Alternatives to Accutane for Cystic Acne in Reston

by in Acne January 1, 2024

Dealing with cystic acne can be a challenging journey. If you are looking for alternatives to Accutane for cystic acne in Reston, Virginia, we can help.  Accutane was used for several years but is no longer available, leaving many people to explore alternative options. Various alternatives to Accutane exist, offering individuals with cystic acne alternative paths to address their skin concerns. In this article, we will discuss six alternatives to Accutane for cystic acne.

Generic Versions

Alternatives to Accutane for Cystic Acne in Reston

While the brand Accutane itself is no longer available, medications containing the identical active ingredient, isotretinoin, still abound in the market under different brand names. Generic versions of Accutane, introduced since 2002, maintain the same active ingredient as the original formulation, and they are marketed under various names such as Absorica, Amnesteem, Claravis, Sotret, and others. 

These medications, like Accutane, require a prescription, and individuals using them encounter the same side effects. Additionally, enrollment in the iPledge program is mandatory for anyone prescribed isotretinoin. While these alternatives are not suitable for everyone, they serve as excellent substitutes for the now-discontinued Accutane brand in appropriate situations.

Topical Retinoids

Topical retinoids are available in the form of creams, lotions, and gels applied directly to the skin, offering effects similar to isotretinoin but without the need for oral ingestion. These medications exfoliate the skin, diminish oiliness, maintain clear pores, and prevent the formation of breakouts. Notable topical retinoid options prescribed for acne treatment include Retin-A (tretinoin), Tazorac (tazarotene), and Differin (adapalene). Similar to isotretinoin, a prescription is necessary for the use of retinoid medications.

Oral Antibiotics

Addressing severe acne involves considering oral antibiotics as a treatment option. Given that bacteria plays a role in the development of acne, oral antibiotics can assist in gaining control over breakouts. However, recognizing that bacteria is not the sole contributor, healthcare providers are likely to prescribe additional medications in conjunction with oral antibiotics.

Hormonal Treatments

Spironolactone (Aldactone) is a potent medication designed exclusively for adult women. While it is not explicitly intended as an acne treatment, it can be employed under specific conditions to address hormonal imbalances that play a role in breakouts. Additionally, certain oral contraceptive pills may offer beneficial effects in managing acne.


In cases of severe acne accompanied by pain and inflammation, corticosteroids are occasionally employed to provide relief. Corticosteroid shots prove effective in resolving large acne nodules or cysts that show resistance to self-healing. Administered directly into the blemish by a healthcare professional, this treatment has the capacity to flatten the majority of nodules and cysts within a relatively short time frame of 48 to 72 hours.

Acne Removal

Another approach to managing certain forms of acne involves physically removing blemishes. Acne extraction becomes relevant when standard acne treatments prove ineffective in eliminating blackheads and whiteheads. In this procedure, a healthcare professional utilizes sterile tools to meticulously clear clogged or compacted pores.

For larger or painful acne cysts or nodules, incision and drainage serve as another treatment method. This acne surgical procedure employs a sterile needle or blade to drain pus and debris from a pimple.

Alternatives to Accutane for Cystic Acne in Reston Virginia

If you are struggling with severe or cystic acne, we are here to help. Contact Reston Dermatology and Cosmetic Center today to schedule an appointment.

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