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Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredA number of therapies may be used to treat severe acne. Doctors may drain large bumps, or cysts, that don't respond to medicine. To prevent an inflamed cyst from bursting (which can leave scars), a doctor may inject drugs called corticosteroids, which reduce inflammation. In some cases, doctors prescribe a drug called isotretinoin. While this medication is the most effective treatment for severe acne, it can cause serious side effects, so it is usually reserved for people who don't respond to other treatments.