Accutane in Chattanooga, TN

What is Accutane (Isotretinoin)?

Accutane (isotretinoin) is a powerful drug used to treat acne. If you have severe nodular acne and nothing seems to help, you may be a candidate for Accutane.

Our board-certified dermatologists offer accutane as an option to treat acne. Schedule a consultation at our dermatology clinic in Chattanooga, TN today by calling (423) 206-2777.
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What is Severe Nodular Acne?

Nodular acne is a type of inflammatory acne that causes firm, painful lumps to form under your skin and red bumps to appear on the surface of your skin. This type of acne usually requires treatment from a provider to avoid scarring or other complications. These lumps can be the size of a pencil eraser (diameter of about 5 mm) or larger. You may be at risk for nodular acne if you have it in your family history, are prone to excessive sweating, or as your hormones change.

How Does Accutane Work?

Drugmakers created isotretinoin to treat cancer, and it later became a drug to treat severe acne. Accutane was the brand-name version of the drug manufactured by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche until 2009.

Isotretinoin is still available as a generic or under several other brand names including:

  • Absorica
  • Amnesteem
  • Claravis
  • Myorisan
  • Zenatane

The dosages can also be adjusted based on your individual needs or preferences.

How Does Isotretinoin Work?

Accutane or other brands of isotretinoin help by:

  • Reducing the size of oils glands in the skin and the amount of oil produced
  • Reducing the amount of bacteria in the skin
  • Slowing down the production of skin cells inside pores, preventing clogging of pores
  • Reducing skin inflammation

It is a proven medication used by millions of people.

How Long Does it Take?

If you commit to an Accutane treatment plan, you must complete the entire treatment course. This is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Counsel your provider at Uderm about your goals and your commitment to clearing up your acne.

For most patients, the five to seven months of treatment can usually lead to clearing of acne. This is a single treatment course. Your acne may seem to get worse at first, but should then begin to improve. In some cases, a second treatment is recommended.

Am I a Candidate for Isotretinoin?

This medication should be considered in patients who:

  • have failed traditional therapies
  • have scarring
  • are prone to physical scarring in the skin
  • are at risk for emotional or psychosocial scarring
  • have acne present for many years that has not responded completely to antibiotic pills and creams

What are Common Side Effects from Isotretinoin?

Accutane is known for causing side effects, some of which are more serious than others.

The following side effects are common in patients who take the medication:

  • Dry skin
  • Chapped lips
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry nose
  • Nosebleeds
  • Cracked or peeling skin

These side effects are very common in most Accutane patients as the skin works to heal. Using frequent moisturizer creams, nasal gels, Vaseline or other products may help with these side effects.

What are Other Potential Side Effects?

Other potential side effects that are less common include:

  • Joint and muscle pains (15%)
  • Temporary hair thinning (10%)
  • Rash (7%)
  • Intestinal symptoms (5%)
  • Urinary symptoms (5%)
  • Headache (5%)
  • Increased sensitivity to sun (5%)
  • Decreased night vision (<1%)
  • Depression, thoughts of suicide (this is debatable in the literature; <1%).

What are the Serious Side Effects?

  • Liver Issues – Accutane may increase the level of blood fats, sometimes to risky levels. This reverts back to normal when the drug is stopped. Occasionally it may affect the liver. That’s why regular blood tests are necessary during your treatment.
  • Birth Defects – The most damaging side effect of Accutane is serious birth defects if taken during pregnancy. It is critically important for women not to take Accutane while pregnant, and not to become pregnant while taking it. Women who are, or might be, sexually active while taking Accutane must use an effective method of birth control.

What is the iPledge Program?

In addition to candid conversations with your healthcare provider and our tips, Accutane is part of the iPLEDGE® Program. The iPLEDGE® Program is a set of steps all patients, doctors, and pharmacists must follow.

The main goal is to prevent pregnancy and birth defects, but both male patients and female patients must follow the iPLEDGE® Program. Learn more about the iPLEDGE ®Program expectations.

Schedule an Accutane Consultation in Chattanooga, TN

To see if you are a candidate for accutane to treat your acne, schedule a consultation with our board-certified dermatologists. Call our clinic in Chattanooga, TN today at (423) 206-2777.
Request an Appointment