A month on…

Tomorrow marks four weeks on roaccutane.

For me, the biggest change so far is my complexion. I’m not saying the roaccutane has already begun to heal scars and prevent spots, but my face seems to have this red glow, which in turn masks the red scars.

Day 1 compared to day 25

In this post, I’m going to discuss my side effects, diet, exercise and mental wellbeing.

Side effects

So far, my nose and lips are the victims of roaccutane. I’ve had the horrible habit of picking and biting my lips since my Mum took away my comfort blanket when I was 6 years old, so for me to have flaky chapped lips is only fuelling the habit. I’ve gone through an endless amount of vaseline already and I use it most when I wake up, as my lips are at their driest at this point. My nose sometimes feels very sore on the inside, so I’ve been using vaseline there as well to try and soothe it! Other than that, I can’t say I’ve had any real side effects that I can definitely attribute to roaccutane.

I’m trying really hard to resist researching side effects. I think we can make ourselves so worked up about the side effects that we either turn into hypochondriac or make ourselves worn out and ill with worry and stress. It’s a vicious cycle. I’ve told myself I’m just going to try and look after my body as best I can whilst on roaccutane to try and minimise the effects, I understand that keeping stress to a minimum will also help.

Diet

Some people find their diet effects their acne, but for me, I can’t pinpoint a particular food category, such as dairy and meat, that trigger it. Sometimes I eat a ton of sugar, enough to suffice a small family (I could quite happily eat nothing but Daim bar cheesecake for the rest of my life), and I expect to wake up splattered with acne… But I don’t. Then there’s times I eat really well and drink gallons of green tea and lemon water, yet wake up with an outbreak. That’s why it annoys me so much when people, often with flawless skin, offer unsolicited advice to change your diet.

Lots of people tell me their skin worsens after drinking alcohol, but incredibly, my skin sometimes looks better after drinking.

Whilst on roaccutane, I have decided to reintroduce red meat to my diet. I cut out red meat and chicken around a year ago, only eating it as a treat. My reasons for this were environmental, health and animal welfare. However, before being allowed to start my roaccutane treatment I had to have blood tests to check everything inside me was working properly and I had the correct levels of the important stuff. It turned out I’m deficient in iron and B12. So I’ve started taking B12 tablets, three times a day. I was offered iron tablets but I’d rather change my diet than endure the side effects. When I look back now it was obvious I was deficient in something as I was constantly cold and tired. I’ve decided to eat red meat once a week, just to give my body what it needs.

Exercise

I went for a run this morning and noticed a bit of lower back pain. Of course, I instantly thought this was because of roaccutane as I know a sore back is a side effect, but it subdued within a few minutes. I really hope I’m able to maintain my current level of exercise (I just run a few times a week), as I find it helps with my acne and also puts me in a great mood.

Mental Wellbeing

Admitedly, I’ve had a low day today. About midday I just wanted to get in bed and shut myself away from the world. I was hungry but didn’t want to eat, tired but couldn’t sleep. I’m proud of myself for being able to acknowledge this feeling and recognise this isn’t my usual self. It’s taken me by surprise as I’ve been quite perky this week. My period is due soon and sometimes I do feel quite low before it starts, but today I’ve felt particularly low and I was worried it could be the roaccutane. Maybe it’s too early to tell.

I don’t seem to feel as tired as I did when I first started the treatment which I’m happy about.

I’m both anxious and excited to see what the next few weeks have in store for me.

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