Isotretinoin: Treatment of severe degree of acne

Hey Mads

I would like to start by saying a 1000 thanks for your amazing Danish Skin Care series! It really helped me!

I have had acne since I had my first period and today I am 37 years old. My acne was worst, when I was a teenager, but I continued to get big yellow pimples in my 20s too. However, it wasn’t as severe, but I did not really think there was anything else to do but accept it.

Just over a year ago, a friend recommended Danish Skin Care, as it had helped her son. I thought that nothing bad could happen from trying out you products. I had tried everything else but your products helped me extremely!

Now the matter is that my son has started to get a lot of acne. It seems like he is far more bothered by it than I have ever been. He is only 15 and, of course, I hurried to get him started with Danish Skin Care. We can see that it works. The problem is that he now has been using the Danish Skin care skincare series for 4-5 months and he is still violently bothered by pimples and acne throughout his entire face.

In particular, he has a lot of the big unclean yellow pimples, but worst of all are the red pimples that does not become a “real” pimple.

We have talked to the doctor who recommended that he get started with Isotretinoin immediately.

My question is now, is Isotretinoin much better than Danish Skin Care? Would you recommend Isotretinoin to my son, now he has been using your products but continues to suffer from acne. Or should he continue using Danish Skin Care and just give it time.

Of course, we are also quite nervous about the many side effects of the pills.

Looking forward to your response. I just want to help my son so he is not bothered by pimples and acne for as many years as I’ve struggled with my acne 🙁

Thanks in advance – and again, thank you very much for all your good products!

Birgitte

Hi Birgitte

You’re welcome! And thank you very much for your sweet message! Nice to read that you’re happy with my Danish Skin Care skincare series!

Im extremely glad that my advice and products has been able to help you get rid of your own acne and your pimples, although I’m really sad to hear that you’ve been dealing with the problem for so many years 🙁

Therefore, I really understand that you want to help your son to avoid having to go through the same. And it certainly sounds like your son is severely bothered by acne and pimples. Especially if he after several months of caring with Danish Skin Care products, has not experienced the needed improvements on his skin.

Unfortunately, there are some who are severely bothered by pimples. What a doctor will call “severe cases of acne”.

And Isotretinoin is only used in severe cases of acne. And only when several other treatments are tried.

But your last comment make me think if you should not start with a treatment that is less violently. Of course, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions, but there are so many lighter products that can be tested first.

Benzoyl Peroxide cream could be one of the solutions for your sons skin problems. And can be bought at the pharmacy. Your sons skin would benefit if he continue to use the Danish Skin Care series and his skincare routine should look like this:

Morning:

Clean Skin Face Wash
Smooth Skin Treatment
Perfect Skin Day Protector

Evening:

Clean Skin Face Wash
Perfect Skin Moisturizer
Benzoyl Peroxide cream

In addition, it should be mentioned that Benzoyl Peroxide cream should be 5% Benzoyl Peroxide, as research has shown the best results with this amount. Despite this knowledge the pharmacy will prefer to sell you Benzoyl Peroxide cream with 10% Benzoyl Peroxide.

In any case, it may be an idea to try Benzoyl Peroxide cream for a period of 3 months and see if this can not boost your son’s treatment of his skin so he can get rid of his pimples.

Now you wrote and asked for Isotretinoin, so let me try to elaborate a little about what Isotretinoin is 🙂

Isotretinoin is an A vitamin cure. It is a chemically and scientifically produced vitamin A that is used to treat very serious and severe cases of acne – also called acne vulgaris, or better known as pimples.

Just because Isotretinoin is so harsh a drug, it must only be prescribed by hospitals or skin specialists. That is the reason why not everyone can get started with isotretinoin. Isotretinoin is only used in really severe cases of acne where other drugs – and skin care – has not shown any effect.

In Denmark, there are various products that contain isotretinoin: Accutin, Isotretinoin “Actavis” and the former product Roaccutan are sold in Denmark. The label ‘Roaccutan’ can no longer be purchased in Denmark as there were too many side effects associated with this drug – just to emphasize how harsh isotretinoin is.

Because of the many side effects and the relatively high price that the Isotretinoin / Roaccutan Cure costs – but of course mostly because of all side effects – I recommend that you first try a mild treatments like Clindamyzin or Benzoyl Peroxide cream.

This is what most dermatologists also will recommend! Now, of course, I have not seen how violently your son is infected with acne – and of course there may be cases where a dermatologist estimates that Isotretinoin should be started immediately.

Before you and your son are considering treatment with isotretinoin, however, it is important to understand that an Isotretinoin / Rouaccutan cure is a really violent and harsh treatment of pimples. Isotretinoin has many side effects and the result is not guaranteed – nor is it guaranteed that the pimples docent resurface again at a later date.

Having said that, Isotretinoin is the most harsh medicine doctors can prescribe for the treatment of acne (acne vulgaris) and pimples.

Below, I will try to describe:

How does Isotretinoin / Roaccutan work?

How good is Isotretinoin / Roaccutan?

What does Isotretinoin / Roaccutan treatment cost?

Side effects of isotretinoin / Roaccutan

Are you allowed to practice sports and exercise during a treatment with Isotretinoin / Roaccutan?

Should you drink alcohol while taking Isotretinoin / Roaccutan?

Sun, solarium and Isotretinoin / Roaccutan

HOW DOES ISOTRETINOIN (ROACCUTAN) WORK?

The exact effect of Isotretinoin / Roaccutan – i.e. its effect and treatment of pimples and acne (at a cellular level) – is still not a 100% known. We simply do not know why vitamin A is so good at treating pimples and acne (Acne Vulgaris).

The theory, however, is that Isotretinoin is so effective in treating pimples and acne because it reduce the size of the sebaceous glands, thus its reducing the production of sebum and fat in the skin. Pimples consist of sebum and dead skin cells, which create a “plug” in the skin’s pores, thus creating the pimples.

It is of course also why Smooth Skin Treatment is VERY effective at treating pimples and removing pimples from the skin. Smooth Skin Treatment, for example, contains salicylic acid which penetrates the skin’s pores and makes a gentle and thorough cleansing of the skin’s pores to prevent pimples from occurring. Exactly like Smooth Skin Treatment helps the skin to excrete and remove dead skin cells from the skin, which makes the skin completely natural and constant – Smooth Skin Treatment only helps the skin.

Its almost the same case with Isotretinoin. Instead of cleansing the skin’s pores and removing dead skin cells as Smooth Skin Treatment does, Isotretinoin stops the production of skin fat. This, of course, reduces the risk of pimples occurring, at least for a short period of time – that is, as long as you are taking the cure.

Which leads us to the next point:

HOW GOOD IS ISOTRETINOIN / ROACCUTAN?

Isotretinoin / Roaccutan is the strongest medicin for acne, thus its the best drug for the treatment of pimples and unclean skin. However, since the medicine does work to reduce the production of skin fat, but the production naturally reaches its previous state when you are finished with the treatment, there is obviously a risk of relapse.

To this point, I would just like to say that sebum and fat in the skin is not an evil thing, on the contrary it is a good thing! Although it is one of the causes of pimples, we need to have sebum and skin grease to have a beautiful, nice and flexible skin – else we would just look like a wrinkled raisin.

And despite the skin and production of sebum after treatment with Isotretinoin will return to its previous state, the skin will not have as many pimples to fight with afterwards – and most people also experience a lasting result, despite some recurrence of acne and pimples. And others need to go through the treatment several times.

WHAT DOES THE TREATMENT WITH ISOTRETINOIN / ROACCUTAN COST?

Accutin and Actavis, which are the medicines sold in Denmark that contain Isotretinoin, is a relatively expensive drug, and the price depends on how many pills you have to take (in other words, the amount of dose your doctor has prescribed).

And the amount of pills that you have to eat increase throughout the treatment – just to make sure that your skin is treated to its maximum, and to constantly counteract the production of skin fat and tallow that can lead to pimples.

One should expect a price of 500 kr. Per month for a treatment with Roaccutan / Isotretinoin. Today’s current prices are available at www.medicinpriser.dk – and since both Accutin and Actavis contain Isotretinoin, you can always choose the cheapest and save a little.

But yes, the treatment with Isotretinoin is an expensive treatment that only becomes more expensive during the treatment period – as the dose increases.

SIDE EFFECTS FROM USING ISOTRETINOIN / ROACCUTAN

Isotretion and treatment with pills to remove pimples and acne are associated with many side effects. Some are more serious side effects than others. The most common side effects of an Isotretinoin cure is experienced by the majority of those taking the pills but the really serious side effects are – happily – only experienced by a few.

Nevertheless, the common side effects of an Isotretinoin cure, are also rather annoying, but they are not serious. Below you will find the most common side effects when using Isotretinoin:

– DRY LIPS, DRY EYES AND GENERALLY DRY SKIN

When you are taking Isotretinoin it is very normal to experience having dry lips, which is considered to be the most common side effect – and something everyone gets. Thus all experience, really dry lips that can crack and result in small wounds on the lips.

Like dry lips, it is also very common to experience having dry eyes. The skin may also dry out when taking medicines such as Roaccutan / Isotretinoin. In general, dry skin is very common in conjunction with an Isotretinoin cure and the skin will probably start to itch, flake and peel due to dryness.

– NOSE BLEEDS

Another very common side effect when you are taking Isotretinoin is nose bleeds.

In most cases, nose bleeds only occur after months of treatment with Isotretinoin and it is very different when and how severe one responds. Additionally, it may seem quite violently to get a strong nose bleed if you are not used to getting a bleeding nose.

– FATIGUE, SORE MUSCLES AND DIZZINESS

Muscle tightness and fatigue are also one of the more common side effects associated with Isotretinoin. Like dizziness and headaches are among the more common side effects that many experience going through a Isotretinoin treatment against pimples.

– Click here to read more about the side effects of Isotretinoin.

ARE YOU ALLOWED TO PRACTICE SPORTS AND EXERCISE DURING A TREATMENT WITH ISOTRETINOIN / ROACCUTAN?

You can easily practice sports while you are on a Isotretinoin Cure. There is also nothing wrong with strengthening or doing other exercise just because you are going through a Isotretinoin cure to treat pimples.

As long as one is just aware of listening to your body. One of the side effects, as mentioned above, is fatigue and sore muscles, in addition, there is a general drying out of the body – including, of course, sore joints and muscles. So it’s really important not to overburden yourself and your body when you are doing a Isotretinoin cure.

It would be quite annoying to solve a problem with pimples but in the process cause damage to the body in the form of an overloaded back or joint.

ARE YOU ALLOWED TO DRINK ALCOHOL DURING A TREATMENT WITH ISOTRETINOIN / ROACCUTAN?

Isotretinoin has an effect on the liver, which reduces the effectiveness of the liver during the entire Isotretinoin cure. It is therefore important that you restrict the intake of alcohol – or even better completely stop drinking alcohol entirely – while being treated with Isotretinoin.

You are allowed to drink a little alcohol even if you take Isotretinoin / Roaccutan, as it does not effect the cure it self. But due to the reduced liver function during the cure, it is a good idea to stay away from excessive amounts of alcohol until you are finished with the cure. So you can enjoy alcohol, but don’t over do it. After all, it would be pretty bad to ruin your liver while you’re treating your pimples 😉

SUN, SOLARIUM AND ISOTRETINOIN / ROACCUTAN

The skin becomes extremely sensitive when you are on an vitamin A cure, and it is therefore advisable to avoid solarium and longer stays in strong sun.

It is not necessary to cover yourself completely, just because you go outside the door. But you should be really aware that the sun is many times harder on the skin as the skin’s natural defences are gone – and during the treatment the skin is extra thin and sensitive.

I hope I have answered your question about your sons treatment with Isotretinoin.

In any case, I have tried to thoroughly describe Isotretinoin so that you know what you have to consider before choosing the treatment for your son. Of course, it is important to always follow the doctor’s recommendation, but it can hardly hurt anyone to try a more sensitive treatment with Benzoyl Peroxide cream for 2-3 months, which I recommended further up, before you start taking Isotretinoin.

A lot of people experience VERY good results just by using good skincare, as you’ve even experienced your self. Others may need a little extra treatment, to which Benzoyl Peroxide cream is really brilliant – especially combined with the Danish Skin Care skincare series.

At the same time, I would strongly recommend you and your son to click on the link below and sign up for “The Danish Acne Cure” – a series of movies where I give a lot of great tips for treating pimples.

I also kill a lot of myths so that you avoid doing any mistakes.

Get The Danish Acne Cure – and get rid of your pimples here


Mads Timmermann

Expert in beautiful skin and founder of Danish Skin Care