How can I prevent an Accutane breakout?

Doctor's Answers (2)

Several factors have been identified as predictive factors for an acne flare during Accutane (isotreitinoin) treatment. These include: male gender, young age, and the presence of macrocomedones (large whiteheads).

Male gender and young age are generally factors that cause an individual to produce excess sebum. Macrocomedones may be identified by a doctor familiar with acne treatment prior to commencement of oral Accutane. Your doctor would then discuss treatment options with you. At times, these macrocomedones may be treated procedurally before starting Accutane, to reduce your risk of an acne flare while take Accutane.

Nevertheless, a slow response to oral Accutane and/or an acne flare during Accutane can happen. Treatment options include adding an antibiotic such as erythromycin or trimethoprim, adding a course of oral corticosteroids, or even reducing the dose of Accutane if you have very inflammatory acne while on Accutane.

Given that many factors need to be taken into account and eventual treatment plan would differ for each individual, I strongly advise you to see your doctor for his/her opinion on this, and not to increase your Accutane dosage on your own.

Hope this helps!


Dr. Joanna Chan

Hello, you can still have occasional breakouts even you are on accutane. It will usually be less severe compared to your breakouts before. You should be able to see improvement after 1 to 2 months of usage and it will continue to improve when you are on it. 

Some doctors will have a target cumulative dose of accutane for you based on your body weight. If you can tolerate the side effects from accutane, you can consider increasing the dose gradually. However please consult your doctor first before changing the dose yourself. 

Ensure you have adequate sun protection to reduce risk of PIH. Hope this helps!


Dr Jiwei Wu 

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