The Roaccutane Diaries

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Well it has finally happened! After years of struggling with cystic acne and being on constant antibiotics and bugging the GP, I finally got a referral to a dermatologist on the NHS. I had to then wait 18 weeks for the actual appointment to come around but it happened, I have been prescribed roaccutane!

As you can tell from the images in this post, my acne can't be hidden by makeup alone. It creates cysts under my skin and lumps that bulge out of my face no matter what angle you view me from. They can burst of their own accord and then pus out. The dermatologist took one look at my skin without makeup and said "yes I am going to prescribe you the strongest medication possible" which is none other than roaccutane. This drug that seems to work miracles but is scary as hell in honesty. I had been documenting my cysts via photos and I didn't even need to show her the images which probably shows how bad a state my skin is currently in. And for me unfortunately it is hereditary and a lot of my family like my mother and cousins have suffered with bad acne

I know loads of bloggers and vloggers document their roaccutane journey, and I will be doing the same, but simply because it is a scary drug and everybody copes with it differently from what I have discussed with many people. When it comes to this drug, the more information out there the better I reckon. I haven't started my course yet and won't be until February 2018 but I am just letting you know now that I plan to start a Roaccutane Diary series on this blog so that you can all see my journey and find out how I get on with it and I can hopefully recommend items that I end up finding useful whilst on this drug. But also I want you all to celebrate with me in that I finally may have an answer to my confidence crippling skin condition

The reason I can't go on it until February 2018? Well, I came off my birth control in May 2017. When you are a female being prescribed roaccutane you need to be on birth control AND use condoms also if you are sexually active, and ideally at least started the birth control 5 weeks before you start the course of roaccutane. Silly me coming off the pill. I now have 7 weeks to find a birth control method that works for me, suits me, and be on it for 5 weeks before I can start my course in late Feb. And yes, I do also have to do monthly pregnancy tests before I can be prescribed the next 30 days of it throughout my course. Which means I'll end up doing 6 pregnancy tests as well as a blood test before the course and a blood test after

But Kaye, why don't you just go back on the pill? I wish my life was that simple! My GP has told me before I explicitly can not go back on the pill if I come off of it due to my migraines or something. I don't know. Either way, I need a consultation with someone to find out what birth control is best for me and my migraines as well as roaccutane and apparently my area has no appointments available so I am against a clock and panicking!

The blood test is what terrifies me the most about this whole drug as I am rubbish. My veins collapse and they can never get enough from me as I panic. But this shit is serious and needs to be done as roaccutane can inflame your liver and change your cholesterol and all kinds of stuff needs to be monitored through a blood test

For now though, I am celebrating that I have finally got the outcome I guess I have always wanted. Next year may be a different matter though when I am having to stuff vaseline up my nose to stop my skin cracking, bleeding, and hurting. Or bathing in moisturiser to aid the inevitable dry skin that roaccutane gives you

Images shot by Leigh Travers

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