Our dermatologist's Accutane advice

Accutane Advice

Accutane treatment is complete bliss for some people and a pretty rough experience for others. Before you start or consider going on Accutane, it's important to have a good understanding of the possible side effects, in addition to the benefits of Accutane, so that you can make the most of the treatment.

  1. Recent studies have changed the way dermatologists prescribe Accutane (Isotretinoin). The old methods of high doses for short periods (3 months) are gone; doctors frequently now prescribe lower doses for longer periods (5-to-6 months) of time.
  2. During treatment, your skin, lips, nose, and eyes will be dry. Have lots of lip balm, skin moisturizers, and moisturizing eye drops ready. Once you stop Accutane, these changes will disappear.
  3. During Accutane, your skin will be thinner and more sensitive to the sun. Use sunscreen every single day and try to avoid beach or ski vacations during this period. Sunglasses are also a good idea — your eyes will probably become more sensitive to brightness.
  4. Avoid exfoliation. The Accutane will make your skin very sensitive, and exfoliating will make it red and sore. Use an oil-free cleanser to cleanse your skin — that’s it. Never use a washcloth or any exfoliating gel or brush when you’re on Accutane.
  5. Waxing or laser hair removal is a no-no during Accutane. Waxing will pull on your skin and cause a wound that may leave brown spots. Shaving is fine.
  6. Your skin will be dry and flaky on your face and even all over your body. Get a good moisturizer and use it constantly.
  7. Dryness inside of your nose can make nosebleeds more likely. Using Vaseline in your nose before bed can help protect and moisturize it. Your hair will be less greasy, so you’ll probably only wanna wash your hair every few days.
  8. If your mood gets low, mention it to your dermatologist and see what you can do to prevent this from happening.
  9. While you’re on Accutane, be gentle on your joints and muscles. Try to avoid extreme exercise, especially training that puts a lot of weight or pressure on your joints, like running or jumping.
  10. Expect gradual improvement. Most people see some improvement after 6 weeks and significant improvement after 3 months. To get long-term clearance, it’s usually advisable to continue Accutane for 5-6 months.
  11. While you’re on Accutane, use the MDacne app to track your skin. This will help you to monitor your improvement and provide you with continuous dermatologist support during the treatment.

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