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    How bad does acne have to be before the doctor will prescribe roaccutane? Does anyone have any first hand experience of it (especially negative side effects). I've been on antibiotics for my acne for a few months, but it hasn't really cleared it much (and if anything, I felt like it got a bit better, but now my skin's deteriorating again). Thanks. My acne really gets me down. I hate talking about it because it embarrasses me a lot, but it makes me feel insecure, and I've got into the bad habit of never leaving the house without foundation on, and now I feel as if my face is completely unbearable, and that I'm completely unpresentable without a mask of makeup on.
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    The severity of the acne (assuming its worse than a couple of teenage spots here and there) is irrelevent. A good doctor should take into account the effect that the acne has on your life, which sounds quite significant as you say it is impacting your self esteem. I would try the antibiotics for a bit longer before going back to the doctors though! Have you tried hormonal birth control like the pill? I was originally put on that for acne after antibiotics, it helped a lot until it started making me depressed and I had to stop taking it.
    In the meantime I know this is obvious but make sure you are practising good hygiene, washing your face, washing pillowcases regularly, not touching your face etc.
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    Well, retinoids like isotretinoin (Roaccutane) are quite a last resort - they do have serious side effects. They tend to be used once all other treatments have been exhausted. You would usually be prescribed this by a dermatologist after a thorough assessment. The first step would be to go back to your GP and ask what else he can do, or whether he can refer you to a dermatologist.
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    The NHS would never prescribe it to me. Last year (after having acne for 15 years) I went to a private dermatologist and they prescribed it straight away. Long story short I'm 9 months post accutane and I seem to be cured but I went through hell on isotretinoin (severe eczema, hair loss, flushing, flaking skin, sweating, dry eyes).
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    I should mention that I had cysts when I was prescribed, but my acne was mild and nothing like it used to be. Basically, if you tell them that acne is effecting you emotionally and you have had it for years, then I am 100% certain that a private derm will presribe. Unfortunately there is a 2-tier healthcare system in the UK whereby if you have money you can get whatever you want.
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    I also had a course of roaccutane from a private dermatologist. I was still made to go through another series of antibiotic treatment before they prescribed it, though, in spite of having had no success doing the same on the NHS. Probably just depends who you see.

    It was very successful, after having really bad acne for years with no other successful treatments. Cleared up within a few months and didn't come back. Side effects weren't too bad; very dry lips, mainly.

    It wasn't cheap, but, like others said, worthwhile if it improves self esteem in the short term.
 
 
 
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