How long should it take before acne improves with oral isotretinoin?

Dr. Doris Day, MD

In some cases, there can be a flare of the acne in the first month after starting isotretinoin. There are ways around this. Sometimes a short course of prednisone is given to minimize inflammation and to avoid the flare that would accompany it. In most cases, however, we start at a lower dose and incrementally increase the dose over the first 1 to 2 months as the patient acclimates to the drug.

In general, it takes approximately 1 to 2 months after starting treatment to really see results. This means that there should be fewer or no new lesions and that the lesions that do come up should be smaller and should resolve more quickly. Results tend to last for at least several months to years after stopping treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.