My first visit to the dermatology clinic was in January of this year (2014) and I was so nervous. As soon as I walked in, and the dermatologist started talking to me, I felt at ease. The nurses weren’t judgemental, or condescending and for the first time I felt that they really understood how I was feeling. I can’t tell you how relived I was. She took a good look at my skin, and told me that there were a few options that we could try. To hear her say that it wasn’t the end, and that I didn’t have to tolerate these spots for the rest of my life made me feel so happy.
Back in January I was started on the first treatment immediately; it was a combination of Lymecycline and a contraceptive pill called Dianette that I was to take for the following 3 months.
Now I am by no means an expert, nor will this apply to everyone, but for me this treatment wasn’t right. Initially it worked, but then slowly over the months the spots just kept coming back.
My next appointment was this week. I went back to the clinic with my mum, and spoke to the nurses about how I felt. Again they were really understanding, and encouraging, even telling me that “there is no-one that they have seen that they haven’t been able to help”, which was reassuring. Once again we spoke about the second treatment option, Roaccutane.
I know that there are many people who have mixed views about this drug, but I am willing to give it a try. The nurse was very honest with me about the scale of this treatment; her exact term was “nuclear”. But then, she also explained why it is so successful.
I was taken through the dangers of getting pregnant whilst on the drug, along with other possible side effects. Any worries or queries were addressed there and then, with them saying that there is no such thing as a stupid question.
At the appointment they needed me to take a pregnancy test, and a blood test to ensure that it was safe to start the treatment. I confess, even at 21 the thought of a blood test gave me goosebumps. I am terrified of needles, and am sedated when I visit the dentist. In all honesty, it wasn’t that bad. The nurse explained to me exactly what she was doing, and distracted me by telling jokes. I can’t lie and say it is completely pain free, but it is all over before you know it!
And so it was decided that I would be put on a low dose of the treatment to start with, to see how my body copes. This can then be raised or lowered at any time during the course. I would take Roaccutane alongside a contraceptive pill for 16 weeks,
throughout which I will return to the clinic once a month for a pregnancy test, and a second blood test between 6-8 week mark.
I am a little nervous as some of the side effects can be pretty extreme, but I am also open minded, and positive that I am finally on the road to clear skin. The main two effects they warned me about were depression and dry lips. Mum said she would keep check on my moods and I was given the nurse’s number if I needed to call her at any time. It is not something I am taking lightly, but I am determined to beat this acne!
I will start the treatment officially on the 28th of April and will keep you updated, if you are interested.
Does anyone has taken this do you have any tips or advice on how to deal with the side effects?
I’d be grateful to you for sharing them with me, wish me luck!