Hey there, I'm starting this Roaccutane journal which I plan to update every week or so. Hopefully people who are considering, or might have tried Accuatane/Roaccutane or any other brands will find it interesting, or useful.
My doctor had me on the four major anti-acne antibiotics for the last two years in varying doses, and combined with various topicals (differin gel, benzomycin). Minocycline produced some short term results, but they were fleeting, replaced by long lasting red marks as soon as the initial spots had faded. The others, including Ipral - which I believe is a tertiary antibiotic usually prescribed for people with kidney or liver problems .. not sure which - had little to no positive effect.
Deciding that it was time for a second opinion, he referred me to a dermatologist. She discussed whether or not I'd be willing to start roaccutane - I have to say, that was what I was hoping - but I had a number of concerns. I'm a fairly sporty person usually, injured at the moment, but I do capoeira when I'm not. 5 months without capoeira ... it ain't gonna happen. I said that I'd put up with the muscle pains, if I get them. She also added that my skin "isn't bad, but it isn't great". Explaining that while the severity of my acne wouldn't really warrant Roaccutane, its stubbornness wasn't leaving many options.
So anyway, she sent me for my blood test a couple of weeks ago, and my prescription arrived today - 2x 20mg Roaccutane tablets taken at the same time daily. As for my vital stats - I'm a 20 year old male, I've had acne for about 4-5 years. It's ranged from mild to about bang in the middle of moderate, but like I said, it is extremely stubborn.
2x 20mg Roaccutane tablets once daily 2x Psyllium Husks and 1x Activated Charcoal twice daily, and one probiotic yoghurt. I haven't personally seen a huge difference made by this, but it can't do any harm. Hopefully.
Morning / Evening
Wash with a tea tree oil cleanser (going to change this when I find something suitably gentle and effective ... any recommendations?)
Moisturize with Aqueous Cream - as recommended by the derm, I personally don't like it too much though. It's dirt cheap however, so that's nice, I guess.
Contemplating applying tea tree oil to individual spots as well for the duration of the treatment, any thoughts on that?
hey! just wanted to say good luck and im sure you will love it! I have been on accutane ( same thing as roaccutane) for about 5 months now and have no pimples and about 2 '' spots '' leftover ( just marks , not scars ) ... it is GREAT stuff! In my course though, i did not notice a big change until about month 3, and i didnt see clearness until about a month ago lol. So hang in there, it will work. I recommend using cetaphil instead of the tea tree oil, only because that can be very drying, which you really dont want on this. I tried a spot treatment w/ tea tree oil in the beginning, but it really doesnt do much, accutane will take care of it from the inside. Keep us updated, I have a journal if you want any info on here too
Thanks for the message lexla I had actually checked out your journal for a bit not only before starting mine, but when I was actually considering whether or not I should really go along with my derm on this! So if this clears me up, I'll at least partially have your experiences to thank
I'm not sure if the initial breakout has started .. I've sorta been breaking out a bit in the last couple of weeks anyway, so either this is a continuation of that, or this is the 'tane at work already. Either way, it'll hopefully be short lived.
Week 2 Ickh. Breaking out something awful at the moment, nasty big spots in my usual problem area (around the mid-left side of my face) and other areas where I rarely have any problems, like my neck and forehead. Also got a nice big scratch from the cat to add to the cocktail!
Skin's definitely dried up a bit, thank god for moisturizer. My lips have also gone quite dry, especially if I don't drink loads of water, so now taking some lip balm with me to work or college is pretty much as high a priority as taking my keys, or wearing pants. I'm sorta used to this from the other treatments, though this may get worse, I'll be able to deal with it. The only other side effect was that my abs *killed* for a couple of days after being to the gym. Though this may also be because I've been incredibly lax about getting exercise lately, and tend to put a lot of ab work in when that's the case
I dumped the tea tree oil cleanser in favour of a more gentle cleansing wash, far fewer dubious ingredients. I don't think cetaphil's available in Ireland, but I'd imagine that this is as close as I'll get to it. Bring on the next, non-breakey-out phase!!
Week 3 Still breaking out a bit, not nearly as badly as last week though. Skin's uber-dry, especially around my mouth, needs heavy moisturizing in the morning and at night. I think the red marks left by spots are fading a bit faster than before, but that could well be because I'm off antibiotics .. which I felt were the cause of that problem.
Adding 1x 400IU Vitamin E supplement to my daily regimen to help my skin cope and heal faster
Week 4 Not breaking out in any major way anymore, aside from one area at the edge of my jawline, under my ear. Still getting new spots frequently enough, but at what I guess was my normal rate. Like I mentioned in another thread, I've noticed a lot more blackheads than normal - I normally get some on my nose, but now I've got quite a few, as well as some whiteheads (the skin coloured tiny little lumps), just around the nose and mouth. I presume these are sort of being purged, or something. Hopefully that's the case. The left side of my face seems to like getting red at the moment. It needs to cut that out Got some aloe vera gel to help
Side effects - very dry skin / lips, more muscular pain than there should be after exercising, but nothing particularly uncomfortable. Also finding that I have a bit of dandruff lately .. another problem I kicked years ago. Gonna chalk that up to the drug / dryness.
Nevermind that last message about not breaking out in any major way anymore. It's only true in that my spots aren't quite as big anymore, now there's just about 10 times as many. Literally, there's dozens of tiny red marks, some clustered together with small whitehead. It looks disgusting, I've gotta stay away from the mirror.. And I've gotta keep my hands away from them, which I'm finding harder and harder to do, as the bloody mark under my ear can now attest to.
And the dryness - sweet mother of god, the dryness is insane.
Almost 1 month down, lets hope this time next month my reflection won't make me want to call up work sick for the next while.
... "Frustration, although quite painful at times, is a very positive and essential part of success."
I know they don't really want us posting journals anymore .. but hopefully since this is only a weekly one they won't mind too much! Especially since I found journals so useful when I was weighing up the benefits of starting roaccutane .. and I still find them useful when I'm feeling a bit iffy about how well it's working. Anyway!
Time flies, already on my second batch of roaccutane with my first Derm check up in a few weeks. Despite my little vent a while ago about the little bugger spots that flared up, they actually aren't so irritating. They seem to be fading quite quickly, they aren't painful, and there aren't quite as many of them as I thought -- they were just sorta emphasizing the other red marks I have at that point..
That's about iiiiit... skin itchy, keeping fingers away from it. Hands pretty dry, moisturizing them too. Found that if I wear a top that's in any way rough my skin underneath gets a little red, same after getting out of the shower, but it fades quickly and doesn't hurt or dry up. My nose doesn't seem as dry, thankfully, and I'm not getting any blood when I blow it (lovely, I know) anymore like in the last couple of weeks. Still need to absolutely chug water very regularly, but I usually do that anyway, so no worries there.
Week 5.5 Oh dear. Well today ranks as the worst day so far, I woke up yesterday with two very large red blotches - nasty lumps under the skin (someone asked me "what happened" regarding one of them, obviously it looked like I'd been punched ...). Today they're still going strong, they're very painful, and now there's more of them.
Week 6 Bye bye blackheads, welcome back uberspots.
For the first time in years, my nose is almost 100% clear of blackheads - I actually can't even remember it looking that clear before, every time I remember looking at it there were just .. dark pores! I knew these were blackheads, but they rarely became spots, and I couldn't do much about them besides squeezing them out (which caused a large spot in response about 90% of the time). Clean and Clear's blackhead clearing cleanser didn't work (much) after a year, accutane's cleared them in a month, besides about 3-4 small stubborn ones that look on their last um .. heads?
That's all the good news unfortunately, I've been getting more of those big pustules all in the same area as early on this week - about 1 new one a day in the same inch-wide area. Looks skanky, the first ones are only healing up now. I guess it's good that I'm not getting that many spots, but the ones I am getting are big, painful mofos.
Lips have been hell this week, haven't been putting vaseline on as often, and I'm paying for it. Skin doesn't seem quite as dry, but it may be that I'm just getting used to how much moisturizer it needs.
Week 7 It's been a fairly good week - that nasty patch on the right side of my face has cleared up, and there's only a couple of tiny little spots active there at the moment. Not too bad on the other side either - it's pretty manageable for now.
Same dryness, although I've found that my throat's quite ticklish when I'm lying down (sounds weird doesn't it), so when I'm trying to get to sleep and I'm breathing deeply I tend to cough a bit. Doesn't actually stop me from sleeping though, so no biggy.
No update last week, because there wasn't a whole lot to say. I seem to have finished going around the sharp corners as far as breakouts are involved - I'm still getting some very small spots, but it's literally one every couple of days, and not in the more obnoxious areas. I had my second appointment with the derm this week; blood test results were perfect, so I won't need another (woo!), and she was very happy with how my skin's progressed. She's organized another meeting in 8 weeks, and I have to make a note of when my last major spot is, because she'll keep me on Roacc for 8 weeks after that.
She saw that my lips were looking fairly irritated though, which has been a bit of a problem this week, so she said she'd prescribe some form of topical steroid for it, but it seems she didn't .. oh well, they aren't too bad at the moment, just need to be smothered in vaseline.