According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), “Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States affecting 50 million Americans annually.” Yes, you read that correctly 50 MILLION! Acne is also one of the common reasons people visit the dermatologist.
For those suffering from mild to severe acne there are a multitude of treatment options available. General ways to treat acne include: topical creams (mild to moderate), oral medication (moderate to severe) or in some cases antibiotics. Sometimes, combining treatment options can also work.
If you suffer from severe acne and none of these methods seem to be working, you may want to consider Isotretinoin – commonly referred to as Accutane. For over 20 years, Isotretinoin has been used to treat severe cystic acne. The treatment is designed to help reduce the amount of oil produced by your skin – which reduces the formation of bacterial acne.
FAST FACTS ABOUT ACCUTANE:
- Your skin isn’t getting worse, it’s part of the process. Many times patients on Accutane will flare up at the beginning of the treatment process. These flares can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
- There are health risks. Accutane has a very high risk of birth defects. If you are considering getting pregnant or are already pregnant you should not take it. Other patients must take extra precautions to prevent pregnancy. Some patients may have side effects associated to their mental health: mood disorders, depression and suicidal thoughts.
- Major improvements. The AAD states, 85% of patients have reported to seeing improvements after one round of treatment. One course of treatment generally lasts 4-6 months. Patients generally see results by the third month, some at the fourth.
- Take on a minimalist skin care approach. Opt for gentle facial moisturizers and cleansers during and about a year after the treatment is over. Sunscreen with or without Accutane is important. It is even more important to use sunscreen while being treated because your skin is producing less oil it can become more fragile and sensitive.
- Try your hardest to stay away from alcohol. Both Accutane and alcohol are processed in your liver, when the two mix together there can be permanent liver damage. An occasional drink will not be enough to cause severe problems, but it is in your best interest to stay away from it all together.
- Considering this treatment? Any patient using Accutane must register with the iPledge program. If you are considering this treatment you will need to first register on the site before proceeding. Ask your physician for an informational folder.
With skin care treatment plans, especially strong ones like Accutane, it is important to follow your physician’s instructions, and be aware of all precautions. If you have any questions about acne and your treatment options, CLICK HERE for our website.