` Does roaccutane work? |
> Cadogan Clinic asks me.

‘I don’t remember,’ I say.

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Powder Diaries
Roaccutane: is it worth it?
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I’ve just bought a lottery ticket. Three months ago I would never have bothered with such nonsense. Jackpots, Rubik’s cubes, perfect skin – all seemingly unachievable things. That however, was before I met a woman who could perform magic.

‘When did you last see a spot?’ Dr Susan Mayou, Consultant Dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic asks me.

‘I don’t remember,’ I say.

Dr Susan told me in my first consultation this is how our final meeting would go. I thought it was twaddle. Instead I am sat in her pristine Central London clinic repeating the answer she told me I would be able to say, unable to believe it myself.

I’ve spent years imagining what clear skin looked like. This is tricky when our brains have a way of doing a painfully detailed, full facial MRI-style scan and honing in on all the crap every time we look at our reflection. My morning ritual consisted of scrutinising every square millimeter of my face - analysing in great detail every slightly large pore and pimple, every red blotch that has appeared over night, then logging it so I can compare it’s growth (probable) or reduction (rare) later.

However hard I tried to distract myself with a bright red lip or a new pair of shoes – all that was on my mind was SPOTS. The type of acne I had was ‘Perioral Acne’ which basically meant I was ‘normal’ in my symptoms for adult spots. The cluster of red cysts around my chin was in the typical place for hormonal acne. Dr Mayou diagnosed my condition in seconds (told you she was brilliant), mentioned it was pretty common among the under thirties and that there was a simple solution - Roaccutane. Grimace. I’d heard of it, and all the horror stories (suicidal tendencies, flaky lips, migraines) – but then she told me she’d put both her children on it, so I started to think it must be safe.  

Put simply, Roaccutane is a relation of Vitamin A. As mine was just a sprinkling of hormonal acne across my chin, I had a low dosage (increasingly common for treating adult acne) rather than the full blown thing. It’s a designer drug (it’s a quality cut above other antibiotics) and works in four ways – it shrinks the greasy glands (that produce the oil), makes the cells that line pores less sticky (so oil doesn’t get trapped), it’s an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial too. A winning combination for sure. Due to this shrinking of the glands however, it does in the first couple of weeks push all the gunk out so you will have a momentary breakout - have a paper bag to hand to wear over your head.

However, fast-forward four months and last night I buried my concealers. I sat on my bedroom floor with no fewer than eleven half used discards lined up in front of me - all of which I’ve ceremonially submerged. The spots have gone. Literally gone and it’s liberating.  

Apart from a pair of (very) dry lips, I had no side effects. Just clear skin and a surge of confidence. Let’s hope I have the same luck with the lottery ticket… 

If you would like to visit Dr Susan Mayou you can find her contact details here - she performs miracles. Literally. 

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