When nothing else seems to work, Accutane (isotretinoin) is a medication used to treat severe recalcitrant nodular acne. Teens who take isotretinoin have severe acne and typically have tried many other acne treatments, including oral antibiotics and multiple topical medications.
Isotretinoin is effective, concern about possible side effects keeps some parents from looking at it as an option.
How to clear acne?
There is an endless variety of acne clearing tips, tricks, and products out there. One person suggests honey masks, another company pushes a salicylic acid cleanser, then a forum mentions the absolute miracle that is dermarolling.
The truth is, everyone’s skin is different and some treatments will simply not work for your face while others will be effective and amazing. Your sister may be able to get by with a bare minimum, low end facial cleanser and have flawless, smooth skin while you use try everything under the sun and still breakout.
It is unfair but sometimes, acne does not come from dietary choices, environmental factors, or lifestyle stressors. Sometimes, acne is just part of your biochemistry.
What’s accutane acne treatment?
When over the counter treatments do not work, your doctor may offer prescription medications.
Typically used as a sort of last resort, Accutane is a powerful drug with an incredibly high success rate. With the drug, around eighty five percent of people see a drastic improvement in the quality of their skin.
How accutane works on acne?
Accutane and similar drugs work to decrease sebum production, which can radically clear up the skin and reduce the frequency, appearance, and severity of acne breakouts. The before and after photos associated with the medication are amazing, with most faces looking drastically different.
Since Accutane works so well, it can be a bit mind boggling as to why so few people are prescribed the drug.
Shouldn’t doctors give the most effective medications to their patients right off the bat to ensure stellar results? The answer is a bit of a mixed bag.
Accutane Side Effects
You see, while Accutane is incredibly effective, it is also an extremely serious medication. The side effects can be quite severe and can cause health issues that last a lifetime.
Accutane is seen as an absolute last resort by many doctors due to these risks and is prescribed as such. If you have other avenues that you have yet to try, consider pursuing them first before starting Accutane or a similar drug. If you do not have to be on the medication, you do not want to be.
Accutane is taken in the form of capsules in a dosage that is determined based on the patient’s weight. Most dermatologists require in depth physicals and other examinations before allowing a patient to start the drug.
What are accutane side effects?
If you pass the prerequisites, you will be given your pills. Commonly, users will experience dry lips and eyes. Lip balms and eye drops will be your best friends in this process. You will also be sensitive to the sun and need to avoid prolonged exposure.
Many people also experience eczema, redness, and extreme dryness. These may or may not subside when your treatment ends. The course of the medication is typically between five and nine months and requires monthly or biweekly blood tests to ensure the drug is not harming your liver or any other organs.
Night blindness is also a potential side effect, which may impair your ability to drive even after you are off of the medication.
One of the most concerning side effects of is the risk of depression and other mental health issues.
Accutane can cause drastic hormonal increases and decreases, making the risk of depression greatly increase. If you are already on antidepressants or antianxiety medication or any other form of mental health treatment, be sure to notify your dermatologist before you begin treatment.
Who can take it?
Depending on the medication, you may be disqualified from the usage of Accutane for safety reasons.
If you ever notice an extreme shift in your mood or have thoughts of suicide or self harm while on the medication, contact your dermatologist immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. This is not normal and requires treatment and the ceasing of Accutane as soon as possible.
If you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are planning to get pregnant within six months to one year after taking Accutane, you may not take the drug.
Accutane can cause birth defects, ranging from a fifty percent chance of miscarriage to neurological issues, fetal underdevelopment, significant brain abnormalities, heart formation issues, and bone issues. These defects are often times not compatible with life or drastically reduce the quality of the child’s life.
They can also endanger the mother and cause issues with labor and delivery. It is best to be honest with your doctor and wait to take the medication later if you plan to have a child soon. Breastfeeding mothers should avoid the drug as well due to its likelihood of being passed to the child through breast milk.
All in all, if you suffer from acne, Accutane can be worth it. Though the risks and side effects can be severe, you will be closely monitored while on the drug which lowers the chances of negative reactions.
It is insanely effective, helping clear skin at an almost unbelievably high rate. If nothing else is working for your skin, Accutane is definitely worth considering. Just be sure to go through the proper medical avenues to ensure your body is up to the intensity of the drug.
Sometimes antibiotics or topical creams can clear up stubborn breakouts so do not jump the gun if you have not tried other methods. Accutane is not a miracle drug and may or may not work for your skin, just like any other treatment method.
Do your research and trust your doctor when moving forward with any treatments, including Accutane!