Cystic acne is one of the most severe forms of acne. Nodules form under the skin, then later harden into painful cysts. This type of acne requires medical attention, and usually persists for long period of times, often weeks or even months. Cystic acne is often treated with a drug called Accutane, an oral medication usually taken once or twice a day for 16 to 20 weeks. It is believed to marginally reduce the size of the oil glands so that less oil is produced. This reduces the chance for pores to clog because the body is not producing as much oil.
When this occurs, the formation of pimples and cysts is reduced, the pre-existing ones are not further irritated. This medication also helps to reduce cell shedding and the stickiness in the follicles, which helps prevent the development of this painful type of acne. Advantages of this drug are: it is a very effective medication that can help prevent extensive scarring in many patients.
After one to 20 weeks of use, acne is reduced, or in some cases, almost completely goes away. The downside to this is that when the patient stops taking this medication, the acne often returns and it is necessary to once again begin taking it. There are, however, several disadvantages to taking Accutane, and they should be considered before making the decision to take this drug. In addition to being very expensive, this drug is linked to some very adverse effects. Possible side effects include: inflammation of the lip, inflammation of the mucous membrane on the eyes, dry mouth, nose, or skin, itching, and muscle aches.
More serious side effects include decreased levels of blood cholesterol, lipid, and triglyceride levels, and abnormal liver enzymes. Patients taking Accutane are usually monitored by a physician to make sure these side effects don't occur, and to stop the drug if they do. The good news is that these side effects usually go away after the medications stopped, but if you are using this drug and experience any of these side effects, it is crucial that you tell your doctor immediately.
the most serious adverse effect of this drug is that it can cause serious birth defects. Women who are taking this drug are advised to take a pregnancy test each month to be sure the drug is stopped should they become pregnant. There are other rules that women should follow pertaining to this drug therapy and having children, so it is important to consult your physician about this drug and its possible effects. Cystic acne is one of the most painful types, and, perhaps, most difficult to cure. Find a treatment that works for you, and consult your physician about its effects.
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