In all the years I’ve been researching acne, I’ve consistently read in most dermatology texts, “there is no cure for acne.” Until a few years ago, I echoed this prevailing wisdom in my writing for Acne.org. However, during my rewrite of Acne.org for our mobile-friendly web site–which is coming soon–I decided to start referring to Accutane (isotreinoin) as a “cure” more plainly in certain circumstances. This is not to say that I feel any differently than I ever have about Accutane. My personal opinion is that it is best left for more severe cases of acne, especially if one tends to scar.
Merriam-Webster defines cure as “a complete or permanent solution or remedy.” This is what Accutane provides for the majority of people who take it. Clinical research shows long-term remission of acne symptoms in approximately 2/3 of people who take an adequate dosage (1mg/kg). Therefore, I feel it is time for me to plainly use the word “cure” in certain circumstances when referring to Accutane, while at the same time noting that it cures most people, but not all people.
A still unanswered question?: I do not recall reading any studies on Accutane (isotretinoin) which follow up with participants past the five year mark, checking in on remission. If any of you have read a study like this, please contact me to let me know. If we do not have good data on this, then we cannot comment with complete certainty on long-term remission. However, anecdotally, based on years of input from Acne.org members, the effects of Accutane tend to be permanent.
A note on the permanency of Accutane: The permanency of Accutane is a reflection of the drug’s power, but also brings urgency to the need to consciously enter into a careful decision-making process alongside a trusted physician if you decide to pursue Accutane treatment.
Looks like we’re a favorite in Allure magazine’s October edition. Pretty cool.
I’ve been working for the past couple of months with Paul (real maverick) to completely redesign acne.org so it will work great on mobile devices, and generally be more awesome in every way. Check out Paul’s post on the forum and let us know what you think.
The L’Oreal go 360 Clean is a product that came out recently which has a scrubber that pops out which you can then use to scrub the cleanser into your skin. I tried it, and much like the Clarsonic, Wavesonic, and Olay ProX, it is fun to use, but creates unnecessary irritation. No matter how soft a scrubber is, it is no match for your bare hands.
To make matters worse, the second ingredient in this particular cleanser is Sodium Laureth Sulfate. While Sodium Laureth Sulfate is not as drying as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and can be a welcome addition to a cleanser if it is lower in the ingredient deck, the addition of Sodium Laureth Sulfate as the second ingredient is a concern. Dry skin is irritated skin, and especially if you are trying to clear up acne, you want to use only very gentle, non-overdrying cleansers.
But hey, props to L’Oreal for making such a fun product. If someone is not acne-prone, it could be a fun diversion to a daily cleansing routine.
I’ve been saying for years never to use a washcloth because it can be irritating. The same holds true for hand held cleansing devices. I tried a few of them recently and while I do have to admit that they are quite fun to use, the irritation they present is unwelcome when it comes to acne-prone skin types. If you want exfoliation and like how a hand held device physically exfoliates, a better option is chemical exfoliation. 10% alpha hydroxy acid will exfoliate without the irritation and will improve the texture of acne-prone skin. My strong advice: leave cleansing to bare hands, and never use a device, washcloth or otherwise, to wash.