While acne can begin at any age, teenagers are one of the most common age groups affected by acne breakouts.  Parents often struggle with the significant emotional effects that acne can have on their teenage sons or daughters and seek out the most effective therapy.

Accutane is often considered by parents and teenagers looking for an effective way to gain control over their continual acne breakouts.   It is not uncommon for teenagers to begin to experience the frustration of significant acne in their early teens as well.

One of the most common questions for dermatologists is “Can my 15 year old take Accutane?”

Why parents hesitate to let their teenager be treated with Accutane

Parents are already hesitant to use Accutane because of real or perceived side effects and they often become even more cautious when it comes to considering Accutane treatment for their 13 or 14 or 15 year old.  They want to be sure that Accutane is safe for their 13 year old or their 15 year old.

Because of the significant emotional consequences that can have far reaching negative effects on all acne sufferers, the psychological impact of acne on teenagers can be especially severe.  Feeling insecure is very common.  Social circumstances can also be very troublesome for teenagers as they navigate the dynamics of fitting in at school and feeling confident in themselves.

For these reasons it is important to intervene early.  Since 15 year olds fall within the common age when acne surfaces, Accutane can become a very necessary consideration for them.

Because of their young age, parents often need reassurance that Accutane can be safe for their 15 year old.

Whether 13 years old, 14 years old or 15 years old, Accutane can be a life changing treatment.  After discussing the treatment including potential side effects, close monitoring is also established.

Prior to initiating therapy with Accutane, it is not uncommon to enlist the approval and support of the patient’s pediatrician.  This not only helps to ensure a safe treatment but also helps to reassure the parents that Accutane can be used safely in their child.

Emotional benefits of eliminating acne can outweigh risks of Accutane

Once improvement begins to show, the initial reservations of the parents typically begin to diminish and the parents usually begin to feel much more comfortable with the Accutane treatment process.  And when their 15 year old teenager begins to show optimism and smiles for the first time in months, the parents become even more confident in their decision to use Accutane for their teenager.

Ultimately, once completely clear skin is achieved, the patient and the parents are usually relieved, happy and thankful to the extent that it is very common for the parent to admit that they wish they had started Accutane much sooner.  “I wish I didn’t wait so long” is a common refrain.

But the important thing for parents is to not feel pushed or coerced into considering Accutane treatment for their 15 year old.   They should feel very comfortable with any treatment that they select.

However, it is also important to carefully consider the side effects of any given treatment in relation to the potential serious side effects of not using effective therapy.  Although Accutane can have a variety of potential side effects, just like any medication can have, the decision to consider Accutane should take into account the likelihood that the 15 year old teen is also possibly experiencing significant emotional consequences of the burden of acne.

A thoughtful discussion with the dermatologist about the pros and cons for Accutane should take place prior to making a treatment decision.  Also see our prior blog post on “The Accutane Talk” for further thoughts.

The Advanced Acne Institute is a unique dermatology practice located in Miami, Florida specializing only in the treatment of acne.   We focus solely on providing the most effective treatments to help our patients achieve clear skin.  We are pleased to share our insights and perspectives in acne treatment as an educational service, however this information is provided strictly for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice and is not a substitute for seeking the advice and treatment by an appropriate medical professional.

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