13 April 2020

My Top 10 Tips For Starting Roaccutane

So, you've just been prescribed with a dose of roaccutane and it's a weird mixture of feelings isn't it? One part of you is excited to finally have what could be a permanent cure for your acne, whilst the other is absolutely terrified of the skin journey ahead. It's completely normal to feel like this, I was scared too!

One of the most important things to do before, during and after taking this drug is to RESEARCH; you can never do enough! There's so many different posts out there full of peoples experiences, tips and tricks that I guarantee you'll learn something new from everyone. That being said, I'm going to add to this collection of posts with my top tips for starting your course of roaccutane!

Just some context before I start, I was taking roaccutane for a total of 9 months and my highest dosage was 50mg. I wrote a whole blog post about it, including progress photos, so if you fancy a read you can find it here.

1. Tinted Lip Balm Is Your Best Friend 

One of the most devastating things about being on roaccutane was the fact that wearing lipstick became a thing of the past. My lips were so dry that any lipstick just peeled off and generally looked gross! If you're a lipstick lover like me, then you'll feel like your make up looks drab without a pop of colour on your lips. My advice? Invest in a tinted lip balm. Not only is it super moisturising but it also adds that little shimmer of colour to your lips; it's the second best thing to lipstick and filled the lipstick shaped hole in my life. My favourite ones were from Nivea and Blistex

2. Carry Lip Balm Everywhere 

How many people have told you this? Well add me to that list.
I know you're fed up of hearing it and you probably don't believe us, but trust me when I say you need lip balm with you at all times. I'm talking every handbag, every room, every drawer; it needs to be there. Thank me for it later.

3. Drink Plenty Of Water 

As you probably know, roaccutane works by reducing oil production and shrinking oil glands which causes severe dryness, not only of your skin but your entire body. You may find that your feeling thirsty more often and my best advice is to drink as much water as possible. Not only is it generally good for your health, but it'll help with the dryness and aching joints! 

4. Keep Your Skincare Routine As Simple As Possible 

I won't go into a lot of detail about my skincare routine as I did a post on my Holy Grail Products which you can have a browse through, but all I will say is it that it's super important to keep your skincare as simple as possible. Think about it, your skin is already overwhelmed with the tablet itself, having a complicated skincare routine will make it even worse! 

I'd also recommend to use any new skincare products before starting your course as introducing them into your routine early will ensure that your skin is familiar with them.

5. Join Facebook Support Groups

This is a super important tip and one I recommend to everyone.
There's hundreds of Facebook groups, Instagram pages and Bloggers out there who talk openly about their struggles with acne and offer support to people on any kind of acne treatment. I created an Instagram specifically for my Roaccutane journey and I have to say that the acne community is so uplifting, welcoming and lovely. It might sound silly but for the first time in my life, I was actually proud to have acne.

6. Do Your Research 

I briefly touched on this before, but doing research on Roaccutane is so important; it'll prepare you for what you should expect and also give you a little bit of hope that this drug actually does perform miracles. Remember that this is not an easy drug to take, so no amount of research is too much. I'm presuming if you've found your way to this post then you're doing exactly that. 

7. Remember That Everyone Has A Different Experience 

Research is important, we've gathered that. But please, please, please don't scare yourself. We need to remember that everyone has a different experience of taking roaccutane; some say it's the best thing they've ever done whilst others will warn you off it like it's the plague. You make your own judgement but be prepared for most eventualities.

8. Document Your Progress 

Documenting your roaccutane journey with pictures and notes is super important to monitor your progress. It really helps on those days when you feel a bit rubbish and like the drug isn't working because believe me, we all have them. 

I made an Instagram specifically to document my progress. I took photos every week and wrote about any new symptoms I had or just how I was feeling. It helped me to remember that this was a marathon, not a sprint and that my skin was improving even when I didn't feel like it! 

9. Get A Tablet Organiser

If you're anything like me and are forgetful when it comes to taking tablets, I recommend investing in a small tablet organiser. They're only a few pounds on Amazon and really help to keep you organised, especially if you're on a higher dosage like me! 

10. Talk About How You're Feeling 

I thought I'd finish with the most important point, and one that I think everyone needs to hear. I don't need to tell you about the bad reports this drug has for its severe side effects on your mental health; from low mood to suicide. Please talk about how you're feeling; to your family, to your friends, to the online community - there is always someone willing to listen. My messages are always open. 

We will all have bad days when taking this drug, we'll all have low moods and we'll all feel a little hopeless. This is totally normal and completely okay, we're entitled to our feelings. I know when I was taking Roaccutane, I used to get aggravated at the silliest things and cry when there was nothing to cry about; again, that's okay. What matters is how we handle these situations and talking to someone is the best thing you can do. Trust me. 

I hope that these tips have helped some of you if you've just been prescribed with roaccutane or if you're thinking of taking it and are doing your research. Personally, although it wasn't easy, it's one of the best things I have ever done and my confidence has sky rocketed. If you are struggling with acne, go to see your GP or ask to be referred to a dermatologist -  there are so many treatments out there and acne is NOTHING to be ashamed of. 

If you have any questions or tips that I haven't mentioned, leave them in the comments or drop me a message, I'm always happy to chat! 

Lots of Love,
Meg x


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