Roaccutane: Are the side effects worth it?

Did you know that 85 per cent of Australians aged 15-24 are affected by acne? The skin condition can have a severe impact on self-esteem and wellbeing, and many people struggle to find an effective treatment. This leads to sufferers reaching for Roaccutane: the harshest but most proven therapy, often hailed as a miracle drug. But is it worth the side effects?

rsz_acneThe Australasian College of Dermatologists says that the emotional psycho-social impact of acne is huge. It is no wonder that many people turn to the drug isotretinoin, more commonly known as Roaccutane, for help.

But for acne sufferers who are prescribed the drug, the list of possible side effects is long, including severely dry and irritable skin, vision impairment, birth defects in pregnancy, and psychiatric disorders.

Worryingly, a large number of people reach for the drug before properly trying gentler alternatives that may have even better results for their skin. Everyone's experience is different and the drug works for around 80 per cent of people who try it, but dermatologists recommend that it be used as a last resort.

Roaccutane works by targeting the skins oil glands, shrinking them down to reduce the production of pimples, and targeting bacteria in hair follicles that lead to breakouts.

After being introduced in the 70s, the drug started raising concerns in the 90s when patients reported adverse psychological side effects including depression, suicidal thoughts and, in extreme cases, suicide. Roche, the producer of Roaccutane, strongly advises pregnant women and those breastfeeding to avoid the medicine.

Dermatologists recommend that the key to great skin is the right prescribed routine over a period of time, with minor adjustments based on personal results. Everyone's skin is different and requires a personalised treatment plan, and using Roaccutane to treat acne should be carefully considered.

If you would like to know more about the alternative therapies available for treating acne, please join us for a free information night on Monday, 18 February 2019 at New Town Skin Cancer Centre. Learn more and RSVP here:

Skin repair consultations and acne treatments are available with our Aesthetic Medicine Doctors at New Town Skin Cancer Centre. Please call 6228 0041 for a non-binding consultation.