For years, isotretinoin — also currently known by brand names like Absorica and Claravis — has helped people deal with painful cystic acne that doesn’t respond to other types of treatment.
Many dermatologists — including the two that HuffPost spoke to for this story — still commonly refer to the drug as Accutane, isotretinoin’s best-known brand name, despite the fact that Accutane is no longer on the market.
Despite the abundance of misinformation surrounding this powerful retinoic acid, Dr. Monika Kiripolksy, a Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist, said that when it’s prescribed correctly, “the benefits usually far outweigh the risk.”
That’s not to say isotretinoin is without its share of potential side effects.
“Accutane shrinks the oil glands in the entire body,” Kiripolksy told HuffPost. “That’s why [it] can be used to treat severe cases of dandruff, too, since excess oil is contributing to dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis.”
This reduced oil production commonly results in chapped lips, dry skin and sometimes even eczema-like rashes, according to board-certified Los Angeles-based dermatologist Dr. Nada Elbuluk.
“When my patients are on Accutane, I recommend they keep their regimen very simple using only gentle cleansers, a sunscreen and moisturizers with ingredients that help keep the skin barrier intact,” Elbuluk said, adding that both physical and chemical exfoliants should be avoided.
Kiripolksy said products should also be oil-free since it’s counterproductive to add what Accutane is trying to decrease. Ingredients like cocoa butter, although moisturizing, can clog pores and continue to worsen acne.
If you haven’t already discussed a skin care regimen with your dermatologist and are currently dealing with Accutane symptoms, keep reading to see a list of products that meet ingredient recommendations provided by these experts.
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