Update: how my acne is now, and what the site's doing


I've now been off the Roaccutane since July 99. My face is 99% clear and my body 95%: I have a few spots on the back and chest sometimes but that's all. My face is astonishingly clear: I can go for a several weeks without having a single spot. I still have a few black and whiteheads.

After the course my skin seemed to go through a period of adjustment: it was very dry for about 2 months afterwards, and I had some spots sometimes and a few weird large whiteheads which I hadn't had before. It seemed like the last gasp of my acne as it melted away. The pores have definitely shrunk: not such gaping maws. I do have some 'icepick' scars but I can live with that. My skin has become homogeneous in texture, perhaps on the dry side of normal, and I can go for longer than 24 hours without washing my hair without it looking like I was planning to fry fish and chips in it.

One odd thing - I seem to have developed a small but persistent red blotch on my chin, which seems a throwback to the red 'n' blotchy days of my 'accutane face'. But it eventually disappeared.

So far, no signs of the dreaded relapse. Three years on I'm still pretty acne-free. The occasional zit, that's all. I've tried Dr. Danby's dairy-free diet but it didn't do a lot for me. From the feedback I've been getting, some people are much more sensitive to dairy than others, and those are the people that benefit. See Dairy Products and Acne.


The site

This site has had over 80,000 visitors and I've received hundreds of e-mails, which were either supportive or asking questions: I answer the ones I can, but your doctor is the authority, not me.


The medical profession still has areas which are reluctant to use accutane. A UK med site which started recently had the old dictum: 'Roaccutane should only be used for severe cystic acne when all other treatments have failed.' To which I say bollocks: accutane/roaccutane (different names, same stuff) is the only thing that works. All other treatments are only marginally effective, so why waste time and money on them.

My view is that roaccutane is the drug of choice, that it's side effects are tolerable, and the results far outweigh the six months of discomfort. For every one e-mail I have from a person who has had bad side effects, I get 20 saying that they're not as horrible as they're made out to be. And you can check out my book too, which has ways to minimise them, and incorporates any good tips that people have sent me.

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