About 9 minutes ago I took Roaccutane for the first time, and I thought ‘hey, maybe I should document this’.
So here goes.
I have had acne since I was 9 years old, and up until a few years ago it was just a nuisance, like your sister stealing your clothes, or your pop being casually racist at Christmas. And I dealt with it like how any smart person deals with anything, I ignored it. But then it got hard to ignore.
My dad (bless his soul) would often comment on that state of my skin. He would say things like ‘doesn’t that hurt?’ and ‘don’t pick that’ or ‘don’t eat sugary foods, it makes your face flare up’. Now he wasn’t coming from a place of malice, he too dealt with acne as a child and I guess he just assumed he was helping me. But he was wrong. It actually made me incredibly self conscious about my complexion. This is around the time I stopped looking at my reflexion in mirrors, because I began to hate what I saw.
I’m extremely pale. The kind of pale where if you are too cold, you go blue and can see your veins. This also means that red marks are really prominent. My skin is also weirdly textured, and I haven’t quiet gotten to the bottom of it. But basically, when the light comes from certain angles my skin looks bumpy, and the majority of these bumps are not pimples. These were the two main factors that made me not hate myself but really dislike the way I looked, because honestly I’m not overly impressed with my facial features, however I have learnt how to use makeup and therefore highlight and mute my features to look better.
So this was all happening, and then fast forward to year 12 when I had my first really bad flare up.
My skin was terrible. I don’t have any photos from this time because I was so self conscious, so I will explain it the best I can. Along my cheek and jawline I had a cluster of big fat pimples. The kind that are under the skin, and throb, and also the really pussy white kind (which I popped, because I can’t stand having them on my face). I could cover them with makeup, however it doesn’t help the texture.
Everyday I would get ready in the dark, because my skin didn’t look as bad in the dark (life hack, you’re welcome).
I missed a few days of school because I would just cry, I hated myself and I was so anxious that everyone was judging me.
So my mum took me to see a beautician and I started a few treatments. But, my skin got worse. So I went to the doctor, and I started the pill – Yasmin, and Doxycycline an antibiotic, as well as a topical cream. Up until this point I was also cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising, so my skin wasn’t dirty or anything, it was just hormones.
I also went to a dermatologist and I was told that I might begin Roaccutane.
ROACCUTANE for those of you who are unsure of what it is kind of a last resort for people with acne, but I’ll tell you all about it at the end of this post.
At the time I was not put on Roaccutane because the dermatologist wanted to see how I would go with all the new stuff I was on.
It took a few months but finally my skin was clearer.
Now I say clearer because even though I’ve been on the pill since then, I’ve never stopped getting pimples completely. I’ve just always ALWAYS had pimples. It just kept them to a minimum.
So fast forward to now.
I’m 21, but my skin has flared up worse then when I was 18.
So I started over.
Still on the pill, I got back on Doxycycline and began a new cream -Epiduo, which is the topical equivalent to Roaccutane.
I have been doing that for almost 3 months now and it has cleared up significantly, but it’s still there and I’m so over it.
Now I don’t want to go on about it too much, so I’ll sum it up. I’m 21 and I shouldn’t have acne this bad. So I want to do something for it once and for all.
Back to the dermatologist I go, and they put my on Roaccutane this time.
Here’s what you need to know about it:
(And just so you know I’m getting this all from the leaflet from the box so it’s legit.)
1. It can severely deform unborn babies.
2. Because of this, you need to be on birth control at least one month before starting treatment, in addition to taking a blood test to confirm you are not already pregnant.
3. You need to continue taking blood tests to check that your insides are healthy, and that you have not gotten pregnant since beginning Roaccutane. Blood tests will be performed every 8 weeks or so.
4. Skin will dry out, especially on your face.
5. Skin will become extremely sensitive. Sunblock must be worn when outside and you are not to wax.
6. You can not excessively drink alcohol (real bummer). As a 21 year old uni student, this one is tough. The dermatologist told me no more than 5 standard drinks on a night out, and should be a one-off thing. Meaning I can’t go on a 3 day bender. If you do not follow this instruction you can get pancreatitis (yay).
There are A LOT more side effects, however the ones listed are the most common.
Today I had a blood test, and because I know I’m not pregnant (the results come back in 2-3 days and I’m about to start my period) I took my first dose of Roaccutane.
Side note, it was really weird going for a pregnancy test knowing it will come back false. Like normally if you think you’re pregnant you pee on a stick, and if that comes back positive, then you go and get a blood test.
It’s kinda like being walking in a running race and still winning? I don’t know it just is funny to me.
ALSO before starting the treatment I had to sign a document saying I fully understand the dangers of becoming pregnant while using Roaccutane. And the dermatologist said if I did fall pregnant that they would recommend termination. I’ll post exactly what I had to sign in the coming weeks.
So here goes. Hopefully this clears up my acne for good. But it will get worse before it gets better (a sign that the Roaccutane is working).
A week from today I will begin documenting my journey, so I can look back at the end and really see the difference.
Goodbye for now.