Have you heard of (or tried) the popular prescription acne medications Accutane or Retin-A? Accutane is a powerful oral medication that is prescribed for mild to moderate acne cases, and Retin-A is the same kind of medication, just in topical form.
So what is about these two medicines that work so well to heal acne ?? Its vitamin A!
Plain and simply – Accutane is nearly identical to an EXTREMELY high dose of vitamin A. I'm talking more than double, triple, and quadruple times the amount of recommended vitamin A daily intake. Suggested IU for vitamin A is 4,000 – but to take enough to equal the amount that is in Accutane would be 250,000 IU.
The topical medication Retin-A works the same way, except in a cream. The main active ingredient is vitamin A! Here the Retin "A."
So how does vitamin A work to treat acne? Well, it heals the skin. Acne is like a sore, it needs lots of vitamins in order to heal itself. Many people claim that high doses of vitamin-a (100,000 IU or more) taken daily for just ONE week will show dramatic results. Reduced redness and break-outs are common within the first month of taking it, and clear, healthy skin is usually achieved by the second month.
Side effects of high doses of the vitamin include dry skin (very common), headache, and occasional hair loss.
Danger: Vitamin A is not water soluble. This means that when taken in excess, the extra vitamin is not excreted but rather is stored in fat tissues. An immense build-up can be dangerous, if high doses are taken for a year or more. More importantly, too much vitamin A can cause birth defects. Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant should NEVER take vitamin A supplements over 4,000 IU.
Be very careful if you choose to take the Vitamin-A route to clear skin! It's best to consult with your doctor before taking large amounts of any kind of supplement.