Accutane: Is It Worth It? - Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka
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Accutane: Is It Worth It?

The acne medication from personal experience

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Acne is hard to live with. I know first hand how hard it is: The constant insecurity about how you look and endlessly comparing yourself to others. I relentlessly searched for different methods to cure my acne; I can’t even remember how many dermatologists I’ve been to or how many creams, face washes, cleansers I’ve tried to reduce the red swells on my face.

It was the summer of 2016 when I had almost given up looking for treatments and was beginning to think that I was going to live with my acne for the unforeseeable future when I made one last visit to a new dermatologist who introduced me to Accutane (also known as Roaccutane). With absolute confidence, I can say this medicine changed my life.

The dosage of Accutane and the duration you have to take it is given depending on your level of acne and body weight. I took the 10mg tablets for 4 months and increased to the 20mg for 6 months after that. Within the first week of taking the pill, I started feeling the side effects; my skin, nose, lips, hair (basically everything) became incredibly dry. So I had to start carrying moisturizers and chapstick wherever I went. My dermatologist also prescribed me eye drops to keep the moisture in my eyes and nasal drops to avoid dryness nosebleeds.

It is not an easy process to get on Accutane, as it has strong effects on your body. They conduct several blood tests checking blood count, liver function, and cholesterol levels and also a pregnancy test before you get your first dosage and then the tests are spread out throughout the period you take the drug.

Dr. Chalukya Gunasekera, a dermatologist at Lanka Hospitals explains how the drug works inside your body: “Accutane gets absorbed into the body and goes to the pilosebaceous unit, which is what is diseased in acne. It enters the sac that contains the hair along with the oil producing gland and then it helps to unblock the openings and to permanently shrink the overactive oil glands, which is why everything dries out.” Here in Sri Lanka, a pack of Roaccutane is Rs. 15,000 per month and could change according to the brand your dermatologist uses.

Accutane gets a bad rep on paper because of the severity of its side effects, but I would say the end results are entirely worth it. Within the first month itself I could see the changes in my face, my skin was clearing up and I started to feel like an entirely new person. Fast forward 2 years and I only get acne as my period closes in, on other days of the month my skin stays clear.  

Find out more information on Accutane here.

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