How Long Does Accutane Take to Work?

Newport Beach Accutane

The skin is one of the first things we notice about people. If yours is damaged by acne or acne scarring, it can make meeting new people or being social particularly difficult, especially for teens who are especially self-conscious. At ZENA Medical, we are experts in acne pathology and we know exactly how to fix all types of acne.

How Does Accutane Work?

Accutane®, or isotretinoin, is an oral medication that shrinks the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin to reduce the amount of oil your skin is producing. Without the oil to clog pores and attract bacteria, acne—even severe or cystic acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments—can’t produce the sebum it needs to grow. Accutane® is considered the “big guns” of acne therapy, but Accutane®—if dosed correctly—can have minimal to zero side effects. At ZENA Medical, we don’t strive to get you a little bit better. Our goal is to make our patients 100% acne free.

Am I a Good Candidate?

If you have acne or have tried many products and prescriptions but still have acne, Accutane® is highly recommended. Dr. Zenovia Gabriel or one of the ZENA Medical dermatologists will take a thorough medical history to ensure you’re an ideal candidate before beginning Accutane® treatment. Because Accutane® is prescribed in pill form, it’s easy for patients—particularly teenage boys who may not be interested in cream treatments—to stick to. A low-dose of Accutane® can save patients thousands of dollars on skincare products that aren’t as effective for treating acne.

What is Medication Like?

Our ZENA Medical physicians prefer a low-dose protocol of Accutane® treatment, 40mg twice a week no matter how severe your acne. This is because Accutane® is a powerful medication that can have some uncomfortable side effects, like skin dryness and redness, which often presents on the lips or palms. The lower dose clears up your acne—even severe cases—without these harsh side effects. The low-dose approach to Accutane® treatment was initially tried in Europe in the early 2000s, and we at ZENA Medical have been prescribing it this way since the 1990s. We love its 100% acne free result while maintaining a high standard of safety for the patient.

Low-dose Accutane® has almost no side effects. The most common is dry lips. One particular requirement of Accutane® treatment is that female patients who are sexually active must make sure to avoid pregnancy. Accutane® cannot be taken when you’re pregnant because of harm to a growing fetus. In order to get a prescription of Accutane®, female patients must prove they’re not pregnant by taking a pregnancy test in the office. Most teenagers are not child planning, but it is a requirement before obtaining an Accutane® prescription. Accutane® has no effect on the patient’s reproductive system, nor does it affect future fertility. The only thing Accutane® treatment affects is a developing fetus, which cannot metabolize the medication. 

Our low-dose Accutane® protocol is totally safe, yet extremely effective. Low-dose Accutane®, just 2 pills per week versus 7, is a miracle drug for patients who have tried everything but still suffer from chronic, recurring pimples. Low-dose Accutane® can be used in even mild to moderate acne—not just deep or cystic acne.

How Long Does Accutane® Take to Work?

The results are where Accutane® treatment really shines. Peak effect is visible at the 8-12 week mark, and patients see a difference in their skin within 2 weeks. ZENA Medical is so confident in your Accutane® protocol that we guarantee your face will be 100% pimple-free after 3 months of Accutane® therapy. It’s also wise to pamper your lips and moisturize your skin consistently during your Accutane® treatment to keep it healthy and glowing. Alongside our skin recommendations, we have a four-pronged, fail-proof approach to acne:

  • Customized topicals
  • Surgical extractions
  • Lasers
  • Low-dose Accutane® treatment.

Imagine having beautiful, clear, acne-free skin from this point forward. You can, with Accutane® at ZENA Medical.

Take the Next Step

If you’d like to learn more about Accutane, we encourage you to schedule a private consultation with your personal assessment at ZENA Medical in Newport Beach, California today. Call us at (949) 200-8222 or fill out our convenient online contact form. We look forward to meeting you!


*Individual Results May Vary

Zena Medical