If you’re struggling with acne, chances are you’ve thought about trying Roaccutane. Although changing your diet, getting more sleep, and tailoring your skincare routine might encourage a subtle shift in your skin, really bad acne often needs specific medical attention.
Many people out there recommend Roaccutane (generic name isotretinoin), yet there are those who vow never to go near it. While the wonder pill can ease off the miserable pressure that acne induces, it’s a powerful drug that can come with a set of serious isotretinoin side effects.
This anti-inflammatory oral drug shrinks the sebaceous glands that cause acne and reduces the bacteria that live on the skin. But with dry skin almost inevitable, unhealthy hair loss a possibility, dramatic mood swings hanging in the balance, and endless doctor appointments on the cards, the big question is:
Is Roaccutane Really Worth It?
To answer all your burning Roaccutane questions, we called in an expert. Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan is a top dermatologist at Fairfield and Clifton Hill Dermatology in Fitzroy North, Victoria, Australia. She knows a thing or two about the Accutane regimen and what products to use while on Accutane (aka Roaccutane).
What is Roaccutane, and What are its Side Effects When it Comes to Your Skin?
‘Roaccutane is isotretinoin (13-cis retinoic acid), which is a vitamin A derivative. The liver naturally makes small quantities of isotretinoin from vitamin A, but the drug we prescribe is made synthetically and in higher doses.
‘It is a very effective agent for the control of acne and in the induction of long term remissions. As dermatologists, we use it in a variety of other conditions such as rosacea, folliculitis, and seborrhea (oily skin).’
Can Accutane Cause Eczema?
While it’s unclear whether Roaccutane will cause eczema, it can irritate existing dry skin and change how your skin reacts. ‘We tend to use low doses like 10 mg for a longer time like 6 to 9 months, as opposed to higher doses for shorter bursts of time,’ says Dr Gunatheesan. ‘This minimises the side effects of isotretinoin, which tend to be dose-dependent.’
Does Roaccutane Affect Hair?
Roaccutane is the most common acne medication on the market, but that’s not to say it doesn’t come without challenges. If you’re on a high dose of isotretinoin, you could experience hair loss or thinning hair—which, let’s face it, can be a nightmare! Before you panic, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.
When on Accutane, it’s crucial that you nourish your body the best way you can. Roaccutane can cause a vitamin B deficiency, so it’s time to start taking an extra daily supplement. Lucky for you, vitamin B can also be found in avocado, which means you can eat as much avo and poached egg on toast as you fancy!
Roaccutane treatment is also a good time to reduce stress and let your body relax. We know: it’s hard to switch off! But why not treat yourself to a new mindfulness app to help slow your days down and ward off stress?
It’s always a good idea to protect yourself from the sun. Roaccutane will dry your hair out, so invest in some new hats and headscarves to stay covered and confident.