How to get the most out of your Accutane treatment: a step-by-step guide

Find out about the pros and cons of Accutane treatment and what to expect while you’re taking it. But you need to know a few things about acne before you can decide whether or not Accutane could help you.

How Does Acne Form?

Acne is an inflammation of the pilosebaceous unit, which consists of the hair follicle and the oil gland (sebaceous gland). Stress, hormonal changes, drugs, poor hygiene, poor eating choices, and a variety of other factors are all common triggers. If any of these are present, the following sequence of events may occur:

Follicular Expansion

The following factors might trigger cellular proliferation inside the hair follicle:

Androgens, or testosterone-like hormones, are overactive.

Reduced linoleic acid levels in the body, a fatty acid that can only be obtained from food

Immunologic alterations

The extra cells are not only fast growing, but also extremely sticky. Because the hair follicle is small, cellular proliferation can readily clog pores and cause them to bulge from debris and oil buildup.

Sebum Overproduction

Sebum is the greasy excretion of the skin. It protects your skin from microorganisms and oxidative stress while minimizing moisture loss. Sebaceous gland dysfunction caused by hormones is a common cause of excessive sebum production.

Bacterial Activity Has Increased

“Triglycerides” are a form of lipid found in sebum. Propionibacterium acnes, a generally harmless skin bacterium, feeds on them. When it’s raining triglycerides, P. acnes bacteria reproduce quickly. The skin is irritated by bacteria and their waste products.


All of the aforementioned changes cause pressure to build up inside the hair follicle, resulting in inflammation. Acne can develop when the lesion grows and ruptures.

Acne is more common among teenagers due to hormonal changes, although it can affect people of any age, even babies.

How do the dermatologists at BHSkin get rid of acne?

Physicians at BHSkin Dermatology have a large anti-acne armament, which includes the following:

Cleansers with Medicine

Impurities and oil accumulation are reduced by cleansing the skin twice daily. Antibacterial cleaners stop bacteria from growing. The gentlest approach to acne is cleansing.

Topical medications

Antimicrobial properties are seen in topical drugs such as benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin, and clindamycin. Azelaic acid, for example, helps cleanse your pores while killing microorganisms.

Antibiotics for the Whole Body

If topical therapies don’t work, your dermatologist may prescribe oral antibiotics. Two of the most often prescribed acne-fighting medicines, minocycline and clindamycin, also reduce oil accumulation in the skin.

Hormone Replacement Therapy

Hormonal acne or outbreaks induced by androgen variations affect some people. Anti-androgenic medicines may help these patients.

Dietary Changes

Although the link between acne and food is not totally obvious, chocolate, milk, sweets, and fatty meals have all been linked to breakouts. Nonetheless, proper hydration and a balanced diet are always beneficial to the skin, therefore we advise our patients to make better food choices on a regular basis.

Surgery for Acne

To prevent severe acne, this technique removes blackheads and whiteheads.

Glucocorticoids (intralesional)

Injections of steroids into the skin reduce inflammation in large, nodular acne.

Lasers and Phototherapy

UV light kills P. acnes and decreases inflammation in the skin. Sebaceous glands that are aberrant are removed using laser treatment and photodynamic therapy.

Topical and systemic retinoid formulations

Retinoids are vitamin-A-like compounds that have anti-aging properties. Accutane is a retinoid medication.

Because these medicines act in different ways, their effectiveness and safety varies. If you don’t respond to the mildest treatments, your dermatologist may examine more aggressive options.

Dietary Changes

What Is Accutane’s Mechanism of Action?

Oral isotretinoin is marketed under the brand name Accutane. It functions on a genetic level to:

Normalize hair follicle and oil gland cell development and function.

Prevent pores from clogging.

Control the immunological response of your skin.

Isotretinoin also possesses antibacterial properties against P. acnes, which is important if the strain has developed resistance to antibiotics. It is recommended by dermatologists for diverse acne types since it prevents all stages of acne production. Other pimple therapies, on the other hand, merely hinder one or two stages.

So, when you think about it, those Accutane users in Hollywood are correct.

Isotretinoin can also be used topically. To lower your systemic dose and the chance of developing undesired side effects, your doctor may combine oral and topical therapies.

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When Taking Accutane, What Should You Expect?

Treatment with oral isotretinoin is very successful for acne and a variety of other skin issues. However, many people find the experience unsettling or restricting. We’ve compiled a list of what to expect when taking this drug.

Effects’ Timeline

The oiliness of your skin will begin to lessen after the first two weeks. You may feel the “Accutane purge” during your first month of treatment. Exacerbation of acne appears to be skin cleansing. That’s why some Accutane users complain, “It gets worse before it gets better.” The pilosebaceous units, on the other hand, shed abnormal cells and replace them with better ones at this time.

After 1-3 months, you should notice a difference in the clarity of your skin. Isotretinoin will continue to prevent acne production after 4 months. The treatment usually lasts 4-6 months.

Isotretinoin keeps working for up to two months after your final dose. As a result, your doctor may decide to cease your medication without waiting for your skin to completely clear up. This protects you from unpleasant side effects.

Possible Negative Effects

Skin tightness, redness, and peeling are the most common side effects of Accutane treatment. Dryness of the skin, eyes, and other mucosal surfaces may accompany the purging of oil glands. Hair and nail changes, as well as photosensitivity, are prevalent.

Oral isotretinoin medication has been associated to systemic adverse effects, but they are infrequent, avoidable, or controllable. Among them are:

Because the medicine penetrates the placenta and affects the baby’s genes, it can cause severe birth abnormalities.

Lower sebum production makes you more vulnerable to Staphylococcal infections.

Pain in the muscles, bones, or joints

A benign condition in which the pressure inside the skull rises is known as pseudotumor cerebri. Blurred vision, nausea, and headache are some of the symptoms. When Accutane is combined with a tetracycline antibiotic like minocycline or doxycycline, it might cause acne.

High blood triglycerides cause pancreatitis and fatty skin growths (xanthelasma).

Inflammatory bowel illness, particularly ulcerative colitis, becomes worse.

Inflammation causes an increase in liver enzymes.

Clotting issues that put you at risk of bleeding spontaneously

Some people believe it induces suicidal thoughts, however there is no solid evidence linking Accutane usage to psychiatric disease. Meanwhile, acne can have social and psychological consequences, making many individuals vulnerable to depression and other mental health disorders.

Possible Negative Effects
Skin tightness, redness, and peeling are the most common side effects of Accutane treatment.

How Your Dermatologist Will Manage the Risks of Accutane Before and After

Your doctor will lead you through many components of the treatment after a comprehensive evaluation. They’ll go over how to take your isotretinoin capsules properly and how to maximize the benefits while minimizing the hazards.

Aside from patient education, your doctor’s responsibilities during Accutane treatment include the following:

Oral isotretinoin is quite successful, however it is not right for everyone. To avoid exacerbating a pre-existing medical problem, your doctor may recommend a different type of acne treatment.

Pregnancy testing and birth control will be provided to women before, during, and after treatment. They must also use two different types of contraception. Accutane and birth control pills are compatible. Because a little quantity of isotretinoin ends up in the sperm, male patients must also take contraception during treatment.

Treating minor complications—for non-life-threatening side effects, your healthcare professional may undertake the following:

Emollients for flaky or dry skin are available. Lip balm can be used to cure chapped lips.

If your eyes are dry, use artificial tears.

Antibiotics should be prescribed for minor illnesses.

Make a dosage adjustment.

Preventing serious complications—your doctor will take the following steps to avoid life-threatening complications:

As needed, blood tests

Prescribe drugs that are known to interact negatively with isotretinoin.

If required, discontinue treatment.

If required, collaborate with other experts.

Assessing cosmetic results—your dermatologist will keep track of your development to determine when you should cease treatment.

During this time, you should expect to see your doctor more frequently.

What Should You Do to Make Sure Your Accutane Treatment Works?

Registering for the iPledge program should be one of your top considerations before beginning this therapy. This is a web-based pregnancy risk management tool for those who are taking or plan to use Accutane.

A list of prerequisites for both male and female patients may be found on the iPledge website. In general, they all involve following tight guidelines to avoid pregnancy while using Accutane and vice versa.

Accutane is only prescribed for a month by your doctor. Before receiving another, you must first complete the iPledge requirements, which include a negative pregnancy test and the declaration of two birth control forms.

You must additionally perform the following in addition to taking the iPledge:

Take your Accutane pills exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

When going outside, use sunscreen.

Perform the required blood tests.

Make appointments with your dermatologist on a regular basis.

If you have any problems, contact your doctor’s clinic.

Severe difficulties and an unexpected pregnancy can derail your treatment plans, but following these guidelines will help you achieve better results.

Take your Accutane pills exactly as prescribed by your doctor.

What Should You Avoid When Taking Accutane?

To avoid issues during therapy, it’s best to avoid the following:

Smoking—the combination of isotretinoin plus smoking raises the risk of lung cancer. Smoking also releases chemicals that are harmful to the skin.

Alcohol increases the drug’s toxicity in the liver. Methotrexate, for example, is a liver-damaging drug.

Isotretinoin stays primarily in your blood after you donate blood. It’s not something you want accidently transfused into a pregnant woman.

Isotretinoin makes the skin more sensitive to the effects of phototherapy, lasers, and harsh chemical treatments.

Taking Accutane without consulting a doctor—as previously said, your doctor is there to ensure that your therapy is effective and safe. Although the medicine is available for purchase online, consuming it without medical supervision might have serious effects.

If you have any other health problems, don’t hesitate to tell your dermatologist. A broad list of medicines interact badly with Accutane, and the best person to advise you which ones to avoid is your doctor.

There are benefits and drawbacks to taking Accutane. However, by working closely with your dermatologist, you can lessen the inconveniences in yours.

Will your acne return after using Accutane?

In roughly 85 percent of individuals, acne vanishes completely after one therapy term. The others will require a second course. For the most part, remission takes years.

Does Accutane Cause Weight Gain?

Although Accutane alters the lipid makeup of your body, there is no proven link between weight gain and its use.

Is Isotretinoin Effective for Mild Acne?

This medicine may be used to treat minor acne immediately away in some circumstances. You can talk to your dermatologist about it. In most cases, a low-dose or alternate-day dosage plan will be required.

Is Isotretinoin Linked to Cancer?

Isotretinoin does not raise the risk of skin cancer in humans, according to current knowledge. Retinoids can really protect you from this illness. They affect the immune system and induce the development of skin cancer protectants. Isotretinoin has also been used to help cancer treatments work better against different tumor types.

To summarize

A pound of cure is worth an ounce of prevention. And nothing surpasses Accutane treatment when it comes to preventing acne scars. However, you must use it with prudence and under medical supervision.

Also, never take your skin’s health for granted. On your Accutane journey, work with no less than a board-certified specialist.

Having clear skin doesn’t have to be a guessing game.

Acne can strike at any age, but the scars do not have to be endured. Accutane treatment may be beneficial. Choose only LA’s most trusted dermatologists at BHSkin Dermatology for head-turning, pimple-free skin. Visit us in Encino or Glendale, or schedule a consultation via our virtual portal. If you want to get Accutane. We would recommend this firm. There are many good aspects about this company.

You must use Accutane with prudence and under medical supervision.