Accutane, otherwise known as Isotretinoin, is a powerful drug used in the treatment of severe acne, or acne that is not responsive to typical treatments. The word acne may have you thinking this is a drug just for teenagers, but Accutane is prescribed for patients of all ages. It is a derivative of Vitamin A and can be a miracle drug for those suffering from acne – able to stop and reverse acne, prevent new scarring, and reduce existing scarring.
Acne occurs due to over-active sebaceous glands in the skin producing too much sebum, or oil. The oil then blocks the glands and causes an accumulation of sebum under the skin. The bacteria associated with acne thrive in these conditions. Accutane is able to decrease the size and activity of sebaceous glands, reduce the amount of sebum produced and reduce the amount of keratin that clogs the pores. Accutane can actually cure acne in about 80% of patients (which means little to no acne for 5-15 years). There is really no other medication that even comes close to being this effective.
It’s important to know that Accutane is not just a prescription; it’s an acne treatment program in which the patient will be actively involved. Women who are considering Accutane should not have any interest in getting pregnant while on the drug as it can cause major birth defects. There are other guidelines and side effects (some severe) that people considering Accutane should be aware of so make an appointment with Dr. Baker to discuss whether or not this acne “miracle” drug is right for you.
Stay tuned for more information on Accutane, including an off-label way of using Accutane in adults with excessive oil, female adult acne, or rosacea.