So after struggling with acne for over a decade, a date has been set for me to start my second course of Roaccutane, or Isotretinoin as it’s sometimes called. I’ve previously had a course of the acne treatment medication when I was around 15. It worked well and I had clear skin for a few years but after switching contraceptive pills and weight fluctuations my acne came back with a vengeance. I tried to grin and bear it for long as possible, thinking that another course of Roaccutane wouldn’t be pleasant.
Over the last year, my acne has changed to deep under the skin cysts, which were incredibly painful, so I felt like I had no choice but to ask to be referred to the dermatologist again. In the meantime, I have been put on Dianette, (a contraceptive pill which helps with acne) and anti-biotics, neither of which helped to rid any of the cysts.
I finally had my dermatologist appointment in mid-August after a 6-month wait and within minutes the practitioner had decided that a second course of Roaccutane would be the best treatment. She said that sometimes people need a second course of the drug if they have had the first course while young or as a teenager as the hormones change again later in life.
I honestly wasn’t sure how to feel about being recommended Roaccutane again. The first time around I only remembered the horrible side effects. I recall having terribly dry skin that peeled off in sheets and my lips were constantly cracked and bleeding. It wasn’t only physical side effects I experienced, I had bouts of depression and my mood swings were erratic. Anyone will see that these are ‘normal’ side effects of the drug after a quick Google.
As you can tell, the side effects are very strong so pregnancy and liver function tests must be done each month before the next months’ worth of tablets are signed off. The one benefit of having so many check-ups is you can discuss any issues with the dermatologist would be able to adjust the course or recommend things to ease side effects.
I am a little anxious about starting the treatment. Will I experience the strong side effects again, could they be worse this time? The one thing that will keep me going will be the thought of clear skin at the end of it!
Would you guys be interested in a series documenting my Roaccutane journey?