Thursday, 18 February 2016

Roaccutane update: month one



Week one

Within two days of starting the medication my skin really calmed down, which to be honest I think was down to the steroids rather than the Roaccutane. The awful skin I’d been dealing with made way for small breakouts on my chin and right cheek, but despite having lots of smaller breakouts it was better than what I had on my face over Christmas. After one full week of taking the Roaccutane and three steroid tablets a day my chin felt like it was on fire.

Week two

Week two saw my dose of steroids drop to two tablets a day and my chin area pretty much exploding, it was incredibly painful and covered in lots of small under the skin spots. Some would come up to a head and I’d generally wake up to around two new whiteheads each morning (sorry guys, didn't say this was going to make pretty reading but may as well be truthful). I'm not sure if it was a knock on from the medication or from how upsetting I found this initial breakout, but I spent the week exhausted and overly emotional. The area where my original cyst was became really red and this area spread out along my jaw.

Week three

Week three was a mixed bag, whilst my chin was really red and inflamed the pain had subsided. I dropped to one steroid a day, which was scary as these were what was originally keeping my skin under control. I experienced fewer whiteheads but still lots of under the skin spots, my skin definitely looked worse with make up on but I wanted to hide the redness when I was out.

Week four

Week four meant stopping the steroids, I took my last one on the Tuesday and hoped for the best. On my first steroid-less day I woke up with my skin looking a little better, it was definitely smoother in places. However, the area where I'd experienced the worst of my Christmas breakout was starting to flare up again. It looked like a cyst was brewing under the surface, it was tight and I was very aware of it when I moved my mouth. By the end of the day it had thankfully eased off but not after some absolute grossness I had to deal with in work, I'll spare you the details.

I've got a long, long way to go. From reading the experiences of other people it seems like the first month of Roaccutane is the worst for an initial breakout, so I'm currently living in hope that from now on things will get better. I've had my first dermatology appointment, the consultant agreed that my skin is looking better than the last time he saw me. He's prescribed three months of 20mg tablets to be taken once a day as he thinks that increasing the dose will cause my skin to flare up even more. My next follow up is in two months time when I'm hoping I can go to the appointment without make up but we'll see if that's a bit far fetched.

SHARE:

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Roaccutane Update: the initial breakout



I hadn't intended on doing an interim update on how I'm getting on with my treatment, my plan with blogging the process was to update on a monthly basis on how I've been getting on that month. However, I felt compelled to update on my experience with the dreaded initial breakout or purge that people who take this drug talk about.

As of yesterday I'm three weeks into my treatment and it hasn't been plain sailing. The first time I took Roaccutane I didn't experience a purge, this time I think my skin is making up for it. Despite the breakout that prompted my dermatologist to put me on the drug calming down within days (probably due to the steroids) going into week two my chin exploded. It was incredibly painful and covered in lots of under the skin spots, I was waking up with fresh spots coming up every morning.

The middle of week three saw me head off to do my first aid refresher course on what I believed to be the worst day of this initial breakout. There’s nothing like being in a room with a bunch of strangers having to perform CPR on a dummy with the fear of a) having to put my chin close to the dummy and potentially knocking my skin, which would be painful, along with the risk of my make up rubbing off and b) knowing the dummy had been rubbed down with a wipe that probably wouldn't do my skin much good was genuinely awful.

Following the CPR practice we had to buddy up and perform the recovery position on each other, it was at this point that I honestly felt like walking out of the training. When you’re experiencing such bad skin as I am you don’t even want to go out in public, let alone have a total stranger look down on your face from above. I felt low, really, really low. It was this week that I also started developing slightly larger under the skin spots as well as the smaller ones. My bottom lip also really dried out, I’m currently rotating three different lip balms, I'm planning on doing a post on what products I've been using so I'll save the detail for that.

Day 19 was a stand-out day. I was spending the weekend in Bristol and as soon as I woke up I knew things were bad without needing to look in the mirror. It was probably the lowest point in my treatment so far. After getting out of bed and looking at myself in the mirror I just wanted to get in my car and drive home to hide away in my house. Instead, I went down to the kitchen and cried.

That episode has really made me think about how acne affects me:

I walk with my head down in public and sometimes in work when I'm having a bad day

I try to avoid looking people in the eye

I've been putting off getting my hair coloured for a month - I'm finally doing it on Saturday but I'm honestly dreading it, two hours looking at myself in the mirror won't be easy

The feeling of wanting to call into work sick because I'm having a particularly bad day has happened twice, and on both ocassions I've forced myself to go in

Bright light is now the enemy

The wind causes my skin to sting

I'm hyper-sensitive to my hair brushing against my chin

I feel like people are looking at me and wondering if I have some weird skin disease (which I guess technically I do)

I obsess over the state of other people's skin and feel jealous of people with smooth skin, my skin hasn't been smooth since November

Telling myself that this will all be over soon is pretty much the only thing getting me through it, it's not been an easy few weeks and at the moment it doesn't seem like it's going to get better any time soon. I have weekends away coming up and I would so love to have cleared up by then, the almost constant obsessing over my skin is wearing thin.

SHARE:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig