Like many young people, I developed acne when I was a teenager. I went to the doctor who shrugged and told me it was normal at my age.
He gave me a cream that made my face sore and red and I didn’t bother going back again. I just accepted that this was part of puberty.
In my twenties, however, I was still prone to blemishes that made me terribly self-conscious. They were deep, swollen and painful at times, and my bad skin started to drag me down.
But it wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized how much the condition of my skin affected my life.
It started when a friend texted me asking if I was free that night. A particularly nasty set of stains had just erupted and I really couldn’t bear to go out with it – so I lied and said I was busy.
After a three-year evaluation of the controversial acne drug Roaccutane, which has been linked to a string of suicides, a government medical watchdog has concluded that the benefits outweigh the risks
It struck me then how ridiculous it was that I let my skin color rule my social life and I vowed to do something about it.
I went to a dermatologist, who put me on the drug Roaccutane – and after a nine month course my skin was completely clear for the first time in my adult life. I felt like a weight had been lifted.
So you might understand why I feel quite invested in the news that, after a three-year evaluation of this controversial acne drug, which has been linked to a string of suicides, a government medical watchdog has concluded that the benefits of isotretinoin (branded as Roaccutane in the UK) outweigh the risks.
While there will be stricter controls on how it can be prescribed, the Commission on Human Medicines briefly halted the ban that some campaigners had called for.
This followed a number of high-profile cases of people committing suicide while on the drug and others reporting depression, anxiety and psychosis.
There is no doubt that this drug should not be prescribed lightly and some of the reported side effects are very serious.
But nevertheless, I believe it is the right outcome. Roaccutane has changed the lives of many patients for the better – as I well know.
In fact, after taking it myself, I was so happy with my acne-free skin that I recommended Roaccutane to a friend – a former boxer and big, tough guy.
Dr. Pemberton suffered from acne himself and found it had a serious impact on his life. After a nine month course of Roaccutane, his skin was completely clear and he felt like a weight had been lifted
He was almost in tears when he told me that he often didn’t socialize for months at a time when his acne was particularly bad. He confessed that his skin made him so miserable that he even contemplated suicide.
At my insistence, he went to a dermatologist and also received Roaccutane. It worked wonders for him, as it did for me.
In fact, like my friend, research from the British Skin Foundation shows that nearly one in five people with acne have considered suicide because of it.
Unfortunately, the same number have ended a relationship with them and nearly 60 percent have experienced verbal abuse because of their pimples.
While it’s true that some people remain convinced that isotretinoin can lead to serious mental health problems and even suicide, most studies have found no direct link.
What is known is that debilitating skin conditions, such as acne, are associated with increased depression and can lead people to commit suicide.
This means that the drug is given to a group of people who run an increased risk of psychological problems anyway.
It may be that because Accutane is given to people with the most severe forms of acne, the skin condition, not the drug, is responsible for their mental health problems.
I believe that Roaccutane has received a lot of negative attention, while it is a very effective treatment for the vast majority of those who use it.
That’s not to say it’s a panacea. It certainly has some nasty side effects, some of which I have experienced myself. It caused dry skin, which cracked and flaked – and was not only unsightly, but also very painful.
However, this passed and eventually my skin has improved dramatically. So for me, the cons were worth enduring to rid me of the acne blight permanently.
In all my time working in mental health, I have never seen anyone become depressed or suicidal on Roaccutane. However, I have seen many people who have become this way due to skin conditions such as acne.
Jab ‘fatigue’ is blamed for slowest-ever start of latest Covid vaccination. What a contrast to just a few years ago when people were desperate for a jab.
It will be a tragedy if new variants, such as Arcturus, can survive simply because we become complacent.
Robbie breaks sex taboo
Robbie Williams and his wife Ayda Field would rather cuddle and watch Netflix together than get busy in the bedroom
Robbie Williams has said that at age 49 he and his wife Ayda Field, 43, do not have a vibrant sex life. After nearly 13 years of marriage and four kids, the singer has admitted that they would rather cuddle and watch Netflix than get busy in the bedroom.
When Robbie received testosterone therapy for depression, he said he and his wife couldn’t keep their hands off each other because the injections made him “insatiable.” But since stopping them, the pair rarely get intimate.
I wonder how many other middle-aged men silently nod sympathetically? It is believed that men always want sex; it’s all men think about, isn’t it?
In reality, of course, this is not the case. Like any appetite, it varies from person to person and it’s quite refreshing to hear from a man – and a sex symbol at that – who has decided it’s not all there is to it. And if neither partner really cares, does it really matter? They are clearly still in love and seem to be good companions. Isn’t this the real secret of a happy relationship?
Social media has been blamed for fueling eating disorders in young athletes, according to a new study. Interviewed by researchers, athletes described harrowing stories, including running five miles as “punishment” after eating a cookie.
Among the participants is U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Jessie Diggins of Minnesota, who said she began making herself throw up “several times a day” in an effort to stay slim in keeping with the unrealistic images of women’s bodies being portrayed on social media platforms. shown.
If this happens to athletes, imagine what it does to other young people. It’s a shame more isn’t being done to force social media companies to take responsibility for their content.
DR MAX WRITES…
VOICE GUIDE FOR CHILDREN
What To Do When Your Child Won’t Talk is packed with advice and games to help parents get their kids back on track
Due to the pandemic, many young people have faced setbacks in their language development.
Authors Tracey Blake and Nicola Lathey have written a much-needed practical guide—What To Do When Your Child Won’t Talk—packed with advice and games to help parents get their kids back on track.
Whether a child is struggling with language skills or you just want to help them progress, this is the book for you.