Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Accutane Journey: Month One

Hey Ladies,

My skin struggles is something that gets quite a bit of time on my blog and YouTube. I have suffered with my skin since my early teens, having tried all the treatments and options available to try and cure my skin I finally made the decision to start accutane treatment. In the past I've tried diets, laser, medication, skincare and different contraceptive pills but nothing ever seemed to shift it. At the start of 2016 I became quite ill with chest pains and my doctor feared that I might have a blood clot in my leg due to the contraceptive pill Dianette, the pill recommended for acne prone skin. So I was immediately taken off it, went to the hospital and thankfully I have no blood clots. It was the first time since the age of 12 or 13 I wasn't any medication for my skin, I lived in hope that my skin over the decade may clear itself up but it got worse and worse. 

The tipping point for me was when I could no longer cover my skin up with makeup, it was painful to touch my skin and looking in the mirror everyday was like torture. My mental health and physical health were suffering. On the day of my sister's wedding, the makeup artist found it difficult to cover my skin especially around my bad area (my neck and chin) with makeup. I felt so ugly the whole day, the first of my family to get married I should have felt amazing and confident. Looking back at the pictures of that day now the feelings of self hatred come flooding back. Why me? I look after my skin so well, try to use the best makeup and skincare and it still constantly broke out. And not only on my face but now my shoulders and back were beginning to act up too. 

I won't name any names but in July someone said I was a "superficial" person, a person who doesn't know me from Adam. There has been so many days when I won't leave the house because I am so embarrassed by my skin. I had no self confidence at all, I would put makeup on just to go get bread and milk from the supermarket in case I bumped into someone. Even days when you pluck up the courage to get dressed up, put on a nice outfit and get all glam... I still don't feel as confident as I should. So when I began my accutane journey some friends and family were concerned with the side effects and I felt that low I would have swallowed rat poison if I thought it would cure my skin. 
July 2016 My Sister's Wedding Day
I don't wear clothes that show off my arms, shoulders or back, I always try to hide them. Even to the gym I wear a long t-shirt or hoodie to hide my skin. Eventually enough was enough. I was at my breaking point and decided accutane was the only way to try and clear my skin once and for all. If you don't know what accutane is, it's basically a medication a form of Vitamin A that reduces the oil production in the oil glands. That means your skin cannot get as inflamed, produce bacteria or clog itself up! It sounds like the dream but this medication has some serious side effects for example you cannot get pregnant or your child will have fatal abnormalities, hair loss, headaches, nosebleeds, dry skin, dry lips, eczema, joint pain, lower back pain and depression (that one is debatable)..... the list goes on and on. The medication takes a huge toll on your body and you have to go for monthly blood tests to make sure its not affecting your kidneys or liver. 
August 2016
I was prescribed a 20mg dose from a Dermatologist in DCU, not any regular doctor can prescribe this medication. And lemme tell you, derms ain't cheap! They can cost upwards of 200euro and some have an 18 month wait list. I have been on the medication for over a month and a bit now and slowly I have noticed changes in my skin. It's definitely drier and flakier. My lips are always dry and chapped so a good lip balm and moisturizer is key. I might even do a post on all the skincare I've tried since starting treatment. My hair no longer gets greasy at all which is strange. I have developed eczema on my hands and arms which can get very uncomfortable but if my skin is going to be clear at the end of this journey then it's worth it. My skin feels different, it doesn't feel like my skin at all. I have noticed a huge reduction in breakouts in certain areas especially around my back and shoulders and my neck. My cheeks and chin are still really inflamed and I'm hoping during the course of the next month it will go down a bit more but I'll keep you posted in my next update. 
 October 2016
I am excited to share where the next month will take me. I am so nervous posting pictures of my bare face online as I spend so much of my time trying to hide my skin but hopefully this post might help someone else who is in the same position as me. 

See you in the next one, 
S x


  1. Hi Susan, great post and well done on your honesty. My skin problems are only minor compared to what you are going through, but still they affect me! Best of luck with your journey! I wish you great success!