Isotrex is a topical treatment for acne known as Isotretinoin Gel. It works to reduce the appearance of spots, blackheads and whiteheads and prevents new ones from forming.
Isotrex contains Isotretinoin which is a type of medicine called a retinoid, a vitamin A derivative. The gel works in three ways: by decreasing the amount of oil produced by the skin, killing acne-causing bacteria and soothing inflammation and redness.
Isotrex will begin to take effect after 6-8 weeks of use. The treatment takes time to work and you may notice your symptoms worsening at first. This does not mean that Isotrex isn't working. The Gel penetrates the skin to unclog the pores and push out existing spots to eventually clear your skin and prevent more from arising.
Isotrex is effective in clearing mild to moderate acne. You'll need to continue using it for the duration of the treatment as your doctor or pharmacist prescribed otherwise your acne is likely to return. Once you have completed the course of Isotrex, continue to use cleansers and skin products for acne prone skin to keep your complexion clear.
Acne is defined as having breakouts of spots such as pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. This occurs when the pores in the skin become clogged with excess oils and dead skin cells. Hormonal changes or imbalances are the main cause of this. Acne is often seen as something that occurs during puberty but it commonly affects adults too; bodily processes such as pregnancy and menstruation being contributing factors. Genetics also play a part, if you have a family history of acne then you are more likely to experience it.
Isotrex is effective for mild to moderate acne with blackheads and whiteheads. Cystic acne is a type of severe acne which causes large oval shaped cysts that are pus-filled. Isotretinoin Gel such as Isotrex is not usually strong enough to treat severe acne. Instead, Isotretinoin tablets will be prescribed.
Isotretinoin is the active ingredient in Isotex.
The inactive ingredients are hydroxypropylcellulose, butylated hydroxytoluene (E321) and ethanol.
Isotrex should be applied to clean, dry skin once or twice a day. Apply a thin layer of gel to all areas of the skin affected by acne, washing your hands afterwards. The following precautions should be taken while using Isotrex:
Do not use too much gel
Take care not to use it too close to your mouth, lips and eyes
Do not use it on areas of irritated or sunburnt skin
Use it sparingly on sensitive areas of skin, such as your neck
Use additional sun protection and avoid sunbeds for the duration of your treatment
Isotrex contains 0.05% Isotretinoin. The gel should be applied once or twice a day as your doctor has prescribed.
Isotrex treatment is prescribed for a period of 4-6 months. When you stop treatment, your skin should continue to improve in the next 8 weeks. If it doesn't, you may need to continue the treatment.
Using too much Isotrex can result in red, irritated skin. This will not make your acne disappear any faster. If this occurs, reduce the amount of gel you use for several days.
If you forget to use Isotrex, skip the missed application and continue to use it as scheduled at your usual time. Do not use double the amount.
Common side effects include:
Red, peeling skin- this is common in the first week of using the treatment
A stinging or slightly painful sensation across the skin
You may also experience:
Altered skin pigmentation
Isotrex should not be used if:
You are pregnant or trying to get pregnant
You are allergic to Isotretinoin or any of the other ingredients
You are breastfeeding
Consult your doctor before using Isotrex if any of the following apply to you:
If you have ever had skin cancer
If you have a family history of skin cancer
If you have experienced skin irritation after using similar medicines in the past
If you have a skin condition including eczema, rosacea or perioral dermatitis
If direct sunlight causes skin reactions
Using additional acne treatments alongside Isotrex is not recommended. This can cause or exacerbate skin irritation and it may result in Isotrex being less effective.
Isotrex will not have an affect on your fertility. However, the medicine can harm an unborn baby so it's not suitable to use if you are trying to get pregnant. Leave at least 1 month after finishing Isotrex treatment before actively trying for a baby.
Isotrex is not safe to use during pregnancy. It can harm an unborn baby so it's important not to use it if there is a chance you may be pregnant.
You can drink alcohol while using Isotrex.
You will not be able to donate blood while you are using Isotrex. You will need to wait at least one month after completing your treatment to be able to give blood. This is because it can be harmful to a baby if the blood is given to a pregnant woman.
Over-the-counter remedies are available to treat mild acne. These contain Benzoyl peroxide and come in the form of creams or gels. If these prove to be ineffective, prescription medication for acne includes:
Topical retinoids (such as Isotrex Gel)
Combination creams such as Epiduo Gel (containing both Benzoyl peroxide and retinoids)
The combined contraceptive pill (for healthy women with no heart or blood pressure issues)
It's not always possible to prevent acne but you may be able to reduce further breakouts by:
Washing your face twice a day with oil-free cleanser
Moisturising to prevent your skin from drying out
Using non-comedogenic cosmetics
showering after exercise
Using topical acne treatments to prevent spots
There are home remedies you can try to treat mild acne or occasional breakouts of spots. These tend to be natural Antiseptics and Anti-inflammatories such as:
Tea tree oil
Acne can have a negative impact on your self esteem given the way it alters your appearance. It can be frustrating to deal with but it's important to remember that acne won't last forever and that it will disappear with the right treatment. Talking to others about how you feel can help and there are online resources and forums which accommodate this. If you continually feel low to the point where it affects your day to day life, speak to your doctor about how you are feeling.
Patient Information Leaflet https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/3870/smpc
NHS> Isotretinoin Gel (Isotrex) https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/isotretinoin-gel/
NHS> Acne https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/acne/
Net Doctor> Isotrex Gel (Isotretinoin) https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/medicines/skin-hair/a6935/isotrex-gel-isotretinoin/