Before starting treatment, I had to have another appointment with Dr Friedmann. This time blood tests were taken to check I wasn't pregnant. Falling pregnant on this medication is absolutely forbidden, with Dr F hammering that message home. The short of it is that it will deform the baby, so must not happen. Also anyone hoping to conceive soon after will have to wait for two menstrual cycles before they can.
Liver and cholesterol is also checked through the blood and is then monitored every eight weeks.
"Firstly spots get worse before they get better," Dr Friedmann warns. Oh great!
"The way we temper that is to put you on a small dose for the first month and then increasing to the standard dose after a month. So you get a bit of a flair up the first four weeks, a little bit more the next three or four weeks and by eight weeks you'll be back to how you are now. Or a bit better. And then the next eight to 12 weeks after that everything just fades away."
He warns it can take a bit longer, but says some people get away scot-free without their skin worsening.
The next side effect is the dreaded dryness - especially lips and inside of the nose.
"You may get rashes... moisturise. You may get dry eyes, go to the pharmacy get some dry eye drops. It can dry you out literally everywhere, down below... everywhere," he listed.
"Dryness is the key effect, but that is actually the effect that the drug is working. As the spots dry out you become quite used to the dryness. You manage and you watch the spots go and you think it's all a worthwhile price to pay."
So now I'm a month into my 20-24 week course, and nothing much has changed for me. I've been on the half dose of 25mg a day, so I'm expecting things to alter when I double that to 50mg.
I have to admit that just the mention of Roaccutane made my lip dryness take on a life of its own. They are flakier now the meds have kicked in, but it's manageable and is more like peeling than cracked or dry. Tip: keep Vaseline and Carmex with you at all times. Dr Friedmann also recommends using Vaseline inside the nose "two-three time a day to try and avoid cracking and bleeding". Tip 2: Carry tissues as you'll end up coating everything in Vaseline... computer keyboard, phone etc.
Skin wise, I wouldn't say it's got worse but spots have flared up on other parts of my face. Whereas the problem was quite concentrated on the chin area, blemishes have crept upwards to my cheeks and around the nose. Again it's manageable, and no worse than what I suffered before.
Mood wise, there's been absolutely no change.
I'm apprehensive to double the dose, but excited at the same time. Acne can be incredibly upsetting to deal with, especially as it's impossible to avoid seeing people when you have to go to work. And don't think you're alone with this. Even stars suffer with adult acne, with Lily Allen recently uploading a snap of her blemish covered jaw line telling fans how unfair it was to be struck down at the age of 30. But getting help is as easy as talking to your GP.