Accutane for Acne Treatment

Sometimes patients come to us with very severe acne that consists of nodules, cysts, and pustules on the skin. Many times, this deep cystic type of acne has already left scars on the skin and is causing distress to the patient. Often, we will see patients with acne that has been treated for years with different oral antibiotics, topical creams, washes, and other in-office procedures, yet it still does not improve.

Severe, painful acne can significantly affect your quality of life. Grades may suffer, social isolation may occur, and job performance may suffer. In these cases of severe acne or unresponsive acne, a medication called Accutane® (Isotretinoin) may be discussed as a curative option. Accutane is a pill form of Vitamin A that, when ingested, helps reduce oil production, inflammation, bacteria levels, and clogged pores. For many, treating acne with Accutane provides a curative option for the acne that has been plaguing them for years.

Accutane is a highly regulated medication because it can cause side effects such as headache, dry eyes and skin, nosebleeds, vision changes or mood changes. Accutane is not allowed for use by women who are planning a pregnancy, currently pregnant, or breastfeeding because of the harm it can cause to the baby. Accutane also causes significant skin sensitivity so excess sun exposure, facials, and skin waxing should be avoided while you are on the medication.

Most patients who complete a course of Accutane with a licensed, trained dermatology provider see results within a few months and finish the total treatment course within 6-8 months. Accutane is commonly taken as one to two pills per day, and every month you are on this medicine you will be seen by your dermatology provider.

If you have been suffering from painful, severe, scarring acne or have been using prescription medications for your acne that have not been working, Accutane may be an option for you.

Brooke Moss, PA-C, MPH is a board certified Physician Assistant specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. She is currently accepting new patients in our Edina and Downtown Minneapolis locations.

When should your child see a dermatology provider?

There are many reasons a child may need to see a dermatologist ranging from rashes to bug bites to acne. One of the most important reasons for your son or daughter to be seen in clinic is to monitor moles that are worrisome.

Most moles seen on children’s skin are generally not too concerning. As your child grows, it is normal for the moles to grow along with them and even sometimes change in color. Some moles may disappear completely as your child continues to grow. In an otherwise healthy child, melanoma and other skins cancers are quite rare; however, there are some times when a mole should be checked by a trained dermatology provider.

  1. If you see more than 50 moles on your child’s skin. Large numbers of moles may indicate a higher risk for melanoma. When caught early, melanoma is very treatable and your child should be seen yearly for regular skin exams to monitor the moles.
  2. If your child’s mole is bleeding or painful. If your child is experiencing any discomfort from a skin lesion, they should have it checked out.
  3. If your child has two or more different colors in it or looks jagged around the edges. These moles may indicate cancerous or precancerous change and should be evaluated in clinic.
  4. If your child has a very large mole. Most moles and freckles on the skin are pencil eraser sized or smaller. In some instances, children may develop or be born with large moles that may cover a significant portion of their skin. These moles should be monitored by your dermatology provider, as there are melanomas that can arise from these moles. Early detection is essential for good treatment outcome!
  5. If your child’s mole is changing. Perhaps you’ve noticed a small brown mole on your child’s leg that has been present since birth. If this mole looks the same and never changes, most likely it is nothing to worry about. If the mole all the sudden turns very dark brown or changes color, or all the sudden has a different shape or grows dramatically – it’s time to have it checked in the office.

Regular yearly monitoring for atypical moles is part of a healthy, whole-body approach to skincare no matter your age. To schedule a skin exam for you or your child, call (952) 929-8888 or visit our contact page.

Brooke Moss, PA-C, MPH is a board certified Physician Assistant specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. She is currently accepting new patients in our Edina and Downtown Minneapolis locations.