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Talk to me about Roccaccutane (sp?) please!

(12 Posts)
Queencat Tue 01-Apr-14 10:12:58

Have just been prescribed for cystic acne on my back.

What are your experiences please? And how long did it take to kick in?

Thank you!

StephenKatz Tue 01-Apr-14 13:53:40

I had it about 9 years ago. It was a MIRACLE!

It took about two/three weeks to clear up the acne if I remember correctly (mine was face/chest/shoulders) It also took about this long for the side effects to kick in. My lips were so dry I couldn't go anywhere without my lifesaver tin of vaseline. My skin also became very dry - I started off switching from foundation to tinted moisturiser, then eventually couldn't even wear that. Luckily for me I felt so liberated by the lack of spots I didn't care.

The spot-free period lasted about 5 years, then I slowly started getting a few spots. I get, I'd say, a moderate amount now, just usually along my jaw and it only tends to flare up around my period.

Good luck in taking it, I hope you get a good result!

lurkingfromhome Tue 01-Apr-14 15:12:35

I'm on it now - 4.5 months in, another month and a half to go.

Can't recommend it enough and side effects have been minimal. I was a little scared about going on it, having read the huge list of possible side-effects, but it has been the best thing I ever did and I wish I'd pressed for a referral years before I did, instead of enduring millions of cycles of antibiotics that I knew were only ever going to help in the short term. With Roaccutane I feel like I have entirely different skin now and the spots have actually gone, not just being held at bay by the anti-bs.

My lips are peeling off in sheets and I've gone through 3 full lip balms in 4.5 months, but otherwise my skin isn't even especially dry - certainly drier than before and I'm using lots of good moisturiser, but not sore or flaky or red at all. Had a bit of trouble with sore joints and muscles but that came and went and wasn't especially troublesome.

I don't think I really got any new spots from the time I started taking it, but it took probably a good few weeks before I started seeing a real difference as the spots I had were so awful and infected that they took a while to clear. So happy with the results, though!

Queencat Tue 01-Apr-14 15:44:46

Thank you! Im on day two !

What about sun bathing?! Go on hols in june.

Also can I ask about your scarring do you have any and has it faded? I know roccaccutane doesn't do anything for it but I wondered if not getting new spots helped the marks fade if you see what I mean ?

lurkingfromhome Tue 01-Apr-14 16:07:58

Be careful with the sunbathing as the drugs definitely make you more photosensitive and your skin will be fragile. I think it says even on the packets of tablets that you should avoid exposure to strong sunlight. I've been quite lucky to be on my course through the winter but I still always wear SPF 30 on my face when I'm outside.

My scarring is still there a bit on my chin although it is definitely getting slowly better - it's the red pigmentation type of scarring. The dermatologist said it might stay that way until after I stop taking the tablets, as Roaccutane thins your skin so the blood vessels are closer to the surface and red scarring is therefore more visible, but it should clear up afterwards. I do have some chicken pox-y type scars as well and they seem less visible too but I have no idea what's going on there as the roac shouldn't make any difference. Perhaps I'm just less obsessed with looking in the magnifying mirror and pondering every flaw in my skin now that I don't have so many flaws to ponder smile

One thing I have noticed is that I used to have several milia-type little bumps on my skin (actually, they weren't milia but something called sebaceous dysplasia, if I remember correctly). Completely stubborn little buggers that were there for months and years and nothing would budge them. Those have now all completely vanished. Amazing.

Havingkittens Tue 01-Apr-14 21:14:33

Amazing! Changed my life! Side effects somewhat crappy but worth putting up with for the result. You will need lots of lipbalm, never more than 5 minutes away from your hand at any time. Vaseline up your nose as your nostrils may get cracked and bleed. Eye drops and, dare I say it, a good vaginal lubricant (Durex Sensilube is the best)! It basically dries out all your mucous membranes.

Back acne takes a little longer to treat than facial acne but I went from having cysts the size of 2p pieces, not being able to wear light coloured tops or lean back in a chair without pain or embarrassing explosions on the back of my clothes to just having the odd spot on my back now and then. It's been 20 years since I was on it too.

Queencat Tue 01-Apr-14 21:18:48

Kittens what about your scarring? I think mine is quite bad.

yummymumtobe Tue 01-Apr-14 21:21:00

A miracle! Took it about 10 years ago and no spots since! Definitely agree on the dry lips - my lips peeled awfully and it was quite grim but well worth it for the effect on the acne!

Havingkittens Tue 01-Apr-14 22:57:13

Yes, I still have scars I'm afraid. It shrinks you sebaceous glands so just prevents spots from forming.

I did have a strange, evangelical urge to go up to anyone who looked like I'd felt before taking it and spread the word.

If you have any plans to TTC in the foreseeable future though, don't take it under any circumstances!

iliketea Tue 01-Apr-14 23:03:34

I took it in my late teens. It worked brilliantly to get rid of the acne, but I remember the dry skin - every moisturiser made my skin sting, except Vaseline.

StephenKatz Wed 02-Apr-14 07:30:09

Sorry I've just come back to this. Yes unfortunately I still have scarring on my cheeks and I still prefer to wear a full coverage foundation for it.

Chiggers Wed 02-Apr-14 17:47:50

I used the tablet about 4-5yrs ago for 6 months and had many breakouts throughout its use and after. I recently spent a year on Isotrex gel and stopped using it because it didn't work for me. Funny enough, I've been using baking soda with my normal face wash and I am astounded with the results after just 1 week. Much better than the roaccutane tablets and gel. The bonus bit is that I've not got any dry skin, it's incredibly smooth and a big box cost a quid in the pound shop.

Baking soda is simple yet very effective IMHO, and it saves the NHS money by not having to dish out any more expensive drugs when simple cheap and simple will do.

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