Accutane: How It Works and the Possible Side Effects
Upon hearing the term accutane, one would easily relate it to pimple and blemish treatment. However, not everyone knows what it really is and how it actually works to help reduce acne. This article discusses what it is, its effects on acne, and some of the known side effects it gives.
What is Accutane?
Accutane (also known in the name of Isotretinoin or Roaccutane) came into discovery in the year 1979 when it was first used by patients who have severe acne conditions. It is usually administered in the form of pills and a derivative for vitamin A. It used to be prescribed for individuals that have tried other acne treatments and failed to get better results. However, due to its effectiveness, it is now being prescribed even to those with less severe acne conditions.
How Does Accutane Affect Acne?
This derivative is known to dramatically lessen the size of the oil glands of the skin by 35 to 58 percent and can reduce the amount of oil produced up to 80%. When skin oil gets reduced, acne bacteria are also reduced since it lives in skin oil. Another thing is that it slows down the rate of skin cell production inside the skin’s pores, preventing the pores from being clogged. Lastly, its anti-inflammatory properties are helpful during the healing process.
Using Accutane might make one’s acne conditions get worse within the first month of use; however, the ultimate result would be a dramatic improvement in one’s acne condition. Upon completion of a cycle (accutane pills are usually prescribed to be taken for 15-20 weeks), people would notice complete or partial clearing of their acne problems. The dosage to be taken is usually based on how much a person weighs.
Accutane Side Effects
Just like any kind of medicine, taking this treatment produces side effects. Here are the common side effects:
- Severe: skin infection, eye irritation, tenderness of bones, nosebleed, rashes, skin infection
- Less Severe: dry eye, dryness mouth, dryness of the nose, abnormal skin peeling, dry skin, head pain, low energy, sensitivity to the sun, hair loss, inflammation of lips
Taking Accutane might be helpful for those with severe, and even mild, acne conditions. However, one should still make sure to seek the prescription of a licensed dermatologist instead of deciding to take this medication upon compulsion. Consulting with a dermatologist can also help one learn more on how to maintain healthy skin once their acne clears away.