Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"Does Acutane help remove blackheads?"
I've had severe acne for 5 years, so my doctor and I are discussing the prospect of my taking Acutane. My question is this: will it get rid of blackheads? Or does it just get rid of deeper, cystic nodules? I ask because blackheads for me often lead to more serious acne.
The decision to begin taking Isotretinoin (AKA Acutane) is not one to be taken lightly. It has some significant side effects which you should consider carefully before starting. With that said, Acutane is the answer many patients with severe refractory acne have been searching for. It really does work. The mechanism by which Acutane works is not fully understood. The leading hypothesis is that it reduces the amount of sebum and keratin produced by the pores which reduces how much they get clogged. A black head is a type of open comedone. They are pores that have filled with sebum and keratin, both of which Acutane is thought to reduce. The after all that, the answer to your question is yes, Acutane does help get rid of blackheads. Before starting Acutane make sure you have spent time discussing each of the possible benefits and draw backs of the drug before starting. Do some research yourself before meeting with him or her so that you have a good list of questions to ask. The most important thing to remember is that if you are a female, you must actively prevent pregnancy while on Acutane because of severe birth defects it can cause. Good luck.
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