So what's it really like?

If you've been considering taking roaccutane I guess by now you've heard or seen lists as long as your arm of possible side effects. I will say it now - DON'T PANIC!

The more serious side effects are actually very rare. What you will suffer from is dryness. Your skin, lips, hair and eyes will become dry as the drug inhibits the grease glands. This is one of the ways in which accutane helps with your acne, although exactly how it works is not known.

If you're anything like me, the relief at not having to wash your face three or four times a day may well outweigh the inconvenience of being dried up. I would advise you to take preventative measures right from the start, then the dryness doesn't become too much of a problem. I was on half my maximum dose, (that's 25mg) which I think is the normal starting dose, and my grease glands stopped work completely whilst I was on the treatment.

Petroleum jelly is good for the lips, but too heavy too be used on the face. One of my main reservations about accutane was caused by a number of horror stories I heard about monsterous chapped lips. I believe this can be prevented by using petroleum jelly right from the start - I used it several times a day, and missing just one application could cause me to wake up next morning looking dreadful, but more jelly soon cleared it up again. I was even able to continue playing the horn in my church music group!

You'll also want to use a good moisturiser on your face - I think something straightforward like cream E45 is better than exotic moisturising creams, but take your doctor's advice on this one.

In the end, the only major disadvantage I experienced was being unable to wear my contact lenses. This is a normal effect, caused by dryness of the eyes, and seems a small price to pay.

Information for women

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