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Antibiotic-resistant acne vulgaris treated with oral isotretinoin in a patient with thalassemia minor

Vessela Raykova


Acne vulgaris is very common among adolescents and young adults. Permanent scarring, poor self-image, depression, and anxiety can result from it. The acne treatment options include topical therapies, systemic agents, physical modalities, lasers, photodynamic therapy or combinations. Oral isotretinoin is widely recognised as a very effective treatment for severe acne. However, it may cause adverse effects.

We report a case of an 18-year-old man affected by thalassemia minor treated with oral isotretinoin because of a severe form of acne unresponsive to conventional oral antibiotic therapy. During the treatment clinical and biochemical evaluations were closely monitored each month in order to discover potential adverse effects of isotretinoin and the impact over thalassemia. After 9 months of oral isotretinoin application we can tell that the drug was well tolerated by the patient, the acne totally cleared, and the thalassemia did not deteriorate.

In conclusion, although a highly effective drug, isotretinoin use is limited by its side effects. However, patients may accept these procedures to improve the psychosocial effects of acne, because it can target all aspects of acne pathology. Something else, it is the choice of treatment in antibiotic-resistant forms of acne. It has been seen that the oral isotretinoin could be successfully used in patients with severe acne suffering from thalassemia minor in which the antibiotic treatment failed with the explicit requirement for strict clinical and biochemical follow-up.


acne vulgaris, oral isotretinoin, thalassemia minor

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About The Author

Vessela Raykova
Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical University-Sofia

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