My Journey with Acne - Part Two
I thought I would write a quick update to document what changes I have noticed and what impact the medication has had thus far.
I can’t quite believe that I have finished my first month of Roaccutane already, it feels as though it was just yesterday I was in the consulting room! I thought I would write a quick update to document what changes I have noticed and what impact the medication has had thus far. Whilst I have been on a low dose (I have been on 20mg of Roaccutane for 4 weeks and 30mg for 2 weeks) it certainly comes with its effects, which I have detailed below.
The first couple of weeks were an absolute breeze and I started to wonder what all the fuss was about. Whilst I have noticed some changes here and there, I have to say, I have been pleasantly surprised with how smoothly the process has gone so far.
After two weeks I started to notice that my lips were drying up, and this was most obvious in the morning when I’d wake up with lips that closely resembled the feeling of sandpaper. However, I got myself an arsenal of good lip balms and I use these religiously both day and night. My favourites are the La Roche Posay Cicaplast lips and the Glossier Balm Dot Com; something thick and almost ointment-like is the best in my opinion. I would recommend having a lip balm in your pocket or bag at all times!
The next side effect involves my hair and scalp, and this was a symptom I hadn’t anticipated. Within two weeks of taking Roaccutane, I noticed that my scalp was quite dry and I had a little more flakiness than normal. I swapped out my usual rather harsh shampoo for an Aveeno colloidal oat shampoo which has solved the problem entirely. A dryer, less oily scalp also means the frequency at which I wash my hair has almost halved, which has been a much-welcomed bonus.
I am also aware of some small dry patches appearing on the backs on my hands, but they are asymptomatic and dissipate with a little moisturiser or ointment such as QV. Continuing with this I would also recommend regular moisturising every day to ensure the rest of your body is kept hydrated, which helps with any itching and scratching if the skin is dry and irritated. This also applies to the facial skin, which is much drier and rougher and in need of a thick occlusive moisturiser during the day and night time.
The only other symptom of note is increased eye dryness which is probably the worst side effect I’ve found so far. I’ve now got some good eye drops as recommended by Dr Clayton and those do definitely help, although it is something I am constantly aware of. Unfortunately, it does often make me feel tired, lacking in focus and headachey. Whilst this isn’t ideal, it is tolerable for the sake of clear skin.
On the theme of clear skin, I have definitely seen an improvement, particularly in the frequency of new spots which appear far less often. The overall look of the skin is much less red and angry and it feels as though the Roaccutane is giving my skin time to recover in between minor flares.
All in all, it has been a positive first month of treatment and I am feeling optimistic and hopeful that my skin will continue to improve!