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How Long Should You Take Accutane for Treating Acne & How Does it Work?

The word accutane may probably ring a bell in teenagers with acne. Accutane is a suitable drug for curing acne. Therefore, we are providing some of the necessary information related to it, so that you will be able to consider it to obtain a clear skin.

How Long Should You Take Accutane for Treating Acne?

How Long Should You Take Accutane for Treating Acne?

The determination of the use of accutane for acne treatment depends on several calculations. These calculations involve both dosage level, the degree of the skin breakout, and the time. According to several dermatologists, acne patients usually spend at least four months on Accutane. However, it is subject to the dosage level and the patient’s reaction to it without showing severe side effects. For example, a patient can reach the destination by choosing 20 milligrams of the medicine accutane for eight months or opt for 120 milligrams dosage level and complete the journey in four months.

How Does Accutane Work for Acne?

The Accutane drug consists of Vitamin A, which is synthetic, and carries out two different activities – it removes the bacteria causing the acne from the hair follicle and making it in hospitable for it to live, and regularizes the keratinization of the follicle. Put it in simple words, Accutane is helpful in the smooth process of removing the dead skin cells unlike being stuck within the skin pores causing acne or skin breakouts.

Who are Ideal Candidates for Accutane Treatment for Acne?

According to a dermatologist, prescribing an individual with accutane depends on the severity of the condition. Mostly, people with severe acne, scarring acne, or those who did not have earlier treatments or combinations of medicines are eligible for consuming Accutane.

An important factor to consider while opting for the drug accutane is that women should keep away from the thoughts of becoming pregnant. The drug accutane has side effects of congenital disabilities. Therefore, before the doctor prescribes accutane, the female patient undergoes plenty of paperwork along with pregnancy tests and uses at least two different birth control pills or condoms while using accutane.

For many doctors, the entire process comes down to responsibility. As a doctor has the responsibility to his/her patients, so do the patients towards their doctor.

Communication is the key aspect of the procedure, and it is essential that a patient relays things back to the dermatologist. Such instances ensure that the dosage of accutane and its treatment are in line and are showing progress.

What are the Side Effects of Accutane?

Patient’s consuming Accutane will observe severe dryness along eyes and lips. Therefore, dermatologists suggest applying moisturizing agents often to keep the skin moist and at regular intervals of the period during the day. They can also choose an herbal lip balm. Furthermore, one in twenty patients may experience joint pain, which dies as soon as the treatment ends. Additionally, there are no severe side effects even when a patient consumes the drug for eight months with the dosage level at 20 milligrams.

Dermatologists prefer the use of Accutane for severe acne or scarring acne. The period of the use depends on the conditions and response shown by a patient. Although in many cases, improving the situation is visible, a few require a second round of treatment. However, it may not include the use of Accutane but other combination medications for acne. Taking Accutane for treating acne is a reasonable choice. But, it is equally important that the patient considers it as a serious treatment during which he/she has to follow the instructions given by the dermatologist. With negligible side effects, the treatment does show positive results within a few weeks.


  1. American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Acne: Diagnosis and treatment.” AAD. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne#treatment
  2. Mayo Clinic. “Isotretinoin (Oral Route).” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/isotretinoin-oral-route/proper-use/drg-20068178
  3. WebMD. “Isotretinoin (Oral).” WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-6661/isotretinoin-oral/details
  4. National Library of Medicine. “Isotretinoin.” MedlinePlus. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a681043.html
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information. “Isotretinoin.” PubChem. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/isotretinoin
  6. American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Acne: Overview.” AAD. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne
  7. Mayo Clinic. “Accutane (Isotretinoin) – Side Effects.” Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/isotretinoin-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20068178
  8. American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Acne: Who gets and causes.” AAD. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne#causes
  9. Medical News Today. “How long does it take for Accutane to work?” MNT. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323523
  10. American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Acne: Treatment for Scarring.” AAD. https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/acne-scars

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 14, 2023

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