Beauty Questions? Ask Dr. Irwin
- When Acne Products Do Not Work


Reader’s Question

I’ve been battling acne for almost 8 years now. It’s been getting worse. I have acne prone, oily, sensitive skin. I’ve tried everything from drugstore to proactiv to murad to burtsbees. Nothing has worked for me. I’ve stuck out each regimen for the recommended time and each time, my skin is filled with pimples and later, acne scars. I’m traumatized at how my skin’s behaving. I have been to a dermatologist who just prescribed benzoyl peroxide and tazorac both of which my skin is sensitive too. I’m about to try birth control pills but Do you have any recommendations of what I should do? Thank you


Dr. Irwin’s Answer

I would recommend getting a second opinion from another dermatologist. If you have true cystic or pustular acne with scarring, you are a candidate for Accutane. A 6 month course of Accutane (or it’s generic form) dosed at approximately 1 mg/kg of lean body weight will cure this type of acne 80-90% of the time. I really think discussing this with your dermatologist is important. Our office and other good offices follow the FDA recommended iPledge guidelines to the letter. When you call to make your appointment to discuss this, please make sure that the office has the iPledge program in place. Also you can learn more here: I hope this helps.

Dr. Irwin

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2 Comments on "Beauty Questions? Ask Dr. Irwin
- When Acne Products Do Not Work"

  1. raghavendra says:

    Hi dr,
    i am from bangalore. inspite of lot of good food i am not getting acne clear skin which i had some 5 years back. i drink lots of water also. right now i am using teatree face wash and lacto calamine moisturiser( aloe based). will this pimples ever stop? i am using cligel and tretinoin .025% now but no significant changes. I might be getting married in couple of months. please help me clear my pimples…

  2. Dr. Irwin says:

    Hi raghavendra,

    Did you read my article on acne yet? ( Please do so, and then let me know if you have anymore questions.

    Also, have you gone to see a dermatologist yet? You can get it under control before your wedding but need to start now…

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