What does fact checked mean?
At Healthfully, we strive to deliver objective content that is accurate and up-to-date. Our team periodically reviews articles in order to ensure content quality. The sources cited below consist of evidence from peer-reviewed journals, prominent medical organizations, academic associations, and government data.
The information contained on this site is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for the advice of a professional health care provider. Please check with the appropriate physician regarding health questions and concerns. Although we strive to deliver accurate and up-to-date information, no guarantee to that effect is made.
The drug Accutane, or isotretinoin, treats severe cases of acne, especially cystic or nodular acne that create painful lesions on and under the skin 1. Other brands of isotretinoin are available by prescription such as Claravis, Amnesteem and Sotret. Despite the efficacy of the drug, many would rather suffer the acne than the serious side effects of Accutane such as birth defects and liver failure 1. Alternatives to Accutane are available provide substitutes to using this drug 1.
A substitute closer to the chemical construction of Accutane is the retinoic creams, or those containing a form of retinol A. Retinol A, a derivative of vitamin A, has the same active ingredient in Accutane 1.
Some severe cases of acne cover more than the face; cystic acne can affect the chest, neck and back. In these instances, use of a cream or lotion may not be the more efficient alternative to Accutane 1. Dermatologists have used antibiotics, such as doxycycline or tetracycline, for years as a front-line severe acne treatment. The oral antibiotics fight acne by decreasing the bacteria count on the surface of the skin.
If oral or topical preparations are not an attractive option, there are cosmetic procedures to treat acne. MedlinePlus recognizes photodynamic therapy as one severe acne treatment option 2. This procedure uses lasers or pulsed light to treat the skin on the surface, similar to the effects of a little sun exposure. Dermatologists can complete glycolic acid peels and dermabrasion in their office which decrease the effects of acne.
The drug Accutane, or isotretinoin, treats severe cases of acne, especially cystic or nodular acne that create painful lesions on and under the skin. Alternatives to Accutane are available provide substitutes to using this drug.
- simazoran/iStock/Getty Images