The Pitfalls of Conventional Pimple Treatment: Seeking Safer Alternatives

When faced with a stubborn pimple, it’s tempting to reach for conventional over-the-counter acne medications that promise quick results. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential drawbacks and side effects associated with these products. Many individuals find that their skin condition worsens, and they experience additional redness after using conventional treatments. Moreover, some over-the-counter medications may contain ingredients that can trigger allergic reactions, exacerbating the problem rather than providing relief. In this article, we’ll explore the potential pitfalls of conventional pimple treatments and introduce alternative options that are gaining popularity for their effectiveness and safer profiles.

What is Accutane?

Accutane, also known by its generic name isotretinoin, is a prescription medication primarily used to treat severe acne that has not responded well to other treatments. It belongs to a class of drugs called retinoids, which are derived from vitamin A.

Accutane works by reducing the production of oil by the sebaceous glands in the skin, shrinking the oil glands, and decreasing inflammation. By regulating oil production and preventing clogged pores, it helps to improve acne symptoms and prevent future breakouts.

Accutane is usually taken orally in the form of capsules, and the treatment typically lasts for several months. It is a potent medication with potentially serious side effects, so it is prescribed under strict supervision by a healthcare professional. It is usually reserved for cases of severe acne that have not responded to other treatments, as well as for certain types of acne that are particularly resistant to treatment.

Due to the potential risks associated with Accutane, it is important for patients to be closely monitored by their healthcare provider during treatment. Common side effects may include dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, joint and muscle pain, and temporary worsening of acne. However, Accutane has been associated with more serious side effects, such as birth defects, depression, liver damage, and inflammatory bowel disease. Therefore, it is essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with a healthcare professional before starting Accutane treatment.

Does Acne Come Back After Accutane?

In some cases, acne may return after completing a course of Accutane (isotretinoin) treatment. However, the likelihood of acne recurrence varies among individuals. Some people experience long-term remission and have clear skin for many years after completing Accutane, while others may see a gradual return of acne symptoms.

Several factors can influence whether acne comes back after Accutane treatment. These include the severity of the initial acne, genetics, hormonal factors, and individual response to the medication. It’s important to note that Accutane does not permanently cure acne, but rather provides a significant improvement by reducing oil production, shrinking oil glands, and addressing the underlying causes of acne.

We highly recommend taking a holistic approach to getting rid of acne before trying accutane.

The Hidden Side Effects of Products for Acne

Acne products have gained popularity among acne sufferers due to their gentle formulas and purported effectiveness. However, it’s crucial to be aware of potential side effects that can arise from using these products. While acne products generally have a good reputation, some individuals may experience adverse reactions, such as dryness, irritation, or even a worsening of their acne symptoms. It’s essential to understand your skin’s specific needs and sensitivity before incorporating any new product into your skincare routine.

Navigating Fungal Acne: Safe Product Choices

Fungal acne, also known as Malassezia folliculitis, requires a different approach compared to conventional acne. This condition occurs when yeast-like fungi overgrow in hair follicles, leading to small, itchy bumps that resemble acne. Conventional acne treatments may not be effective against fungal acne and can even exacerbate the condition. To address fungal acne, it’s important to seek out products that are safe and fungal-acne-friendly. Look for ingredients like ketoconazole or pyrithione zinc, which have antifungal properties. Additionally, opting for non-comedogenic and oil-free formulations can help prevent further breakouts.


While conventional over-the-counter acne medications may initially seem like a quick fix, they often come with unintended side effects and may worsen the condition for some individuals. It’s important to be mindful of the ingredients present in these products and how they may interact with your skin. Exploring alternative options, such as The Ordinary’s targeted products for acne and acne scars or selecting fungal-acne-safe products for specific conditions, can provide a safer and more effective approach. As always, consulting with a dermatologist or skincare professional is recommended to determine the most suitable treatment plan for your unique skin needs. Your journey towards clearer, healthier skin starts with informed decisions and a commitment to finding the best solutions.