I had my first follow up appointment during week five, my dermatologist asked how I was getting on etc. and he decided to bump me up from 30mg to 50mg a day. My skin hadn't improved much in the first month, I was just bombarded with various side effects- my dermatologist said my skin looked pretty inflamed, but it was on the right route to clearing up! Whilst I was at the hospital, I had another blood test taken to make sure my body was coping alright with the drug. I was then called into the Pharmacist's room and she asked about all my side effects I experienced during the first month. I told her the main problems were dry skin, back aches and tiredness. She suggested to take the medication at dinner time to stop tiredness during the day, which has been helping a lot more this month. The appointment was quick and easy and I left with another batch of pills and another check up in 5 weeks time.
When I got home, however, my arm had been really achy all day where i'd had my blood drawn, and I was left with this huge lump on my arm for two weeks! I didn't manage to take a photo of the bruising later on, but it was horribly dark, I guess that's one of the many downsides of Roaccutane!
I was in Malta during my first week taking 50mgs a day. I knew my skin would be extremely sensitive to the sun on Roaccutane, so I put on SPF 50 while I was there. Surprisingly, most of my body tanned pretty well, except little sections I missed when applying cream. My hair line got really burnt on my first day on holiday, and for the rest of the holiday it blistered and was really painful! It was the last place I thought i'd burn, and people don't exactly put sun cream in their hair! Also, I changed from high waisted shorts one day to my bikini shorts and forgot to put cream on the bottom half of my stomach... ouch!
I was still getting the usual side effects in week 7; dry skin and lips, back aches and tiredness. The nosebleeds are more frequent now my strength has increased. They're mild and only last a couple of minutes, so it's bearable!
I went to the gym for the first time since starting Roaccutane during week 8 and I was suffering for a couple of days after! All my muscles ached and my legs felt like jelly. Annoyingly, I think i'll need to cut down on gym time for the next few months. The inside of my nose was really dry during this week too; applying Vaseline to the inside of my nose at night has helped eliminate the dry parts.
I can definitely see an improvement in my skin. It seems to be clearing a lot in the middle of my face, in the photo to the right the spots next to my nose are fading but more concentrated at the sides of my cheeks. I was breaking out quite a lot around my mouth and on my chin during this week.
I noticed this week there's an advantage to roaccutane besides clearing skin... it has dried up my roots! I was working quite a lot and as gross as it sounds, I skipped a few washes, my hair just didn't look dirty at all. I can definitely tell a difference being on 50mg, everything seems a lot drier (skin, hair). Make-up is becoming more difficult to apply annoyingly, my skin starts to look dry mid-afternoon and at this point I can't wait to take my make-up off and put on loads of moisturiser.
I thought my skin was beginning to clear up quite a bit, but this week has been very strange. My nose has a really bizarre, rough texture to it. Looking at it in the mirror close-up, my pores are really visible. I'm hoping it's Roaccutane clearing out all the muck on and around my nose, I'll ask the dermatologist about it when I see him this week. I've also been breaking out where I don't normally too, on my forehead and the middle of my neck. The ones on my neck have been really sore and inflamed, but they only last a few days. My skin, overall is beginning to itch a little, almost all the time, a common side effect of the drug.
My skin isn't as lumpy as it was when I started Roaccutane, which is a huge improvement. About 3/4's of my acne is just scars now and the only lumpy spots are the newer breakouts. I'm a third of the way through Roaccutane now, hopefully my skin will only improve more in the future.
Skin Care Routine:
My skin care routine's changed a little this month. I'm still using Cetaphil every morning and night, I find it's the best cleanser that doesn't leave my skin feeling dry and irritated. I picked up Simple's Rich Moisturiser for a base underneath make-up, it's doing the job especially as it's a lot cheaper in the long run than the Oilatum base I used last month. When I'm not wearing make-up and before bed, I put loads of Aveeno Cream on. I'm embarrassed to say I actually go through a bottle a week, but it makes the dry skin very manageable and I don't think i'll part from Aveeno during treatment. I found Vaseline wasn't moisturising my lips as much as I'd hoped, so I got some Carmex which has been working wonders! I don't need to apply it as much as Vaseline, which is a bonus. For the inside of my nose, I've been putting Vaseline there at night so my nose isn't too dry during the day.
This month, since my strength has increased, I've noticed a slow but great improvement in my skin so I'm just keeping my fingers crossed for more improvements next month!