Accutane, or Isotretinoin, is an oral medication used to treat moderate to severe, nodulocystic acne. It is a derivative of Vitamin A, and helps to improve the blocked-up material within whiteheads and blackheads. It has become a mainstay in the treatment of acne, and is one of the most effective treatments available.
Isotretinoin is a pill you take for four to five months. Your acne will start to improve in one to two months, and the vast majority of people are clear at the end of treatment.
Your acne may get worse when you start using isotretinoin. This usually just lasts for a little while. You can tell your doctor if this happens to you because you might need to use other medicines along with the isotretinoin in this stage.
This is usually due to purging, in which the isotretinoin pushes out dead skin cells and debris. Because your skin can become red and dry, the medication sometimes makes acne look more inflamed and obvious.
Accutane, a strong prescription medication for severe, cystic acne, reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands. While you are taking Accutane, the medication actually shrinks oil glands and dries out the skin. But when you stop taking it, your pores will return to their original size.
Isotretinoin works by decreasing the size of the sebaceous glands in the skin. The sebaceous glands are responsible for creating sebum, the oil in skin that can clog pores and cause acne. When the sebum is controlled, breakouts stop.
Try oral medication
Severe acne that can't be treated with topical medications may need oral drugs, such as isotretinoin. This reduces the size of the sebaceous glands to cut sebum production, and increases how much skin you shed.
People sometimes mention weight gain or weight loss when talking about Accutane. However, the FDA do not currently list weight change as a side effect of this drug.
The results are where Accutane® treatment really shines. Peak effect is visible at the 8-12 week mark, and patients see a difference in their skin within 2 weeks. ZENA Medical is so confident in your Accutane® protocol that we guarantee your face will be 100% pimple-free after 3 months of Accutane® therapy.
Hormonal acne is more likely to come back after a course of Roaccutane (Accutane) has successfully cleared it. Besides being stubborn to treat, hormonal acne causes redness for prolonged periods, scarring and pigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation. Isotretinoin does not clear hyperpigmentation from acne. Pores. Isotretinoin will reduce pores while you are on treatment as it shrinks sebaceous glands, but the pores will return to their normal size within a few months of stopping Isotretinoin.
Use of isotretinoin should be considered in mild to moderate acne also, in low doses; 20 mg, alternate day seems to be an effective and safe treatment option in such cases.
Most patients don't see an appreciable difference until the third month of treatment. But first comes the “purge,” when all the old skin cells start rising—at an accelerated rate, with a potent retinoid—from the bottom layer of the epidermis up to the surface. “It gets worse before it gets better” is the adage.
Results: All patients treated with oral isotretinoin noted improvement in wrinkles, thickness and color of the skin, size of pores, skin elasticity, tone, and reduction in pigmented lesions and mottled hyperpigmentation.
Isotretinoin can cause problems all along the digestive tract. Some side effects include: bleeding gums. a lack of appetite.
Isotretinoin is a fat-soluble drug, and patients need to have fat in their stomachs in order to properly absorb the medication. What has been looked at by the FDA is that patients need a diet of 50 grams of fat per dose with the generics. If the drug is taken twice a day, that's 100 mg of fat per day.
This type of acne develops when oil (sebum) and dead skin cells combine to form a plug that clogs your pores. Sometimes, cleansing and exfoliating may be enough to loosen the plug and draw it out. But if the plug hardens, or it's too deep to access, you might not be able to remove the blackhead on your own.
While on isotretinoin, your skin is not as oily as it had been. Usually the skin oiliness does return, but may not completely return to the degree it was before. Most patients find this is an additional benefit of the treatment.
Put simply, Accutane permanently shrinks your oil glands. Because people with acne produce more sebum than necessary, the elimination of the excess causes your skin to stay clear because your pores no longer get clogged.
The usual patient takes it for 4 to 6 months, but some need more and must be "retreated" for an additional 4 to 6 months. Taking Accutane with food increases the absorption of the medicine. The more Accutane one takes, the greater the chance of cure. Unfortunately, side effects depend on the dose as well.
I stuck with the basics: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and Daily Facial Moisturizer, as recommended by my dermatologist. I was also advised to stay away from any heavy exfoliation or products that were not made for sensitive skin.