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I can’t believe month 1 is done! It went by so unbelievably fast!! Anyway I thought it would help to hear about the side effects that I experienced during my first month and what changes I made to accommodate them. For me personally, I tend to see the most changes that I will see in the whole course in the first month.

So let’s get into it! ❤️


Before I get into side effects, I thought it may be helpful to tell you my dosage. I’m currently taking 40mg once a day and your dosage is independent to you and at your dermatologist’s discretion.

Side Effects

  • dry lips
  • dry eyes
  • flaky, peeling skin on face
  • increase in breakouts/purging (week 1 to week 3)
  • dry skin on body and some eczema patches returning on back and arms
  • general skin appearance became calmer
  • pores shrunk
  • blackheads disappeared on nose and around cheeks/chin
  • increased thirst
  • sore gums and blisters in mouth
  • skin texture became smoother
  • increased sensitivity to bleach when having my roots done
  • increased sensitivity on cuticles when having nails done
  • became sensitive to fragranced body products (they made my skin itch)
  • skin cuts and grazes more easily
  • some facial flushing/redness in cheeks
  • a little bit of joint soreness
  • and lastly the one no one talks about… vaginal dryness! I mean it makes sense, you’re dry everywhere so understandable that that area becomes dry too, I just wasn’t prepared…..

Changes Made

Granted, this list looks a lot but it’s all completely manageable by just making a few changes. Plus, after having painful acne for so long, these symptoms are NOTHING I can’t handle!! No pain, no gain comes to mind here!

So I thought it might be helpful to hear what changes I made in relation to the side effects above, as often I only hear people list their side effects and not what helped them with that side effect!

  • dry lips – use an intensive lip balm (my personal fave is Eucerin Acute Lip Balm) and have one in all places, every room of your house, in your car, in your bag, in your pockets… the lip dryness is no joke. REAPPLY CONSTANTLY! 😂
  • dry eyes – use hydrating eye drops morning and night + throughout the day if needed. I use Boots Eye Drops for dry/irritated eyes.
  • flaky, peeling skin on face – pile on the moisturiser. A thick, nourishing creamy moisturiser. If you’re also an acne sufferer, I know you will want to use your light gel based moisturisers but DON’T. You need more and using something thicker will not cause you to breakout! Also this is the time to leave the flannels behind, leave the flaky skin to resolve itself, which it will if you look after it and keep moisturising! My personal faves are Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate Sensitive and Kate Somerville Delikate Moisturiser.
  • increase in breakouts – leave the acids and spot treatments well alone! I know it will be tempting to use them but it won’t help you, they will just burn your already sensitive skin and cause more problems. The purge is HARD but all the gunk has to come out of your pores to allow your skin to clear – you’ve got this, it won’t last forever!
  • dry skin on body and some eczema patches returning on back and arms – swap to nourishing unfragranced body moisturisers and apply morning and night. Also switch out your shower gel/soap to gentle, unfragranced formulas.
  • general skin appearance became calmer – enjoy that one, lots of redness and irritation disappeared from my face within a week of starting roacctutane!
  • pores shrunk – as above – just enjoy! One thing to mention though is that as your pores shrink they push out the gunk from inside of them so you will feel texture akin to a strawberry on your nose and wherever else you have blackheads! It’s weird but leave it to work itself out, don’t squeeze or scrub the blackheads!
  • blackheads disappeared on nose and around cheeks/chin – as above.
  • Increased thirst – I don’t remember this side effect with my 1st round of roaccutane but I’m just carrying a water bottle everywhere and drinking lots of water! I pee so much nowadays….
  • sore gums and blisters in mouth – I switched my whitening toothpaste to one for sensitive gums/teeth. My symptoms have been managed by just doing this!
  • skin texture became smoother – this happened to me as the purging began to settle around the end of week 3. SO lovely!!!
  • increased sensitivity to bleach when having my roots done – just grinned and bared this one.. I will not have messy roots 😂
  • increased sensitivity on cuticles when having nails done – as above 😂
  • became sensitive to fragrance body products (they made my skin itch) – switched to all unfragranced shower gels/moisturisers. I’m fine with fragranced deodorant though!
  • skin cuts and grazes more easily – just trying to be more careful but I am clumsy…..
  • some facial flushing/redness in cheeks – nothing you can really do about this one apart from leave your face alone and it will settle within 30 mins. It’s only mild redness for me! You could try misting your face with something like Avene Thermal Water Mist to help it cool and soothe.
  • joint soreness – just trying to move more mindfully and be more careful when exercising.
  • vaginal drynesss – use lube… I don’t think we need anymore detail on this one.

So there you have it, month one DONE! I haven’t mentioned it above but I also noticed my mood improve massively as my skin cleared up! Naturally my confidence increased too.

*This isn’t the case for everyone so make sure you speak to your Doctor if you notice any concerning changes in your mood.*

One other thing to mention is that roaccutane is not for everyone because like every other thing in the world, it comes with risks. However, you have to weigh up those risks against the potential benefits. You take risk everyday crossing the road, driving in your car etc. So, don’t ever let someone scare you with the potential risks of doing something. Research the thing you want to do yourself, weigh up the pros and cons and make your OWN mind up! That’s why we were each gifted with our very own mind – to make decisions for ourselves!

I’ll be back with a rundown on my new skincare routine soon and also, my month 2 update in 4 weeks time! 💗

S x

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