My journey – having and fighting off acne

Hello all, so this will be another blog post edging over to the personal side of my life – but I simply can’t resist to share the fantastic news I have recently encountered. So, throughout my teenage years my skin had never been too great; but in your early teenage years you just pass it off as ‘hormones’ and your body ‘changing’, but when I was at the age of seventeen and my acne had in fact got worse I decided to go seek attention from my doctor. I had tried pretty much every single drugstore product, tried wearing oil free makeup, and paid a lot of attention to my skin and looking after it; yet still nothing seemed to shift my bad skin. I do understand how much having acne can lower your self esteem, I remember being so frustrated every single time I looked in the mirror at the realisation that at the time I wasn’t aware there was anything I could do about it, and thought it was an endless situation.
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When I finally made the decision to go visit my doctor, they could see that my acne was perhaps more severe than your typical ‘teenage spots’, and I was prescribed antibiotics and given a steroid cream to apply. Frustratingly, this did nothing at all and my skin continued to stay in the same state. After battling to squeeze in more appointments, I was then prescribed erythromycin until I could be referred to a hospital dermatology department. Although the erythromycin worked wonders at clearing my shoulders, my face STILL remained in the same state – and as you can imagine by this point I was very frustrated and fed up with the situation.

Once I was referred to a hospital, I was put on roaccutane which I can honestly say has been the biggest savoir EVER for me. Although taking this drug had the risk of many potential side effects, the only ones I experienced was dry skin – thus Vaseline became my new best friend. Nevertheless, putting up with dry skin couldn’t have been more worth it given how amazing the effect of the drug was for me. I had to go back to the hospital every 4 weeks to collect my prescription and have the necessary tests e.g. a blood test and check my progress, and throughout the course my dosage increased from 10mg to 20mg, and then again to 40mg (which was the maximum dosage I could take based on my weight). Not only did it clear up the acne, it also did a remarkable job at reducing the redness of scarring. I know that each case is different, and that some people chose to have treatment to deal with scarring afterwards but I don’t feel that it’s necessary for my circumstances; the drug has worked it’s magic.

So, I was on roaccutane for 5 months, and at my last appointment very recently I was told that I am ready to stop – HALLELUJAH! After constant appointments, switching medications and all that faff for over a year my course of medication is completed and my skin is finally clear! Although this post is on a bit of a dry topic, I thought it would perhaps be helpful for anyone else who’s going through a similar situation as I did; because it’s always so reassuring to know that there IS things you can do, and that you are never alone in what you’re dealing with.

Shelley x

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