Accutane is the most commonly used medication for severe acne treatment. No other medication for this skin condition is as effective as Accutane. Want to know more about this drug? Read on.
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Accutane: Acne Is Treatable
Every year 50 million Americans face acne. Despite the common thought that acne is a problem of teenagers and young adults, this skin condition affects people of all ages. So even if you are in your thirtieth or fortieth, you may have acne. While there exist lots of topical treatments for this skin problem, in some cases, they are not enough to improve your skin condition. For those dealing with severe nodular acne, the only effective treatment is Accutane. This medication is often called the last resort because if Accutane can’t help – nothing will.
This medication is a retinoid, containing isotretinoin. It is sold by prescription and requires special caution when used by women. The decision regarding the use of Accutane should be made by your dermatologist. You should closely stick to the recommendations of your doctor to clear your skin fast and with minimal side effects.
How Does Accutane Help Acne Treatment?
The main cause of acne is the excessive production of facial oil by the sebaceous glands, which leads to the blockage of skin pores. This process is usually accompanied by bacterial infection, which exacerbates the skin condition. Accutane works by decreasing the secretion of sebum, thus preventing the blockage of pores and the formation of acne nodules.
While the effects of most medicines may be noticed within hours or days, the effects of Accutane require from several weeks to a couple of months to become visible. In the first weeks of treatment, you may notice your skin condition getting worse. However, the growing number of acne in this period doesn’t mean new lesions are formed. The thing is that the medication speeds up the ripening of the already-existing pimples, which are hidden under the skin. A lot of people get disappointed in the treatment at this stage and refuse to proceed in the therapy. This is a huge mistake, as, after the acne exacerbation, your skin will start getting back to the norm.
The typical duration of treatment with Accutane ranges from four to six months. Still, the improvements achieved within this period are not final. Your skin will continue improving for another two months. Usually, a single course of Accutane is enough to get rid of acne. In severe cases of nodular acne, you may need the therapy to be repeated. Still, your skin condition won’t get back to the pre-treatment state.
Accutane Contraindications. Who Should Stay Away from This Drug?
Accutane is a retinoid, which means it can affect not only your skin condition but also other processes going on in your body. Some medical conditions may get worse when on Accutane, so if you have any of the listed below medical health issues, you are contraindicated to take this drug.
– Known hypersensitivity to isotretinoin, tretinoin, or other retinoids as well as parabens.
– Depression, psychosis, or other psychiatric conditions;
– Suicidal thought or attempts (current or past);
– Liver or kidneys disorders;
– Eating disorders;
– High levels of triglycerides that are not controlled;
Warning! Accutane is contraindicated in pregnant women as it causes severe fetal malformations and spontaneous abortions. Women of childbearing age that plan to take Accutane should make sure they are not pregnant before treatment and use several birth control methods to prevent pregnancy during the therapy and a month post-treatment. It is important to test for pregnancy each time you get an Accutane refill.
Some Pieces of Advice on Accutane Intake
The effectiveness of the therapy with Accutane depends on how closely you follow the recommendations of your dermatologist. Below, you’ll find some common pieces of advice for people taking Accutane. They will help you use the medication correctly and get the best results of treatment.
– Swallow the Accutane capsules whole. Chewing or crushing them may affect the work of the drug.
– Take the medication with a meal to improve the absorption of isotretinoin from the gastric tract.
– You should be physically active for a minimum of 10 minutes after taking an Accutane pill.
– Use the drug twice daily unless your doctor gives other recommendations.
– Never exceed the prescribed dose of Accutane. It won’t speed up your skin recovery but will enhance the manifestations of unwanted reactions.
– Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing when you go outside, as Accutane will make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
– Your night vision may worsen during the therapy, so avoid driving a car after dark.
– You can’t be a blood donor while on Accutane and a month post-treatment.
Accutane is the best treatment for cystic nodular acne.However, you should only use it if your doctor considers it necessary. You may have hard times during the therapy, especially when your skin will get worse, but you should always remember that the better comes next. Be patient. Accutane won’t let you down.