What should I do if I develop a skin rash while on isotretinoin treatment?

Doctor's Answers 2

During isotretinoin therapy, the skin dries up and a mild eczema may develop in predisposed individuals. This is the most common rash that develops in patients undergoing isotretinoin therapy.

A clinical assessment is needed to confirm the diagnosis. Regular intensive use of moisturizers will be useful. Short term use of mild topical steroids may also help if the diagnosis is confirmed after clinical assessment.

In more severe cases, isotretinoin dose adjustment downwards may be indicated.

Isotretinoin is a very effective treatment for acne. However, it does have a number of side effects. It can commonly cause dryness of the lips and skin and this can result in the skin becoming more dry and sensitive and predispose to the development of eczema. This is more likely in an individual with a history of eczema or sensitive skin.

Some topical products for the treatment of acne such as tretinoin cream, glycolic acid etc can also be irritating for the skin and this can lead to rashes or eczema of the face, and this risk increases if you are on isotretion.

If you have developed a rash, it is best to see your doctor or dermatologist to determine the exact cause. The dose of the isotetinoin may need to be adjusted or discontinued and the topical products adjusted accordingly. Meanwhile, it is advisable to use gentle cleanser and moisturizers and avoid harsh products on the face.

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Thank you for your question. There are various causes of itchy bumpy rashes and these include eczema, bite reaction and scabies. Heat and sweat can aggravate eczema and make the skin more itchy. Excessive scratching can also make the rash worse. However, if the rashes are still persistent, it will be good to see your doctor or dermatologist again to re-evaluate the rash to endure a proper diagnosis and treatment.

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