how to treat severe acne

Isotretinoin for Severe Acne

Isotretinoin is a powerful drug that’s used to treat the most severe cases of acne. Your doctor may recommend this drug if you have severe acne that doesn’t get better with other medications, including antibiotics.

The drug is derived from vitamin A. It targets your acne by stopping the production of oil and decreasing inflammation that can lead to scarring.

Isotretinoin may be able to control your acne long-term and typically needs to be taken for 15 to 20 weeks.

Besides isotretinoin, you may also treat your severe acne with a procedure that drains and removes large acne cysts. This procedure may reduce the risk of scarring.

Your doctor may also recommend an anti-inflammatory steroid injection to treat inflamed acne cysts. Your cysts may shrink 2 to 5 days after the injection.

Another option you can consider is photodynamic therapy (PDT). PDT uses light treatments to destroy bacteria that cause acne breakouts.