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Curing Moderate to Severe Acne and Considering Accutane

Treatment for Moderate to Moderately Severe Acne

This type of acne consists of several whiteheads, blackheads, papules, and pustules that cover from one-quarter to three-fourths of the face and/or other parts of the body.
Treatment for this type of acne can include antibiotic lotions or gels, as well as retinoic acid. Retinoic acid is an altered form of vitamin A. It helps prevent whiteheads and blackheads.
Your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic pill, such as erythromycin for your acne treatment. If you take birth control pills to prevent pregnancy, antibiotics can affect how well they work. Be sure to use a second method of birth control with the pill, such as a condom.
Retinoic acid and antibiotic pills can make the skin sensitive to the sun, so wear sunscreen and stay in the shade while using them.

Treating Severe Acne

Severe acne consists of deep cysts, redness, swelling, extreme damage to the skin, and scarring. A dermatologist should recommend an acne treatment in this case. Scarring can be prevented with appropriate treatment.
Your dermatologist can prescribe oral antibiotics and oral contraceptives. Large inflamed cysts can be treated with an injection of a drug that lessens the redness, swelling, and irritation, and that promotes healing.

What About Accutane?

Your dermatologist may prescribe Accutane® if other acne treatments have not worked. This is a strong medicine that can help prevent scarring and treat active disease. But Accutane can also cause birth defects. It is important that you are not pregnant and do not plan to get pregnant while taking this drug. You must use two methods of birth control at the same time during treatment. This is done for one month before treatment begins, during treatment, and for a full month after stopping the drug. Talk with your dermatologist about when it's safe to get pregnant.
Other side effects of this medication for acne may include:
  • Dry eyes
  • Itching
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in the blood and liver.
You and your dermatologist can decide whether this medication is right for you based on the pros and cons. It's important to use any prescribed acne medicine exactly as you are advised. Taking more medicine than you are supposed to take may make your acne or general health worse. Ask your doctor what to do if you miss a dose.

Getting Rid of Acne

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