At the grand old age of thirty I decided that it really is about time I got my acne sorted out. I've suffered with it for years, I'm not sure exactly how long but I do recall being called pizza face in the last year of junior school, and that was a very long time ago! Back last month I started taking a drug called Isotretinoin, also known as roaccutane. This is a very strong drug with some very serious side effects, thankfully both my Doctor and Dermatologist agreed that it is about time my adult acne was sorted out and decided that this was the drug for me. I've now been taking it for just over a month.
Carry on reading to find out how the past month has gone, side effects and everything.
First off, a little background information about my acne and my skin. My skin on my face is combination, dry patches and builds up oil throughout the day, my skin on the rest of my body is quite dry, but not too dry. I suffer with acne on my face, back, chest and sometimes thighs, I suffer the worse on my back. The main reason for wanting to get rid of my acne once and for all is the pain rather than the vanity. I often break out in large boils which can be very painful, and also very messy when they explode. I also suffer with some very smelly spots, I will often scratch my back or chest and accidentally scratch the head off a spot, this results in a lot of pain and a horrible, embarrassing stench.
I first started taking 40mg of Isotretinoin each day, at my monthly check up my dermatologist decided to increase my dosage to 60mg each day, I started taking this dosage on 16 January after taking 40mg for a month.
Within the first couple of weeks of taking Isotretinoin my skin on my face became very red, sore to touch and swollen. It felt as though it was burning and I couldn't go all day without removing my make-up and moisturising. I also broke out quite badly around my chin, this is perfectly normal, a lot of people will experience a purge which is just all of the bad stuff leaving your body.
Once the redness had gone down the spots on my face started going, there were still new spots coming out but they were pretty much drying out as soon as they appeared. My skin didn't get dry too quickly, but it was no longer getting greasy. My make-up was lasting a lot longer than normal and my skin felt smooth to touch.
Fast forward one month (today) and I've had a small break out again, this time around the jaw line. My skin is very dry. I've always suffered with dandruff but it is worse than normal. My make-up is clinging to dry patches and close up my skin looks dry and patchy. Far away it looks great, apart from those couple of spots on my jaw line which are easily hidden with make-up.
The spots on my chest and back are no different than when I started, though I have had a few large boils come and go so I am hoping that the bad stuff is slowly leaving. The skin on my chest hasn't changed, but my back is quite dry and itchy. I've also noticed red spots on my hands in the past few days which I think is eczema.
Almost straight away my lips were dry, I used lip balm quite often before but am now applying it more and more often, probably once every 2 - 3 hours at the moment.
A very common side effect of the roaccutane drug is mood swings and depression. Thankfully I've not suffered with this (yet!), if anything, I have been happier since taking the drug. Spencer did joke that it's because I'm usual so miserable the mood swings are making me happier, but I personally think that the drug hasn't changed my mood at all, I'm just happier because it has finally stopped raining (for now) and the sun has been shining, I often wonder if I suffer with SAD!
Another common side effect which I have so far escaped is aches and pains. I often suffer with my joints as I have a condition called Lax Ligaments which flairs up in damp, cold weather. There has been joint pain but no worse than usually so again, I think the tablets haven't (yet) affected this.
Overall I am very happy with how month one of Isotretinoin has gone and am feeling very positive, I may finally kick this acne once and for all!
Do you suffer with acne? Have you tried any drugs for it?