Question by Jess: Can I use topical retinoids (ex. Diacneal) while on Accutane?
I’ve been on Accutane four or five times now (am 20, started at age 14). Every time past it has worked like a dream, but then come back as soon as I went off (should have figured that one out earlier, and stayed on maintenance, but oh well :S).
Anyways, this time it is NOT WORKING!!! I have been on 30 mg daily for almost two months now, upped it myself to 40 mg two weeks ago (I weigh 140 lbs). I’m also on tetracycline (three weeks now) because i thought I might have perioral dermatitis. Also just started taking Alesse again this week.
But… my face is still horrible! Tons and tons of whiteheads, plus a few little cysts PLUS the dryness that comes with Accutane. All around my chin/jawline. Do you think I could use Avene’s Diacneal or another topical retinoid as “spot treatment” while still on Accutane? Anyone ever used topical retinoids while on Accutane?
Answer by L R
Sorry you’re having such a difficult time clearing your skin. I know it can be frustrating as well as painful both externally and psychologically as well.
If you have the absolute worst kind of acne (cystic/nodular/scarring) Accutane plus a combination of birth control pills, Retin A or Deffirin, oral antibiotics and/or topical antibiotics may be applied in combination per your physicians instructions. You’re probably on the right course of action now but sometimes Accutane can take 4-6 months before best results are often seen.
If you can hold out another 2 -3 months, give the Accutane a little more time. You might make an appointment with an esthetician who is knowledgeable in the treatment of acne. Chemical peels (Salicylic) and microdermabrasion are often helpful in clearing the skin but be sure to tell them you are on Accutane or any other medications as this can limit the course of your treatment. They may, however, be able to use blue light therapy, IPL or Intense Pulse Light in conjunction with a medication called Levulan which inhibits sebum production.
Most important, work closely with your dermatologist and/or esthetician as it sometimes takes a series of “fits and starts” until you find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work best for you. Also remember that you have undergone hormonal changes from when you first started taking your Accutane. Again, it may take a while longer for it to work.
I hope you found this helpful and I hope you find a treatment that works well for you.
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