One of the most effective treatments for severe acne is the retinoid isotretinoin (aka Accutane). You’ve most likely heard about the possible side effects associated with oral use of isotretinoin, but the positives far outweigh the negatives when it comes to treating severe acne with this retinoid. Severe acne can not only scar your skin, it can damage your self esteem and well being. Which is where isotretinoin comes in. After just a few months on isotretinoin, approximately 85% of patients see permanent clearing of their acne breakouts.
The most widely known side effect of istotretinoin is birth defects, which is why their iPledge system is in place, in which patients pledge to follow the zero pregnancy rule. But there are other, lesser-known, side effects that patients need to be aware of when taking isotretinoin for their acne. Here, five ways to play it safe while on isotretinoin:
- Do not get waxed! Waxing on any part of the body can cause permanent scarring if you’re taking isotretinoin.
- Wear sunscreen at all times. Isotretinoin makes your skin much more sensitive to the sun, which is why it’s very important to practice safe sun while taking it.
- Use lip balm. One of the most common side effects with isotretinoin is dry lips. The best way to avoid this is by daily use of a hydrating lip product. We recommend Vaseline or Rosebud Salve.
- Find a good moisturizer and use it daily. Another side effect of isotretinoin is dry skin. We recommend using a facial moisturizer containing glycerin to provide optimal hydration.
- Invest in some Visine. Some patients who use isotretinoin complain of dry, itchy eyes. Keep a bottle of artificial tears, such as Visine, on hand at all times to help alleviate dry eyes.