Acne - Retinoids

by Stephanie McIntyre - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 383 Share This!

Retinoids are a class of prescription drugs that are used to treat the severe forms of acne known as cystic acne. It's generally prescribed when this acne that causes large, deep-set lesions and scarring, has not responded to other medications.

Retinoids such as Accutane (isotretinoin) are related to Vitamin A, and frequently employed in the fight against cystic (otherwise known as nodular) acne. And while it has proven to be successful in the treatment of this most severe form - it can't be used by everyone. It can cause very serious birth defects in the children of women who use it while pregnant, even if they only use it for a short period of time and in small doses. If a woman has been taking this medication, she should complete its use at least a month prior to becoming pregnant.

Retinoids work by affecting the size of the sebaceous glands, and the amount of sebum (oil) that they produce. It makes the sebaceous glands smaller, reduces the amount of bacteria that is in these glands, and reduces their ability to cause acne lesions. All of this helps to control the more serious forms of acne when drugs like oral antibiotics have failed to do so.

Accutane is generally given in low doses to start with then increased over the course of the 16 to 20 week period in which it is prescribed. And while some people actually experience a worsening of their condition initially, eventually this subsides, and the medication begins to work as expected.

The benefits of Accutane usually continue for months after the patient has finished taking it. Both the lesions and scarring keep improving long after treatment has ceased. An added benefit is that many patients are more treatable by other medications after taking Accutane.

Though birth defects are the most serious side effect, there are others that should be researched and considered before starting isotretinoin therapy. Effects such as photosensitivity, drying and peeling skin, dry eye problems and others are possible with this drug.

While it makes sense to be aware of these side effects, isotretinoin is currently the best bet for those suffering from persistent and serious acne. If caution is applied in its use, it can be the answer to the prayers of those acne sufferers who have not responded well to other therapies.

Related Tags: acne, pimples, blackheads, adult acne, whiteheads, acne pimples, natural acne treatments, retinoids

Stephanie McIntyre has been a Platinum eBay Powerseller, an eBay Trading Assistant as well as an Educational Assistant trained by eBay. Her company, eSales Unlimited Inc. specializes in training small business owners in using eBay as an additional revenue stream. She maintains a site with information on selling on eBay.

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