Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Teens, Accutane, and Diet

My teenage daughter has had problem skin for several years. She has been treated by a local dermatologist with antibiotics and has been using special cleansers, but nothing is working. Now he wants to put her on Accutane, and after reading about the side effects of this medication I’m really opposed to it.

The first question I would ask this woman is “how is your daughter’s diet?” What is bad in her diet? Other than raging hormones, chronic skin problems can surface due to poor dietary habits. My guess, especially since she is a teenager, is that she eats a lot of sweets. If you are sensitive to sugar and you continue to consume it, you will probably end up with (chronic) problems.

Diet may have little to do with her skin problems. She may be predisposed genetically to having teenage acne. This is always a possibility. But in all of my years in practice, I find that even when there’s a genetic predisposition, diet plays a key role in problem and acne skin—whether it is happening to a teenager or an adult.
I agree with this mother’s hesitation about putting her child on Accutane, especially because of all the possible side effects. Since she hasn’t responded favorably to previous attempts to clear her skin up, it indicates to me that she is probably continuing to feed the problem, which might be centered around sugar.

Accutane may indeed help this young lady’s skin to finally and totally clear up. But before subjecting your body’s health to this or any drug, wouldn’t it be worth it to try a new dietary plan and see what effects changing food has on the state of your skin? You may end up saving your skin and avoiding all the potential side effects of taking Accutane.

For information on a young person’s skin care routine, see:
There are several articles about Accutane on this blog. Here are just a few: