Back in August last year, I went to my GP to ask to be referred to a dermatologist for my skin. After years of suffering with acne and trying countless medications (Dianette, Cerazette, Cerelle, Desogestrel, Lymecycline, Tetracycline, Erythromycin and Doxycycline) and topical treatments (Duac, Freederm, Salicylic Acid, Hydrocortisone and Benzoyl Peroxide), along with skincare systems (Arbonne, La Roche Posay, Paula’s Choice, Liz Earle, Avene and Vichy), my skin was still absolutely relentless. I also tried Homepathic remedies that worked for the short time you were able to take them for, but my skin soon reverted back once I stopped.
Painful lumps under my skin, comedones and pustules were an everyday occurrence and as any acne sufferer knows, you might be able to conceal the spot and blemish, but you can’t get rid of the texture or physical pain it causes.
I was eventually given the go ahead to take Accutane after a bit of a battle with my GP and previous Dermatologist, so I decided to make a little vlog and storytime video all about my experience.
If you don’t know about Accutane, (or to give it it’s actual name, Isotretinoin) it’s a form of Vitamin A that reduces the amount of oil released by the glands in the skin. It helps skin to renew itself more quickly and is a very effective treatment for Acne when other options have been exhausted. It’s a very controlled and serious drug and carries a lot of side effects – some very serious. The drug requires you to have monthly blood tests, monthly pregnancy tests and a monthly appointment with your dermatologist. It can be damaging to organs and cause problems with the kidneys too, so blood screenings are essential, and your pregnancy test must come back negative as even just a single dose of Accutane can cause severe birth defects or death to the baby. You’re required to use two forms of birth control whilst taking the medicine and must inform your doctor immediately if you become pregnant whilst taking the drug.
The most common side effect that people experience whilst taking Accutane is severe dryness of the skin. The drug is, in effect, drying the body from the inside out, so it’s vital to stay hydrated and moisturise well whilst taking it. A list of the side effects that might be felt according to Drugs.com are:
- Bone or joint pain
- burning, redness, itching, or other signs of eye inflammation
- difficulty with moving
- scaling, redness, burning, pain, or other signs of inflammation of the lips
- skin infection or rash
- Abdominal or stomach pain (severe)
- attempts at suicide or thoughts of suicide (usually stops after medicine is stopped)
- back pain
- bleeding or inflammation of the gums
- blurred vision or other changes in vision
- changes in behavior
- decreased vision after sunset or before sunrise (sudden or may continue after medicine is stopped)
- diarrhea (severe)
- headache (severe or continuing)
- mental depression
- nausea and vomiting
- pain or tenderness of the eyes
- pain, tenderness, or stiffness in the muscles (long-term treatment)
- rectal bleeding
- yellow eyes or skin
It’s been a long road to actually get the prescription, and I know it will be an even longer road whilst taking it. I’m going to document my journey as I go and give as much detail and information as possible. I can’t stress enough how much of a serious drug Isotretinoin is, and how it’s so important to take heed of the correct way to take the drug and take care of yourself throughout the treatment and afterwards. A lot of people are against Accutane, but for me, this is the road I want to take after six years of battling with my skin. It’s hard for me to show pictures of my skin at its worst and even now, my skin reduces me to tears on a regular basis. Sure, I can cover it well with makeup, but I want to feel that same confidence makeup free too.
I hope that you enjoy my first video below, and wish me luck! If you’re going through the same journey, my heart goes out to you and I wish you all the luck on your road to the skin that you wish for.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion
Eucerin Aquaphor Soothing Skin Balm
Oilatum Bath Formula for dry skin
Carmex Lip Pot
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Comfort Sun Cream 50+
© This post is copyright of Rachael Divers 2017.