Treatment for cystic acne is a common reason that patents come to the Advanced Acne Institute. Before coming to the AAI, many patients have already seen multiple doctors for treatment for cystic acne without much improvement. Many patients were given topical medications by other doctors as the only treatment for cystic acne. It’s not surprising that they have not gotten better because topical creams and gels are almost always ineffective as treatment for cystic acne. In fact, topically applied medications are often not that helpful for lesser forms of acne so it would not be expected that these forms of therapy would help much as treatment for cystic acne.
Cystic Acne Requires Aggressive Therapy
Unlike treatment for other forms of acne, treatment for cystic acne often requires aggressive treatment options. Depending on the circumstances, different treatments may be indicated to treat cystic acne. For example, some patients have cystic acne involving only an occasional acne cyst. Patients that only have an infrequent acne cyst may respond well to a less aggressive treatment regimen. Some patients, for example, are able to control their acne with medicated injections that treat cysts when they erupt. So if a patient only develops a solitary acne cyst once a month, then perhaps this less aggressive acne treatment may be right for them.
Spironolactone Is Effective
On the other hand, some patients have more frequent cystic acne breakouts and require a more aggressive and consistent treatment regimen. Let’s first discuss another subset of patients with cystic acne. Women who develop cystic acne can be treated with hormonal treatments for cystic acne. A pill called spironolactone can be a very effective remedy for cystic acne in this type of patient.
Spironolactone works by blocking hormones that can otherwise cause the acne-prone oil glands to become blocked and inflamed. Because spironolactone works at the basic level of acne formation, it can be a very effective treatment for cystic acne. Many female patients at the Advanced Acne Institute who have cystic acne breakouts are controlled very effectively on spironolactone. Many of these patients often comment on how this form of treatment for cystic acne has helped them to achieve clear skin for the very first time. Of course spironolactone is not the best treatment for everyone. A careful medical history must be taken for each patient before considering using this drug.
Isotretinoin Treatment For Cystic Acne
Treatment of cystic acne in patients with the most severe forms of acne cyst breakouts usually requires a medication called isotretinoin, also known as Accutane. Isotretinoin is the most effective form of treatment for cystic acne. Isotretinoin works by calming the oil glands and preventing them from becoming overactive. This is the most effective acne treatment of all for acne cysts. We have many patients at the Advanced Acne Institute who are currently under treatment using isotretinoin. Patients with even the most severe forms of cystic acne often respond well to this drug.
More About Isotretinoin Treatment For Cystic Acne
Before beginning treatment with isotretinoin it is important to discuss the potential side effects. Although most patients respond well to isotretinoin treatment without significant side effects, there are some important considerations to discuss with each patient beforehand. For example, this medication can cause severe birth defects if taken by a pregnant woman. Therefore, all female patients are required to use two forms of birth control before starting a course of isotretinoin. Other potential side effects also need to be discussed before considering using this drug.