Question: Question from RoseAngel

Hi, I have taken 20mg Roacutan for 6 months and now my doc has increased dosage to 30mg for the last month as after the initial treatment period I still had acne! Also she put me on Diane 35 and a new skin care regimen, Neo-Strata and Lumixyl at night, I still have acne, but now my skin is dry everywhere and my face is very dehydrated with lots of lines appearing! When I bought my Neo-Strata I asked my cousin to get it for me over seas and I got a 20% glycolic acid in the parcel, can I use it as on the box it says NeoStrata Professional? Also what can I do for the dry flaky skin? Should I just apply more cream or will that counter act what the Roacutan is doing? Also it healthy to be on the roac for so long and how much longer can I expect to be on it?

Answer

What you are describing is a very common side effect of retinoic acid tablets as they dry out the oil glands of the skin to reduce the acne spots. You can combat the dryness by using a great Neostrata product called Bionic Face Cream, however I would definitely advise against using the professional chemical peel product as this can be dangerous if not used absolutely carefully! But it is also important not to use any chemical peels while you are on retinoic acid medication (So please don’t use the 20% glycolic peel that you have received. That peel needs to be neutralized otherwise you will cause burns on your skin).

Retinoic acid is prescribed for as short a period at the highest safe dose for the best effect. Your doctor will have calculated this according to your weight and can give you an answer on how much longer you have to go. The long term effects of retinoic acid can include liver damage and bone marrow problems, so the sooner one can finish it, the better. Natural approaches to acne include balancing of gut flora with probiotics, eradication of Demodex mites using tea tree oil and following a low GI diet. Wishing you a speedy recovery to clear skin!

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