’s important for a teen’s self esteem as well. x

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        • Thanks very much! It was very frustrating when they’d lost the referral, but once they’d found it they did sort it out very quickly. I’m very grateful that the dermatologist knows our family and knows how important it is to see is quickly. It’s very important for self-esteem. I don’t think my younger son would cope as well with severe acne as his brother did, so we have to make sure it doesn’t get to that stage. x

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  2. I can’t believe that you had to wait for such a long time! Amazing that it is all resolved now and it must be a huge relief that hopefully your other two won’t have to go through the trauma of such painful skin. I had no idea that acne was hereditary.

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    • It’s really hard to get an appointment with a dermatologist, especially for someone so young, so we’re lucky that he has an appointment. Sadly it is hereditary and as my husband had bad acne too my kids don’t stand much chance. Apparently mine came from my mum’s side of the family – her brother and her uncle had it their entire lives, although luckily not on their faces.

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