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Accutane for Acne Treatment

Find out if Accutane is the right option for your acne treatment

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, affecting almost 50 million individuals in the United States. Acne can be unsightly and painful and make one feel self-conscious about one’s own appearance. Additionally, the scars left behind from acne breakouts can be even harder and more costly to treat than the acne itself. Luckily, Accutane, the brand name for Isotretinoin, is available to treat severe acne and acne breakouts permanently. Accutane is an FDA-approved, safe, and effective way to treat all forms of acne. Dr. Michele Green in NYC was one of the first dermatologists to prescribe Accutane for her patients to eliminate all types of recalcitrant acne permanently. She has been prescribing Accutane to her Upper East Side Manhattan patients for over two decades.

The mechanism by which Accutane works is by decreasing oil production, reducing the size of the sebaceous glands, increasing the rate of skin cell turnover, and inhibiting the growth of acne-causing bacteria on the skin’s surface. Accutane is an oral form of Vitamin A, and the course of Accutane treatment is typically twenty weeks. During that period of time, patients are required to schedule monthly visits and bloodwork with Dr. Green to adjust the dosage of Accutane and ensure no adverse side effects occur. After the course of Accutane is completed, 95% of patients experience no new breakouts or pimples. If you are interested in clearing your acne and achieving clear, smooth, and healthy skin, Dr. Green is here to help.

Dr. Michele Green is an internationally renowned board-certified dermatologist who provides some of the world’s most discerning individuals with the most innovative treatment options for acne and acne scars. With over 25 years of experience in dermatology, Dr. Green recognizes Accutane as an important acne treatment and scar prevention method for her patients. Dr. Green takes the time to thoroughly understand her patients’ unique concerns, needs, and goals to deliver phenomenal, long-lasting results. She is consistently identified as one of New York’s best dermatologists by Castle Connolly, New York Magazine, and Super Doctors for her dedication to her patients and expertise. When you consult with Dr. Green, she will work with you to develop a personalized acne treatment plan tailored to your skin type, tone, and condition that will result in clear, smooth, healthy, and beautiful skin.

What is Accutane?

Isotretinoin, more commonly referred to by its brand name Accutane, is an oral medication commonly prescribed to treat acne. Other brand names of isotretinoin include Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, and Zenatane. Accutane is a vitamin A derivative and belongs to a class of drugs called retinoids. In high concentrations, vitamin A is extremely effective in treating acne, including severe acne. Accutane can only be acquired with a prescription from a board-certified dermatologist. Accutane is metabolized in the liver, and monthly visits are required with Dr. Green, a dermatologist, to monitor your bloodwork and ensure that your liver enzymes are not elevated during treatment. Additionally, lifestyle changes, such as avoiding alcohol or dietary supplements that contain vitamin A, will be reviewed to ensure that your Accutane treatment is both safe and effective.

23 year old woman treated for acne with Accutane – 3 months

What does Accutane do?

Accutane is a life-changing medication that can treat moderate to severe acne vulgaris that has failed to respond to other treatments, such as topical and oral antibiotics, topical tretinoin, and over-the-counter acne products such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. In the past, Accutane used to be considered a “last resort” treatment option when all other treatments failed. Accutane is now commonly prescribed to treat all types and severity of acne and prevent future acne breakouts and new acne scars from forming. Accutane effectively combats all types of breakouts, whether cysts, nodules, pustules, pimples, whiteheads, or blackheads. Many patients report that their acne was permanently cured after completing one course of Accutane, or at the very least, acne-free for many years.

How does Accutane work?

The exact mechanism of Accutane is not entirely known. Still, it is believed that its mechanism of action induces apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in the sebaceous glands to reduce the inflammation and bacteria that live in the follicle. This process allows the skin to heal and blocks the formation of new acne lesions. In addition to apoptosis, Accutane reduces sebum production and has an antimicrobial effect on certain acne-causing skin bacteria. Accutane also increases the rate of skin cell turnover to make dead skin cells less able to form comedones (blackheads and whiteheads). These various mechanisms of action work in unison to create a more permanent “cure” for acne, including severe cystic acne.

What is the iPLEDGE Program for Accutane?

The iPLEDGE Program was initiated in 2005 and encompasses all FDA-approved isotretinoin. The Food and Drug Administration regulates it as part of a U.S. gov. program. The goal of iPLEDGE is to prevent birth defects and ensure proper monitoring and prescribing of isotretinoin. iPLEDGE is a centralized system for physicians, pharmacists, and patients to manage the medication and minimize any potential risks.

Women of childbearing potential who participate in the iPLEDGE program to take Isotretinoin therapy for recalcitrant cystic acne must have two documented negative pregnancy tests before the medication can be prescribed. They must also sign an agreement indicating they will use two forms of contraception or maintain abstinence while taking Isotretinoin. Birth control pills are considered an excellent method of pregnancy prevention while on Accutane. The combination birth control pill is recommended over the mini-pill since it contains estrogen and progesterone. All women must have a monthly negative pregnancy blood test to continue with Isotretinoin.

What is the treatment process for Accutane?

The first part of the treatment process entails scheduling a consultation with Dr. Michele Green in her private New York City office. You will discuss your current skin condition and assess if Accutane is the best course of medication for you. A thorough medical history review includes any hormonal changes or family history of acne or other skin issues. It is also essential to discuss any history of diabetes, obesity, mental health disorders, liver disease, bone loss conditions like osteoporosis, and eating disorders like anorexia. Dr. Green will order a complete metabolic profile and other blood tests, including hormonal tests, to ensure no liver abnormalities, hormonal irregularities, or anemia.

Patients must sign up for the iPLEDGE program to receive their medication directly from the pharmacy. Women must have two negative pregnancy tests before they are allowed to begin treatment. In addition, women are asked to use two forms of birth control (i.e., birth control pills and male latex condoms) or abstain from sex during the course of treatment. It is also suggested that patients discontinue the herbal supplement St. John’s Wort while taking Accutane, as it may make hormonal contraceptives less effective.

Accutane dosages are calculated by weight and are generally between one to two milligrams per kilogram per day. Depending on the dosage, Accutane should be taken once or twice a day with food. While on Accutane, monthly visits and blood tests are required to monitor any side effects, liver enzymes, white blood cell count (WBC), and red blood cell (RBC) counts. Women are additionally required to have monthly negative pregnancy tests via blood tests. As Accutane is controlled through the government-run iPLEDGE program, all blood test results and birth control methods must be documented and updated monthly in the iPLEDGE® system before the Accutane prescription can be sent. The complete course of Accutane is typically twenty weeks. Many patients notice immediate improvement within the very first month of taking Accutane, while a small subset of patients notice increased acne breakouts during this first month. Over 95% of patients respond to Accutane and suffer no further acne breakouts after completing their five-month course of medication.

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Male treated for acne with Accutane – 6 months

What are the most common side effects of Isotretinoin (Accutane) therapy?

Side effects from isotretinoin treatment vary between each individual. Typically, the severity of the side effects is associated with dosage, as individuals on a lower dosage have fewer side effects than individuals on a higher dosage. As Accutane decreases sebum production, which can lead to dryness, some of the most common side effects include:

  • Dry lips and mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Nosebleeds resulting from dry nasal passages
  • Dry eyes

Dr. Green will encourage you to use moisturizers or cortisone creams if the dry skin is severe. Lip dryness, associated with isotretinoin use, can also be treated with emollients. Some patients suffer from dry eyes while using contact lenses, and daily saline eye drops can help correct this problem. While taking Accutane, your skin will be very sensitive to the sun, so limiting sun exposure, avoiding tanning machines, and utilizing proper sun protection are also imperative to prevent sunburns.

Other common side effects from Accutane usage include:

  • Joint pain
  • Muscle problems, such as muscle pain or aches
  • Temporary hair thinning
  • Skin irritation
  • Headache

Some individuals have reported serious digestive and intestinal side effects when taking Accutane. Researchers have yet to find a link between Accutane and gastrointestinal side effects. However, it is always important to let your provider know if you are experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Liver problems, such as hepatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
  • Increased cholesterol, triglyceride, or blood sugar levels
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Diarrhea

Individuals have reported mental health side effects of Accutane usage. Although there has been no causal relationship determined between Accutane usage and mental health problems, it is important to consult with your doctor and stop taking Accutane immediately if you experience symptoms such as:

  • Depression
  • Increased anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Psychosis

Rare but serious side effects can also occur, including:

  • Benign cranial hypertension (increased pressure in the brain)
  • Blurred vision
  • Decreased night vision
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

Bloodwork will be taken at each Accutane visit with Dr. Green to monitor the proper functioning of the liver and blood sugar levels. Any side effects or allergic reactions, such as hives, should be promptly shared with Dr. Green for best management.

Severe birth defects can occur with Accutane usage during pregnancy, including:

  • Hearing and visual impairment
  • Missing or malformed earlobes
  • Brain function abnormalities
  • Facial dysmorphisms, such as small or missing eyes or a cleft palate
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Hydrocephalus (fluid and pressure buildup on the brain)

Any patient who can become pregnant must use two effective forms of birth control during treatment or pledge to abstinence. A pregnancy test will be taken a month before starting treatment and at each subsequent Accutane visit. Patients must also avoid getting pregnant for at least one month after discontinuing Accutane. Additionally, it is also advised not to breastfeed while taking Accutane, as Accutane may pass during breastfeeding.

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17 year old treated for acne with Accutane

Drug interactions with Isotretinoin

Tetracycline antibiotics, such as Doxycycline and Minocycline, can not be taken while on Isotretinoin (Accutane), as this can contribute to the development of benign intracranial hypertension. Symptoms of this syndrome include a headache behind the eyes, ear ringing, and vision disturbances. It is also important to discontinue phenytoin (Dilantin) while taking Isotretinoin, as this can cause bone loss and weakening. Reading and adhering to your Accutane medication guide for safety is very important.

Skincare while taking Accutane

Photosensitivity and dryness are common side effects of Accutane. It’s imperative that while on Accutane, a rich, non-comedogenic moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 50 are both used. These two skincare products will help nourish the skin, replenish moisture, and protect the skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays. While some well-known acne-fighting ingredients include retinoids, alpha hydroxy acids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid, these ingredients can be far too irritating for patients on Accutane. Instead, individuals taking Accutane should stick to a gentle, hydrating skincare regimen of non-comedogenic products.

Using a gentle cleanser twice daily without intense scrubbing for acne-prone skin is generally recommended. Scrubbing skin too aggressively can exacerbate skin irritation and worsen inflammation. Dr. Green has carefully formulated the Gentle Cleanser from her MGSKINLABs, Inc. line to give patients a way to retain skin moisture while effectively cleansing the skin. This cleanser is perfect for daily use and gentle enough for very dry and sensitive skin, as one may be while taking Accutane.

Applying a lightweight, oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer is essential, as Accutane reduces the amount of sebum produced in the skin. It’s always important to keep the skin hydrated to maintain health, especially when using a drying medication such as Accutane. The Ultimately Sheer Hydrating Lotion from Dr. Green’s MGSKINLABs is designed for sensitive and acne-prone skin, making it the perfect moisturizer for patients on Accutane. The lotion is enriched with aloe and rosewater and never leaves behind a greasy feel, as some intensely hydrating lotions do.

Using a broad-spectrum SPF while on Accutane is a non-negotiable skincare step. Accutane can make the skin extra sensitive to sunlight, potentially worsening the appearance of the acne, exacerbating the breakout, and resulting in dark marks where there are acne lesions. Dr. Green recommends a physical sunscreen incorporating ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that sit atop the skin and act as a physical barrier against the sun’s rays. Dr. Green’s SPF 50 Advanced Formula Broad Spectrum sunscreen is a great option for sun protection, especially when on Accutane. To ensure proper coverage, apply 15 minutes before sun exposure and reapply after swimming, with excessive perspiration, or after towel drying. Also, sunscreen should be reapplied every 1.5-2 hours for best sun protection while exposed to direct sunlight.

How long does it take Accutane to work?

Most patients see an improvement in their acne within one to two months of beginning the treatment. Over the course of your Accutane treatment, you will soon notice a decrease in oil production and a decrease in acne breakouts or pimples. Typically, a twenty-week course of Accutane is necessary to permanently eliminate acne breakouts.

How long is Accutane treatment?

Generally, a course of Accutane is roughly five months, or 20 weeks, but can range from four to six months, depending on the individual’s progress. At the end of the 20-week treatment period, 95% of patients see their acne fully cleared. However, some patients may require 4-6 months of Accutane treatment to achieve the best results. When you have finished your initial five-month treatment period, Dr. Green will discuss your results and recommend whether treatment should be continued for an additional period of time. Some patients require a second course of Accutane, which will be an additional four to six months. If a second course is required, it can not be started until at least two months after the first course.

Some healthcare professionals may prescribe a low-dose, low-frequency regimen for Accutane as an “off-label” treatment, meaning that the FDA has not studied the risks of taking Accutane at a low dosage for a long time. Therefore, long-term, low-dose use of isotretinoin is typically not recommended. Additionally, it is essential to be on the proper dosage during treatment. The therapeutic dosage for Accutane treatment is 1-2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Individuals who do not take a high enough dosage of Accutane may experience breakouts after discontinuing treatment. It is imperative to seek out treatment from an expert board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Green, to ensure that you are on the correct dosage to effectively treat your acne permanently.

Is Accutane bad for you?

No! Accutane is FDA-approved as a safe and effective acne treatment option. Accutane is a prescription medication that an experienced board-certified dermatologist must monitor to ensure safety and efficacy. Some rare, serious side effects can occur and should be reported to your provider immediately if encountered. The most common side effects, which are not inherently harmful and resolve once completing Accutane, include dryness and increased sensitivity to the sun. It is imperative to become pregnant during or for one month after their Accutane treatment, as it can cause serious birth defects. Additionally, patients should avoid alcohol consumption while taking Accutane, as it can harm the liver. Your prescriber will monitor the dosage of Accutane carefully to ensure that there is no risk of unwanted side effects.

Is Accutane permanent?

Accutane acne treatment is the most effective treatment for eliminating stubborn, severe, persistent acne breakouts. Following the 20-week treatment course, 95% of patients will see a full reduction of acne nodules in the treatment area, and for the remaining 5%, most require only to continue the treatment for another 16-20 weeks. However, it is imperative to be on a proper Accutane dosage to avoid breaking out again after treatment. The correct dosage for Accutane treatment is one to two milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. When patients are treated with a subtherapeutic dosage of Accutane or a dosage that is too low, there is a higher chance of acne reoccurrence after the Accutane course is completed. Additionally, studies have found that younger recipients of Accutane are more likely to have a relapse in acne breakouts than older patients. If a relapse of acne should occur, patients may return to your healthcare provider to receive another round of Accutane treatment.

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32 year old treated with Accutane – 6 months

What procedures should you avoid on Accutane?

Accutane is a photosensitizing retinoid medication, so it is best to use a high SPF daily and avoid tanning beds and any form of excessive sun exposure. Since Accutane delays wound healing, cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion, skin resurfacing/exfoliation, plastic surgery, chemical peels, laser treatment for acne scars or tattoo removal, laser hair removal, or waxing should all be avoided. Botox and dermal filler injections with Restylane®, Sculptra®, or Juvederm® are safe while a patient is on Accutane. Patients must wait at least six months after completing Accutane therapy to undergo treatments with resurfacing or radiofrequency lasers (RF), such as Vivace and eMatrix® laser, as the effects of Accutane can stay in your system after the course of medication is complete. With more aggressive lasers, such as CO2 laser or Fraxel laser, one year is needed to wait from completing your course of Accutane.

How much does Accutane cost?

The cost of Accutane varies depending on your insurance coverage. Before starting Accutane, it is advised to contact your health insurance company to determine what is covered under your specific plan and if there are any out-of-pocket costs associated with the medication.

How to have Accutane prescribed

Accutane is available by prescription only. The first step is consulting a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Green in NYC. With Dr. Green, you will discuss your current skin condition and medical history, and she will assess if Accutane is the best treatment for you. Certain blood tests are sent to the laboratory to monitor your liver enzymes and complete blood count. Women must have two negative pregnancy tests before they are allowed to begin Accutane. In addition, women are required to use two forms of birth control or abstain from sex while taking Accutane, as it can cause permanent birth defects in the fetus of pregnant women.

All patients must be registered with the iPLEDGE program to get their prescriptions from the pharmacy. Dr. Green will provide you with an identification number that you will use to access the iPLEDGE program and fill your prescription. A follow-up visit with Dr. Green is required once a month while taking Accutane so that your progress may be evaluated and your condition, including any side effects you may be experiencing, may be discussed. During each monthly visit, blood tests are sent to the lab, including a pregnancy test if you are a woman who can become pregnant.

When to stop Accutane

Typically, Accutane is prescribed for a 20-week course. Patients are advised to discontinue Accutane and see their provider if they experience any of the following serious side effects:

  • Changes in vision, very dry eyes
  • Severe stomach pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding
  • Depression or mood changes

Any negative side effects experienced while taking Accutane should promptly be reported to your provider.

What brands of Isotretinoin are currently available?

As of 2017, the following brand names are available for Isotretinoin in the United States: Zoretanin, Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, Sotret, Claravis, and Zenatane. A board-certified dermatologist such as Dr. Michele Green must monitor your Accutane treatment. Dr. Michele Green has been prescribing Accutane for over two decades and has consistently had excellent results.

Is Accutane worth it?

Yes, Accutane is worth it. Most patients who have taken Accutane only have one regret: not taking it sooner! Dealing with acne can be exhausting- trying countless over-the-counter products, topical treatments, and oral antibiotics prescribed by a physician to no avail. Acne can, for many, cause self-esteem issues and even lead to depression. It is estimated that one in every five individuals with acne will develop acne scars, which can be even more challenging to treat than the breakouts themselves. For this reason, starting Accutane as soon as possible is highly recommended to treat breakouts effectively and minimize the risk of permanent acne scarring.

17 year old female, before and after Accutane - 6 months

FAQs about Accutane

What was Accutane used for?

Accutane was originally used as a “last resort” for severe, scarring cystic and nodular acne that does not respond to other topical or oral treatments. Now, dermatologists commonly prescribe Accutane for individuals with chronic or recalcitrant acne papules and pustules. Accutane is considered to be a gold standard for acne treatment, clearing breakouts for good in just 20 weeks.

Why was Accutane discontinued?

In 2002, Roche Pharmaceuticals, the original maker of Accutane, discontinued it when the patent expired due to various reasons: the influx of numerous cheaper generic medications now available and the cost of defending personal injury lawsuits brought by some people who took the medication. Accutane is now available again in pharmacies with a prescription from a physician and is also available in the United States through the generic version (isotretinoin) or other brand names such as Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan, and Zenatane.

When does Accutane start working?

Most patients notice an immediate skin improvement in their first month of taking Accutane. Over the next five months of taking the medication, the dose of one’s Accutane prescription is gradually increased to ensure no new breakouts and prevent pimples from returning after completing the course. The maximum dosage of Accutane prescribed is 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. Over 95% of patients respond well to Accutane as an acne treatment and suffer no further acne breakouts after completing their five-month course of medication. Of the 5% of patients who do not have clear skin after five months of taking isotretinoin, 50% are completely clear after the second course of Accutane. If a second course of Accutane treatment is required, it can not be started until at least two months after completing the first course.

Will Accutane get rid of blackheads?

Yes, Accutane can get rid of blackheads. Once a treatment reserved for severe cystic and nodular forms of acne, its use has been expanded to treat all kinds of recalcitrant acne that cannot be effectively resolved with other oral or topical medications. Accutane combats different causes of acne, including clogged pores, acne-causing bacteria, excess oil production, and skin inflammation. These qualities of Accutane make it an effective treatment for all types of acne, including blackheads and whiteheads.

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Does Accutane work to treat severe acne?

Yes! Accutane is extremely effective in treating all types of acne and is the most effective treatment option for severe acne, including cystic and nodular acne. It has a high success rate of nearly 95% on average for those who complete the 5-month course. About 50% of people who take Accutane report not needing to treat acne again afterward. Of the 5% of patients who do not clear after five months, 50% are completely clear after the second course of Accutane. Accutane will not only treat the existing acne breakouts but also prevent acne scars, which are difficult to get rid of, from forming in the first place. When Accutane is prescribed by an experienced dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green and taken as directed, it is a fantastic medication to treat or completely eliminate severe acne breakouts.

Can you drink alcohol on Accutane?

Since Accutane is absorbed and metabolized in the liver, it is not advisable to drink alcohol during the course of treatment. Drinking alcohol can elevate your liver enzymes, and this interaction could potentially damage your liver. One of the possible side effects of drinking alcohol while taking Accutane is permanent liver damage. Monthly blood tests are performed to evaluate liver function while taking Accutane.

Does Accutane make you tired?

Although it is not a common side effect, Accutane can cause feelings of tiredness and fatigue. If you experience increased tiredness while taking Accutane, alert your provider, who can make any necessary adjustments to your prescription.

Does Accutane cause hair loss?

Hair thinning and hair loss are rare potential side effects that can occur when taking Accutane. These effects develop partly because Accutane decreases the size of sebaceous glands in the skin, including the scalp. This can be very drying, causing hair to become brittle and making it more susceptible to breakage. However, deep conditioners and gentle shampoos can mitigate this type of hair breakage. Hair loss resulting from Accutane is only temporary and should fully resolve once Accutane treatment is concluded. If your hair is slow to grow back after finishing your prescription for Accutane, let Dr. Green know. Topical hair treatment serums, topical minoxidil (Rogaine), oral supplements like Nutrafol, and in-office procedures like Platelet-Rich-Plasma (PRP) injections may help to speed up the regrowth process. Dr. Green will be able to evaluate your hair condition and recommend the best combination of treatments for your situation.

Does Accutane stunt growth?

Yes, it has been described that Accutane can stunt growth by causing premature closure of the growth plates. Teenagers who are considering Accutane must be evaluated by their pediatrician to ensure that they have finished growing before starting an Accutane treatment course.

Can Accutane cause weight gain?

No! Weight gain is not one of the potential side effects of taking Accutane. Per the FDA, weight changes have not been linked to Accutane.

Can Accutane cause weight loss?

No, Accutane does not cause weight loss, and no weight changes have been associated with Accutane usage.

Does Accutane shrink your nose?

No, Accutane cannot shrink your nose. Some individuals still report that their noses have shrunk after Accutane usage—this is likely due to the effect that Accutane has on sebum glands on the nose, making the nose look smaller.

Can Accutane cause depression?

There have been reported cases of mental health side effects when using Accutane, including depression. However, clinical studies have shown that there is no causal relationship between depression and Accutane. If you have a history of depression or begin to experience depressive episodes while taking Accutane, it is important to review your past medical history with Dr. Green.

Is Accutane a pill?

Yes, Accutane is an oral retinoid medication for acne. The pills are only available with a prescription from a dermatologist, such as board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green in New York City. While taking Accutane, you are required to have monthly follow-up visits with Dr. Green so that your progress can be monitored and any necessary adjustments in your acne treatment plan can be made.

Is Accutane a steroid?

No, Accutane is not a steroid medication. Accutane is classified as a retinoid, a compound derived from vitamin A. Retinoids increase skin cell turnover rate, encourage dead skin cells to sloop away more quickly, and keep the pores clear of acne-causing debris.

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Is Accutane safe?

Accutane is a treatment that is safe for most patients. Accutane is unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding patients, as it can lead to serious birth defects and developmental abnormalities in babies. For that reason, the FDA requires female patients who are capable of becoming pregnant to take a monthly pregnancy test while on Accutane. Accutane should also be avoided for patients taking the following medications, as the drug interactions can be dangerous: Tetracycline antibiotics, Doxycycline, Minocycline, and Phenytoin. Further, alcohol consumption should be avoided while taking Accutane. Studies have shown that Accutane is fully safe to be consumed at full dosage for patients with the following conditions: Crohn’s Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, epilepsy, Spina Bifida, and Ulcerative colitis. Patients with the following conditions are unlikely to experience any adverse effects of Accutane related to their condition: Chronic Renal Failure, Renal dialysis, Immunosuppression, manic depressive psychosis, motor neuron disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Since Accutane is a complex medication with numerous side effects, it should not be taken without the medical advice and guidance of a board-certified physician like Dr. Michele Green in NYC. An experienced dermatologist must monitor you for possible adverse effects and administer the appropriate dosage to avoid serious health problems. During your initial consultation with Dr. Green, be sure to disclose any medical history to ensure that it is safe for you to begin Accutane treatment.

Does Accutane cure acne permanently?

Accutane is a permanent solution for most patients affected by acne. For 95% of all patients taking Accutane, a five-month course permanently eliminates acne. Some demographic factors may contribute to whether a patient will experience a future acne breakout after completing Accutane. For example, studies have found that younger patients are at a higher risk of relapse than older patients. Additionally, men with acne on their back and chest are more likely to experience a future acne breakout following Accutane treatment than women with mostly facial acne. If breakouts return post-treatment, patients can return to Dr. Green’s office for a second course of Accutane.

Does Accutane help with scars?

Yes! Acne scars form due to inflammation associated with acne lesions, causing permanent damage to underlying skin tissue. The natural wound-healing process of the skin relies on the production of new collagen that contributes to a firm, smooth foundation. When too little collagen is formed, atrophic acne scars are formed, characterized by depression or indents in the skin. When too much collagen is produced, hypertrophic or keloid scars are formed, characterized by raised, growth-like acne scars. In general, cystic acne is the most likely to scar because it is more inflamed than other types of acne. Accutane can help combat the development of acne scars by reducing the inflammation of cystic acne breakouts. Accutane can not significantly improve the appearance of existing acne scars, which typically require treatment with various cosmetic procedures at Dr. Green’s private dermatology office. Once your acne is resolved, Dr. Green will work with you to create a customized acne scar treatment plan.

JYZ 28 yo female before and after acne treatment LEFT MGWatermark

Can you treat acne scars while on Accutane?

Accutane treats active acne breakouts, ultimately helping to prevent the formation of acne scars. Some of the most effective acne scar treatments include chemical peels, dermal fillers, and laser resurfacing treatments. While on Accutane, however, the only acne scar treatments that are safe to perform would be the VBeam laser treatment and dermal filler injections. The Vbeam laser is a gentle laser that diminishes the appearance of redness and can also help decrease acne breakouts. Dermal fillers, such as Restylane, Sculptra, and Juvederm, are best for filling in depressions or atrophic acne scars to restore lost volume for smoother skin. For chemical peels and laser treatments, patients should wait at least six months before receiving treatment. Cosmetic procedures such as dermabrasion, exfoliation, plastic surgery, lasers, laser tattoo removal, laser hair removal, and waxing should be avoided during treatment and for several months afterward.

Where to get Accutane

Accutane is not available over the counter, meaning that patients need a prescription from a healthcare provider. The best way to get Accutane prescribed is by consulting a board-certified dermatologist like Dr. Michele Green in NYC. Dr. Green will review your medical history and skin condition to determine if you are a good candidate for Accutane. If Accutane would benefit your situation, Dr. Green will write you a prescription for the medication and evaluate your monthly progress during regular follow-up visits and bloodwork tests. Patients must be registered for the iPLEDGE program to be eligible to receive Accutane, and monthly pregnancy tests are required for patients who may become pregnant.

Should I go on Accutane?

The best way to determine whether Accutane is the right acne treatment for you is by consulting an experienced board-certified dermatologist, such as Dr. Michele Green, in New York City. Accutane is a highly effective acne treatment for moderate to severe acne. The oral medication works over 20 weeks to eliminate breakouts on the face and body and prevent the formation of acne scars. Accutane is a good option for any patient with acne who does not respond to usual methods of breakout reduction, including other oral medications, chemical peels, laser treatment, or photodynamic therapy. If you are struggling with stubborn breakouts, schedule a consultation with Dr. Green to determine if Accutane is the best acne treatment option. When you consult with Dr. Green, she will physically evaluate your skin condition, collect a thorough medical and family history, and work with you to develop an acne treatment plan that best suits your needs. If Accutane is recommended for you, she will monitor your progress during monthly follow-up visits and make adjustments as necessary to guarantee your acne resolves and your complexion clears with long-lasting results.

How do I get started with Accutane for acne treatment today?

Acne is one of the most common skin conditions, with the American Academy of Dermatology reporting that over 50 million Americans are affected annually. Although common, active breakouts and the scars that may be left behind can, for many, induce feelings of self-consciousness and low self-esteem. Fortunately, Accutane is an incredibly effective acne treatment option that has helped countless individuals permanently eliminate their breakouts and achieve clear, smooth, healthy skin in as little as 20 weeks. While Isotretinoin used to be reserved for cases of severe cystic acne, it is now recommended as a safe and effective acne treatment option for all types of breakouts. If you are struggling with stubborn breakouts, schedule a consultation with Dr. Green to determine if Accutane is right for you.

Dr. Green is an internationally renowned expert in the field of dermatology with over two and a half decades of experience providing her patients from around the globe with the best treatment options available, including Accutane, to treat acne breakouts. Castle Connolly, Super Doctors, The New York Times, and New York Magazine consistently identify Dr. Green as one of New York City’s best dermatologists for her dedication to her patients and expertise. Dr. Green takes a holistic approach, customizing each patient’s treatment plan to incorporate a unique combination of in-office procedures, specially formulated skincare products, and any necessary prescription medications best suited to addressing their specific skin concerns and achieving their aesthetic goals. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Green and start your personalized acne treatment with isotretinoin capsules, please call the NYC office at 212-535-3088 or contact us online today.


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