What is Accutane?Accutane is a form of vitamin A. It reduces the amount of oil released by oil glands in your skin, and helps your skin renew itself more quickly.Accutane is used to treat severe nodular acne. It is usually given after other acne medicines or antibiotics have been tried without successful treatment of symptoms.Accutane may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.What is the most important information I should know about Accutane?Accutane can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Even one dose of Accutane can cause major birth defects of the baby's ears, eyes, face, skull, heart, and brain. Never use Accutane if you are pregnant. Women of child-bearing potential must agree in writing to use two specific forms of birth control and have regular pregnancy tests before, during, and after taking Accutane. Unless you have had a total hysterectomy or have been in menopause for at least a year, you are considered to be of child-bearing potential.Accutane is available only under a special program called iPLEDGE. You must be registered in the program and sign agreements to use birth control and undergo pregnancy testing as required by the program. Read all program brochures and agreements carefully.It is dangerous to try and purchase Accutane on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. The sale and distribution of Accutane outside of the iPLEDGE program violates the regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the safe use of this medication.What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Accutane?Accutane is available only under a special program called iPLEDGE. You must be registered in the program and sign documents stating that you understand the dangers of this medication and that you agree to use birth control as required by the program. Read all of the iPLEDGE program brochures and agreements carefully. Ask your doctor or call the drug maker if you have questions about the program or the written requirements.It is dangerous to try and purchase Accutane on the Internet or from vendors outside of the United States. The sale and distribution of Accutane outside of the iPLEDGE program violates the regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the safe use of this medication.Do not use this medication if you are allergic to Accutane or to parabens, or if you are pregnant or may become pregnant. Before taking Accutane, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any foods or drugs, or if you have: - a personal or family history of depression or mental illness; - heart diease, high cholesterol or triglycerides; - osteoporosis or other bone disorders; - diabetes; - asthma; - an eating disroder (anorexia nervosa); - or liver disease. If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take Accutane.Accutane can cause severe, life-threatening birth defects if the mother takes the medication during pregnancy. Even one dose of Accutane can cause major birth defects of the baby's ears, eyes, face, skull, heart, and brain. Never use Accutane if you are pregnant. For Women: Unless you have had your uterus and ovaries removed (total hysterectomy) or have been in menopause for at least 12 months in a row, you are considered to be of child-bearing potential.Even women who have had their tubes tied are required to use birth control while taking Accutane.You must have a negative pregnancy test 30 days before you start taking Accutane. A pregnancy test is also required before each prescription is refilled, right after you take your last dose of Accutane, and again 30 days later. All pregnancy testing is required by the iPLEDGE program.You must agree in writing to use two specific forms of birth control beginning 30 days before you start taking Accutane and ending 30 days after you stop taking it. Both a primary and a secondary form of birth control must be used together.Primary forms of birth control include: - tubal ligation (tubes tied); - vasectomy of the male sexual partner; - an IUD (intrauterine device); - estrogen-containing birth control pills (not mini-pills); - and hormonal birth control patches, implants, injections, or vaginal ring.Secondary forms of birth control include: - a male latex condom plus spermicidal foam or gel; - a diaphragm plus spermicidal foam or gel; - a cervical cap plus spermicidal foam or gel; and - a vaginal sponge containing spermicide.Do not take St. John's wort, an herbal supplement, if you are using any type of hormonal birth control, including pills, patches, implants, injections, or a vaginal ring. Breakthrough bleeding may occur. Stop using Accutane and call your doctor at once if you have unprotected sex, if you quit using birth control, if your period is late, or if you think you might be pregnant.It is not known whether Accutane passes into breast milk. Do not take Accutane without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Teenagers are the most common age group suffering from acne. Androgens, a hormone that begins production at puberty, is a major cause of acne. Unfortunately for males, they tend to produce more androgens and develop more severe acne than females. Extra oils that contribute to acne, are also produced at puberty. These oils mixed with dirt and dead skin cause the pore blockage which causes acne. Some females will get break-outs around the time of their monthly period. This is caused by the hormone fluctuations caused by menstruation. Fortunately for females with hormonal break-outs, birth control can help to maintain a steady level of hormones.A common misconception about teens with acne is that they have bad hygiene or eat a lot of greasy food. This is only a myth, and proves untrue for most people. Wash your face twice a day, especially after exercise, to get rid of excess oil. Avoid harsh soaps that can irritate and damage skin. Never pick your face because this could lead to increased irritation and life-long scarring.Stress can be a cause of acne for teens. Unfortunately, this is an inevitably stressful phase of life. Teens with acne suffer from the emotional side of acne just as much as the physical side. Your face is the first thing that most people see when they look at you. Low self-esteem is a problem that almost all "teens with acne" will battle with. Depression over acne can cause withdrawal from social interactions, decreased attendance in school, and general avoidance of family and friends. Some teens develop social anxiety that can interfere with every aspect of day to day lifeSome teens with acne decide to purchase topical cleansers from the store when they first start to develop acne. Sensitive skin will not react well with most over-the-counter treatments. It can cause itching, redness, burning, and general worsening of the condition. If the acne does not clear up after a few weeks of usage, you should consult a dermatologist. He/She can prescribe a more effective antibiotic that is more suited to the individual problem. Everyone's skin if different so it may take more than one try to find what is right for you.Common treatments suggested for teens with acne are Benzoyl Peroxide and retinoids. Benzoyl Peroxide kills acne causing bacteria and is used topically. Retinoids, such as Accutaine or Roaccutane, unclog pores and helps the process of skin renewal. There are side effects with using retinoids, such as depression, so usage is closely monitored by a dermatologist.Acne is not the end of the world. It is completely normal and so common that people really don't look down on others for not having perfect skin. Some teens with acne grow out of it before they finish high school. Others will grow out of it by the time they reach adulthood. Almost every case of acne can be treated effectively and if acne scars happen to form, there are also treatments available to reconstruct the smoothness of your skin.
Acne / Birth Control PillFor some female patients, treatment-resistant acne is caused by excessive production of hormones called androgens. With extra androgens in your system, your oil-producing glands go into high gear and so does your acne. Several clues can help your doctor identify acne that may be influenced by hormones: acne that appears in adults for the first time; acne flare-ups preceding the menstrual cycle; irregular menstrual cycles; hirsutism (excessive growth of hair or hair in unusual places); and elevated levels of certain androgens in the blood stream.Adult women and teenage girls whose acne has resisted treatment with antibiotics or topical retinoids may be candidates for hormonal therapy. Once a patients acne is identified as hormonally influenced, the doctor will be able to prescribe a number of different therapies, or perhaps a combination of several different drugs; "combination therapy" is often the best approach to this kind of acne. Following are a few common components of therapy for hormonal acne, but remember to consult your doctor before using any of the remedies listed here.Acne / Birth Control Pill - Oral contraceptives. Birth-control pills (a combination of estrogen and progestin taken orally) are often prescribed for hormonal acne. Low doses of estrogen help suppress the androgens produced by the ovaries, and the newer progestin agents, including desogestrel and norgestimate, are less androgenic than those found in older formulations. While only Ortho Tri-Cyclen and Estro-Step are currently approved by the FDA for this indication, experts agree that low-dose contraceptives improve acne regardless of which formula is used. Consult your gynecologist to find the formula thats right for you. While side effects are uncommon, some women may experience brownish blotches, or melasma (hyperpigmentation) on the skin. These can be treated with topical bleaching agents.Acne / Birth Control Pill - Anti-androgens. In combination with oral contraceptives, doctors also may prescribe an anti-androgen ; these drugs inhibit androgen production in the ovaries and adrenal glands and help prevent existing androgens from causing excessive oil production. Spironolactone, a high blood pressure medicine with anti-androgenic properties, has proven quite effective in the treatment of acne. Side effects may include breast tenderness, menstrual irregularities (in women not using oral contraceptives), headache and fatigue; since it's also a diuretic, you may experience frequent urination as well.NOTE: Spiranolactone is tetrogenic and can cause feminization of a male fetus. If you are sexually active and not taking the pill, its imperative that you use another form of birth control.Acne / Birth Control Pill - Corticosteroids. Small doses of corticosteroids, like prednisone or dexamethasone, may curb inflammation and suppress the androgens produced by the adrenal glands. Keep in mind that in some acne sufferers, corticosteroids may actually aggravate acne; theyre most effective when used in combination with oral contraceptives.In conclusion, if you think your acne is hormonally induced, see your doctor right away. While this kind of acne requires a different course of treatment, it is highly treatable. More about your hormones.For patients who suffer from moderate to severe acne, doctors may prescribe a combination of topical remedies and oral antibiotics. The most common oral medications used to treat acne are tetracycline, minocycline, doxycycline and erythromycin. Antibiotics for Acne - HOW THEY WORK Like Benzoyl Peroxide, antibiotics control breakouts by curbing the bodys production ofP. acnes, the bacteria that causes acne, and decreasing inflammation. This process may take several weeks or months, so be patient. And remember, youre not cured just because your breakouts have subsided. Thats the medicine doing its job so if you stop taking it, your acne will probably come back. Likewise, doubling up on your medication wont make your skin clear up twice as fast. Using your topical antibiotics more frequently than prescribed may actually induce greater follicular irritation and plugging, which slows clearing time. And taking your oral medications more often than prescribed wont help your skin clear faster but it will increase your chance of experiencing unpleasant side effects. Antibiotics for Acne - WHERE TO GET THEM If you have moderate to severe acne, consult your dermatologist; he or she will discuss your options and help you make the best choice. Once youve begun treatment, give it time to start working. Keep your doctor apprised of your progress, so he or she can make changes to the course of treatment if necessary. And again, dont stop using your medication when your skin clears let your doctor make that call. Antibiotics for Acne - COMMON SIDE EFFECTSWith most of the antibiotics used to treat acne, side effects may include photosensitivity (higher risk of sunburn), upset stomach, dizziness or lightheadedness, hives, lupus-like symptoms and skin discoloration. Some women report a higher incidence of vaginal yeast infection while taking antibiotics; these can usually be treated with over-the-counter antifungal medication or a prescription antifungal, such as diflucan. Tetracycline is not given to pregnant women or children under 12 years of age because it can discolor developing teeth. Lastly (and least common), because doxycycline is also the treatment of choice for Lyme disease, there is the theoretical possibility that a patient who takes this medication for a long period of time would build a resistance, and therefore be unable to fight Lyme.
Acne is an extremely common skin affliction affecting around 85% of teenagers and young adults as well as a significant proportion of adults.With a plethora of acne information available, it may also be difficult to establish what is the right treatment and/or medication. In a previous article I suggested that as all of us are individuals, it is likely so to will the treatment for each persons acne.Lets delve a bit further into treatments and medication. In the case of mild or even slightly worse acne, a good preventative and treatment regime if rigorously followed is often found to control the affliction.However there are obviously sufferers with severe acne where over the counter or non prescription treatments have not had the desired impact. Whilst I would suggest in this instance finding a reputable dermatologist you will likely find that an acne treatment regime still has a place in assisting the overall treatment.It would be extremely advisable for those prescribed medications for the more severe acne affliction to carefully research the medication prior to commencing. The clear example of this is the medication for recalcitrant modular acne being Isotretinoin (marketed as Accutane, Amnesteem, Claravis & Sotret). The US Food and Drug Administration provides significant information in relation to this particular drug however in short it is known to cause birth defects and is being examined in relation to reports of suicide or suicidal thoughts associated with the use of the drug.A Risk Management program called iPLEDGE in relation to this drug is in place with information and updates available.The program is ensuring adequate controls are in place in relation to the use of this drug and the important message is Do not purchase this drug over the internet.There are a range of prescribed medications available with those applied to the skin for more mild to moderate cases and oral medications for more severe.Some of these include:Oral antibioticsOral contraceptivesAzelaic AcidBenzoyl peroxideClindamycinErythromycinSodium sulfacetamideTazaroteneTretinoinAdapaleneThe message is still however to do the appropriate research as information on some drugs may change significantly over time.SummaryWhilst medications are vital in the treatment of a significant number of conditions aside from acne, it is always wise to research the medication to allow a balanced approach or weighing up the benefits prior to commencing.This is obviously extremely clear in the case of the drug Isotretinoin for severe acne.
There are many options for acne treatment. If you are like most, you have tried many and have not found the right solution to your needs. This is common for individuals simply because they do not know what they should be doing. Will the over the counter products work on your acne? Will you need to have a laser treatment in order to make it finally go away? The problem with acne treatment is that what works for one individual will not work for someone else.What Do I Do?The first thing that anyone that has acne needs to do is to have a good face cleansing regimen. Acne skin care is vital to getting rid of the acne in the first place. For this, you will need a good quality facial cleanser at the very least. Consider where acne comes from and you will understand this idea. Acne is caused by bacteria that get into the warm, wet pores in your face. They multiply there and the body reacts. The actual acne is an infection on the skin. So, proper acne skin care can help simply by removing the bacteria from your face.But, that is likely to not be enough. Often, you will need to use an acne medication or an acne treatment. These can be purchased over the counter to be used. The fact is that something that works for you may or may not work for someone else. The acne treatment can be hit and miss then. Another option that you have that has shown great progress is that of using natural acne treatments. These too can be found throughout the web. "Acne skin care" is essential to your health. What is the best acne treatment? That will depend on your specific need and your bodys chemistry. Youll find that there are acne medications that do work and they work very well. Take care of acne now can help you to avoid needing acne scar removal later.