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Isotretinoin is probably the only substance that can really cope with acne, which in severe, very severe and electrifying form is very difficult to treat. However, due to the possible side effects, treatment of acne with isotretinoin requires strict adherence to the recommendations of the attending physician.

Isotretinoin , chemically a retinoid - a derivative of vitamin A. As anacne remedy , isotretinoin is available in capsules from several manufacturers. It is used orally for 4-6 months, in individually selected doses, and its effectiveness rates are high even in the most severe forms of acne.

Isotretinoin: Effectiveness in Treating Acne

Isotretinoin causes complete resolution of acne lesions in 80-90 percent of patients after one correctly conducted course of therapy and permanent acne recovery in over 60 percent of patients after one correctly conducted course of therapy (the difference compared to the above percentage results from the fact that in some patients the disease recurs and the course has to be repeated).

How does isotretinoin work?

  • reduces the secretion of sebum, which also translates into a reduction in the size of the sebaceous glands;
  • normalizes the keratinization process, "opening" existing blackheads and allowing them to empty and inhibiting the formation of new ones;
  • reduces the growth of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria, which are responsible for skin irritation and local inflammation (the direct cause of skin irritation and inflammation are fatty acids, released during the decomposition of sebum by these bacteria).

Isotretinoin in the treatment of acne: indications

In addition to severe, very severe and electrifying acne, isotretinoin is also treated with:

  • moderate acne, drug resistant
  • moderate acne with a tendency to scar
  • moderate acne with a tendency to recur
  • acne with severe seborrhea
  • acne, which is the source of complexes, depression and suicidal thoughts

Isotretinoin acne treatment and pregnancy

Isotretinoin should not be used during pregnancy because it could disrupt or adversely affect pregnancy.on the fetus. To effectively eliminate this risk, in women it is used after the exclusion of pregnancy (double pregnancy test) and under the cover of contraception, valid for a month before therapy, throughout the course of therapy and for a month after its completion.

Read also: Acne pills: how and do they work at all?

Treatment of acne with isotretinoin: regular examinations necessary

Isotretinoin may cause fluctuations in some body parameters. Most often it concerns the lipid profile and liver tests (15 percent of treated patients). Therefore, patients are required to perform blood tests during the treatment (after a month, after 3 months, and each time the dose is increased). These fluctuations are temporary and reversible. However, they may force a modification of the drug dose in a given patient. Due to the possibility of these fluctuations, alcohol should not be consumed during isotretinoin therapy, as it disturbs the lipid metabolism and puts a burden on the liver (increases transaminases). Contrary to the myth, properly conducted routine isotretinoin therapy does not cause permanent liver damage. It also has no effect on the kidneys or the genitourinary system.

Isotretinoin acne treatment and scarring

Acne is associated with the formation of scars on the skin - the more numerous and deeper it is, the more aggressive it is and the longer it lasts. Treatment with isotretinoin not only stops the development of this disease, but also "obliterates" its traces. By inhibiting the activity of enzymes responsible for the breakdown of collagen, isotretinoin:

  • reduces existing atrophic scars
  • prevents new scars from forming

Treatment of acne with isotretinoin and sunbathing

Isotretinoin is not a phototoxic drug (phototoxic reactions to isotretinoin are sporadic). However, patients treated with it should avoid exposure to UV rays and protect the skin and eyes against them (creams with a UV filter, glasses with a UV filter). This is because it sensitizes and dries the skin and conjunctiva. This does not mean, however, that it cannot be used in summer or in geographic areas with intense sunlight.

Ways to treat acne

The dermatologist Agnieszka Bliżanowska from the WelldDerm Center tells you how to effectively treat acne.

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