Accutane, Acne, and the Aftermath

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    We’ve all had the occasional breakout on our face, but when you’re in high school, a pimple feels like the end of the world! At 16 or 17 years old, you would try anything to get rid of acne: at-home treatments, drugstore creams, or even toothpaste. For many adolescents, the only viable option can be the controversial medication Accutane or isotretinoin.

    What is Accutane? 

    Accutane is a prescription medication that targets sebum production to block pores from being clogged and provoking acne. Because this acne blocking remedy decreases oil production from the sebaceous glands in your skin, dryness and chapped lips are two of the most prevalent side effects that can be brought on. Along with a sensitivity to sunlight, over-drying the skin can hurt the body’s natural barrier which helps promote healthy, hydrated skin.

    The Side Effects of Accutane

    The perils of taking a medication like isotretinoin may outweigh the potential benefits, especially for pregnant women. Accutane poses a great risk for pregnant women because of the potential side effects on the fetus. To sidestep this danger, women on Accutane are required to submit two negative pregnancy tests and use two forms of effective contraceptives. Additionally, high doses of Vitamin A, which Accutane is a derivative of, can cause fatigue, irritability, and aggression.  Studies even show a connection between increased risk of depression and Accutane medication. While Accutane may be able to relieve your skin of chronic acne, I wouldn’t recommend it as a first step to treating your skin because of the risks. Here are some other approaches to look at!

    Alternatives to Medication

    1. Look for acne-fighting ingredients when buying skincare products.

    Glycolic acid and salicylic acid are amazing acne-fighting ingredients for acne-prone skin. Products like the KD Acne Treatment Pads and KD Acne Clarifying Wash contain powerhouse ingredients like glycolic acid to support the removal of dead skin cells and help oil properly drain from the skin. Salicylic acid helps to eliminate surface oils, as well as unplug and minimize the appearance of pores. Both ingredients are great for healing the skin without irritating it.

    2. Use Vitamin C to brighten and enhance skin texture!

    Vitamin C serum, like my KD Vitamin C Brighten & Tighten serum, works wonders for your skin by delivering nutrients and acids to improve your overall skin texture and tone. Vitamin C can also help to reverse signs of sun-damage!

    3. Make sure your skin is well-hydrated.

    Your skin is the body’s largest natural barrier, and keeping it hydrated works to promote overall skin health while protecting us from bacteria. If our skin is too dry, our sebaceous skin glands can get clogged by dry skin flakes or have microscopic cracks. I recommend using a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, like the KD Day Dream, to thoroughly hydrate and provide antioxidants for the skin.

    Looking at these other approaches is great because these key ingredients help fight acne, as well as improve your skin overall. Unlike Accutane and other prescription medications for acne, these treatments and products don’t carry side effects, except for glowing and bright skin!

    Click here to read more about the benefits of incorporating glycolic acid into your skincare routine! 

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