My experience with Roaccutane….
Roccutane is often referred to as the ‘Nuclear Option’ to get rid of acne because of the ability to kill a target (acne) whilst decimating the terrain around it (your body).
For 2/3’s of people it has fantastic results with just one course but, there is a significant cost for getting clear skin with Roaccutane. The active ingredient is Isotretinoin which is derived from vitamin A. Once you take it, there is no going back.
As a real-life example, because of the way isotretinoin can permanently alter eyesight, the U.S. military will not allow anyone who has previously taken isotretinoin to be a fighter pilot. It works by causing cell death in the sebaceous glands which shrinks the glands by around 40% and reduces the amount of oil these glands produce by around 80%.
Side effects are potentially permanently impaired night vision, severe birth deformities if you happen to be pregnant whilst taking it (female patients of childbearing age are required to use two (2) forms of birth control while on Accutane), severe drying of the skin that remains long after taking it + suicide and depression. Fun times.
Ok with that out of the way, I was prescribed it by a Dermatologist for severe cystic acne in my mid-teen years. My confidence was already taking a beating because I hated the way I looked and further to that, I was a Dancer at the time where aesthetics matter a lot. I realise it sounds rather vain but as a teenage girl, you are already incredibly self-conscious with your appearance, throw in people calling out ‘Hey it’s Pizza Face’ as you walk through the schoolyard and it’s a recipe for disaster.
It honestly sounded like Roaccutane was going to be a golden ticket out of the self-pity hole I was sinking in. And so began my treatment.
With it, came the most intense drying out of my skin took place. To the point where there were days it hurt to open my mouth and smile because my skin would crack and weep. The acne got worse – much worse. The Dermatologist was not fussed and said that it was the path of healing, things would get worse before they got better and that it was a good sign. I started skipping school because I was so ashamed of how I looked. I couldn’t stand catching the bus with everyone staring at me or the kids at school laughing at me. I couldn’t tell you whether I was depressed because of how I looked or depressed because of Roaccutane but either way, that’s how I felt.
Then came the blood noses, every single morning without fail a blood nose would happen. This is because the intense drying effect basically sucks all the moisture out of your nasal passages and capillaries making them extremely fragile and prone to breaking. Then one day I had a blood nose that just wouldn’t stop. I sat in the bathtub with a jug for a solid hour coughing up huge clots of blood that were running down my throat whilst I applied pressure on my nose. It was awful. That landed me in ER where I subsequently had what seemed to be a giant tampon shoved up my nostril complete with string attached! Apparently, the tampon had some kind of clotting agent in it and with that, they sent me on my way. That stayed up my nose for a week before it was unceremoniously removed.
By this stage I was on the third round of treatment and I was finally starting to get results. The dry skin started to make way for clear skin and by the end of that round, things were looking ok. Not perfect but better. I decided that I wouldn’t be doing any more rounds. That was the last for me. The side effects had taken their toll on me and enough was enough. This kind of torture was just not worth having clear skin and so I began seeking out more natural approaches.
I began hearing stories of other kids on it who had experienced such dark depression that they took their lives. 12 deaths were recorded from it just last year in 2019 alone!
85 serious incidents and 19 non-serious ones. Since records began there has been a total of 88 deaths. The possibility of death is not worth having clear skin.
What is absolutely shocking to me is that the maker of the drug Roche seemingly keeps adding new side effects to the drug insert every year. Most recently added are long term depressed libido and difficulty maintaining an erection. The warnings about depression and other psychiatric side-effects were only added in 2008, YEARS after I took the drug.
To anybody out there who is thinking of taking Roaccutane, I urge you to reconsider. Read up fully on all the potential risks that you open yourself wide up to. Try and do all the other things first before even considering Roaccutane because It is not worth your life.
My top suggestions for figuring out the root cause of your acne are:
1. Ditch the Gluten, Dairy and Refined Sugars. Doing just this one thing resulted in massive improvements for me.
2. If your acne is related to PCOS, try a low carb high fat diet to bring insulin resistance under control.
3. Give your Liver some love by using doTerra’s awesome Zendocrine Detoxification Complex, the Lifelong Vitality Supplements and the YarrowPom Complex. These will help your liver detoxify from accumulated toxic estrogens, endocrine disruptors and other chemicals that inhibit detox pathways.
4. Consider having a IgG Food Sensitivity Panel done to identity foods that may be triggering inflammation in the body and interfering with detox pathways.
5. Ditch all toxic common household and personal care products including make up. There is no sense in cleansing your liver if you keep filling it back up with junk.
6. Focus on Gut Health. Eat plenty of raw veggies for their enzyme content and plenty of fermented foods. Steer well clear of Kombucha if you suspect Candida. Choose a high quality broad spectrum probiotic.
7. Try Oil Cleansing! Oil Cleansing was a game changer for me. All too often those with acne use far too many products on their skin and it strips away all the natural oils and destroys the micro-biome that keeps acne causing bacteria in check. For cystic acne try Jojoba or Camellia Oil as your base with the addition of either Frankincense, Tea Tree and Lavender OR Copaiba and Turmeric.
I hope this article helps someone out there and prompts one to stop and seriously question this treatment option before going full steam ahead with it.