Sunday, 6 January 2013

Roaccutane Diary: January 2013

I've decided since I have just started a beauty blog and starting on Roaccutane which is a hospital prescribed drug for acne, it would be perfect to keep a log of my experience on it (it's slightly beauty related...which girl isn't on the journey for perfect skin?!)
It's taken me a while to bite the bullet and go to the hospital to be prescribed Roaccutane due its side-effects, but I've finally done it.

Background on Roaccutane
It is only given to patients where previous treatment of acne hasn't worked and it works by suppressing the activity of sebaceous glands in the skin which cuts down the amount of oil your skin produces, which is the main factor for the most common side-effect; dryness.

It was the quite significant list of side-effects that put me off going on this drug which includes:

  • Dryness (skin, lips, eyes)
  • Blood problems
  • Nose bleeds
  • Headaches
  • Hair loss
  • Deformity in unborn fetus's
  • The most publicised side-effect but rarest, which was not one which affected my decision is depression

My acne history
I'm now 19 and have suffered with acne for 7 years but have been on medication for the past 5. Filling in the forms in the hospital of which other acne medication I've been on was a journey in itself as the list is extremely the top of my head I would say I've been on around 11/12 different medications! They've all worked at some stage but then my body became used to it and they stopped working.
I decided to give my skin a break for the past 6 months to see if I'd outgrown my acne but I hadn't so I made the decision to get referred to the hospital to start Roaccutane.

Acne in pictures
I don't have many pictures of my acne in full swing as I've been on medication for a very long time and over this time have perfected the art of covering my acne up!

My skin before the acne started

The beginning of my acne!

My acne in April 2012 after I'd just stopped taking my medication
Start of my treatment
Before my appointment I was sent by my GP to have some blood tests which needed to be done to check my blood to make sure I could take the medication.

My first appointment was on the 2nd of January. The first thing I needed to do was fill in a lot of forms, including my acne history and psychological forms which is a standard procedure due to the depression side-effect.
After this I saw the nurse who asked me even more questions and took photos of my skin. She also took an oil patch test to see how much oil I produced in a 30 minute period. Before she had even done it I knew my results would be high as I have extremely oily skin.

I was then sent back to the waiting room to see the doctor. When I went in he once again asked me questions about my skin and explained the side-effects. I then got the results of my oil test which came back very high with active bacteria growing from the oil (the cause of my acne). The doctor then looked at my skin under a light and explained I had white heads under my skin which if were not opened before starting roaccutane would get infected when I started on the tablets and cause them all to grow and become spots all over my face. The solution to prevent this would be to go through a treatment called hyfrecation, so until this was done I couldn't start the roaccutane tablets.

After my initial appointment, my hyfrecation was booked for the 4th of Jan. It involved me having to have local aesthetic on my face for 1 hour and then have all my white heads opened with an electric current. I was told I would feel a slight burning sensation whilst it was being done and that I would be red for the next few days but that was no comparison to what it felt like!
Having the aesthetic applied and my face wrapped up in clingfilm left my mum and I giggling for quite a while and then after 1 hour and 20 minutes, I was taken to another room to have the procedure. 

I have been through quite a lot of pain in my medical history but that was possibly one of the most painful things I have had to endure! I cried the entire way through it, along with squeezing my poor mums hand extremely tight and every time the current was on my face I stopped breathing, but after 15 minutes of smelling burning flesh it was over! The results I'm sure will be worth it but for now I've not left the house all weekend due to the redness of my skin and it's meant to turn crusty in the next few days (delightful).

At this appointment I was prescribed roaccutane and can start taking it on the 14th Jan, giving my skin time to heal from the hyfrecation.
My journey to clear skin may have had a rocky start but it's well and truly underway and I'm excited and apprehensive for what's to come but looking forward to the end result!

This website is great for reading about acne symptoms and causes!
They are also currently running a glossybox giveaway! Take a look....

Sorry for a very long post but there was a lot to say!
The next Roaccutane Diary will be after my 4 week appointment in Feb.
Thanks for reading,
Liora xx


  1. I think I took this medicine, it has different names but mine was called accutane. If you have any questions about it, ask away! (Probably on my blog or email) xx

    1. Yeah I think in America it's called accutane!
      Thank you may ask if I have any later on