Unleash the power of isotretinoin

Chris Byrne, RPA-C

Fortunately, we have an effective way to treat severe acne: the powerful oral retinoid, isotretinoin.

“Yes, acne is commonplace,” notes Christopher Byrne, licensed medical assistant specializing in dermatology with Advanced Dermatology PC. “But for some people, it’s a serious skin problem, carrying an immense psychological burden and, if left untreated, it causes permanent scarring. Fortunately, we have an effective way to treat severe acne: the powerful oral retinoid, isotretinoin.

Approved by the FDA in 1982 under the brand name Accutane, isotretinoin is a game-changer in the treatment of severe lumpy acne. “It works on all cylinders to tackle the root causes,” Byrne explains, “including the overproduction of skin sebum, inflammation and the overgrowth of the skin bacteria of the same name on p. acnes. ”

A convergence of factors, including hormones, genetics and stress, can trigger the country’s most common skin condition: up to 50 million people suffer from acne, reports American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) .

“If the natural regeneration of our skin is disrupted,” says Byrne, “pimples result: Sebum oil for the skin clogs the pores, preventing the expulsion of dead skin cells. This can lead to an overgrowth of the bacteria p. acnes and increasing levels of inflammation. In severe cases, the pimples may converge and the painful lumps may spread to larger sections of skin. Over-the-counter treatments, topical prescriptions, and other treatments may not be enough, and permanent scarring may result. ”

“Fortunately,” Byrne continues, “when other treatments don’t work, isotretinoin is an effective intervention for severe recalcitrant acne.”

Today, isotretinoin is offered under the Accutane Amnesteen, Claravis, Myorisan and Zenatane equivalents, as well as under the separate brand name Absorica, which has been formulated to increase absorption.

“Over the past few decades,” notes Byrne, “isotretinoin has helped millions of people recover from severe acne. However, it is a powerful drug, so it is important for patients to work with their dermatologist to understand the possible side effects.

For patients considering isotretinoin, Byrne has the following suggestions:

5 tips for treating acne with isotretinoin:

1. Side effects must be educated first: “Isotretinoin can cause birth defects,” Byrne points out, “doctors and patients must therefore participate in the iPledge program mandated by the FDA, which calls for strict rules to be followed. in birth control and ongoing. pregnancy tests. Doctors may also monitor patients’ liver lipids and enzymes as they may be affected. Finally, a possible link between isotretinoin and depression, as well as irritable bowel syndrome, has raised concerns. Research has not shown any links and, due to the psychological toll of severe acne, ADD continues to endorse the treatment’s benefits. That said, patients should stay informed and let their doctor know of any changes. “

2. Hydrate, hydrate, and use sun protection: “Start preventative maintenance immediately,” Byrne advises. “Isotretinoin dries up, requires gentle skin care and regular hydration after bathing or washing. Also, plenty of hydration: at least eight glasses of water a day. And it increases sensitivity to the sun, so more than ever protection is a must. ”

3. Consider graduated dosage: “We’ve seen that reaching a certain cumulative dose can help prevent relapses,” Byrne says, “but, at first, isotretinoin can cause symptoms to flare up. Patients may ask their doctor to start with a lower dose which can be increased once the body has adjusted.

4. Optimize absorption: “Accutane-like brands,” Byrne explains, “must be taken with a meal that is high in fat and calories for the drug to be fully absorbed. The Absorica formulation is designed to promote absorption. Talk to your doctor about your prescription and how to make it more effective. “

5. Complete the treatment: “According to research,” Byrne explains, “the total amount of isotretinoin taken can affect whether or not patients have a relapse. Patients should therefore stick to the entire course of treatment. Other factors may also play a role, including age. Fortunately, if necessary, reprocessing is usually successful. ”

“For people struggling with the serious problem of severe acne,” Byrne concludes, “isotretinoin offers an effective solution.”

Bio: Christopher Byrne RPA-C is a Certified Medical Assistant with Advanced Dermatology PC.

Advanced Dermatology PC and the Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery (New York and New Jersey) is one of the nation’s leading dermatology centers, providing highly experienced physicians in the fields of cosmetic and laser dermatology as well as plastic surgery and l state of the art. art medical technologies. http://www.advanceddermatologypc.com


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