Isotrex is an acne treatment developed and marketed by Stiefel pharmaceutical company. It is a gel aimed at quickly and efficiently providing relief from frustrating symptoms of acne. It simultaneously unblocks the pores and prevents the formation of new spots through the mechanism of action of its active ingredient isotretinoin. This easy to use acne treatment is usually applied two times per day by rubbing a thin layer of the topical medication directly to the affected area.

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Acne: A general background

Acne is a relatively common condition characterised by the appearance of spots on the skin of various sizes and concentration. So-called blackheads and whiteheads tend to be smaller in size and not as prevalent. In a majority of cases, this type of acne isn’t treated. On the other hand, larger spots or pustules are much more noticeable and usually appear in greater numbers. While they can appear pretty much anywhere on the skin, they are the most likely to develop on the face, back, shoulders and chest. The most severe forms tend to take the form of cysts which are very large and painful, leaving scars behind.

The milder forms of acne are very common condition as most people will get affected with some form at least once in their lives. This condition is most common in the age group between 14 and 18 since the first flare-up tends to occur somewhere during puberty. In most cases it will diminish in severity as the time goes by before eventually completely disappearing. But, some cases of teenage acne may continue well into adulthood, manifesting in succession of flare-ups and remissions when treatment might be necessary.

Acne treatment

As of now, there is no real cure for acne, meaning that the condition can be limited and controlled, but not 100% treated. For milder cases, a cleansing routine introduced two times per day can be beneficial, while more severe symptoms are usually managed with the use of prescription medicines and various treatments. This includes both hormonal treatments (contraceptive pills) and topical medicines, as is the case with Isotrex gel.

All different types of acne have more or less the same root cause – they appear once sebaceous glands start producing excess sebum which then mixes with the dead skin cells, blocking the follicles and causing acne to form. Usually harmless bacteria that live on the surface of the skin will then get the opportunity to penetrate the skin, leading to infections and cysts.

How can Isotrex help with acne?

Isotrex gel works by unblocking the skin pores, thus allowing blackheads and whiteheads to be expelled from the skin more easily, while at the same time encouraging the turnover of skin cells (process called exfoliation by the medical experts), consequently making it harder for new spots to form. This means that Isotrex simultaneously eliminates the existing spots, while preventing the emergence of new ones.

How is Isotrex cream used?

In order to achieve the best results and limit the risk of unwanted side effects, you should use this medicine exactly as instructed by your prescriber. If there are any questions regarding the method of application, dose or any other aspect of the treatment, you should contact your doctor or go through the official patient information leaflet that is issued with every pack of Isotrex.

Some of the most general guidelines include:

  • Remove all make-up prior to application
  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Gently wash the affected area with warm water and pat dry
  • Use your fingertip to carefully rub in a thin layer of gel onto the affected area
  • Make sure that you cover the whole affected area and not just individual spots
  • Wash your hands again after use

What are Isotrex side effects?

As is the case with all prescription medicines, Isotrex too comes with an array of possible side effects. Naturally, not everybody using the medicine will experience them, but each user should get familiar with the common adverse effect so they can be noticed early on.

The documented side effects include:

  • Redness, stinging, burning or itching sensation
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Change in pigmentation of the skin
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight

A more comprehensive list of potential side effects can be found in the official patient information leaflet that is issued within every pack of Isotrex.

Isotrex contraindications

There are several scenarios when Isotrex use might be contraindicated. Most commonly, this will be the case if you are using some other medicine at the same time that might adversely interact with Isotrex which is why it is crucial to disclose all the relevant info to your doctor. More specifically, Isotrex shouldn’t be used alongside benzoyl peroxide, as this will make the medicine less effective.

Another reason for advising against the use of Isotrex is the presence of another medical condition which can get exacerbated by the use of this medicine. This might be the case if you have or have previously had any of the following conditions:

  • Skin cancer
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Perioral dermatitis
  • Sensitivity to sunlight

In addition to this, Isotrex should not be used by pregnant women, or those who are currently breastfeeding, since the active ingredient can be passed on from mother to the child. At the same time, due to increased sensitivity to sunlight which is a relatively common side effect of Isotex, exposure to direct sunlight or ‘sun lamps’ should be avoided while the treatment lasts.