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Sanova Success Story: Rachel’s Acne

Acne is an extremely common condition, with detrimental effects on self-esteem, confidence and quality of life. The extent of this disease varies from person to person and can be related to skin type, stress, climate, and a number of other factors . Some people are subject to acne for an extended period of time, lasting far beyond the teenage years, and must seek ways to manage it. A wide array of facial products, medicines, and topical creams are available and often tried to get rid of the unwanted spots and blemishes, all with variable success.

Rachel is one of those who struggled to find the right fix for her acne problem, and came to Sanova Dermatology looking for a remedy. She met with Dr. Miriam Hanson and they, together, decided that Accutane would be the right option for Rachel. Thus began Rachel’s journey through Acne, Accutane, and its effects.

Check out Rachel’s Q&A in her own words:

Sanova Dermatology: What led you to seek treatment for your skin?

Rachel: I’ve always struggled with acne on and off throughout my teenage and young adult years – seeking treatment from various estheticians and dermatologist. However, when I graduated college, my acne got really bad, and I knew I needed another opinion on my acne, so I set up an appointment with Dr. Hanson.

Did you try any medicines before Accutane?

I took birth control, minocycline and topical creams – Benzaclin, Benzamycin, Differin, and a bunch of others. However, when I stopped using those prescriptions for any length of time, my acne would flare up again.

Was it a difficult decision to start Accutane?

At first, it was a difficult decision to start Accutane. My older brother took Accutane when he was a freshman in high school, and I remember how he broke out pretty bad in the beginning. With starting a new job, I was nervous about the ways in which Accutane would cause breakouts, dry skin/lips, etc. However, seeing how clear my brother’s face is now at 26 was worth it for me to pull the trigger and get rid of my acne at 23.


What reservations did you have about using Accutane?

[My biggest concerns were the side effects, including] fatigue, dry skin, chapped lips, bad breakouts, and scarring.

Did you hear anything about Accutane before starting the regimen?

Yes, my older brother and my best friend took Accutane.

What was/were the worst side-effect(s) you experienced?

The worst side-effects were the breakouts in the first two months, chapped lips, and lips peeling.


What strategies did you use to manage the side-effect(s)?

I moisturized my face all the time, always wore sunscreen underneath my makeup and put chap stick on religiously.

At what point during treatment did you feel that Accutane was working (1 week, 1 month, 3 months)?

At month three and four, I could tell a huge difference in my skin. My acne lessened a ton and the scarring began to fade. I also had less redness.


What made you come to see Dr. Hanson?

My mom’s dermatologist in Dallas referred me to Dr. Hanson.

How did Dr. Hanson make you feel about your skin?

Dr. Hanson was so encouraging about my skin. She took Accutane during medical school (and her skin is flawless now!), which was a huge inspiration to me. Dr. Hanson also always encouraged me to call if I ever had any concerns. She was extremely thorough in all of my monthly checkups and welcomed my very-detailed questions.

Would you recommend Dr. Hanson?

I already have!

How are you feeling about your skin after Accutane?

Complete and utter relief. I feel like I crossed the finish line of a marathon. The 6 months of “training” was so worth the cheers at the end of the race!RSM6

How does that compare to how you felt before?

When I arrived at my first consultation with Dr. Hanson, I came in pretty discouraged. I felt like I had tried everything to cure my acne, and I honestly expected to walk away with another typical antibiotic like before. But I knew I didn’t need just a band-aid, I needed a cure.

Would you recommend Accutane?

Yes. If Dr. Hanson tells you that you’re a good candidate for Accutane, listen.

If you could tell other patients one thing considering Accutane what would it be?

Don’t let everything you hear scare you away from Accutane. I was amazed by how misinformed some of the people were whom I spoke with. I had a woman tell me that it caused infertility issues – not true. I had others tell me that I shouldn’t need to take it more than a couple of months – also not a best practice. Everyone is different, but I love Dr. Hanson’s approach to curing acne in 5-6 months rather than trying to do a “quick fix” without the long-lasting results.


Rachel is a true success story. Her choice to use Accutane resulted in great effects for her skin and self-esteem. We love to see that our patients feel fulfilled once they have decided on a method of treatment, and encourage them to share their excitement proudly!

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At Sanova Dermatology, we use state of the art technology and techniques to provide the best care possible. Contact us if you would like to know more about skin care products and routines, or any skin conditions.

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