Are there no alternatives to Acutane that are as effective?

I had an extreme allergic reaction to Acutane, hives, swelling of the face, difficulty breathing and chest pains. I have severe cystic acne on my back. Are there no alternatives to Acutane that are as effective?

Doctor Answers 5

Other option available see video.

Lasers can be effective- red light lasers, or even IPL in the 420 nm wavelength. A promising treatment combines ALA with 2 wavelengths of light. This treatment will be approved in the US in 2017, I have been using it in Australia for the past few months- it is moderately effective. The more severe the acne, the better the results. Video explains. Dr Davin Lim. Brisbane. Australia. 

Brisbane Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Accutane no longer an option

If accutane treatment is no longer an option, I would include PDT (photodynamic therapy) as a consideration in addition to the lasers, peels, described above. You will need to see your local provider and have them evaluate your current severity and discuss with you which option may be best for your particular case. PDT may need 2-3 sessions but could help to get you there as well. Best! 

Miguel A. Gutierrez, MD
Torrance Dermatologist

Acutane Alternatives

 Most often a combination approach is needed to deal with acne breakouts/scarring. I suggest a formal consultation with a cosmetic dermatologist who is an expert in lasers, peels, and skin care to determine the best regimen for you.  Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 159 reviews

Alternatives to accutane for acne

I like to use lasers for acne. I use a variety of lasers including Excel V, Spectra QS laser, and also the Infini. MicroBotox/Dysport is also an adjuvant therapy.

Steven F. Weiner, MD
Panama City Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Light Based therapy

You may consider light based therapy.  If you only had one dose of accutane you could consider a treatment such as Isolaz which ahas clinical efficacy in treating acne. 

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