Week 3 to week 12 – Long time, no post!

Hello all,

I’ve meant to update you all on my experience for the past few weeks but work has taken over my life and I never seemed to have a quiet moment! A lot has happened since my past post when I was on week…3! So here it goes…

Week 3 – Saw my dermatologist who increased by initial dosage (30mg) to 60mg. Side effects at the time were inconvenient more than anything, dry lips, dry skin and occasional headaches (but have had the latter before starting the pills).

Week 4 – Definitely noticed a difference in the side effects due to the increased dosage – lips became more dry and my skin started having red dry patches (because I was not moisturising as much as I should be). My eczema also got a bit worse (again, have had this since before starting) and the skin on my hands because very dry, red and scaby – not a good look.

Week 5 – Hands still very dry and red :( When washing my hair I am also realising a lot of individual hairs are being brushed away, more than usual. I have long hair so I expect this to happen but I am worried as the number of hairs has increased – could I be losing my hair??!! Minor panic attack over this…

Week 6 – I’m still losing my hair and my hands are still red :( Also feeling a bit moody and sad about the state of the world – but have been working a lot and things at work are difficult at the moment so it could be that…but I feel so sad :( Thankfully my other half is lovely and giving me loads of hugs :-D

Week 7 -Very bad headache the other day, started in the afternoon and I still had it when I went to sleep >:-( Seing the dermatologist again next week, will be interesting to see what they say about my side effects – especially my hair – I’m very worried :( Don’t want to stop taking the medication as the acne on my back is 120% better! Still getting the occassional spots, but all in all it has cleared and my skin is smooth – still have *a lot* of scars though :(

Week 8 – Saw my dermatologist who did not increase my dosage, so still on 60mg. I discussed the issue about my hair – she said it was probably due to the fact that I haven’t adjusted my lifestyle to the changes in my skin. Because I had such oily hair before, I had to wash my hair every other day and I was still doing that although my hair doesn’t get oily for a good 4 days now. She suggested that because my scalp is more dry now as well, it may be worth giving it a break between washes and that should improve. Regarding my hands, she said that is due to the fact that I am not moisturising my hands and if i moisturise 3-4 times a day it should improve. She told me it is important to moisturise as if that doesn’t work she will have to give me a steroid cream and they try to avoid havign to do that. That is motivation enough for me – moisturise I will!

Week 9 – Started washing my hair less often, taking me a while to adjust to this after so many years of washing my hair every other day, but my dermatologist was right, it isn’t oily after day two, it doesn’t need to be washed…! Hands still red but moisturising seems to be helping slowly…Had another of those headaches but it was mild. Have also realised my face is not ‘shinny’ anymore. Before starting on Roaccutane, I would carry a powder brush with me and apply powder to my face every 3-4 hours as it would be so oily and horrible. Now I don’t carry one at all, my skin looks as it did at 8am when I first applied powder on it. You have no idea how liberating this is for me – not having to constantly worry about having to go to the bathroom to de-shine my face!

Week 10 – Hands are a lot better, the redness has gone away and they are just dry now, hopefully the dryness will go away in a few days as well – my eczema on my knee and elbow is getting worse though – I need to remember to moisturise those areas frequently as well…! Hair is much much better, I’m not worried I’ll go bald now. Washing it less often has made a big difference. I still think my hair is ‘shedding’, but I have very thick hair so it is a bit of a blessing in disquise really. And don’t even get me started on how much time I save not having to wash my hair every other day! :p

Week 11 – Not much new to report this week, my hands are looking a lot better and my hair is still on my head (thank god). Still have dry patches on my skin but trying to moisturise as often as I can. Got some lovley Clinique deep comfort goodies from my boyfriend for Christmas and the body and hand lotion are simply amazing – highly recommended for dry skin sufferers!

Week 12 – Saw my dermatologist again, she had a look at my back and said it is looking much better (yey!) and decided to leave my dosage as 60mg for another 4 weeks. My hands are now as good as new (almost literally as my skin is nice and smooth :) ). Still have a few spots on my face and back, but no outbursts of uglyness, just small annoying ones. She has also asked me to do a blood test for the next time I go see her as she needs to check my cholesterol – it was 4.7 when I started (anything below 5 is OK she said) but wants to make sure Roaccutane has not led to it being higher. She also said my hemoglobin was low so I may have to take iron supplements but will wait for the second blood test to make sure.

Sorry for the stupidly long post – I won’t leave it so long next time – promise.

Hope you are all doing well – keep going, you will get there – it will be worth it!

A.

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