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Doctor insights on: Is It Possible To Treat Mild Cystic Acne Without Accutane

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Is it possible to treat mild cystic acne without accutane?

Is it possible to treat mild cystic acne without accutane?

Yes: Other options include oral antibiotics such as Doxycycline and minocycline. You coule also use Retin-A (tretinoin) which is the topical version of Accutane (isotretinoin). Also the cysts can be injected with a dilute corticosteroid medication called kenalog (triamcinolone). Laser treatment for cystic acne is still somewhat investigational and probably would not be covered by insurance.

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Dr. Neal Schwartz
166 Doctors shared insights

Cystic Acne (Definition)

Acne cysts are large nodules developing deep within the dermis, or second layer of skin. They are painful, disfiguring, and may cause deep scars. There is often a genetic predisposition to cystic acne. Treatment usually requires systemic medication including oral isotretinoin, and should be started early, before ...Read more


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I am 21yrs with mild cystic acne (3-4 huge pimples continuously occurring at a time). My doctor asked if I wanted to take accutane. What should I do?

I am 21yrs with mild cystic acne (3-4 huge pimples continuously occurring at a time). My doctor asked if I wanted to take accutane. What should I do?

Try it: Since your doctor knows your medical and personal history I believe he/she knows what it best. Accutane is a good solution, I would give it a try and if it doesn't work try another one :].

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When Accutane fails for severe cystic acne what's next?

When Accutane fails for severe cystic acne what's next?

Accutane: Accutane rarely fails for cystic acne. Normally 50% of people are cured taking 1mg/kg for 20 weeks. 50% of people need a second course at double the dose. A very few people need higher doses and more prolonged therapy. Weekly blood tests are need to monitor for adverse effects at these higher doses. See a dermatologist experienced in administering higher doses of accutane.

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Accutane still gold standard for cystic acne?

Accutane still gold standard for cystic acne?

Yes: Isotretinoin in various forms is by far your best remedy. Adjuncts for disease this severe may include spironolactone and sometimes other supportive medicines during the flareup when treatment is initiated. It's not for the faint-hearted but it's remarkably effective in keeping the disease at bay for a year or two. Cystic acne is a terrible personal & professional liability.

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Help! Is 20 mg of Accutane a day for a few months long enough to help hormonal cystic acne?

Help! Is 20 mg of Accutane a day for a few months long enough to help hormonal cystic acne?

Maybe: Let the prescribing physician determine the appropriate dose. If you are self-medicating, be aware that what you're going is very dangerous -- someone on isotretinoin has to have labs run occasionally and if female must be very careful not to become pregnant.

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How many breakouts do you get on accutane? Considering that I have 1 or 2 cystic acne and never had bad skin.

How many breakouts do you get on accutane? Considering that I have 1 or 2 cystic acne and never had bad skin.

Accutane: About 80% of people who take Accutane (isotretinoin) for severe (cystic) acne will never need to have it again. However, your skin will still make oil which can still lead to pimples. It is not usually as severe as that which required accutane. Some people with really bad acne can actually worsen at first with accutane. Your dermatologist can discuss in detail what to expect.

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I have severe cystic acne. I was taking 40mg Accutane. I'm down to just 20mg. If antibiotic is added would that help? If so which one?

I have severe cystic acne. I was taking 40mg Accutane. I'm down to just 20mg. If antibiotic is added would that help? If so which one?

Accutane: Since you are on Accutane you are under the care of a dermatologist. As such, he would be the one to consult on whether addition of an antibiotic can help.

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I'm taking Accutane for severe cystic acne. I also get a lot of allergy. Is it save to take allergy medication while on accutane?

I believe you are ok: These are working on different systems. The best anti-allergy medicines for you may be those that are relatively non-drying to the mucosal surfaces. Should you develop nosebleeds, get with your primary care physician. As always, i'd welcome ideas from other healthtap physicians.

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I have been taking Accutane for 5weeks ive noticed little improvements but more cystic acne, when I wash my face it goes very red but then calms down?

I have been taking Accutane for 5weeks ive noticed little improvements but more cystic acne, when I wash my face it goes very red but then calms down?

Accutane: The treatment only reduces the appearance of acne over time, and requires regular skin washing with non-abrasive soaps, benzoyl peroxide as directed to keep the skin surface clean and dry, and following directions. Your genetics determines how your acne progresses, your medications can only help your acne to a degree, acne can't be "cured" Good luck!

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I'm taking 100mg of minocycline for my cystic acne with minimal results. I also have terrible purple scars. Will Accutane help my cystic acne and scars?

I'm taking 100mg of minocycline for my cystic acne with minimal results. I also have terrible purple scars. Will Accutane help my cystic acne and scars?

Accutane is a good d: Accutane is a good drug for the treatment of acne and quite effective but you will need to be checked and guided by a skin specialist (dermatologist). It has side effects also, so it has to be carefully supervised by a physician.

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My son has severe painful cystic acne. He taking accutane. I heard that sometimes oral antibiotic is also added on some patients. Is this a good idea?

My son has severe painful cystic acne. He taking accutane. I heard that sometimes oral antibiotic is also added on some patients. Is this a good idea?

Probably: Since junior is on accutane, he's under a dermatologist's care and the decision should be made by him/her. Sometimes the rapid death of the bacteria from antibiotics in cystic acne can itself be troublesome. I'm very glad junior's getting effective treatment; thanks for making it possible.

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I have tried acutane and became very depressed trying to treat cystic acne. Do you have any other suggestions?

I have tried acutane and became very depressed trying to treat cystic acne. Do you have any other suggestions?

Try PDT: Pdt is photodynamic therapy - a blue light based treatment that helps moderate acne. The treatments are intense, but they help alot.

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Stubborn, mild acne not responding to antibiotics or topical creams. Accutane seems too extreme for non-cystic acne. Help?!

Stubborn, mild acne not responding to antibiotics or topical creams. Accutane seems too extreme for non-cystic acne. Help?!

Keep at it.: There are three main parts to approaching acne...1) reduce the amount of bacteria on skin. 2) keep pores open...3) reduce oil production. Antibiotics can be topical and/or oral. Other surface treatments aim to reduce bacteria and/or keep pores open. Keep experimenting and working with your doctor until you find the right mix. It can take a few weeks to see improvement even with right mix.

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I'm ending my treatment of Accutane and I have light pink wide bumps from previous cystic acne on my face. Will this go away? Not filled with pus.

I'm ending my treatment of Accutane and I have light pink wide bumps from previous cystic acne on my face. Will this go away? Not filled with pus.

Scars: These are old acne scars. You can address them with a plastic surgeon or dermatologist now that your acne is under control and can be expected to remain so for at least several months -- and if you're lucky, forever.

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I just finish 11 month of accutane. I had severe cystic acne. The acne has clear up, but I'm left with acne scars. What are treatment available?

I just finish 11 month of accutane. I had severe cystic acne. The acne has clear up, but I'm left with acne scars. What are treatment available?

Yes there are: But -- you need to wait about a year after finishing accutaine before facial surgery for the acne. See a plastic surgeon.

Dr. Ed Friedlander
2,152 Doctors shared insights

Acne (Definition)

A very common skin condition that starts as a blockage of the sebaceous glands followed by inflammation. It occurs in areas where there are lots of sebaceous glands, such as the ...Read more


Taking Accutane (Definition)

Accutane (Isotretinoin) is a powerful medicine that treats acne. It is known to cause severe birth defects if a woman becomes ...Read more