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 Acne Treatment < Severe acne

Severe Acne Unsatisfactory Treatment

What else may clear severe acne?

Recent research reveals almost a third of acne suffers end up with unsatisfactory treatment. According to the latest study of the Australian Medical Agency (2014) is that 2-3 months treatment with antibiotics have not much impact on acne. In case of severe acne (grade 2, 3 or 4) or unsatisfactory treatment results the skin specialists often recommend application of the drug Isotretinoin (called earlier Roaccutan) 0.5-1 mg/kg body weight for not more than 6 months. This provides long-term counting in a very large proportion of patients. Isotretinoin is a teratogen. Common side effects are dryness in the skin and mucous membranes. Uncommon is muscle and joint pain. The presence of depression is discussed, but is not proven more common in the treatment of isotretinoin. Drug interactions are rare. The recommendations of the Medical Products Agency are pretty clear: In case of severe acne or unsatisfactory treatment results reduce oral antibiotics and increase the use of isotretinoin. Oral antibiotics should not be given for more than 2-3 months and can be combined with a topical benzoyl peroxide and/or a topical retinoid but should not be prescribed with topical antibiotics (due to the risk of bacterial resistance).


Isotretinoin has been considered the most effective treatment for severe acne. It can be applied in form of creams, gels or tablets.

Isotretinoin Gel is an excellent treatment for mild to moderate acne. Apply a thin layer of the isotretinoin gel on the affected area once or twice a day.

Most patients prescribed oral isotretinoin will be free of moderate to severe acne by the end of 4–6 months of treatment depending on the administered dose.

Note: Do not use isotretinoin if you're pregnant or think you might be pregnant, or you're breastfeeding.