Many over-the-counter (OTC) products are intended to treat acne but are often ineffective. If you've been experiencing stubborn breakouts that don't respond well to OTC treatments, you may want to consider a more potent treatment such as Accutane. Accutane is the closest thing in our toolbox to a cure for acne. Dallas Dermatology Partners can help you achieve clear skin through Accutane acne treatment or another treatment modality. Find out if Accutane could be right for you.
Accutane (isotretinoin) is a powerful medication used to treat severe cases of acne that do not respond well to other treatments. In particular, it can be highly effective on the most stubborn forms of acne—cystic acne and nodules, which can cause significant scarring.
Accutane can not only clear up acne breakouts but may also reduce the risk of permanent scars. It should be noted that the brand name Accutane was taken off the market, but it is still available in generic form as isotretinoin. Dermatologists and patients alike often use this more common name instead of isotretinoin.
Isotretinoin is a retinoid that is derived from Vitamin A. Accutane acne treatment works in four different ways, as follows:
- Shrinking the oil glands – Accutane treatment shrinks the oil glands in the skin. When the oil glands can't produce as much oil, they can't clog the skin, making acne breakouts less likely.
- Affecting dead skin cells – Skin pores can be clogged by dead skin cells and oil from the skin. Isotretinoin makes the dead skin cells less "sticky," which reduces the risk of clogging the pores.
- Inhibiting bacteria – Accutane acne treatment also reduces bacterial growth on the skin.
- Minimizing inflammation – Acne is an inflammatory skin condition, particularly in cases of cystic acne. Accutane minimizes inflammation.
Only a dermatologist can determine if Accutane is right for you. Share your full medical history with one of our clinicians and a complete list of all medications (OTC and prescription) and supplements you are taking.
In general, Accutane acne treatment may be right for people for whom the following are true:
- Diagnosed with severe nodulocystic acne that doesn't respond to other treatments.
- Not currently pregnant, not trying to become pregnant, and not breastfeeding.
- Does not have contraindicating medical conditions and is not taking medications/supplements that may interact with isotretinoin.
At Dallas Dermatology Partners, we believe patient education is one of the most vital aspects of our work. We'll ensure that you're fully informed about the potential risks of Accutane before prescribing it.
It's common to experience one or more of the following while taking isotretinoin:
- Dry skin, chapped lips, and dry mouth
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Increased sensitivity to the sun
- Joint aches
These side effects are temporary and should lessen or dissipate once you've stopped taking the medication.
Finally, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it is important to prevent pregnancy risks: "To get a prescription for isotretinoin, a patient who can become pregnant must take two pregnancy tests to make sure they're not pregnant. Patients who can get
Everyone responds to medications differently, of course, but in general, you may expect to see clearer skin as early as one month after starting treatment. However, you won't see the full results for several months.
Typically, our dermatologists recommend taking Accutane for 6-8 months. If you do not see good results after 20 weeks, we may advise taking a two-month break from the medication, followed by a second course of treatment.
Schedule a Consultation with Dallas Dermatology Partners
If you've been suffering from cystic acne and OTC treatments aren't working, it's time to reclaim your skin and your self-confidence at Dallas Dermatology Partners. Our Accutane doctors can determine if isotretinoin could be an appropriate choice for you and will develop a personalized acne treatment plan.
Schedule your Dallas dermatology appointment today, and look forward to a tomorrow with less acne!