Acne is one of those problems that don't necessarily cause too much physical discomfort or pain, but certainly has a profound psychological impact on anyone affected by it. These effects are especially pronounced in teens and young adults, who are very concerned with their appearance. That's why the anti-acne segment of the pharmaceutical industry has a turnover of several billion dollars in US alone, with hundreds of various products flooding the marketplace. For many people these solutions, which generally include topical treatments in the form of gel, paste, lotion and others, actually work and that's exactly why they are still sold in pharmacies. Cases of severe acne that cannot be cured with a simple topical solution or even antibiotics are, however, still there. When these cases occur Accutane is usually the only thing that is left to try.
Accutane is quite different from all the anti-acne solutions available on the market in what concerns the mechanism of action, potency and the factors addressed. Unlike the vast majority of lotions and crèmes it's not aimed at the external manifestations of the problem we all know as acne but instead targets the underlying causes, most of the patients don't even know of. Accutane decreases the activity of oil glands in the skin, reducing the amount of oil produced and thus living the skin bacteria without an abundant source of energy for replication, which in turn reduces inflammation we see as pimples.
Accutane, however, can affect various systems of the body and not just the skin due to it being a medication with a complex mechanism of action. And users have to be extremely cautious when using it for exactly this reason.
Accutane is available only through doctor prescription and that's exactly the case when it's a necessity rather than formality. The medication has to be taken under strict doctor surveillance, with regular medical check and blood tests. Since Accutane is chemically related to Vitamin A, which plays a very important role during the development of the fetus, it is strictly forbidden to take the drug during pregnancy or nursing due to the high risk of birth defects and fetus development abnormalities. That's why women prescribed with Accutane are also prescribed with birth control medications and are strongly recommended to use additional forms of birth control to avoid pregnancy during the treatment period. Respecting the prescribed dosage is a must and any changes in the way the patient feels should be described to the doctor as soon as possible.
It may take some time for Accutane to start working. Many patients even report having more severe acne breakouts during the initial phase of the treatment, while the body is adjusting to the drug. The first improvements may become observable only after several weeks into the treatment course. However, this doesn't mean that the drug isn't working properly and any other measures have to be put in place. It is strongly recommended to avoid using any topical solutions for acne while taking Accutane as it may damage the skin. Moreover, since the skin will become more sensitive and easily irritable it is discouraged to undergo any cosmetic procedures during and short time after the treatment. Even tanning or spending too much time in direct sunlight may cause serious burns, so try to avoid it as well.
As you can see, Accutane is not the kind of drug to be toyed with. Being careless about this medication can cause serious health problems and make acne the least of thing to worry about. But that's the price you have to pay for its effectiveness, which is why people take Accutane in the first place. It can eliminate any form of acne regardless of its severity, that's why the drug is used as the last measure for cases when other treatments have been tried and failed. So make sure to use Accutane correctly, respect all the precautions, consult with your doctor whenever needed and you will surely benefit from using this drug.