Last Updated on March 16, 2021 by Alice Pien, MD & Asher Milgrom, PhD
The Controversial Wonder Drug, Accutane, has seen its demise.
After years filled with thousands of personal injury lawsuits due to its numerous side effects, Accutane has proved to be a relentless legal burden for its manufacturer, Roche Holding AG.
Unable to strategize for the future to keep Accutane as a leading competitor in the market, Roche made its final decision to pull the drug from the U.S. market in July of 2009. (Note: Generic versions called isotretinoin, are still available from several manufacturers.)
What is Accutane?
In case you are not familiar, Accutane (or oral ) is a retinoid that is derived from vitamin A that alters the lipid composition of the skin surface by reducing the size of sebaceous glands and lowering sebum production (a major contributor to acne). This reduces the bacterial skin microflora that cause acne flare-ups.
This drug puts patients through a lengthy and often overwhelming experience as patients typically take isotretinoin for 15 to 20 weeks.
It permanently clears acne for roughly 80% of acne patients, although for the remaining 20% breakouts may return later in life.
The Side-Effects of Accutane
While taking accutane, most patients may experience side effects such as purging of the skin (breakouts caused by the transformations taking place within the sebaceous glands), severe dryness of the lips, skin and eyes, and may also encounter abnormal liver function and a potential increase in triglycerides and cholesterol.
Among the most serious side effects of Accutane, some patients may encounter liver inflammation, elevated risk for birth defects (if a woman were to get pregnant while taking oral isotretinoin), and Irritable Bowel disease.
With all of these side effects, it is shocking to think that one would want to take on these kinds of risks just to be free of acne, but what we must understand is that for most cystic acne sufferers there is no price tag or risk too great for clear skin.
With the reign of Accutane and its side effects fading into the past, it is quite the question…….what are acne sufferers to turn to?
Accutane’s Replacement… A Safer Acne Treatment
Without challenging your health, the answer for a safer and more holistic type of acne treatment is quite simple.
Laser Acne Treatment
Laser Acne Treatment is a gentle and effective means for treating acne along with all of the other problems that arise within the skin when acne is present.
Acne treatments require specific lasers, which target the bacteria that are infecting follicles, eliminating the infection without the need for antibiotics or medications like Accutane.
Photodynamic Therapy Combined with Lasers
At AMA Regenerative Medicine & Skincare, each Laser Acne Treatment incorporates Aminolevulinic Acid (ALA) with each photodynamic treatment. ALA is naturally found within our skin, and has the ability to shut down the sebaceous glands just like Accutane, but without the medical risk or side effects. ALA is a clear solution that is applied to the skin and left on for 30-45 minutes (Incubation).
How it Works
Once absorbed into your skin the ALA is activated with a specific wavelength of light in the blue spectrum. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Active cells such as sebaceous glands absorb ALA and, consequently, when the ALA is activated by the blue light a patient’s overactive sebaceous glands will be dramatically impacted and shut down; hence the term “Photodynamic” acne treatment. Skin oiliness is decreased and the appearance of pores is minimized. The entire skin texture improves following a Photodynamic Acne Treatment.
With the infection now in retreat, we use 1 or 2 additional lasers to shut down the inflammation that often accompanies acne and cystic acne. This will reduce swelling and remove redness and pigmentation. Just like Accutane, patients will experience a purging of the skin as a result of the sebaceous glands drying up and purging excess oils and inflamed bacteria, but will prove to reveal naturally clear skin within a couple weeks.
Silk Peel Dermal Infusion
In many cases, acne treatments are integrated with a package of silk peels (dermal infusion facials) administered by our Nurses.
The Dermal Infusion procedure infuses into your dermis a natural substance called Salicylic acid, which is clinically proven to further reduce acne and cystic acne breakouts.
In this procedure, a precise amount of the dead layer of your skin (Stratum Corneum) is also removed, which promotes further healing and rejuvenation of your skin to its silky smooth radiant state.
Daily Skin Care Regimen
In addition, the Nurse will customize an anti-acne daily skincare regimen for continued acne treatment maintenance.
AMA Regenerative Medicine & Skincare truly believes that they have created one of the most comprehensive and effective ways to treat acne, and the proof comes from the incredible results that each of their acne patients have received.
About the Authors
Doctors Alice Pien, MD and Asher Milgrom, Phd are established pioneers in the fields of Regenerative Medicine and Skincare. Their expertise ranges from advanced laser systems to HCT/P – Stem Cell medicine. Their medical education and advanced certifications span from medical schools of NY State University, the University of Chicago, to Johns Hopkins, Harvard and UCLA. They approach medicine with the clinical expertise of over 85,000 successful treatments over the past 20 years and significant scientific research resulting in proprietary protocols that they customize for each individual patient.