5 Accutane Alternatives

by Marisa Amorasak

accutane alternatives

Accutane, or isotretinoin, was long hailed as the best way to treat severe acne. The oral medication was the real deal, often clearing up skin characterized by underground cysts, nodules, and papules. But along with great improvements came great risks. Accutane was under constant scrutiny due to its extremely serious side effects, included but not limited to depression, birth defects, liver damage, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and death. Manufacturer Hoffman – La Roche officially pulled Accutane from pharmacies everywhere in 2009, and there’s been little talk about it making a second appearance.

If you’re fretting over Accutane’s disappearance, fear not—there are alternatives! The following list of 5 Accutane alternatives shows in-office treatments designed to treat severe acne, oral treatments, and more.

1. Blue Light Therapy: This progressive treatment was specially developed to treat acne that doesn’t respond to topical or oral medication. Blue light therapy uses certain bands of the light spectrum to target and destroy p.acnes, or the bacteria that causes acne flare-ups. If you’ve ever noticed that a day at the beach did wonders for the state of your acne, you were onto something. There are certain types of light that indeed improve acne, and blue light therapy harnesses these types in a controlled environment free of ultraviolet rays. A non-invasive blue light therapy session lasts about 15 minutes, with about 8 total sessions recommended.

2. Vitamin B5: One of the ways Accutane decreased acne was by shrinking the skin’s oil glands, leading to less sebum production and smaller pores. Many people have found the same oil-reducing results on a strict regimen of pantothenic acid, or Vitamin B5. This essential nutrient is found in almost all foods, but with particularly high amounts present in whole grains, meat, avocado, yogurt, and royal jelly. Vitamin B5 plays an important role in Coenzyme A (CoA), an enzyme that regulates hormone production and fatty acids. Without a sufficient amount of Vitamin B5, CoA produces androgens. And as many dermatologists and skincare specialists know, too many androgens results in oily skin and acne. The amount of Vitamin B5 recommended for acne treatment is disputed, with some sources insisting high dosages of 10,000 milligrams per day is ideal and others believing as little as 500 milligrams is enough to do the trick.

3. IPL Photofacial: Like blue light therapy, the IPL Photofacial uses a special part of the light spectrum to improve skin condition. Intense Pulsed Light rejuvenates skin from the inside out, by encouraging collagen and elastin growth. If your skin is easily irritated by topical medications, the IPL Photofacial may be a good choice because it avoids any harsh superficial results. While IPL Photofacials are most often used on people with wrinkles, age spots, and sagging skin, it has also been found to be effective on existing acne. One session lasts about 30 minutes, and most patients need between 5 and 8 sessions total for best results.

4. Laser Skin Rejuvenation: This popular treatment uses specially formulated “cool” lasers to gently improve acne and skin tone. The gentle laser gradually encourages deep, beneath-the-skin healing that shows on the skin over time. Unlike Laser Skin Resurfacing, Laser Skin Rejuvenation is completely non-ablative and avoids any wounds to the face. It’s strongly recommended for patients who suffer not only from existing acne, but also acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. Laser Skin Rejuvenation is a time-released treatment, meaning you’ll see positive results for weeks after a session. As collagen grows, it will re-build the texture of your skin and clear up existing blemishes.

5. Chemical Peel: It’s called an old standard for a reason. Chemical peels are the tried-and-true way of quickly improving your skin tone and texture. They’re especially beneficial for people who suffer from superficial acne, like whiteheads and clogged pores. Chemical peels are available in a range of strengths to facilitate peeling, thus dislodging excess sebum, clogged pores, and other signs of congestion. Whether you choose a peel made of glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, or a synthetic ingredient, your skin will go through a brief period of superficial peeling. If you are choosing a chemical peel to treat your acne, make sure to find a skincare specialist with experience in treating blemished skin.

Healthy Skin Portal understands how difficult it can be find an acne treatment that works. Our network of certified skincare specialists offer a range of in-office acne treatments in addition to Botox, non-surgical body contouring, and more. Contact our representatives now to schedule a free consultation with a specialist in your area.

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