My Roaccutane Experience: Month 1


I started my Roaccutane -or should I say, Isotretinoin- journey a little more than a month ago and I would like to share my experience with you, in hope that it will be helpful to any of you. 

Remember I'm not a dermatologist, a doctor or anything like that; I am just going to tell you what my experience was and what I'm going through right now. I may use the wrong medical terms and explain myself not too well - I'm sorry for that, English can be a barrier sometimes.

Firstly, a little overview on my "acne story". I have had breakouts ever since I was 12; first only my forehead, then only my cheeks. For some reason, I had never went to a dermatologist until September 2012, when my spots started leaving red marks on my skin. I always knew that my skin problems were caused by hormonal imbalances, which I had tried to treat using the pill when I was 13 or so, but that made me gain so much weight that I always refused to take it again despite my period kept on being irregular.
My dermatologist put me on folic acid to try and solve the hormonal problem and at the same time I had glicolic acid peelings done on my face until June 2013. They worked really well, to the point I had almost no scars left; the folic acid worked as well, until September 2013 when I moved to Rome to attend university. Everything got worse: maybe because of the change, maybe because of the stress.. who knows. My acne and scarring got so bad and my period so irregular that and I decided to take the pill again and start Roaccutane.

Roaccutane's active ingredient is isotretinoin, the purest form existing of vitamin A. What Roaccutane does is dry up everything in your body - your sebaceous glands, most importantly. Your skin is supposed to get super dry and stop producing sebum. In 70% of the cases, it cures acne forever. It's quite a controversial treatment, because it has numerous side effects - the most dangerous one is that it's teratogenic, which means that if you get pregnant while on Roaccutane, the fetus will be seriously damaged. There has also been rumors that it induces to suicide, but my dermatologist assured me that it's all rubbish, apparently.
Before starting to get Roaccutane, you have to take the pill for a month and get your blood test taken, to make sure that you are not pregnant (so pointless if you're single like me, haha!). You also have to take blood tests every month, to check that the levels in your blood, like cholesterol and transaminase, are ok.

I started taking Roaccutane on January 9th 2014 and I had never in my whole life been more determined to do something, even if the side effects were so scary. My dermatologist put me on 30mg for four months; I just finished my first one and the results are already amazing. I started getting chapped lips within the first week; it's the most common side effect and it's nothing that some lipbalm can't solve. They're not flakey, they just feel tight.
Around day 20, I started using eye drops as my eyes began to feel a bit dry; but I think that that could also be because I was studing pretty much from when I woke up to when I went to sleep. At the same time, my skin began to be sensibly drier. Usually, if I woke up at 8,30 AM and didn't apply any make-up, my face would start feeling very oily at around 4 PM; if I applied foundation, I had to powder after 3 hours. After 3 weeks of using Roaccutane, my foundation would stay exactly the same for 13 hours. As of right now, after a bit more of a month of use, my skin basically doesn't produce any sebum anymore and I feel like I'm in paradise - everyone who suffers from severe acne can understand me.
I currently have only one or two spots -and that could also be because it's that time of the month-, but there have been several days when I had none. None! That hasn't happened since I was 12 years old!

I had my blood tests taken a few days ago, and the levels haven't changed. My dermatologist said I'm doing pretty good, considering I'm experiencing only the 'normal' side effects. I will probably keep on 30mg for two more months and then go on 40mg on the last month. I am so happy this is going good so far, and I hope with all my heart it will go even better!

I will update you again next month :) Have you ever tried Roaccutane? What was your experience like?

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