ACNE // Roaccutane 3 years update (Scarring, breakouts, improvements)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December, 2015 (click each image to see a larger version)  


It's been about a year and a half since my last acne update post in June, 2014, so I thought I would give you all an update on how my skin is going and address a few questions that I've been getting over email recently.
These pictures were taken today, no makeup! I've actually been off roaccutane completely since the beginning of November because I ran out of my prescription and didn't get a chance to see my dermatologist again (I'll book another appointment in the New Year though, before uni goes back). As you can see, my skin is far from perfect, however, it's doing okay! Since stopping medication I've found a number of things have happened:

1. There was almost an immediate increase in open and closed comedones on my forehead and around my nose area, which makes sense since they are the areas that produce the most sebum.
2. Cluster breakouts appeared in my chin area and around my lower and upper cheeks but they only occurred during my period.
3. My skin is a lot less red than it used to be when I was on full dosage. At the start of this year, Dr Pruim advised me to remain on 40g a week as opposed to 20mg per day, just as maintenance and overall, my skin looked a whole lot better.
4. MY SKIN IS OILY AGAIN. Which is both good and bad. Good: means my lips and skin don't peal or tear anymore. Bad: more pimples and congestion in the T-zone!

Due to the cause of my acne being both genetic as well as a possible hormone imbalance, it was recommended that I remained on medication as an "upkeep" as opposed to "necessity", and because my skin was technically clear at the start of this year, I was no longer eligible for the government discounts for my skin, so things got a little more expensive. Each consultation costs me about $135, as well as $50 for the 6 month supply of medication. Previously, it costed about $100 for the consultation (after government deductions) and $35 for the medication. The increase in price is a bit annoying but if it's looked at as a monthly cost, it's only about $30 per/m, so it's definitely worth it for me if it means the cystic acne doesn't come back.

May/ July/ August 2013 (click to view larger images)

Now, onto questions! It still amazes me and makes me very happy knowing that even after three years, people are still looking at these acne posts and asking me questions and knowing that they're not alone in their acne struggle.

"May I know after the accutane, did you have any indentations on your skin? Was there anything that you've done that improved your scarring?" - Jean, email

There was slight scarring, as you can see in the pictures but it is SO minor in real life, almost unnoticeable since it's so small. I was offered laser treatment to get rid of the scarring that is there, but it doesn't bother me, so I decided not to (plus it's quite expensive!). I take very good care of my skin and stick to a very thorough regime so I think that would've also contributed to the reduced indentations. 

"Can you tell me if you've experienced any long term side affects?" - Lynn, email 

I, personally, haven't suffered any long term side effects and I've been on this medication for three years now. Aside from bruising quite easily and shedding more hair than normal, I've been quite lucky. A lot of people have warned me about possible infertility, depression and weakened bones but unless they have a medical degree and have specialised in dermatology, then I tend to disregard their input as it can often come across as unhelpful and ignorant. Long term side effects are possible, but it's different for everyone. Do your research, talk to your dermatologist and weigh up your options - do what is right for YOU. 

"How do you deal with not feeling confident in your skin?" - Stacey, FB message

Practice. To this day, I am still paranoid about minor breakouts because I never want my skin to return to the way it used to look - acne takes a massive toll on one's self confidence. Taking care of yourself, drinking lots of water and wearing makeup (wash it off before bed though!!) were a few things that really boost me up if I'm feeling even the slightest bit worried about my skin. There's nothing wrong with wearing foundation if it makes you feel pretty, just don't feel like you NEED it to survive ;)! Surround yourself with true friends, who fill you up with love and support. And think happy thoughts! If you do, they'll shine out of your face like sunbeams and you'll always look lovely!

Alright, that's a wrap! Just a little disclaimer, I'm NOT a dermatologist, nor do I claim to be. I'm sharing with you what I have experienced and what I have read. I'm not endorsing roaccutane either, however I do think it is a remarkable product and I am grateful that it had the results it did on me. If you're struggling with acne, I completely understand what you are going through. As a young person, it's already difficult enough going through the process of growth and change, and not feeling confident in your skin doesn't help. I wish you the best of luck in whatever your endeavours are, feel free to email me on AVENUEMBLOG@GMAIL.COM if you'd like to talk about it or have any questions. 

If you'd like to see my previous acne posts, you can click on the links below: 



Unknown said...

You look the picture of health Maria! I feel so happy for you, and happy knowing you have been able to help so many people with their own battles.

Also, OT but I adore your dress. Very Australiana!

xx Carina

deeps said...

you know what you have such a beautiful, sweet smile..
a photographer's delight

Anonymous said...

your scars look like mine do now, though I have acne again since I stopped using Rodan + Fields (it cost too much). I remember when you originally made this post and I loved how you did so. I stopped editing my face in photos because it looked so bad when I did. ugh my face is so oily today as I type this. Now I need to wash my face. I have new things coming in the mail from a fair trade skincare company. Hope it works. I am glad to hear that the roaccutane had helped you so much. I have hormonal acne. My parents never got zits. My dad has olive skin that is a bit oily and my mom has pale dry skin and my brothers and I got cursed with their combinations that made us break out. My brothers don't get zits anymore while I still do. Their went away in their mid 20s while mine is still here at 32. :( I get them mainly on my cheeks and chin and lips. The only time I don't get zits really is when I have my period! haha.

SARAH said...

agree with the commenter above who says you look the picture of health as you really do! you should be so proud of yourself for also being able to help and inspire so many other people who may be going through what you were a few years ago. this post seriously makes me so happy bless you


deeps said...

Happy New Year to you

Amy said...

Oh, your skin looks amazing! My acne is slowly disappearing as it seems to have been caused by something I was eating, but it leaves awful scars behind. I'm on my way to fixing them, though, so thank you for sharing your inspiring story! ♥
Amy xx

Little Moon Dragon