Roaccutane.

(17 Posts)
Sugarice Fri 25-Jan-13 15:08:33

I'm taking ds1-17 to the GP's next week and asking for this.

We're fighting a losing battle against the damn Acne and it's getting worse despite his attempts to stay on top of the cleansing and reducing the sugar in his diet.

Can anyone say how long it took to get their child's skin looking better and how their child reacted to it.

I'm nervous about him taking it but ds is keen to try and he said he felt it would come to this eventually, he says he wakes up with a new spot most days.

I'd appreciate your thoughts, thanks.

longingforsomesleep Sun 27-Jan-13 01:00:15

He wakes up with 'A' new spot MOST days?!!! His acne may not be severe enough for roaccutane. And I'm not sure a GP should or could prescribe it. Has he been to the GP about his acne already? If not, the GP will undoubtedly want to try antibiotic tablets or lotions before referring him to a dermatologist who may put him on roaccutane if other treatments have failed. If you look on the general health section there is a thread started by someone who suffers from bad acne but is wary about taking roaccutane as she suffers from depression and roaccutane has been linked to severe depression and suicide.

I suffered very badly with acne in my teens and twenties and took roaccutane a couple of times in my late twenties/early 30s. Acne really affected my life and I am trying very hard not to be overly anxious about my own children. The eldest 2 both get a few spots and I am on pins sometimes worrying that they will develop bad acne. But roaccutane has a lot of potential side effects and, if they did develop bad acne I would want to explore other treatments before they took it.

PhyllisDoris Sun 27-Jan-13 01:07:35

I took Roaccutane, and its the best thing I ever did. The GP can't prescribe it though, it can only be prescribed by a consultant, so the GP will have to refer you.
I had no problems whatsoever, except for extremely dry skin - to the extent that it was flaky - and used huge quantities of moisturiser.
The treatment works, and seems to be permanent.
I would recommend it.

Sugarice Sun 27-Jan-13 09:00:18

Thanks for the replies.

Yes he's had topical lotions, is currently taking oral antibiotics but they're not working. It's not just spots, some of them are cystic and angry looking, particularly on his forehead sad.

I was reading up in it last night and the concensus is that it works really well but the possible side effects are worrying in the extreme.

He's off on holiday with his friends for the first time in June, sun and booze don't mix with it so that may put paid to it anyway .

We'll see what the GP says, I have a Dermotologist in town who has been recommended but it's £160 an hour for a consultation shock.

Lavendersbluedillydilly1969 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:10:05

DP was prescribed this years at 18, before all the possible negative side effects were really known because his skin was awful and painful and affected his confidence badly.
He says that he would take it today without hesitation as it made such a difference to him. Even now he gets the odd spot but on the whole his skin is a million times better and it's worth the small sacrifices for a few months.

Lavendersbluedillydilly1969 Sun 27-Jan-13 09:10:39

DH not DP!

teedeeuk Sun 27-Jan-13 09:14:13

Both my sons had Roaccutane after trying everything else and nothing working. Both were acne free after six months. The eldest has remained so now for six years. It completely changed their lives! They had to really look after themselves re moisturizer, sunscreen and lip balm during though. One of them was so low beforehand, and by the end was a different boy.

DS1 has acne. His back and neck are an awful mess, less so his face.
Our GP has been quite helpful. At the moment we are using different antibiotics for 3 months at a time plus Adapalene cream.
It's showing signs of improvement, but no miracles. I had discussed Roaccutane with him before our last GP appointment (in case she suggested a Dermatology referral) but he was adamant he would not take it. His view is that he can live with it and it doesn't worry him that much and the symptoms must be seriously affecting your life before taking it. Most of his friends seem to have acne, perhaps that's why he's not that bothered.

andiu Mon 28-Jan-13 18:05:46

My son took it when he was 15 after years of horrible acne on his face and chest and back. The side effects were very very dry skin and nose bleeds. He took it for four months. He is nearly 20 and has lovely clear skin except for the scars left by the acne. It was a tough treatment but I am sure he would do it again.

dippywhentired Mon 28-Jan-13 18:12:22

I also took it as a teenager to treat acne on my back and chest. Had tried oral antibiotics, every cream the GP could prescribe and nothing worked. Roaccutane completely cleared it up and it improved my confidence no end. Acne is miserable - I used to dread the summer as I couldn't wear nice strappy tops that everyone else wore, and school swimming lessons were awful. The only side effects I experienced were dry skin and occasional nose bleeds,

Maryz Tue 29-Jan-13 10:44:21

ds2 is now on his second course of roaccutane having suffered really badly from acne from the age of 11.

The difference (for anyone who doesn't know) between acne and spots is that the acne is under the skin as well as on the surface - in ds's case, he had really severe acne on his chest and back, which was extremely painful. We had tried the cleaning regimes, the topical and oral antibiotics, everything.

ds's problems were made worse by the fact that he plays rugby, and scrummaging became impossibly painful because of the cysts on his back and shoulders, as well as the blank refusal of some other boys to scrummage with him - he had weeping sores on his face, which looked horrible sad.

He was put on a low dose for two months, and then a higher dose for six months. The first few weeks was tough - very dry skin and lips, and little improvement. But when it did improve, it was miraculous. A complete clearance of all the spots and all the cysts under the skin.

Yes it has side effects - "minor" ones like very dry skin and lips which can be controlled using good moisturisers (ds uses Silcox Base in the shower instead of soap, and uses Carmex on his lips), scrapes and cuts don't heal well, etc. The possible severe side effects are mood swings and depression. And yes, we have noticed mood swings - but then he's 14 and anger and misery are part of the teenage "norm" in many cases. But as he said himself, there is nothing more depressing for a teen than being known as "acne-head" or "bloody-back" or any of the other awful names a spotty teenager can be called.

Unfortunately ds was only 12 when he had his first course, and the effects only lasted two years so now at the age of almost 15 he is on it again - this time the results have come quicker and he is hoping for a shorter course.

By the way, he never had trouble in the sun - he has naturally tanned skin, which I think probably helps, but he just used sun tan lotion as normal.

Theas18 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:03:30

Get him the information. Make him do his net research and make sure it is 100% his decision. When DS had his I made it clear that he would do all the talking to the docs and make his own choice. It really was a great strategy. He knew what he was having, why and what the problems and benefits would be. He also knew he chose it - so the side effects were tolerated fine even when they were bad.

DS had his at 15. He had about 9 months. 3 months with and initial flare (expected) then slow improvement. Increased dose and good effect. Since then his skin has been literally " the odd spot" it's a revolution.

Side effects- firstly never depressed or low at all. He personally couldn't see why anyone, taking a positive step to move from being the class " pizza face" (he reckoned he had the 2nd worse skin out of 90 boys in the year at school) could feel low. However it is a known issue.

What he did have was terrible dry skin, lips that cracked /bled and fell off in lumps. He tolerated it and managed though. He burned in the UK in the spring on te backs of his hands he was so sun sensitive. He still (at 17) uses factor 50 at any glance of sun. He knows this may be lifelong and doesn't care- we are a fair skinned family anyway but he's the worst.

He had some aches. He personally timed his treatment so that he wasn't taking it during the rugby season- except for sept/oct at the end of the treatment really.Well worth doing. He still did play tennis/athletics etc though.

I know of a chap in his late 20s who has permanently dry eyes after roaccutane too. I actually asked him, and he would still have taken the roaccutane if he'd known he'd be using eye drops for ever. DS says this would be true of him.

Roaccutane is real " big guns" stuff but it has life changing effects. I think we don't quite get how awful severe acne is. I wouldn't swap lifelong dry eyes just to be " not spotty" but really sever acne is so much more as you've said.

Theas18 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:07:06

Sugarice

Re private dermatology. THey'll be happy to give you roaccutane, however when we asked it was £1 a tablet approx. And you need several a day depending on dose. NHS will treat eventually. We couldn't affort private.

Sugarice Tue 29-Jan-13 12:19:56

I really do appreciate all of your replies, thanks.

After reading them I don't think ds's acne is anywhere near as bad as some suffered by your dc's. We'll go back Thursday and see what the Doctor can suggest.

I'll ask about Adapelene, we used DUAC which was brilliant for the first year or so then stopped being effective.

Many thanks.

50ph1e Tue 29-Jan-13 14:03:16

If I could advise anything for your son it would be to please take Roaccutane! I am 21 now, but had bad acne from in my teenage years. I tried every single topical solution or tablets the doctor recommended to me, and none of them worked.

I dont know what your son is like, but acne did hit me pretty hard. Roaccutane has got some nasty side effects listed, mainly the depression side, but I have to say that acne was making me depressed anyway! The only problems I had were the usual dry skin, eyes and lips, but on the plus side your hair does not get greasy!

It took time (I had two courses, each lasting about 9 months, but mine was bad) but the results are absolutly astounding. My skin is clear since I have taken it (I do get the odd spot, but hey).

Another thing to think about is that if the doctor is recommending the tablets, you should take them as it is so hard to go through the NHS with Roaccutane. They are very hesitant; I had to go privatly and luckily for me my parents were wonderful and paid for everything, but at £90 for a five minute consultation, it cost alot.

When you have acne you just want what works, and it is upsetting trying the next new thing a friend of a friend has told you about and it does not work. Roaccutane really works and will continue to work once you have finished it. And even though I am a girl and boys are different, people making passing comments to me like "your skin looks great." made me so happy.

Please do not write Roaccutane off as it works, and it really does make you so much more confident. It may not be anything life threatening, but when you are a teenager it can sometimes feel as bad! I am so glad I took Roaccutane.

Sugarice Thu 07-Feb-13 11:47:15

Hello again

Went to GP's with ds1 and GP said no way did his acne warrant Roaccutane so he's given him something called Epiduo which is a gel combining Adapalene and benzoyl peroxide so fingers crossed for this.

He's also to stop the oral ab's seeing as they're no longer doing the trick.

Many thanks for your replies, much appreciated.

PhyllisDoris Thu 14-Feb-13 14:00:34

Hi Sugarice - hope the Epiduo works. My feelings are that it probably isn't a permanent cure though. I tried everything, and while my acne always cleared up while I was using a particular drug, cream or whatever, it always came back after that particular treatment finished.
Roaccutane seems to be permanent. I took it in my 30s, and have been clear for years.

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