Roaccutane/ Isotretinoin

In 2013 I decided to start seeing a dermatologist via my Doctor at Leeds Hospital in the UK. I had, seriously had enough of covering up breakouts and burning my skin to death on a sunbed to have a few days of clear skin. For years I had put off the idea of going on the horror story drug known as Roaccutane or in the UK mostly as Isotretinoin.

Isotretinoin is used to treat acne. Isotretinoin works by suppressing the activity of sebaceous glands in the skin. It reduces the amount of oil produced by these glands. Isotretinoin also reduces the size of the sebaceous glands and the inflammation that occurs with acne. Isotretinoin is given to people when their previous treatments for acne have not been successful.


Emily rajch

After Roaccutane Treatment

What are Roaccutane side effects?



Before, during and after Roaccutane treatment


It is NOT for everyone. It really angers me when people ask to go on this drug when they only suffer from a few spots now and again! That is not Acne. Try not sleeping in your makeup and spend some money on a good cleanser.

This medication is really dangerous and I did my research on it for months before taking it. I had to leave my job and some days I couldn’t leave the house due to how red and dry my skin had become.

roaccutane side effects
You have to have tests every month and some people have to take more than one course of drugs and sometimes they don’t work at all. It’s a complete risk.

My dose was 3x 20mg per day.

Roaccutane Side effects I suffered for 6 months to Year.

  • Blood problems – you have to have a blood test taken every month
  • Back pain – Mainly lower back, this was really painful!
  • Pregnancy test every month, as well as use two types of contraception.
  • Dry eyes-  I also had glazed eyesight. So driving at night was out of the question.
  • Extremely dry skin – you should use a moisturising cream or ointment while you are taking Isotretinoin.
  • Fragile skin – skin may be damaged more easily. Paper cuts are like a knife cutting your skin.
  • Inflammation and cracking of the skin of the lips or dry lips – you should use a lip balm. I had 6 different lip balms I would apply every hour. In the end I had to get a cream from the doctors with steroids in to help with how sore the cracks where.
  • Irritation or inflammation of the eye or eyelid.
  • Itching- every part of my skin itched, my hair was the worst although it was so dry it never got greasy at all which i actually enjoyed.
  • Joint pain- the gym is hard work or any job that you have to be on your feet all day. Seriously tired all the time.
  • Musclepain or tenderness
  • Skin rash or rashes
  • Dryness in the nose
  • Headaches- suffered from really strong headaches
  • Nose bleeds at least once a month.
  • Depression- feeling very up and down, anyone who takes this I advise you have a good stable environment, I moved back home with my mum for a few months so she could monitor me.

This is why it isn’t worth going on if you don’t completely suffer from acne. You have to put your life on hold for 6 months to a year.

You can’t go into the sun at all and for 6 months after taking the treatment and you can’t have any operations or even a tooth pulled at the dentist as the bleeding may not stop.

I watched a really horrific documentary on the drug which put me off so much but that’s why it’s a good idea to watch if you are really serious about taking this as this isn’t just about vanity, it could risk your life.

Dying for clear skin

Next post I will show what products I used to help with all the side effects. I had to completely change my routine, makeup, skincare and even hair products as I went from oily skinned to no oil at all.

Here is my before and after Roaccutane treatment. The Day I started and the day I finished.
I can’t even remember what it is like to have bad skin anymore as it has been so long since I’ve had more than 3 spots at a time since the treatment. It really has been one of the best decisions I have made but, not everyone has the same results as me.

Heres a post about the products I used to help my side effects, while on Roaccutane

What Products to use while on Roaccutane (Isotretinoin)


Here is my update 4 years after having Roaccutane

Acne Treatment (4 year update)


Here is how I deal with my acne scars I am left with.

How to get rid of acne scars?



  1. 20th August 2017 / 5:20 pm

    I ҝnoᴡ this іf off topіc but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and
    was wondering what aⅼl is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would
    cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet savvy so I’m not
    100% sure. Any recommendatіons or adviсe would be greatly
    apрreciated. Cheers

    • emilyrajch
      21st August 2017 / 9:58 am

      Hi Laurel,
      No problem! Il do a post on how to start a blog and what SEO techniques I use.
      Thanks for the great feedback 🙂 xx

  2. 20th August 2017 / 9:26 pm

    Great post! Have nice day ! 🙂 s0zpf

  3. 20th September 2017 / 12:25 pm

    I used Roaccutane as a teenager back in the noughties and it did terrible things to my digestive system which lead to severe food intolerances for many years where I couldn’t eat wheat or dairy. I would never take this again but instead try to watch what I eat and have a good skincare routine. I really wouldn’t recommend taking this for anyone. My skin was slightly improved by the drug but I still suffer from acne aged 40. I now use the BodyShop Tea Tree and Seaweed range for cleansing and the Drops of Youth for moisturising. All your advice is spot on! (Sorry about that!!) x

  4. 1st February 2019 / 9:28 pm

    Hi Emily

    i,ve just been offered roaccutane after 28yrs of skin issues…offered whem skin is controllled from bcp…becuase doc wants me off it.being in 40s sucks…every time tried to come off the pill my cystic acne starts flaring up…months of 2-3 cysts a month with a month of scars to flatten then another round…and so on…so lots of scars. read lots about the drug – science journals…blogs…videos…i,m terrified of taking it…. just been promoted at work… which means more senior meetings….gutted
    is there any prep work i can before taking roaccutane… to help reduce the purge… thought about using benz. peroxide for 4 months before starting roaccutane…

    how long does the worst part last? i.m asking to see how long i could be off work for… i can.t see me coping at work… at home i can hide from the world… but how long can i get away with being off work..if i plan in advance then i might be able to get 4 weeks off….i just dont want to pick the wrong week. i can do work from hme odd days but is that enough in between break outs? i can cope if i can wear makeup but the purge and flakes will be tough when its at its worst… at least when at home less like to fiddle with ur skin.

    spots that one gets after roaccutane, are they small or large cysts? if small easily manageable but if cysts creep back…not sure if i should take it

    any advice is welcomed, sorry for so many questions i know everyone is different….never thought i would have to do this in my 40s..thought cool ive survived and will grow out of it… done dermarollling…used banish products. i found that when i was doing it….when the inflammaton went the scars are visible again…but months on…i have noticed some little scars are less prominent.

  5. Natalie
    21st February 2019 / 7:28 am

    I’m 32 and have started roaccutane 6 weeks ago. Your page has been very helpful so far in helping me change my skincare routine whilst on this poison. My main side effect so far… is a pink/red face. Which I never had before. Will I have this throughout treatment ? Continue after treatment? Or will it go in a few weeks and is just an initial side affect? Or am I stuck with it for life? It’s really worrying me. I saw you wrote about having a red face… but looking at your picture the day you finished acne it’s glowing and not red at all. So praying the redness goes down…. I also flush very quickly now? I’m getting married in three months time so quite worried I’ll have a bright red face for my wedding day…. do you have tips on the best makeup to use whilst on roaccutane also?
    Thanks for your help xx so far it’s been very helpful!

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