According to experts, isotretinoin belongs to the retinoid family – a group of medications renowned for their acne-fighting prowess.

Its main mission? To take on the root cause of your skin struggles – excessive facial oil production, also known as sebum.

On top of this, it also helps in addressing underlying skin issues that lead to acne.

In this article, we will discuss the ways how you can incorporate isotretinoin safely and effectively into your skincare routine.

Are you ready to be on your way to acne-free skin? Read on!

What Sets Isotretinoin Apart From Other Acne Treatments

If you've ever felt like your acne is putting up a relentless fight, isotretinoin could be the game-changer you've been waiting for. Think of it as the superhero of acne treatments, swooping in to save the day when other solutions fall short.

Unlike other treatments that temporarily clear up the top layer of your skin. Isotretinoin dives deep to combat the underlying factors that trigger those relentless breakouts.

How Does Isotretinoin Treat Acne?

Imagine your skin as a bustling factory producing oil known as sebum. But sometimes, this factory goes into overdrive, producing way more oil than your skin actually needs.

This excess sebum becomes a breeding ground for acne, clogging pores, and causing those frustrating flare-ups.

Isotretinoin steps in as the factory manager with a firm grip on the controls. It works deep within your skin to dial down the production of sebum, effectively putting a halt to the oil overflow.

By targeting the very source of acne's power – excessive sebum – isotretinoin takes away the fuel that acne feeds on which leaves it with no choice but to retreat.

Other Benefits of Isotretinoin

While Isotretinoin is normally used to combat excessive oil production, it also provides other benefits that both treat and prevent acne. Here are some:

Preventing Bacterial Growth

Acne is often exacerbated by the growth of acne bacteria within clogged pores. Isotretinoin indirectly combats bacterial growth by creating an environment less conducive to bacterial proliferation.

As sebum levels decrease, the bacteria have fewer nutrients to thrive on. This leads to a reduction in inflammation and pimple formation.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is a key player in acne's onset and intensity. Isotretinoin holds anti-inflammatory properties that calm existing acne breakouts and thwart the emergence of new ones.

Shrinking Sebaceous Glands

Sebaceous glands are responsible for sebum production. Isotretinoin can lead to a decrease in the size and activity of these glands and contribute to lower sebum production.

Having smaller and less active glands means fewer opportunities for pores to become clogged.

Normalizing Skin Cell Turnover

For those with skin prone to acne, there's often an irregular skin cell turnover rate. This can result in the accumulation of dead skin cells, leading to pore congestion.

Luckily, isotretinoin steps in to restore balance by regulating this turnover process. It prevents the buildup of dead skin cells, subsequently lowering the chances of pores becoming clogged.

Minimizing Hyperkeratinization

Hyperkeratinization refers to a phenomenon where skin cells inside hair follicles become overly sticky, leading to pore blockages. Isotretinoin plays a role in controlling this process, curbing the excessive stickiness of skin cells and thereby minimizing the occurrence of blocked pores.

Long-Term Effects of Using Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin has earned its reputation as a potent acne-fighting tool. In fact, this has been loved by many for often providing remarkable results in severe cases.

Just keep in mind that like any medication, it's essential to consider its potential long-term effects. Here's a closer look at what you should know:

Long-Lasting Acne Remission

One of the most significant long-term benefits of isotretinoin is its potential to lead to extended periods of remission or even permanent clearance of acne symptoms. There are many reports of significant reduction in breakouts that can last for years after completing the treatment course.

Potential for Skin Sensitivity

Isotretinoin is mainly used for acne clearance. Nevertheless, it can heighten your skin's sensitivity to sunlight and environmental elements.

Following treatment, it's best to uphold sun protection measures and skincare practices to uphold your skin's health and appearance.

Reduced Scarring

By reducing the severity of breakouts and inflammation, isotretinoin can have a positive impact on preventing new acne scars. This benefit can contribute to a smoother complexion in the long run.

Skin Dryness

Some individuals may continue to experience drier-than-usual skin after completing an isotretinoin course. The good news is that this is often manageable with the right skincare routine: gentle cleansers, moisturizers, and avoiding harsh exfoliants.

Things to Consider Before Using Isotretinoin

Isotretinoin can be a transformative treatment for severe acne, but its powerful effects come with certain considerations that one should discuss with a medical professional.

Before embarking on this journey, take these factors into account:

Medical History

Isotretinoin requires prescription from a doctor due to its strong effects. This is why it’s  important to share your complete medical history with your healthcare provider. This includes any past or current medical conditions, allergies, medications, and surgeries.

It's particularly important to disclose any history of mental health issues or depression.

Severity of Acne

Isotretinoin is typically reserved for cases of severe, treatment-resistant acne. If your acne is milder, your healthcare provider might recommend other treatments before considering isotretinoin.


Since isotretinoin is a potent medication, you'll need to commit to regular follow-up appointments, blood tests, and communication with your healthcare provider. This ensures your health and safety throughout the treatment.

Where to Buy

Amidst various brands like Acugen, Acutrex, Isonoin, and Isotrex – Acnetrex stands out as a renowned choice due to its efficacy and availability.

Just keep in mind that you would need a prescription for Acnetrex. Once that is secured, you will find this softgel capsule at prominent drugstore chains like Mercury, Southstar, Rose Pharmacy, St. Joseph, and more.


Article Reviewed by: Dra. Carol Carpio