A Roaccutane/Oratane Update – Week 4

Do you remember 4 weeks ago?  When I shared that post that I had to close my eyes and “publish” and then resist deleting.  Also known as the time my face looked like this:

2014-04-24 13.34.17

Sorry for pouncing that one on you, I’ll wait while you recover from shock and/or the urge to vomit.

Anyway, I happened to be scrolling through my phone pictures looking for the pic I managed to take of the most adorable squirrel that lives in our garden.  Also WE HAVE A SQUIRREL THAT LIVES IN OUR GARDEN.  But instead I spotted this and had a mild heart attack that I ever even considered taking the picture, nevermind sharing it on the internet.

That being said, opening myself up like that was rather liberating.

Something that I always hope to be is real and honest.  By covering this up every single day it really was affecting the way I saw myself.  Definitely not being anywhere close to real.  (Because people won’t like me if I show them real)  Letting this out the bag is about as real as I could ever get.  And like I said it was liberating.  I felt like there was a huge weight that got lighter and lighter as your words of encouragement streamed in.  I was so touched by the feedback and your own personal stories and support that I promptly burst into tears whenever I read a new comment, tweet or Facebook message.  So know that even though I may not have had a chance to reply to each and every comment, your words were read and absorbed!

And while this all seems like a lifetime ago it was actually just 2 weeks ago.  What really stood out for me is how quickly I forget the worst of it.  Just 3 months ago I was sinking into what I can only assume was a form of depression over it all and now, even though it’s no where close to gone, I am happy and positive.

I thought I would post a quick update for those that are wondering how it’s going and also for those suffering with the same problem to maybe consider it as an option for treatment for your own skin.

This was two weeks ago…

2014-05-04 16.13.54

This is now!

2014-05-17 09.17.03

So over all in the last 4 weeks, there’s been a remarkable difference.

Camera Uploads

But let’s quickly talk about the side effects.

Skin issues:  I have noticed that although the redness is going down considerably, I am now getting a lot of actual big, sore pimples.  They are taking a while to heal and look rather odd when I attempt to cover them with make up.  Any tips in this area beauty bloggers?  This is what it look like with make up on – no matter what I try.  My current routine is to put on the Nutraderm face moisturiser and then cover with Dr Hauschuka liquid foundation and then cover bad areas with MAC concealer.  Would really appreciate some tips.

Also this is what it looks like after just half a days worth of wear.  I need something that stays for the long term.

2014-05-17 09.16.52

Side effects:

  • I often wake up with headaches, but they only last until after breakfast (usually).
  • I am so very tired all the time, but that can be attributed to any one of the 3 kids.  Although I have noticed that my sleep is deeper and it’s a lot harder to wake up in the morning, which could be explained by the oncoming of Winter so who really knows?!
  • My lips are the worst off, very, very dry (I use Lansinoh all day everyday and it works well while it’s on).
  • At night my eyes are rather red and my nose is dry but I have never felt the need to use drops/sprays.

Not one single hint of depression though – seeing my skin change before my very eyes is just so satisfying!

23 thoughts on “A Roaccutane/Oratane Update – Week 4

  1. i’M PROUD OF YOU LOVE, for opening up and sharing, it was really hard for you to do. you have always been beautiful to us – good skin, or bad skin but so thankful that it has made such a difference to your feelings, so good to see you so much more content and happy in yourself. Love you so much

  2. Amazing! Im so happy this is working for you!

    They say that your skin WILL get worse before it gets better i.e. the new pimples due to the meds pushing all the hormones/sebum/other nasty stuff out your skin BUT, it will settle down soon. Mine did the same thing.

    Use the eye drops and nose drops even if you think you dont need them, same as the other thing I told you about on FB. Rather pre-empt any issues than try and fix them later.

    ((((HUGE HUGS))))

  3. WOW CINDY!!!!! What an amazing difference!!! Go you!!
    I know how this feels, I bet you look in the mirror every chance you get 🙂 Yes, what Gina said.. it does get worse before it gets better.. but wow, results are amazing for just a month xx

  4. I am so, so happy for you Cindy!! It worked so well for Duane and I’m so glad that it’s making such a big and great difference in your life 🙂 The side effects will get better, Duane also had really dry lips but it gets better once you finish your course 🙂 So happy for you!!! xo

  5. Very glad it is working for you 🙂
    I would absolutely use the original Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream on your lips – big tube, lasts forever, most fabulous stuff for BAD dryness. Much better / more moisturising than their lip balm in my opinion. I’m not sure what you use at night on your face, but this stuff : http://www.faithful-to-nature.co.za/Honeyguide-Beeswax-Ointment-p-3255.html is incredibly good for dry / problem skin. It’s cheap, all natural, very moisturising and has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. Might be worth a try.

  6. You are looking fabulous – no hints or tips for you but really impressed with your openness – that’s why women must share – it REALLY does help us to heal and helps others too!

  7. Big respect! It’s not easy to share with the world something we find unattractive about ourselves!
    As an acne sufferer myself…. my skin looked just like your before photo’s in my early 20’s, just know that even the marks will clear up and your skin will be beautiful!

  8. Hi Cindy! Thanks so much for sharing your story with the world, it must feel a bit like standing naked in front of a crowd of all the people you know – talk about vulnerability! I really admire you for this. My skin was not as bad as yours, but Roaccutane has definitely changed my life. I suffered from the dry lips a LOT and I really recommend using SBR Repair cream. You can get it from Click Pharmacy over the counter without a prescription, it’s so worth it!! I found that everything else that used to work for moisturising my lips just doesn’t work with Roaccutane dryness, but SBR works like a dream. My dermatologist recommended applying it at least once an hour (preferably 20 times a day!) and when I was diligent about application, my lips were softer than they were before Roaccutane. But beware that if you don’t apply often enough it does look white on your lips… so apply often!! I also used it for other dry areas on my face when I go to bed at night. It’s like a river in the desert… Ok, a bit over the top I know, but when I didn’t use this cream my lips got so dry they bled a lot, not pleasant! All the best as you continue this journey 🙂 Christy-Lyn xx

  9. So chuffed for you that there is such an improvement.Big shout out for voicing what others don’t know how to share -may it be a great encouragement .much love, :)Alison

  10. Hi Cindy – I’ve come to your blog through Belinda at Making Mountains and this post got my attention. My bad skin was always something I was SO self-conscious about – one can hide a bit of extra weight but there’s nowhere to hide one’s skin… So I went on Roaccutane when I was in my early 20s and it’s an absolute miracle (I love your smiling expression in the last pic – you look gorgeous). Unfortunately, when I lived in the UK for a while I made use of the contraceptive injection (Depo Provera) and my skin flared up again. I wasn’t aware that one of the side effects of Depo Provera is acne but when I came off it, my skin didn’t improve… I waited a few years but when there was still no change, the dermatologist prescribed another course of Roaccutane (I was then in my late 20s) and my skin cleared right up again. I’m now 40 (tomorrow!) and my skin has never been better but I’m still addicted to lip balm. A small price to pay for spot-free skin. I hope you are spot-free and carefree again!

    • Hi Louise, welcome to our blog, thank you for reading and for sharing your story. It’s crazy how debilitating skin can be. I am so glad to know that it worked for you in the long term, although I totally agree, lip balm addiction is totally worth it!

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