Systemic retinoids for treating acne

For severe acne that is resistant to other treatments, oral isotretinoin is sometimes used with excellent outcomes. Commonly called Accutane, the generic name isotretinoin is preferred. Other brand names are Amnesteem, Claravis and Sotret. Isotretinoin has many effects on the skin including decreasing sebum production, follicular keratin formation, and bacterial counts. The downside of isotretinoin is that side effect such as chapped lips and dry skin invariably occur. Systemic side-effects include elevation in liver enzymes and abnormalities of lipid metabolism, among many others. Frequent laboratory monitoring is required. Most significantly, isotretinoin is teratogenic (causes birth defects) and cannot be used in pregnant women or in women that might become pregnant. Birth control measures and rigorous monitoring are necessary to ensure compliance. Patients must be registered in a special monitoring program termed iPLedge. The risks and benefits must be discussed fully with an experienced physician. Despite the need for monitoring and the risk of side-effects, isotretinoin can often acheive long-term control of acne when all else has failed. For more information on systemic isotretinoin, visit this useful webpage from the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Contact SOMA Skin & Laser regarding your acne today at 973-763-7546.

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