My Acne Story: How Roaccutane Changed My Life

If you’ve ever been a sufferer of severe acne, you’ll know the depression that comes with it.

When I say ‘acne’ I don’t mean a few spots here and there. That’s nothing. Side effects of my acne included; crying because of how ugly I looked, not wanting to leave my room because of how many spots covered my skin that no makeup could ever conceal and knowing people called you ‘Spotzilla’ behind your back.

It started out with just a few spots on my forehead, but it was normal for a teenager to get spots. It was part of puberty. I was 14 and it continued for a year or so with a few spots on my forehead and chin but nothing I was overly concerned about although I was self conscious that not many people I knew seemed to have as many as I did.

I went to the doctors and was prescribed a contraceptive pill to help regulate my hormones and a cream that would dry out my skin and keep the oil at bay. This lotion was the stuff of witchcraft and six weeks later my skin was clear, although a bit dry. I got the odd spot but I lathered on the cream over night and it was almost gone the next day. I finally came off the pill and I thought my acne problems were over.

Then it came back

When I turned 17, my acne came back only this time one hundred times worse. I had spots covering every inch of my face. ‘Pizza face’ literally. Cysts appeared on my cheeks and forehead and they hurt to touch. I could literally see the ones sitting on my cheeks if I looked downwards. My parents kept saying it was normal, just a teenage phase but I

IMG_3294

Makeup couldn’t conceal the spots

looked at every other girl in my school and no one had anywhere near the same amount of acne that I had. They all wore makeup like I did, but why was I the one with the spots? I had a clean diet, I didn’t drink and I probably cleaned my face more than anyone else I knew.

It got to the stage where I had absolutely no confidence in myself, felt extremely unattractive and hated myself for being so ugly.

I went back to the doctor and he gave me another contraceptive pill and a different cream, as the one I’d been using previously had been taken off the market. They didn’t work. I found some of the old cream I used to use and covered my face with it before going to bed, but woke up the next morning with my face roaring red and burnt. I was put on another contraceptive pill but again it didn’t work. 12 weeks later and my face was still as ugly as ever.

IMG_3575

IMG_3574.JPG

 

The doctor referred me to a dermatologist who took one look at my face and said ‘Roaccutane‘. She explained the dangers and stigma that comes with the drug but at that point I was willing to try anything to get rid of the lumps on my face.

When I went back to the hospital every month to check my progress I sat with my eyes burning into the floor because I was so embarrassed by the amount of acne on my face. But with each month I went back, the more confident I was because it was working. The only side effect I seemed to notice was very dry lips, but Vaseline helped with that a lot. My dermatologist also gave me samples of Aquaphor which also helped a lot with the dryness.

Roaccutane has a reputation of causing depression but for me it was quite the opposite, because acne was the cause of my depression and roaccutane was getting rid of it. On my last visit to the hospital I was the happiest I’d ever been, and much more confident. My face was clear with not one spot but a lot of acne scarring.

IMG_8349

This is five months on Roaccutane. (March 2014 / August 2014)

I’ll always have a few red marks from previous spots but I’ll hopefully never have to go through that amount of acne ever again. I still get the odd spot when it’s coming up to my time of the month, or when I’ve been drinking too much but nothing I can’t deal with. I’ve been using a cream by Nip & Fab for the past few months and have noticed a huge difference in the reduction of my acne scars. I can even see freckles starting to appear on my white skin where there used to be a lot of redness. I apply a small layer all over my face at night-time, quite like a night mask and wash off the excess in the morning. It also helps in keeping my skin moisturised and less dry.

I’ve never been brave enough to share these images before, but it shows the wonders that Roaccutane can do.

People often hear the words ‘Accutane’ and ‘Roaccutane’ and immediately turn their noses up because of the negative aura the drug has. If anyone ever asked me about my thoughts on the medicine, as a past user of it I wouldn’t need to think twice about recommending it. I did a lot of research before going through with the treatment because of what I had heard, but seeing the results that people were getting was the only convincing that I needed. I didn’t care for the possible side effects, I just wanted my face to be clear again. I saw no negative side effects with the drug only the occasional dry lip, but the positives massively outweighed the negatives and I don’t regret taking Roaccutane in the slightest.

Roaccutane changed my life

acne

 

This was my face at its worst, and my face today, with not one spot.

After trying hundreds of products, I’ve finally found a skincare routine that best suits my skin type. It’s also helped in keeping my skin in top condition.

Have you ever suffered from acne? How did it make you feel? How did you take control of it? If you currently suffer from a few spots or more, feel free to ask me anything and I’ll try my best to help!

 

19 Comments

  1. June 15, 2016 / 8:35 pm

    Wow! Your skin has had a total transformation. Thank you for sharing your photos, that was very brave of you. I’ve only suffered spots on my chin which I can normally control with diet/skin care but still gets me down especially when I wear lipstick! I think it just highlights that area more if you get me.

    Glad you’re feeling more confident too!

    • June 15, 2016 / 8:39 pm

      Thank you so so much! Even one spot can put anyone in a bad mood, I get you. I’m just so thankful that my skin is finally clear and I don’t have to go through that again! It’s so good to look back over old photos and see how far my skin has come!

  2. June 15, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    I’m so happy you finally found something that worked for you, you’re skin looks amazing now! I know how it feels, I am currently using Benzoyl peroxide for my acne, it’s slowly working but I have to be careful in the sun! Xx

    • June 15, 2016 / 11:17 pm

      thank you so much! I had benzoyl peroxide my first time around and it worked like a dream! but the next time I tried it my skin reacted really badly with it, I was gutted! it’s very good at drying out your skin but just be careful it doesn’t burn your skin xx

  3. September 7, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Wow! The transformation is absolutely amazing. It’s so great you have found a product that works for you, I’ve never heard of it before but I think I’ll need to look into it now. It’s so amazing how you have shared your before and after pictures so people can really see what a difference it makes!

    Jordanne || Thelifeofaglasgowgirl.co.uk

  4. September 9, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Thank you so much! It was scary to include the before and after pictures since I’d never shown them to anyone before, but I’m quite proud of them now that I can look back and see how far my skin has come and know that I’ll never have to go back to that again. Thank you for reading Jordanne x

  5. Anaïs
    March 9, 2017 / 7:16 pm

    That’s an amazing transformation! I’m so happy for you that it has helped you get rid of the acne and get your confidence back. I’m currently on a very low dose of roaccutane (first week) and I’m already noticing the dryness of the skin. It’s super annoying when I have to wear makeup because there’s always at least one area I forgot to moisturise enough. My case is not at all comparable to you, but I hope this also gets rid of my acne forever bc I’ve kinda had it (I’m 23, it should’ve died out a long time ago, especially since I’ve been on the right kind of birth control since I was 17). How are you doing now on the skin front?

    • orlaghclaire
      March 12, 2017 / 9:44 pm

      Thank you! My skin is still so clear, with the odd spot around my time of the month but other than that it’s really clear. I’ve noticed that the only times I flare up with spots is if I’ve been drinking too much or eating a bad diet. As long as I keep these under control I have no problems with spots. When I finished roaccutane I had quite a lot of scarring left but it’s been almost two years now that I’m off it and I have absolutely no scarring or pock marks left on my face!

  6. Shirley Morgan
    March 20, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey on dealing with Acne. It has been 5 months now and I have been to two different skin clinic and paid quite a lot but it never shows any improvements. I dont know what to do now coz it felt like Ive done everything and nothing seems to happen. I would like to try Roaccutane as my last option. Thank you ever so much.

    • orlaghclaire
      March 20, 2017 / 6:22 pm

      Hi Shirley, I can’t recommend Roaccutane enough to anyone that suffers with acne. It really is miraculous stuff. You can see the difference it made to my face in six months and to this day I have never had anything as severe – my face is as clear as anything. No one would ever know that I even suffered from acne. Make an appointment with a dermatologist or your GP and ask them about Roaccutane to see if they can put you onto it!

  7. Katie Louise
    April 11, 2017 / 7:10 pm

    I’ve just started Roaccutane a week ago for very severe acne that has persisted through two rounds of antibiotics – I am so so grateful that you have shared your story, as you’re right, the negative press around the drug is so off-putting! I am keeping everything crossed that the drug will help me as it has helped you. My derm actually recommended it to me a year ago but I was so worried about the side effects that I refused, I so wish I had just started it straight away, my skin might have been clear by now if I had! I’m glad to have read some success stories now and be starting my treatment. Again, thank you so much for sharing so honestly, it makes all the difference to fellow acne sufferers! xox

    • orlaghclaire
      April 11, 2017 / 8:23 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Katie! Really hoping Roaccutane works out for you, and I know how off-putting the ‘possible’ side effects can be, but they are just worse case scenarios. I was the same as you researching and researching success stories to see if it was worth it and I wish everyone could know how amazing the drug is. I know it effects everyone differently, but hopefully you have the same success as I did. Let me know how you get on with your course of treatment! xxx

  8. Joanne
    May 21, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    Ive had acne since i was 13, i am now 28, i have literally tried eveything, my doctors finally reffered me to dermo 2 months ago. Today I have just started Roaccytane… your photos have made me feel more positive, Thankyou!!

    I hope it works for me, wish me luck!

    • orlaghclaire
      May 22, 2017 / 7:19 am

      I tried so many things before being put on Roaccutane and nothing ever worked for me, but it really is a life saver! I really hope it works for you, and give it time to work, mine started to clear after two months or so.

      Best of luck!!

  9. Kiya
    June 2, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Thank you sooo much for sharing your journey! How amazing. I can 100% relate to you and I felt the same when I went to get roaccutane I didn’t care what the side effects were anything was better than those horrible cysts! I am so glad you got good results your skin is absolutely beautiful! Yay! I’ll be coming off soon and will be telling my story too.. if you want to read! 🙂 xx

    • orlaghclaire
      June 2, 2017 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you for your kind words Kiya! I hope everything goes well for you and I will definitely read up on your journey when you come off. All the best xx

  10. June 15, 2017 / 11:20 am

    Thanks for sharing! Very good results.

  11. Olivia Gould
    June 30, 2017 / 5:13 pm

    Wow! Amazing. You look fantastic. I am about to start on my journey too and I can only hope it works as well for me. What is the skincare routine you do now then if you don’t mind me asking?

    • orlaghclaire
      July 2, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      I really hope it works for you like it did for me! Make sure you give it time to work, mine took a few months before I started to notice a real difference. I use Garnier Soothing 2-in-1 make-up remover (the blue liquid, not the clear one – it doesn’t agree with my skin), I never use wipes anymore as the liquid clears every inch of make-up so easily. I also use Nip & Fab Deep Fix cream and leave it on as a thin mask overnight and wash off in the morning. It’s cleared my face of all scarring – it’s quite amazing!

Leave a Reply