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Acne is one of the most common concerns for which individuals seek dermatological treatment. Especially common amongst adolescents, acne can occur at nearly any age, causing great emotional distress to those affected. Successful acne treatment requires a great deal of patience, diligent medication usage, and regular follow-up visits, often causing patients to miss work or school, not to mention the costs of medication or lab tests. It is therefore in everyone’s best interest to treat acne effectively and as soon as possible. According to a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, acne patients on higher doses of isotretinoin saw lower recurrence rates than patients that received the standard dosage. What else do we know about this study? And is it safe to increase medicine dosages?
The study consisted of 116 acne patients, 78 of whom received the higher doses of isotretinoin. After a year, roughly one-third of these patients saw a recurrence of their acne and needed additional treatment. Almost of half of these individuals initially received the standard dose of isotretinoin, compared to just over a quarter of those who received higher doses. Although nearly all the patients in the study developed dry skin as a result of the isotretinoin, lab testing showed no alarming differences between the standard dose and surplus dose groups. While the high-dose isotretinoin treatment takes six to seven months compared to the standard five months, this greatly increases the likelihood that patients will be acne-free in the last month of their treatment.
While raising isotretinoin doses offered safe, effective treatment of acne, it is important to realize that not all medication doses can be safely raised. Upon being prescribed medications, use them only as per your dermatologist’s instructions. Do not try “doubling up” in hopes of speeding up your treatment. Acne is a very frustrating condition and may require great patience until your medication takes effect. If you have any doubts about the effectiveness of your current treatment, discuss them with your dermatologist, as he or she will be able to guide you in the right direction.
If you or your child are suffering from acne, stop suffering in silence. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discuss treatment options. At Advanced Dermatology, PC, our board-certified dermatologists are experts at treating acne and other concerns of the skin, hair and nails. We offer the latest treatment methods for acne, including Acleara. Our conveniently located offices welcome patients from Queens (Bayside, Fresh Meadows), Long Island – Nassau/Suffolk (Roslyn Heights, West Islip, Commack, East Setauket), New York City (Upper West Side, Upper East Side), Brooklyn (Park Slope) Westchester County (Ossining, Briarcliff Manor), Ridgewood, Bergen County, NJ, Summit, Union County, NJ, and all surrounding areas.