Isotretinoin in Orange County

Isotretinoin (commonly known as Accutane) is a powerful drug used in the treatment of acne. An average of 6 months of isotretinoin acne treatment usually leads to clearing of acne for one year or more after the medicine is stopped.

What is Isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin is a synthetic vitamin A derivative (13-cis-retinoic acid) that is administered orally in pill form, normally for an average of 6 months.

How Does Isotretinoin Clear Acne?

Exactly how Isotretinoin works on a cellular level is unknown, but we do know that it affects all of the four ways that acne develops.

  • Isotretinoin dramatically reduces the size of the skin’s oil glands (35%-58%), and even more dramatically reduces the amount of oil the skin produces (around 80%).
  • Acne bacteria (P. Acnes) lives in skin oil. Since oil is so dramatically reduced, so is the amount of acne bacteria on  the skin.
  • It slows down skin cell production  inside the pore, which reduces clogged  pores.
  • It displays anti-inflammatory properties.

Who is a Candidate for Treatment With Isotretinoin?

Isotretinoin is considered for acne that has failed other treatments. It is a potent medication that is very effective for severe, scarring acne, As well as acne that is resistant to conventional treatments (antibiotic pills and topical therapies). Isotretinoin in Orange County is never a first choice, and should never be “shared” or purchased over the internet without the guidelines of a physician.

Does Isotretinoin Guarantee a Cure?

Isotretinoin “cures” about half of patients who complete the recommended cumulative dosage so they never have to take anything else for acne. About one in five patients gets a little worse, and one in 500 patients gets much worse in the first few weeks of treatment. The rest either get much better, or better for a while. There is no other known drug that comes close to being as effective for severe and/or recalcitrant acne as Isotretinoin . The usual patient takes it for an average of 6 months, but some longer therapy or must be “retreated.”

The more Isotretinoin  patients in Orange County take, the greater the chance of long-term cessation of acne. Unfortunately, side effects depend on the dose as well. At the lowest doses, there are few side effects, though pregnancy risk is always a critical consideration. At higher doses, over-drying can occur. Doses are adjusted to strike a balance between effectiveness and side effects.

Common Side Effects of Accutane

  • Chapped lips (90%), countered by a using Vaseline or Aquaphor as a lip moisturizer
  • Dry skin and itching (80%) helped by frequent moisturizer creams
  • Dryness of nose, mild nosebleed (80%), helped by “AYR nasal gel”
  • Irritation of the eyelids and eyes (40%)
  • Joint and muscle pains (15%)
  • Temporary hair thinning (10%)
  • Rash (7%)
  • Intestinal symptoms (5%)
  • Urinary symptoms (5%)
  • Headache (5%)
  • Increased sensitivity to sun (5%)
  • Decreased night vision (<1%)
  • Depression, thoughts of suicide (<1%)

Patient Requirements for Accutane Use

FDA approval of Isotretinoin requires all patients taking the drug to register with the iPledge program. The program is designed to ensure that patients avoid pregnancy by linking prescriptions to pregnancy tests and documenting potential adverse side effects.

Dr. Sikorski mandates regular blood tests while taking Isotretinoin treatment, as it may increase the level of fats and liver enzymes in the blood that can reach risky levels. The levels of fats and liver enzymes in the blood goes back to normal when the treatment is stopped.

Cautionary Advice Regarding Pregnancy

It is very important for women to not take Isotretinoin treatment while pregnant because it can cause serious birth defects.  Women should be careful not to become pregnant while taking it. View Precautionary Advice from Roche Pharmaceutical.

Women who are, or might be, sexually active while taking Isotretinoin must be on two forms of effective birth control. The most effective method of birth control is the pill as it rarely fails. An additional method of birth control such as a condom for the male partner, or a spermicidal foam or sponge is also needed.

Should Dr. Sikorski determine you are a candidate for Isotretinoin in Orange County, the potential benefits, side effects and all requirements will be discussed.

Schedule Your Consultation Visit

You’ll enjoy a relaxing visit to our cosmetic dermatology office in Laguna Niguel where you can ask questions, meet our staff, take a tour of our office and surgical suite and view additional photo results of our patients.

Your consultation assessment is with a Natural Image OC provider. Fees and procedure preparations are discussed with our patient care coordinator, who will detail the experience with you.

We look forward to meeting with you and helping you find the simplest solution to achieve the goals you desire. Call us for more information on acne scars or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Sikorski.