What is accutane used for?
Accutane is used for severe, cystic and nodular acne. When the patient has tried other treatment routes and acne problems still persist, Accutane may be recommended. It needs to be prescribed by a doctor.
How does it work?
Accutane is a form of vitamin D. It is an oral supplement taken that works by reducing the amount of oil released by the glands in your skin. High amounts of oil, also known as sebum, can lead to severe acne and if left untreated, severe acne may cause permanent scarring.
Do I have to take it for the rest of my life?
It is taken for a few months, twice daily and it can at least a month before the benefits of the medication start to show. Additionally it may take several months before the patient experiences the full benefits from Accutane.
Will Accutane remove my acne scars?
No. Accutane is used to treat the actual chemical makeup of acne and to stop reoccurring breakouts. Dr. Cameron Rokhsar uses Fraxel, which is considered the gold-standard in laser technology, to resurface and rejuvenate the skin.
Am I a good candidate for Accutane?
Accutane is not safe for women that are pregnant. In fact, women of child-bearing potential are required to sign a written agreement that they are using two forms of birth control. Accutane can lead to severe, life-threatening birth defects and may be dangerous to the mother’s health as well. Accutane is also considered a last resort medication, meaning the patient has tried other routes of acne treatment and have not gotten the results that were intended. It is suggested that those who are prone to depression or who are on medication for depression should not take Accutane.
What are the possible side effects?
As your body adjusts to the drug there may be a severe breakout immediately after the first dosage. Fortunately, skin will start to clear a few weeks later, as the body adjusts to the medication and it begins to work. Side effects include dryness and peeling of the face and lips, increased redness, rashes on the hands and arms, dry eyes and sensitivity to light.
Can I sunbathe while taking Accutane?
No. The skin becomes very sensitive to light and environmental factors, making the skin more susceptible to sun burns and rash breakouts. Patients who are taking Accutan should wear a strong sunscreen. Avoid sunscreens that contain fragrances, alcohols or dyes. Look for high SPF sunscreens and also ones that have more zinc. Zinc is a key nutrient that can help protect your skin from harmful UVA rays instead of just UVB rays. It is important to stay out of tanning beds, and shade the skin while outdoors.