Do you suffer from constant acne breakouts that never seem to go away? You may be considering treatment that can help get your acne under control or even looking at medications such as Accutane – but will acne come back afterwards?
Before you go down that route, how much do you know about Accutane? And does taking it lead to long-term results or just provide short-term relief from severe acne? We help you understand more about acne and whether acne comes back after using Accutane.
What is severe acne?
When you suffer from acne, you may see breakouts every now and again or you can get breakouts frequently. People with severe acne tend to see lots of breakouts. They can appear on the face, chest and back. However, they can also occur on the jawline and neck.
The breakouts from severe acne go deep into the skin. breakouts usually consist of cysts and nodules that are painful to touch. You can also see blackheads, whiteheads or even both if you suffer from severe acne. This form of acne is most associated with people who develop acne scars.
Severe acne breakouts are stubborn, which makes them difficult to treat with topical treatments such as benzoyl peroxide creams or topical retinoids. This is why people tend to resort to taking Accutane to help clear them. However, the best course of treatment is to see a skincare expert or dermatologist to find the right treatment for you and your skin.
The four main types of acne
- Fungal acne – which is the result of a build-up of yeast in the hair follicles. Fungal breakouts tend to be itchy, red and inflamed.
- Cystic acne or severe cystic acne – which causes deep, puss-filled pimples or nodules. This type of acne will likely result in acne scars forming.
- Hormonal acne – affects both men and women and relates to an increase in sebum production due to hormonal changes in the levels of androgens that clogs the pores. Women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome tend to produce more androgens which leads to oily skin. Hormonal pills such as contraceptive pills can make acne worse.
- Nodular acne – a severe acne that leads to pimples forming on the surface of your skin, as well as nodular lumps that sit underneath the surface of your skin.
What is Accutane and how does it work?
Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a form of vitamin A that helps to reduce the amount of oil your sebaceous gland makes. This gives your skin a chance to renew itself more quickly.
Many patients with severe cystic acne (nodular acne) are likely to have a course of Isotretinoin treatment. A doctor may prescribe this to them when other topical creams or another oral antibiotic have not worked.
It is a strong medication that not only tackles excess oil, but also targets other causes of acne such as bacteria, clogged pores and inflammation.
The cumulative dose of Accutane varies from person to person. The starting dose is usually 0.5mg kg (per kilogram body weight per day). Depending on what your doctor states, you can take Accutane once or twice daily.
Anyone who is taking Accutane may notice that their acne gets worse before it gets better. It can sometimes take a few months into your Accutane journey before you start to see the benefits of the medication. There can also be some side effects with the medication including dry skin, dry eyes and nose bleeds.
Hormonal acne and Accutane
A course of Accutane can be an effective treatment for women with hormonal acne. This is usually in addition to other topical treatments that help cleanse the skin and balance the amount of oil the glands produce.
Women who are pregnant cannot take Accutane as it can potentially cause birth defects. For this reason, other medications should be considered before taking Accutane.
If you suffer from hormonal acne, anti-androgen treatment is the best option. This is because they block the effects of androgens such as testosterone and they can address the underlying causes of the acne. Anti-androgen treatments for hormonal acne can include combined contraceptive pills that contain both oestrogen and progesterone.
Will my acne come back after taking Accutane?
Although Accutane can be effective in treating hormonal acne, it can also be more likely to come back. With the most severe acne cases, you may need antibiotics.
The most effective course of treatment is to find the right combination of topical treatments that will work for your skin type and your skin condition.
You should look for treatments that help to address the causes of acne and that can reduce or prevent it from returning in the long term. These may include lasers to help rejuvenate and reach the deeper layers of your skin or chemical peels and microneedling.
Working with a skincare specialist is important as they can advise you on the right combination of treatments. You may need a longer course of topical treatments to treat your acne, however, by doing this you will see an improvement in your skin’s overall health.
Contact a member of the Zapp Laser Studio team today to find out more about how we can help with treating acne.
Start with a consultation
Your first step to a clear and radiant complexion is a consultation with one of our expert practitioners. This is where we can take a look at your acne and talk to you about what treatments may be right for your skin.
You will also get to see how our treatments work and what results other patients have been able to achieve. Our team always encourages you to ask any questions you might have, so that you feel comfortable and confident in any decisions you make on your treatment.