If you read my “What’s My Skin Type?” post, you’ll know that during the last two years I’ve struggled with acne. I didn’t really suffer from acne during my teenage years, just a few blemishes here and there. My acne started in my early twenties while I was still studying at university. One of the reasons for my acne could have been due to stress. I also would break out whenever I’d thread my eyebrows.
If you’re an acne sufferer you’ll know that acne can really lower your self-esteem and confidence. When you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, it’s hard to really enjoy yourself. I hated my bumpy skin and would apply heavy make-up daily just to cover it. I got defensive when people would point out my acne and try to offer me solutions for it. I especially hated it when salespeople would use my acne as a technique to sell me their ‘acne-solving’ products. I hate to admit it, but there were even times when I’d even envy people with blemish-free skin. But the truth is, none of us have perfect, flawless skin. We all have areas we feel self-conscious about.
I tried almost every acne treatment product out there. The result? Nothing whatsoever. Due to my discouragement, I decided to try natural treatments. Though they helped temporarily, they still didn’t treat my acne as a whole and solved my issue. I’m not the type of person who takes medicine frequently, I’m a big believe in natural remedies. (Yes, I’m usually stubborn when I’m sick.) I visited a dermatologist who recommended Roaccutane (also known as Accutane). Roaccutane is a medication used for the treatment of acne. Roaccutane treats acne by reducing oil production in skin glands, decreasing the buildup of cells that can clog pores and reducing skin inflammation. Most importantly, if you’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it is essential to not take Roaccutane as it can cause serious birth defects.
Side Effects of Roaccutane
- Sever dry skin and dry lips
- Dry nose which can lead to nosebleeds
- Dry eyes and eye irritation
- Sun-sensitive skin
- Peeling of skin
- Thinning of hair which leads to an increase in hair loss
- Muscle and joint pain
- Low energy
- Menstrual disturbances
- Feet pain
I was already aware of this medication, yet I was reluctant to try it due to the long list of side effects. However, at that point in my life, that was my only solution. Despite my hesitation, I took the plunge and started my 6-month Roaccutane journey. There were ups and downs, yet I’ve been extremely pleased with the results. I’m not sharing this to promote this medication in any way, because it is a harsh chemical that will affect your body, and it really isn’t for everyone. I simply want to share my experience with it, with details on what you may go through as each person’s body will react differently to it. Some people will endure the severe side effects, while others won’t.
My Experience with Roaccutane Part 1
Before you begin Roaccutane, which must be prescribed by your dermatologist, you have to take a blood test. If your blood levels are fine, you can start your dosage. You also have to check your blood levels regularly with Roaccutane to detect any problems before they become serious. The first three months of Roaccutane were the hardest for me.
During my first week, I broke out like crazy, which is common at the beginning of Roaccutane. By the second week of Roaccutane, my nose and mouth were dry (which also could’ve been a result from my cold). I also started to feel irritation in my lips. My face wasn’t dry at the beginning, however, I felt a few dry patches near my mouth. By the second month my lips were so dry they’d peel (or I’d peel them as a way to get rid of the dryness). My nose also started to bleed several times a week. I also got an eye infection, which was cleared after visiting a doctor and using special eyedrops and an eye gel. During the second month, I also noticed how dry my hands started to become. I was still breaking out, but the blemishes were getting smaller and were clearing up faster than before.
I didn’t want this to be a super looooong post, so I decided to break it into two parts. I will share the rest of my experience in Part 2 of my Roaccutane journey!
Please note if you’re thinking of undergoing Roaccutane, you must visit a dermatologist first. Be sure to follow every procedure – from taking your blood tests to your monthly dermatologist consultations. It’s really important to follow what your doctor suggests during this period. It’s essential to not mix prescription medications with Roaccutane – so please consult your doctor if you’re prescribed any other medications throughout that period.