When taken for approximately four to five months, Accutane has been proven to be an extremely effective treatment for a severe form of acne known as cystic or nodular acne. In fact, for those suffering from severe cystic acne, Accutane has proven to be nothing short of a miracle.
But Accutane, a prescription medication, has a number of possible serious side effects. Among these are dry, peeling skin a sudden inability to see in the dark (so night driving can be dangerous); intracranial pressure, which can lead to permanent loss of sight, or in rare instances, death. Another possible side effect is inflammation of the liver, which can be detected by blood tests. For this reason, periodic blood tests are performed on patients undergoing Accutane treatment. Fortunately, I didn’t see this effect very often in my patients who used Accutane unless they were also consuming alcohol or taking other prescription medications.
There has also been a link between taking Accutane and mental depression and suicide. If your physician prescribes Accutane, consider increasing your daily intake of essential fatty acids and be sure to eat salmon once a day. Probably the most common side effect of Accutane that I saw in my practice was severe dry skin, lips and nasal passages. Due to the potentially very serious side effects of Accutane, I strongly recommend that you consult with your dermatologist and refer to the FDA’s website page devoted to Accutane that provides a comprehensive look at the risks and benefits of this treatment.
Research into various retinoid treatments for acne is ongoing. Other topical retinoids are now being used that tend to be less irritating to the skin, although I have not observed this in my practice when prescribing these alternative retonoids. What questions do you have about acne?
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