Known for being a oral prescription medication that is commonly used to ‘treat’ acne. Having been on it myself (TWICE!), I can safely say the experience was not enjoyable and my acne just ended up returning a few months later. Now, there have been quite a few success stories for roaccutane, but the side affects are super scary and also extremely dangerous. I suffered with my skin actually cracking, yes cracking down the sides of my face, extreme dry lips (which are still dry now due to the it), low moods, fatigue, severe headaches, SUPER sensitive skin and many more….overall a horrible experience.
What is Roaccutane?
Essentially Roaccutane (isotretinoin), is a form of vitamin A that is used to reduce the proportion of sebum created by the sebaceous glands. As vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, chronic toxicity can occur when taking over 25,000 IU of vitamin A daily for a long period of time. The megavitamin therapy, that is roaccutane, can result in chronic vitamin A toxicity. This is especially dangerous for your health and can lead to poor vision, skin discolouration, bone pain, extreme dryness of the skin and skin peeling to name a few. The daily intake of vitamin A should not exceed more than 5000 IU for adults and 8000 IU for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Serious adverse effects can occur when taken in large amount that outweighs its potential benefits.
Roaccutane Side Effects
- Birth defects and fetal death
- Premature births
- Liver damage
- Mental health problems; depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts
- Headaches and Migraines
- Thinning Hair
- Brittle and weak nails
Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, such as acne, STI’s, eye infections, respiratory infections as well as used to prevent malaria in those that are travelling to areas that witness the disease. The drug works by preventing bacterial protein from being developed and therefore treating the infection. It is often a favourite for dermatologists to prescribe when it comes to mild and moderate acne cases.
Doxycycline Side Effects
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease: acne patients taking doxycycline are 225% more likely to develop this condition
- Nausea, vomiting, upset stomach
- Mild diarrhea
- Skin rash/itching
Clindamycin works by treating serious infections within the body, supposedly stopping the bacteria that causes acne from multiplying. Other infections it treats includes pneumonia, endocarditis, pelvic inflammatory disease and strep throat amongst others. The main side effect associated with Clindamycin is diarrhea, which can be severe or lead to life-threatening intestinal problems. It is advised to take clindamycin for the full prescribed length of your treatment as skipping doses can increase your risk of a further infection that is in fact resistant to antibiotics…all together, a very worrying drug to be taking.
Clindamycin Side Effects
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach pain
- Skin Rash
- Inflammation within your body
A topical treatment for acne which can be found over-the-counter or prescribed by a Doctor. It can come in the form of a lotion, gel, soap and liquid. Benzoyl Peroxide creates free radicals in the skin, causing not only premature ageing but also has been linked to a number of diseases such as cancer. It can lead to severe drying, flaking, irritation and redness of the skin.
Differin is a derivative of vitamin A, known as adapalene, which states it ‘treats’ acne and ‘prevents’ future breakouts. Many people who have used Differin have claimed it in fact made their acne worse and on top of that, they experienced dry, flaky and sore skin. Commonly the side effects include stinging, tingling, irritation after application. Within the first two weeks of using the gel, mild burning, itching, scaling and dryness can also occur.
Birth Control Pills
For decades, dermatologists and doctors have used birth control pills to treat acne in women, typically given with another acne oral or topical treatment. As hormones have a clear link with acne, particularly amongst teenagers, birth control pills help to lower the proportion of androgens in your body resulting in less sebum and less severe acne. HOWEVER, the problem with birth control pills are (which I have experienced many times myself), when you stop taking them, your acne will return. Taking birth control pills for a long time is definitely not advised as there has been research to suggest they can lead to certain cancers such as breast. Again it is not tackling the root problem of your acne.
Remember topical/antibiotic treatments and birth control pills will never cure your acne or get to the root problem! These treatments can do serious damage in the long run and hence why I recommend certain methods to tackle acne that are natural, safe and actually are more effective.