Sunday, 15 May 2016

Roaccutane:







I am well aware that Roaccutane is surrounded by controversy but, I wanted to share my feelings on it. No hearsay, or rumour, just an honest account of my experience and how things are going post-treatment. This is not a sponsored post, I just thought it might be helpful. 

I had moderate acne on my face since I first hit puberty and over time it spread to my neck and chest and became more severe.  My skin was sore, sensitive and covered with large, bright red spots.

I had exhausted several other prescribed skin treatments over several years; sadly to no avail, before Roaccutane was offered to me as an option.  I remember going to see my doctor and just bursting into tears. I had become so fed up with the relentless battle to try and control my skin.

Finally, I was referred to a dermatologist at my local hospital and that’s when things began to look up.  My first appointment there was fairly in depth, she sat with me for a long time and just listened to my concerns. She also asked if I was comfortable with her looking closely at my skin, the whole time being understanding and considerate.

Roaccutane is incredibly strong, often described as a ‘nuclear medication’. Without being patronising or condescending she talked me through the treatment, all aspects were covered including possible positive and negative outcomes.

I was then given time to read through lots of information and process what we had discussed. My family and I were encouraged to talk about it together and we were assured that I would be carefully monitored throughout the treatment.

At no point was I under any pressure, and the medication could be stopped at any time should I become uncomfortable. In total I took Roaccutane for seven and a half months.  Some courses are longer and others shorter, depending on the individual and their needs.

I had to return to the hospital once a month for a pregnancy test and I had regular blood tests every 6-8 weeks throughout my treatment. Some courses are longer and some shorter depending on the severity of your individual case.

Throughout my treatment I had fairly mild side effects that included: Dry, cracked lips, aching joints, and dry eyes. I was able to keep all of them under control by taking painkillers when needed, applying cold compresses to my eyes and lots of lip balm! My most prominent side effect was backache.
At no point did I feel that my general mood, or behaviour changed and my family closely monitored me.

My treatment officially ended in October 2014.

Nowadays my skin is as clear as it has ever been, I no longer cry to my mum about my skin.  I can now talk to people without feeling paranoid that they are just staring at the spots that covered my chin, neck and cheeks.
I can answer the door without wearing makeup and not feel like I want the ground to open up and swallow me.
I can go and stay round my friends’ without worrying about them seeing me without makeup on!

I know to some of you it may sound dramatic or self-centred but unless you have lived with truly terrible skin or acne you will never fully appreciate how it feels to look at your own face and no longer feel embarrassed or ashamed.

I do think it is important to stress that Roaccutane does not ensure that you are completely spot free for the rest of your life. Some people have a go back to taking the medicine after a couple of years; obviously this depends on the individual. I would be lying if I told you that I never, ever get spots. I usually get some around my time of the month, but they are tiny and fade after 24hours or so.

It took me a long time to have the courage to go to the doctor and insist that the treatments they had previously prescribed were not good enough. Of course Roaccutane is not suitable for everyone, and you will need to get appropriate medical advise, but if you are suffering as I once did please go and ask for the help you deserve.

I did, and I have never looked back!

I am by no means a medical professional so am only speaking from personal experience as a Roaccutane patient.

If you have any questions for me about my treatment please feel free to ask!

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