Sunday, 12 March 2017

Life After Roaccutane - Six Months On

what to expect after finishing Roaccutane

I actually can't believe it's been six months since I finished a six month course of Roaccutane to treat my acne, the time has literally flown by. When I was undergoing my treatment, however, boy did it drag! As I was coming near the end of my course I was looking for posts and videos on what happened next, and what to expect after finishing Roaccutane, but there wasn't much about so I thought I would share my experience in case it helps someone else out.

I won't go into too much detail about what Roaccutane/Accutane/Isotretinoin is as I've talked it in detail before (read my other posts here and here). But very briefly, Roaccutane is an oral acne treatment that's only prescribed by dermatologists and is pretty darn harsh. It's the last step in treating acne when nothing else has worked and it has a long list of potential side effects which can put some people off which is understandable.

The Paranoia
As I got closer to the end of my treatment I was seriously excited to stop taking it of course, but taking a pill every day to keep the acne at bay was a bit of a safety blanket. I worried that as soon as I finished the last tablet I would be one of the unlucky ones that it didn't work for and I'd be doing another round. Everyday for that first couple of weeks I was scared to look in the bathroom mirror when I woke up, just in case some explosion had happened on my face. That seems a bit daft I know, but after enduring six months of soreness and insanely dry skin, the thought of taking Roaccutane again was unimaginable. One morning I woke to find lots of little red pin pricks all around my nose and cheeks, spurring on a ugly crying face and a trip back to the derm. He assured me it was ok, I had done a long enough course and it was likely to be some sensitivity that would go down shortly. And he was right.

Getting Back To 'Normal'
For me the worst side effect was the dryness, which most people seem to get. As I had dry skin to start with this was extra harsh. The only positive part of this was having a dry scalp and only having to wash my hair once a week. It look about a week for my lips to become less dry and the redness and dryness of my face was massively reduced in around two weeks. My hair was back to its previous lank and flat self in about the same time... honestly, I miss the old days! My skin, however,  never really went back to 'normal', as instead it created it's own new normal. Delightful!

The New Normal
This for me was a complexion that was more sensitive. It couldn't be treated the same way it always had been. I was someone who had had dry skin all my life and mainly used oils and deeply hydrating luxurious face masks to treat it with. But my skin had other ideas now. Remember those red pin prick marks? This was my skin telling me to calm the hell down with all the lotions and potions. So I adopted a more simplistic regime, only products that were tried and tested. I cut right back on the oils, using them possibly just once a week, and instead worked on fixing the damage Roaccutane had caused to my skin, cos boy was it thirsty and dehydrated! So now I at least know that I can over moisturise and overload my skin and the red marks are a warning sign.

Was it actually worth it?
So far...yes. I have had one spot to date, a couple of weeks into January. But it was a far cry from what I used to experience and was gone in about two days. Really nothing to worry about. I think it's the only spot I've had in a whole year, as I was quite lucky not to break out when I was taking Roaccutane. My skin is now so much better, my skintone is much more even; my red marks are still there in places but they're really slight. I'm hoping they do disappear eventually but they're hardly noticeable now. I'm really enjoying the fact that now I feel like I have a choice when it comes to base products. I love foundation, so of course I want to wear it, but I don't have to anymore. I couldn't have imagine that being a choice a year or two ago. My only regret is waiting so long!

Of course this is just my experience with Roaccutane which will be very different from someone elses, but if you're debating going on it, please give it a go. You can always stop treatment. If you need any tips and tricks for dealing with Roaccutane honestly please ask me or send me a tweet, I do love a little skincare chat.

Laura

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