With so many celebs agonizing over adult acne (Keira Knightley, Jessica Alba, & John Cusack to name a few), it's refreshing to see Jessica Simpson's clear complexion in "The Dukes of Hazzard." Reportedly, she used to be plagued by pimples. What cured her condition? According to Simpson herself (in Jane magazine and E! TV), the answer was the strong prescription medicine Accutane. A form of vitamin A, dermatologists have long seen the beneficial effects of Accutane to normalize pores and shrink oil glands, improving the skin of millions of patients. There are well documented side effects to Accutane. No woman should become pregnant while taking the pill because of the risk of birth defects. Other problems, such as dry skin, sun sensitivity, and possible emotional effects, are temporary and can be minimized under a doctor's care. Accutane can clear severe forms of acne for months or years.
Oddly, once Jessica was hired to be a spokesmodel for Proactiv, a heavily hyped acne line, she seems to have changed her tune. According to the corporate web site, Simpson now sings Proactiv's praises:
"I just had so much build up and so many clogged pores that once I started using Proactiv Solution, my face was just shining...I'm passionate about Proactiv because it worked for me and it gave me so much confidence."
In my experience as a dermatologist, the beneficial results from Accutane for cases of persistent cystic acne are clear. Proactiv, on the other hand, might work for mild cases (the ingredients, benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid, are available over-the-counter at any pharmacy). It seems that Simpson is no longer giving credit to the treatment that really helped her skin. I'd Hazzard a guess that somewhere presidential advisor Karl Rove is reassured that he's not the only one with a possible credibility gap.
Several years ago I sent for the Proactiv kit and I really like the way it worked, but not the price. My dermatologist saw the basic contents and wrote me a prescription which was covered by insurance. He upped the % of the benzoyl peroxide and this worked much more effectively than Proactiv. Most people don't know that they can get the same product with a prescription which costs much less than Proactiv.
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