Friday, 1 December 2017

Bye Bye Bad Skin (well lets hope!)

So I am finally (well hopefully!) if all things go to plan, I am going to start on Roaccutane early next year. I feel like I have not really posted too much on my blog about my skin issues, expect in posts where I explain the makeup I use due to my acne. I have had acne for a good ten years now, it all started when I was about 13. It started about the time I started my periods, and ever since I have had acne. My dermatologist for a long time described it mild, but for the last few years it has been in the moderate -severe category.

I have to say over the last ten years I have popped a lot of pills and tried a lot of topical treatments to try and solve my acne. I have tried every pill possible under the sun, and I have literally no other options left. I met a new dermatologist at my last appointment, and she seemed to really understand my frustration. As soon as she saw me, she said your acne is definitely hormone related due to it being spread over my chin and a little bit on my cheeks. I have never had spots on my forehead and she said for this exact reason she knows it is my hormones that need to be directly treated.

I have also not discussed my recent testing for polycystic ovaries on here, but it is pretty much confirmed that I have it. I am just waiting on my final blood hormonal profile results and my appointment with my gynaecologist in January to confirm what we all suspect. I am so grateful to my doctor at university two years ago who started these investigations for me, as I never knew the reasoning or causes to my acne. I have to say I went on a contraceptive pill called dianette for 18 months a year ago and I did see improvements in my skin. This is the only pill of any kind which I have actually seen an improvement in my skin. However, this is not a pill which you can use forever and is suppose to be a short term solution.

I sat in my dermatologist appointment and stated that I had done a lot of research and I had previously discussed with both my GP and previous dermatologist the prospect of starting roaccutane. My previous dermatologist who I had seen for 20 years recently retired, therefore I felt very deflated at the thought of having to start all over again. I am so grateful at the way she reacted at the prospect of trying the treatment. She straight away stated how she could see that I had tried many treatments and had little success. After some discussions into other medical problems and a thorough explanation into side effects, she had hoped to start me on stage one of roaccutane (the brand name) which is an isotretinion topical treatment. However, as always things are never simple for me and this product is stopped being produced at the moment, due to a manufacturing problem. However, I have been put on epiduo which she states is similar, although I know it is not as good as it does not have the same ingredients as the isotretinion topical treatment.

There is always going to be bumps along the way, and I am determined not to let these set backs get to me as overall I am excited to finally be getting the ball rolling. At the start of January, I have another appointment with my gynaecologist to discuss which contraceptive pill will be best for me to go on whilst under going the roaccutane treatment. This drug is not giving out easily, and it is imperative you do not get pregnancy during treatment due to it causing serious defects to babies. You have to use contraceptive methods during the treatment. I will then go on a contraceptive pill for 6 weeks, before meeting again with the dermatologist where stage 2 of actually taking the isotretinion capsules will hopefully happen.

I tell you something, boy am I ready for this. I am actually really scared as the dermatologist laid out clear and simple that I am definitely going to get some side effects in some way and form. However, I am just dreaming of acne free skin and it actually makes me feel really emotional about it. I am now 23, a fully fledged adult and I am glad we have finally concluded my acne is not due to 'teenage hormones'.

I originally wrote this post about a month ago after coming out of the dermatologist appointment with hope that I am finally on the right path to having some kind of clear skin. I have updated it with the problems of getting the topical treatments I need. It is really interesting as I had to go back to my GP yesterday (who I have to say has tried to help me as much as possible), and his words were "These dermatologists are fobbing you off, none of these topical treatments will work for your acne. It is clear to see it is all hormonal due to it being focused on your chin". He also told me how so many other patients go to him expressing the same frustrations as me. However, I work in the NHS and I know how grateful we should all be to have such a great health service in our country. I find it very interesting as at work I get so many patients saying we feel like we are being fobbed off, as we go to these appointments and then again in 6 months time and no improvement or change has been implemented. I always say I know the feeling, as I do. But, I do reinforce that things do take time and unfortunately we often have to explore lots of avenues, and sometimes it takes some changes before you find exactly what works for you. I think that what can be hard to grasp is that we are all very different, and what might have worked perfectly for others, may not work for you.

I do still have hope that 2018 will be the year I will confident in my own skin.


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