Accutane (isotretinoin) is a medication used to treat severe acne. However, hair thinning or loss is a potential side effect as it can interfere with the hair growth cycle. If you experience shedding after Accutane use, there are things you can do to help halt hair loss and spur regrowth.
How to Stop Hair Loss After Accutane
To stop post-Accutane hair shedding, be sure to maintain adequate protein intake, use gentle hair care practices, take hair-healthy supplements like biotin and saw palmetto, apply minoxidil, and avoid additional drying medications that may exacerbate loss.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Shoot for around 50 grams of protein daily to provide amino acids for hair formation.
Use Gentle, Hydrating Products
Coconut oil, masks and leave-in conditioners offset dryness and brittleness.
Take Supportive Supplements
Biotin, iron, zinc and vitamin D combat shedding and optimize growth.
Applying over-the-counter minoxidil solution directly to the scalp can stimulate regrowth.
Avoid Drying Medications
Hold off on other drying drugs like diuretics while post-Accutane shedding resolves.
Why Accutane Causes Hair LossHere are some of the ways Accutane may trigger hair shedding:
Shrinks Oil Glands
It reduces sebum production including scalp oils that nourish hair.
Induces Telogen Effluvium
Pushes hairs into the rest/shed phase prematurely.
Raises inflammatory cytokines that can impair hair growth.
Creates Nutrient Deficiencies
Isotretinoin use depletes key hair nutrients like zinc.
Dries Hair and Skin
Leads to brittle, breakage-prone strands.
Tips to Minimize Hair Loss from AccutaneFollow these tips while on Accutane therapy and after:
Address Nutrient Deficiencies
Ensure you're getting enough zinc, protein, iron and essential fatty acids.
Use a Moisturizing Shampoo
Choose a vitamin-enriched, sulfate-free formula.
Avoid Heat Styling
Let hair air dry to prevent damage to fragile strands.
Take a Multi-Vitamin
A supplement helps cover nutritional gaps associated with hair loss.
Ask About Lower Dosage
See if a lower isotretinoin dose still treats your acne.
When to Follow Up with Your DoctorConsult your dermatologist if you have:
No Improvement After 3 Months
Shedding, thinning and dryness continues.
Noticeable Bald Spots
Discrete circular areas of total loss appear.
Hair Breaking Off
Hair doesn't grow past a certain length before breaking.
Scalp Irritation or Itching
These could indicate infection or inflammation.
The Bottom LineFor many, Accutane-related hair shedding is temporary. But taking active measures to stimulate regrowth and using treatments to offset dryness can help halt excessive ongoing loss resulting from isotretinoin therapy.
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