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Why didn't oral isotretinoin work for me?

It is good to know that recurrence of acne is not uncommon after an oral isotretinoin course. However, some people are able to successfully retreated with oral and topical acne antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide, and topical retinoids, though a significant number may require retreatment with isotretinoin. A study conducted showed that, only 38% of patients had no acne at the 3-year follow-up after a single course of oral isotretinoin, while the remaining patients were able to control their acne with topical acne treatment, topical treatment plus oral acne antibiotics, or a retreatment with oral isotretinoin.

The study also showed that relapse was more likely to occur in patients who were 16 years old or younger and in women than in men, and that relapse is most common in the first year after treatment too. From the acne clear and acne care point of views, maintenance acne treatment such as with a topical retinoid may reduce the relapse rate.

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