Accutane "cures" about half of those people who take it so that they never need to do anything else for acne. In the first few weeks of treatment, about one in five patients gets a little worse, and one in 500 patients gets much worse. The rest either get much better, or better for a while.
During Your 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.
Before your acne can get better, it will likely get worse at the beginning stages of taking Accutane. Called purging, the drug will push out all dead skin cells, oil, and debris from underneath the skin causing inflammation and more acne. Once this stage is complete, acne will begin to subside.
Timeline of Effects
That is why you hear some Accutane patients saying, “It gets worse before it gets better.” But this is when the pilosebaceous units shed abnormal cells and replace them with better ones. After 1-3 months, you should see your skin becoming clearer.
These unwanted effects — particularly skin dryness and acne breakouts — are widely referred to as the “tretinoin purge.” While they don't affect everyone, many tretinoin users experience some degree of purge effects during the first several weeks of treatment.
Take with food: Isotretinoin absorbs twice as well if you take it with meals. Isotretinoin is a lipophilic medication. One study showed 1.5-2 times greater absorption in the fed (large breakfast with 28 grams of fat) versus a fasting state. This difference in absorption is not a trivial concern.
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.
Skin purging refers to a reaction to an active ingredient that is increasing skin cell turnover in order to improve acne. When using prescription-strength acne medications, it's reasonably common for your skin to get worse before it gets better.
You will probably take isotretinoin for 15 to 20 weeks. Your acne may get worse when you first start using isotretinoin. This usually just lasts for a little while. If this happens to you, your doctor may have you use other medicines along with the isotretinoin in this stage.
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.
Isotretinoin works by reducing the production of oil on your skin, slowing down the growth of skin cells that may clog pores and killing the bacteria in your pores that cause inflammation. Dosing is important to achieve success, and when used properly, Accutane has a nearly 90% success rate.
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.
Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen. If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist. It could be that you need to adjust the dosage and/or frequency of application.
Some people do experience worsening if they have long-standing acne. 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.
If you don't see improvement after 4 to 6 weeks, add a second acne product to your treatment plan. This approach can help attack the different causes of acne. Bacteria, clogged pores, oil, and inflammation can all cause acne. Of course, the second treatment should attack a different cause of acne.
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.
During the first 3 weeks you are taking isotretinoin, your skin may become irritated. Also, your acne may seem to get worse before it gets better. Check with your doctor if your skin condition does not improve within 1 to 2 months after starting this medicine or at any time your skin irritation becomes severe.
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. Chemical peels can improve the skin's texture and minimize the appearance of pores by peeling off the old layer of skin.
Skin purging typically looks like tiny red bumps on the skin that are painful to touch. They are often accompanied by whiteheads or blackheads. It can also cause your skin to become flaky. The flare ups caused by purging have a shorter lifespan than a breakout.
Acne treatments — especially those that contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid — are drying and a bit harsh on your skin. If you use too many treatments at the same time, your skin may become irritated, and you may actually suffer more breakouts as a result.
Acne purging or “ skin purging ” is when a person's acne condition seems to get worse when they begin an effective topical treatment. This can mean more pimples popping, sometimes even in new areas . These breakouts can also be more intense than normal, often larger and more inflamed.
Accutane is the single most effective drug for treating severe acne that hasn't responded to other treatments. About 50% of people who take it experience cleared skin to the point that they never need to treat acne again. Most people take this drug for four to six months.
While you are taking Accutane and for at least 6 months after your last dose: Do not use wax hair removers or have dermabrasion or laser skin treatments. Scarring may result. Isotretinoin could make you sunburn more easily. Avoid sunlight or tanning beds.
For best results, you should take the Accutane capsule at the same time every day with a full glass of water immediately following a meal or snack high in fat content. This ensures the medication is absorbed well and works properly.