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Roaccutane Experience + Updates -- BRACEYOURSELF

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  • Roaccutane Experience + Updates -- BRACEYOURSELF

    It's been a long, long time since I last posted on this forum. I don't even scroll through others' posts that often either. My reasons are the same as for everyone: nothing works and no one can help so why bother? Yes that's right, so I've now had untreatable acne for roughly 12 years and untreatable rosacea as well as seb derm for 8 years. As you can read in my previous posts (I won't list my previous treatments here) nothing is able to slow it down and it's just getting worse with age (27y).

    The nose pain is still present, even if it's less frequent, and back in early 2022 I developed a permanent bump the size of a small pea on my jaw line which is probably a swollen lymph node caused by acne scarring. Redness still covers my face all day every day, especially around my cheeks and nose. Visible capillaries are everywhere. My forehead continues to be the least affected area on my face.

    Anyways I've still been very active and am leading a more than decent life DESPITE all of this. I've ticked a lot of life-long bucket list items since the start of 2022 and have grown a YOLO mentality, which is freeing but also potentially destructive... Which brings me on to Roaccutane (i.e. Accutane). I was probably first offered the medication around 2017 but I'd have never taken it back then because of how young I was. The side effects and horror stories are bad enough for those who only had acne but with my rosacea and seb derm it could be particularly risky. So I waited and waited until I racked up some life milestones and experiences in case this medication literally kills me. So yeah, with those boxes checked and my acne/rosacea/seb derm continuously getting worse I'm now ready to say f*ck it why the hell not?

    Treatment Basics
    I'll be taking Roaccutane 10mg (isotretinoin) soft capsules each day at the end of a fatty meal. One 10mg capsule each day for the first week, then 2x 10mg (=20mg) capsules for second week and finally 3x 10mg (=30mg) capsules. So a gradual increase of 10mg per week. Normally the isotretinoin dosage starts at 0.5mg/kg/day, which would be around 35mg for my weight, however I think my GP is just trying to be careful.

    I'll be taking a blood test every month to check on my vitals for signs of liver or kidney failure etc. My first prescription only lasts 3 weeks with 42 capsules in total. As I'm planning to take my first capsule on January 6th this means I'll run out before January 27th and will likely need to do the blood test a few days prior to not miss out on my next prescription. Of course, if the blood results aren't promising then I will need to stop the treatment. According to the leaflet the treatment usually lasts 16-24 weeks, so around 3.5-6 months. Although I have a fear this might last longer especially with the slower start.

    So the whole reason I'm posting this publicly is because I want to document and share the entire journey I'll be experiencing while on Roaccutane. There aren't many detailed testimonies from people on Roaccutane, especially from a male's perspective, so I'll try to be as detailed as I can. I'll be writing notes on the side effects, theories, health+lifestyle changes and of course the changes in my skin. I'll probably summarize these notes and post them once a month along with some photos, which should be the most helpful thing for others to see.

    If you've previously taken Roaccutane or you're currently on the medication then feel free to post below.

  • #2
    Hi, thanks. So your main problem is redness on cheeks and some bumps? Have you tried laser? How it is goiing so far? Do you some reduction in redness or at least in flare ups?


    • #3
      Originally posted by bear001 View Post
      Hi, thanks. So your main problem is redness on cheeks and some bumps? Have you tried laser? How it is goiing so far? Do you some reduction in redness or at least in flare ups?
      The Roaccutane is for acne only but if you're wondering about my rosacea then yes it's primarily redness that I have. I don't have the treatable type of rosacea with bumps. Yes I've tried a 1068nm laser I think it was. It didn't do anything other than scar my nose unfortunately. I've never been able to reduce the redness in my face over time no.


      • #4
        Hello I'm back. It's been one month since I started on my Roaccutane treatment (January 6th). Day 32 if you want me to be exact. It's still very early in the treatment process so I've neither experienced anything great or terrible happen. My first prescription which lasted for the first 3 weeks had me taking the Roaccutane brand pills, but on my second prescription the pharmacy didn't have enough I think so I've been on generic Isotretinoin for the past week and a half. Even though I dislike the idea of taking two variations of the same medication, I was just thankful that they stocked any of it since I'd otherwise have to wait until it shipped. And yes in case you're wondering my blood test results in late January came back okay so I was able to continue. Although for some reason my GP only let me increase the dosage by another 10mg for the entire prescription period. So I'm stuck at 40mg/day until the end of February which is the next time I'll have my blood tested.

        Here's a quick breakdown of the dosage each week so far:
        • Week 1 (6 Jan - 12 Jan) – 10mg/day (1 pill of 10mg Roaccutane)
        • Week 2 (13 Jan - 19 Jan) – 20mg/day (2 pills of 10mg Roaccutane)
        • Week 3 (20 Jan - 26 Jan) – 30mg/day (3 pills of 10mg Roaccutane)
        • Week 4 (27 Jan - 2 Feb) – 40mg/day (2 pills of 20mg Isotretinoin)
        • Week 5 (3 Feb - today) – 40mg/day (2 pills of 20mg Isotretinoin)
        I personally don't understand how the rate of the dosage is meant to increase though. Am I meant to go to 1mg/kg body weight to my own weight no matter what? Do I stop earlier if I get really severe side effects? And if so, do I reduce the dosage back to a more tolerable dosage or give up entirely? What about staying for example at 40mg... I won't know if it's working until 6 months so how can I ask to increase the dosage if it might not be necessary?

        Anyways here's the promised summary of negative side effects I've experienced these past few weeks:
        • Day 5 (10 Jan) – noticeably having more deep, cystic inflamed acne rather than the usual whiteheads
        • Day 8 (13 Jan) – tightness of the lips but no visible dryness yet
        • Day 10 (15 Jan) – aching joints on fingers and toes. However I can't rule out chilblains since it's been very cold
        • Day 11 (16 Jan) – Definitely can say that my nose is a bit more red than usual
        • Day 12 (17 Jan) – Blowing my nose now produces blood but no nose bleeds with flowing blood. I had a head cold late January which helped with my nose being dry and since then I still see blood when blowing my nose but it doesn't seem as bad as before
        • Day 13 (18 Jan) – A small piece of skin at the top of my ear peeled off and was bleeding slightly. 1x1mm in size. Honestly not sure if this was caused by a scratch but it was weird
        • Day 15 (20 Jan) – Noticeably more red in the face especially the nose. Not around my neck or elsewhere.
        • Day 17 (22 Jan) – Lips are definitely dry now. No bleeding but using plenty of lip balm. Although this has mostly gone back to normal since February.
        That pretty much sums up the major side effects I've experienced at this point. There were a few days maybe around 2 weeks in where I thought my eyes felt slightly dry but that went away so fast it could've just been an environmental factor due to the dry air and cold temperatures at the time. For me the dry nose side effect has been the most prominent so far. It worsened my 'nose tingling' I've talked about before and the constant blood when blowing my nose isn't great. Not sure if I've purged at all yet, since I get acne every day, but the worst so far was around Jan 16th so I'm hoping that was it lol. Some minor muscle soreness but I'm working out a lot and it's not stopping me from doing daily tasks so I don't mind it. One odd thing I'll mention to my GP however is dull soreness from my right pec beneath the nipple. No lumps or anything, just a soreness even when I'm just sitting down doing nothing. It's distracting and slightly unnerving.

        I guess I'll add some positive observations to balance things out. So as previously mentioned the number of whiteheads has been decreasing. This would be a win if it weren't for the fact that they're being partially replaced by cystic acne which lasts longer. The turnaround on my acne is both faster and slower: if it's a rare whitehead then it'll pass quickly, if it's cystic acne then the inflammation lingers for longer imo. But it's still nice to have less whiteheads per day. If the gifs below are loading you can see that above my left eyebrow there's been an improvement in the scale and severity of the acne there.

        One cool thing I almost immediately noticed was a dryer face, which sounds bad but honestly my face is usually so greasy it actually feels more normal now. This is definitely due to the Roaccutane and not environmental or by chance. Before I'd be fully greased up by noon. If I swiped my finger on my cheek I'd have this thick grease that didn't go away by rubbing it. Now there's practically none of the same grease and don't have a shiny face by the end of the day. This is despite all the extra moisturizing I'm doing, so it's really obvious that Roaccutane is reducing the oil/grease.

        That reminds me, I haven't really spoken about my daily routine much. I take the Roaccutane right after lunch or dinner. Even if it's several pills I'll take them all at once instead of splitting it between two meals. I've been taking it with fatty meals as recommended so almost always a meal with meat and/or dairy. I swallow the pills with either milk or cold coffee to further increase the absorption rate.

        I moisturize my face with Avene in the morning and at night as I've always done. Sometimes if my face is looking a little dry I might add some during the day but nothing crazy. I've also been using nasal sprays when my nose feels very dry but once again this is something I usually do. To clean my face I'm using basic Garnier diluted water because it helps keep my face hydrated. I haven't touched my eye drops or Vaseline yet but I do use my lip balm from Bull Dog. My lips are getting less dry each day but I can't say with absolute certainty that the lip balm is doing that. It could just be an environmental effect.

        So that's my recap for the first month. Not expecting much to happen for the rest of February because I'll still be on 40mg/day. I'll try to increase the dosage if my GP allows it. Guess it depends on the side effects and blood tests. Honestly wouldn't mind the 70mg/day if they let me do it.



        • #5
          Hi, maybe you should try lower dosage (5 - 10 mg per day)? 40mg per day is quite high and it can cause worsening redness.Have you noticed increase in flushing or only more redness in you face?



          • #6
            Originally posted by bear001 View Post
            Hi, maybe you should try lower dosage (5 - 10 mg per day)? 40mg per day is quite high and it can cause worsening redness.Have you noticed increase in flushing or only more redness in you face?

            I started on 10mg for the first week but my GP agreed that due to my acne's severity and persistence we would need to raise it higher without waiting 6 months on a low dosage. I actually want to raise it further because I heard that 2x body weight in kg is the max (i.e. 140mg/day). So the ceiling is still far away.

            Yes the redness is more pronounced on the average day. Although the worst days have passed I think. Weeks 2-4 my baseline was pretty bad and my face/ears felt very warm. It's strange that by increasing the dosage those side effects have become less of a problem now.