Monday, 1 April 2013

Roaccutane - Yay or Nay?

Long time no see, eh? I'd like to say I have a valid excuse for not having blogged in a month and a half but I don't. The truth is I am just lazy. I just couldn't get into the routine of blogging and now, after such a long break from it, I realise just how much I miss it. So this is me getting back into the swing of things, although that is what I say at the start of practically every blog post but this time I mean it.

So. I am sure I have mentioned this before, but for the benefit of new readers I shall repeat it. I have had acne for several years now. I first got acne when I was around 10/11 years old. It started off on my forehead. There weren't any major concerns with it - my fringe covered it and they weren't big and painful. It was, however, like a mass of small bumps. My forehead was literally covered but I wasn't too bothered by them because I knew no one could see them. Eventually, they faded away but in there place came spots. A whole load of them. They covered my face and back and have done ever since.

I have been getting treated for acne for around 18 months now. I have had 3 sets of different prescribed anti-biotic tables, one set of hormonal contraceptive tablets and 2 different creams and lotions from my GP to try and get rid of my acne, none of which helped in the slightest. In some cases, they even got worse. So, after years of intense frustration from my part and annoyance from never being left alone on my GP's part, I was referred to a dermatologist at the end of last year.

As you can imagine, it took a few months for me to actually get an appointment to see them, as it does with any specialist. Finally, my appointment rolled around last week and I went to my nearest dermatologist practise. I told him basically everything I have typed so far and he has referred me to the Roaccutane clinic.

So, what is Roaccutane? Roaccutane is a powerful drug used to treat cystic acne and acne which has not been cured after many attempts with antibiotics. It has some pretty serious side affects which have to be carefully considered before you decide to take Roaccutane. Roaccutane was first created as a chemotherapy treatment for certain types of cancers so as you can imagine, it is strong. Known as Accutane in the States, it can only be prescribed by dermatologists as a last resort. The thing is however, it really works. The before and after photos are truly incredible. In the end, after any side affects you have, there really is a major difference. To see for yourself, simple search Roaccutane in google images to see countless before and after photos which seriously sway your decision.

Roaccutane works by stopping your pores from producing oils. As these glands are not producing oil, your skin becomes severely dehydrated and, in most cases, very dry and flaky.

Side effects CAN be:
- Nausea (as with any drug)
- Extreme dryness of the skin, eyes and lips
- Exceptionally fragile skin
- Joint and muscle pain
- Loss of fitness
- Rashes
- A small amount of hair thinning
- Birth defects should you get pregnant
- Severe depression
- Mood swings
- Liver and kidney problems
- Decreased night vision
and more.

Of course not everyone suffers from all of these symptoms, it is something that has to be seriously considered. Some people are extremely lucky and have no problems with the drug. As a contact lens wearer myself, having dry eyes does worry me as I wouldn't be able to wear them. Loss of fitness would not be ideal either, considering I am doing my Silver Duke of Edinburgh in August. You also have to take a contraceptive if you are female and going on Roaccutane as if you become pregnant during the course of the treatment, it is almost 100% guaranteed that the baby will be born seriously disabled and it is therefore necessary for you to have it aborted. Even if there is no chance of you becoming pregnant, you still must take the contraceptive because doctors just don't seem to trust you when it comes to telling the truth about that.

I don't have to go back to the dermatologist until the 5th of June so I have until then to decide if I want to go ahead with it. The reason I wrote this blog post is to ask if anybody has ever taken Roaccutane or knows anyone who has and can therefore share some stories or experiences with me. I have no idea yet whether or not to do it, so some advice would be greatly appreciated.

If you do not feel comfortable sharing these stories publicly here on my blog, feel free to email me at

I now also have Instagram so follow me! - @hollymckie_


  1. Hey, if you are still thinking about Roaccutane, take a look at my blog. I've just started my treatment, so I'm using my blog to share with anyone else who might be thinking about it!
    To begin with, it's a bit scary, and I certainly had a few panicky moments where I thought, this is ridiculous, what am I doing to myself? And even though it gets worse before it gets better, I do think it'll be worth it in the end.
    Take a look :) hope it helps!


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Thank you so much for spending your precious time reading my rambles. Go ahead and leave me a little comment if you like and I will reply to any questions that you may have. Just make sure to check the 'Notify Me' button!