Puberty, some of us were just never ready for what was about to hit us. During this growth stage we notice changes start to take place. There is literally no way that one can prepare for what is about to happen. With puberty we develop and experience our menstrual cycle, this means that our bodies are ready to reproduce, with this comes hormones, mainly estrogen and progesterone. While bacteria (P. acnes) and inflammation are usually the two main reasons behind the formation of pimples, hormones can also influence acne. Dr. Bowe says: “when a woman’s androgen receptors are particularly sensitive, these hormones can trigger excess oil production and cause skin cells to become sticky, leading to clogged pores and breakouts”.
There are ways that you can tell if your acne is hormonal, such as breakouts that usually occur in lower areas of your face, along your jaw-line, or if the acne flares up during your period. This type of acne can be treated with a specific birth control such as (Yaz/Yasmin). You can get a 6-month prescription from your local GP; consult about side effects, which are minimal. However, if your acne is more severe than the conditions mentioned above, then consult your local dermatologist and ask about Accutane.
What is Accutane?
Accutane is a generic version of Roaccutane. It is much more cost effect and they both have the same active ingredient Isotretinoin. This medication is primarily used on patients who suffer from extreme acne cases, and is sometimes used to prevent some skin cancers. It is also known to be a form of vitamin A.
Benefits of Accutane:
Your doctor will always advise as to how long you need to do the treatment for and the dosage. I found that the 10mg and 20mg dosage worked very well on my skin and I could witness the result almost instantly. Well, perhaps after two weeks. Accutane not only successfully removes all active pimples or acne prone areas, but also any visible blemishes. The ultimate result is clear, renewed smooth skin, especially your facial skin. The treatments targets clogged pores, drying them out and abstracting excess oils.
Dangers/side effects of Accutane:
This treatment is harmful to anybody who is child bearing, it will cause serious birth defects. It is also advised that you do not fall pregnant during this treatment. If you are sexually active, request a hormonal birth control, there is more than just the pill. There are many other side affects associated with this treatment; here are some that I experienced on the surface:
- Chapped lips
- Extremely dry skin (worse during winter season)
- Peeling Skin
- Skin irritation
- Less tolerance of the sun (always apply sunscreen but just avoid complete exposure)
- Dry/watery Eyes
- Less tolerance for brightness
Oh, I was later diagnosed by my ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) with blepharitis, this is basically an incurable eye disease that clogs the oil glands. I lived 6 months of my life thinking I had an incurable eye disease, when it was just an unknown side effect of Accutane.
Then there are some internal side effects, such as:
- Joint pain
- Back pain
- Changes in fingernails (colour)
- Impaired night vision
… And much more, I personally never experienced these side effects, but they have been reported as common.
What to Avoid:
- Avoid taking vitamin A supplements when on this treatment
- Do not donate blood
- Avoid using wax as hair remover
- Avoid exposure to sunlight
The treatment will differ from one person to another depending on many factors. The side effects can be gruesome at times, but the results easily outweigh the side effects. Make sure you stay hydrated and do not overdose. I’m personally satisfied with results and I would easily recommend it to anyone who is suffering from severe acne to consult your local dermatologist. It’s time for your skin to glow!