“Do My Eyes Look Smaller?” And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Ask on Roaccutane – Week 8 Update

I’m sure that if you are reading this, you have probably journeyed with me through the long process of how I eventually decided to go the Roaccutane route to cure my severe acne.  You guys have no idea how much your love and support has meant to me throughout this process so far, like seriously you are all flipping amazing!

BUT if this is your first time here then I would encourage you to read this post.  And in turn if you are looking for some answers with regards to personal experience of other users of Roaccutane or Oratane, then I hope that I can help.  I know that when I was considering the process I scoured the web to read other peoples stories and experiences, not because that was the deciding factor (a Doctor should always have the final say) but to see if it was something that I would really consider putting myself through just for the sake of clearer skin.  And to be clear…

YES.  A big fat resounding YES!!  Yes, I would put myself through this a hundred times over.  Even if it was just to reach the results of the last update 4 weeks ago.  Which went from this…

2014-04-24 13.34.17

To this…

2014-05-17 09.17.03

But that was 4 weeks ago…  This is now…  Week 8:

2014-06-18 16.15.23

Total transformation right?

Camera Uploads1

If it stopped working here I would still be so very happy that I went this route.  It’s obviously not even close to “perfect”, but I can easily hide it under a layer of concealer which I couldn’t do before – it was always visible.  I haven’t had more than 1 actual pimple on my face (at a time) in about two weeks.  TWO WEEKS with 1 pimple, are you even kidding me right now?  But let’s get over the amazingness of the pills doing their magic and let’s talk about the side effects because it is a form of poison. so obviously there are side effects.

There are so many things that I was prepared for when I decided to take Roaccutance (or more specifically Oratane in my case – the generic and more affordable version).  Even though I am on (and staying on) a low dose – just 20mg a day, I am aware of all of these side effects:

  • Dryness – major check.  Everything is dry.  My lips are constantly flaking despite putting on cream obsessively throughout the day.  Skin you didn’t even know you had is dry.
  • Depression – hasn’t affected me, although I am very aware of the possibility since the recent passing away of my Dad.
  • Headaches – these come and go.  They used to be there the moment I woke up but now it’s only every now and then.
  • Liver issues – I had my liver tested and then retested after the first month.  It has had no effect and thankfully my body is handling it really well, so that’s all good.

But there were a few things I was totally unprepared for.

Are my eyes smaller or just swollen?” – a question I ask myself pretty much every time I look in the mirror.  It could be a number of things causing this.  I’ve stopped putting on mascara (unless it’s a special occasion) as it tends to make my already sensitive eyes even more sensitive.  I could also be that my eyelids really are a bit swollen – they feel really heavy, so totally possible.  But it could also be that I am just so damn sensitive.  My eyes are super dry and so any change in light (dark to light, light to dark) has me squinting my ugly face to make out what is happening around me.  Also wind.  Wind will be the end of me.  Living in Cape Town is no joke when it comes to the flipping wind.  It’s everywhere.  I left the office for 15 minutes one afternoon and came back in tears because I just couldn’t control my eyes.  The people I walked past must have wondered whether the rain was coming from the sky or my eyeballs.

Is my head bleeding?” – I accidentally whacked my head with my camera when I was trying to remove it from around my neck (total spaz moment).  The next thing I knew, my head was bleeding.  I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t have happened so easily if I wasn’t on Roaccutane.  (The bleeding bit – I’m pretty sure I would’ve still been a spaz).

Anyway.  That’s all good an well.  But I have also been asked what I am using to manage all the side effects, so I thought I would share my current skin care regime…


First thing I do when I wake up is whack on some of the Johnson’s Moisturising Cream and Linctagon lip balm.  If I so much as yawn before getting the lip balm on, my lips start cracking, so far I’ve managed to avoid any bleeding, but sometimes it’s been touch and go.  Then I put on a single layer of the MAC.  After work or as soon as I know I won’t be seeing anyone other than family, I wash it off with the Earthsap Soap.  Long story short, I had to use it once because I left my really expensive face wash at home, but then found that it actually removed the make up better, so I’ve kept using it.  I follow it up with a liberal application of more cream.  And that’s it.

I’ve never been much of a “beauty” girl or maybe “pamper” is more of the correct term (mostly because I never remember), so I don’t bother putting any form of lotion on any other part of my body and it’s been doing OK so far.

So there you go.  8 weeks in and like, another 24 to go.


12 thoughts on ““Do My Eyes Look Smaller?” And Other Things I Never Thought I’d Ask on Roaccutane – Week 8 Update

  1. A-Maze-Ing! So so so happy this is working for you!

    The side effects are definitely worth it for the long term results. And eventually the dryness goes away once you stop taking the meds so the side effects are temporary.

    Im just so chuffed this is working for you!!!!

  2. i know this may sound wierd, but it really does work like a charm! Whenever my lips are dry, I slather on a layer of Bepanthen (yes it’s baby’s bum cream, and yes it works!) you wake up with the softest lips.

  3. Sorry, got ahead of myself a litte – the Bepanthen works best for me when I put it on before bed time – that’s why “you wake up with the softest lips.” 🙂

  4. What awesome results! I hope it just keeps getting better 🙂 as for dry skin, The Body Shop Shea body butter is amazing – little pricey, but no other retail moisturizer is as good.

  5. Amazed at the transformation. Just yuck to the super dry skin. That must be horrid as you just itch non stop. I have been using Hey Gorgeous Marshmallow Body Mousse and it is out of this world.

    Yay to awesome skin!

  6. You look great!
    I was on Oratane about 3 years ago for my oily, pimple prone skin and I was very impressed with the results, and have had clear skin for the past three years but…. I changed my Pill recently, and the blemishes started coming back (just not as bad) 😦 I’ve changed back, and I’m hoping things will return to normal. If not, I will go on Oratane again without question; it’s so worth it!
    All the best!

  7. Woah! What a difference! My friend is also on that stuff and it’s worked really well for her.

  8. Awesome Cindy! The swollen eyes / dry eyes are also a side effect and remember your eyes will also be light sensitive. Your skin is paper thin at the moment so any knock will cause you to bleed easily. The side effects of dry skin and sensitive eyes unfortunately probably won’t disappear (although will get a little better) I used Roaccutane 9 years ago and I still have dry skin, lips, sensitive eyes but you learn to live with it and it is not nearly as bad as it was. Your skin will always be dry from now on because the high vit A in Oratane/Roaccutane causes the sebaceaous glands in your skin to reduce in size (so that it is less likely to get dirt trapped in it causing the pimple in the first place) so that means skin won’t get the usual amount of oil on it = dry skin. So important to use moisturiser everyday now with spf as you are doing already 😀 It is totally worth it and I am so, so happy for you!! Well done on being brave enough to do it and to document it too!!

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