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Though Hailead As Acne Cures Are Prescription Drugs Deadlier That The Disease...? Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 July 2007

There are many acne cures in the marketplace but now researchers are asking if they are literally proving worse than the disease itself? Most acne cures and medications only mask the symptoms of acne and do little to tackle the real cause of acne. In fact many of the prescription drugs are a case of the cure being deadlier than the disease.

Doctors had always thought that Accutane (isotretinoin), an anti-acne drug, carried with it a slight risk of raised Cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels. However, a recent study carried out by scientists from the University of California, San Francisco, has now shown that the risk is much higher than had previously been thought.

The study found that 31% of patients taking Accutane ended up with high Cholesterol levels, 44% developed high triglycerides while 11% had high liver transaminase levels (liver enzymes).

While Accutane is an incredibly effective drug - a "silver bullet"- for people who have a very severe form of acne called cystic acne. It is usually prescribed for a five-month period and works well to get rid of and to prevent the recurrence of acne in about 40 percent of cases, depending on the dosage.

But the side effects, particularly for child-bearing women, can be devastating if it's not used properly. Dr. Barney Kenet, a dermatologist who has prescribed the drug for many years, says, “If a woman should conceive while on Accutane; the risk of birth defects are extremely high. Doctors group Accutane into a category called, ‘pregnancy category-X.’ That's the most dangerous class of drug for a developing baby.”

Dr. Kenet says, typically, birth defects are “cranial facial abnormalities meaning the brain and the face are abnormal. There are other types of birth defects throughout the body, and many babies exposed to Accutane in utero do not survive.”
Another drug extensively used to treat acne can cause depression. This has been supported by several tests conducted on animals. 

Recently, the drug- Roaccutane, which effectively cures serious cases of acne, has been associated with severe side-effects like suicidal behaviour.

It has not been proven so far that the drug is responsible for depression; moreover, teenagers with severe acne may feel depressed being concerned about their appearance.

It is now generally recognised that acne is a stress related disease and therefore needs to be treated accordingly.

Researchers say acne is an inflammatory disease, and previous studies have shown stress can trigger inflammation in the body.

On the brighter side research shows that a prescription cream -- derived from vitamin A -- commonly used to treat acne and psoriasis may help prevent skin cancer in some people predisposed to the disease.

News of Epstein's study has been met with great optimism by experts, some of whom expressed hope that the findings could benefit others at high risk of developing skin tumors, such as organ transplant patients and people who have previously had skin cancer.

For more detailed information on acne cures visit:

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