Acne, Isotretinoin, Roaccutane

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Each year I see a lot of acne patients. Most have been treated by their GP but the acne has been unresponsive to topical preparations or antibiotics.

The aim of acne treatments is to prevent scarring and improve acne until it burns itself out. Some treatments can reduce acne a great deal. Acne lasts for 6-14 years, median 6 years but the scarring if it occurs can be permanent

Isotretinoin (Roaccutane) is an excellent drug for acne. It has been around for almost 40 years and been used worldwide by millions. It has helped innumerable people with acne. A 4-6 month course can sometimes reduce acne by 90%. Occasionally a 2nd or 3rd course is required

Everyone taking Isotretinoin will get some side effects such as dry lips dry nose
Some patients may get muscle aches
Be careful if you wax the skin for hair removal as this can lead to skin fragility.
Sometimes it can irritate / upset / damage the liver so limit alcohol. Usually Blood tests will be performed before treatment and at around 4 weeks to make sure the liver and blood fats are stable

One of the major main concern regarding Isotretinoin is pregnancy. If a woman becomes pregnant whilst on Isotretinoin or within 5 weeks of stopping it, then the unborn child can be harmed with birth defects. Thus the manufacturers recommend 2 forms of contraception in all women of child-bearing potential

Another concern about Isotretinoin is the possible link to low mood depression and suicide. Research tends to indicate that it is the acne that leads to depression and suicidal intent rather than the Isotretinoin. Your dermatologist will discuss this with you when you are recommended this drug.

Long term low dose isotretinoin can sometimes help reduce adult relapsing acne

Acne in the over 40s
Read here

Non-comdeogenic make up

Ask for non-comedogenic make up when buying make up if you have acne
For example, the Clinique counter in Nottingham has staff trained to advise you if you have Acne.

Acne - DermnetNZ - excellent website

Isotretinoin on

Acne - BUPA

Acne - Wikipedia

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