Just finished, so glad I did it!
I have just finished a 7 month course of Isotretinoin and it is definitely one of the best decisions I have ever made!
I have suffered with acne since my teenage years on and off (other than 2 lovely year-long spells during and after each of my pregnancies!) I have tried various topical treatments, oral antibiotics and contraceptives prescribed by GP but nothing to great effect and often the topical treatments made my skin red and sore and in some cases much worse. I had read lots about Roaccutane prior to taking the plunge, my plan had been to approach my GP and request referral to dermatology however they yet again prescribed me ineffective antibiotics and I was told I would be waiting up to 12 months for an initial consultation so I decided to take the matter into my own hands!
I approached botonics and within a couple of days I had my initial consultation with the lovely and very understanding Dr Divya, it was a no pressure service which didn’t matter as I had already made my mind up that this was the treatment I wanted to try. They sent the blood testing kit in the post and I had an unbelievable 2 day turn around in receiving my medication after returning my blood sample (it’s a fingerprick test).
The treatment itself was pretty smooth sailing for me, it is true you get VERY DRY but with a good moisturizing routine it is manageable. Lip balm is a must, I think I applied mine every 10 minutes at one stage! Also Vaseline in the nostrils every night (very attractive!) Other than that, the first side effect I had was a very itchy scalp which started only a few days into treatment, this lasted for a week max so don’t let it put you off! My joints have been sore on and off and I have had days where I felt quite tired but pacing myself helped with this. Perhaps the most worrying (initially) side effect for me was I did encounter some hair loss right from about a month in, I have long hair so this was very noticeable to me and I must admit I was worried however I persevered and although I am definitely still shedding more hair than usual I have plenty left and there is evidence of new growth so DON’T PANIC! One positive side effect is within a couple of weeks I went from having to wash my hair daily to only needing to do it once a week-huge bonus!!
I used to dread looking in the mirror each morning for fear of what would’ve erupted overnight, I wouldn’t wear my hair up because of the big cysts along my jawline and on my neck, I found I wouldn’t make eye contact with people and even with make-up on I felt like everyone would notice the lumps and bumps underneath – I can honestly say I just got back from the school run with no make up on and my hair up! It feels like a miracle.
Thank you Dr Divya, Bill and the rest of the team for responding to any queries I had almost immediately and for making the whole process very smooth from start to finish. Of course I am pleased to be at the end of my journey, but it’s not been half as bad as I had first expected it to be!