Accutane: Not Your Mother's
Acne Treatment

Or, all about the major risk, major benefit acne drug
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What is Accutane? Does it work? Is it dangerous?

Accutane can completely cure severe, cystic acne! Seriously! This medication is so successful that 2 week courses of it are prescribed in Hollywood if a celebrity suddenly starts breaking out. This medication has been known to take faces and backs that were exploding with breakouts and smoothen and clear the complexion. But before you break out the confetti and party hats you need to read this entire article! This medication carries severe risks and taking it is not a decision that should be taken lightly.

This acne treatment comes in several strengths, and can be taken once or twice a day. Your prescription depends on several factors including how much you weigh. Because this medication is so strong and comes with so many risks it is usually only prescribed for exteme cases of cystic acne or for extemely treatment resistant forms of less severe acne but only rarely.

If you are female, you will be warned that you can absolutely not become pregnant during treatment.

To do so can cause extreme birth defects in babies. In fact, you will not be allowed to begin this acne treatment therapy until you have had blood work done, making sure your blood is OK to withstand treatment and that you are not pregnant.

You will also have ongoing pregnancy tests during your acne treatment. You must use birth control while you are taking this medication. Your insurance may cover the cost of some or all of your prescriptions.

What are the side effects of this medication other than severe birth defects?

There are several other major potential side effects, all of which your doctor should inform you of.

Side effects can include liver disease, depression, impaired night vision, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The milder side effects include dry lips (you will need lip balm with sunscreen), dry skin (you may need to moisturize and use a humidifier), and several others which you will also be informed of.

To prevent over-drying your skin you should use an extremely gentle soap or cleanser, and cleanse twice a day. Ask your dermatologist about how often you should moisturize.

This acne treatment therapy lasts for a 20 week period, after which your acne may be completely clear, may almost be clear and continue to improve, or may require a second 20 week course of therapy.

As with Retin A, during the early stages of this acne treatment you may notice your condition will worsen. But this is definitely worth it! The result should thrill you! If your doctor or you feel that this acne treatment is too risky to treat your severe cystic acne or your acne is severe but not exactly cystic, you may want to find a specialist that offers blue light therapy, which has been said to be just as effective as this medication for treating severe acne.

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