Occasionally, people will find that no matter how hard they try, common treatments such as salicylic acid don't produce the hoped-for results. Fortunately, there's a stronger oral medication available that your doctor can prescribe to you: isotretinoin.
Isotretinoin is known by a variety of brand names (Accutane, for one), and it's been proven to be effective for treating severe acne. Interestingly, nobody is quite sure why isotretinoin works to reduce acne, but it's believed that it reduces the amount of sebum production. For some people, this drug will end their association with acne forever more; for others, it may significantly reduce the number and intensity of future outbreaks. While there's no guarantee it will work at all, isotretinoin's anti-acne effects are usually achieved after four to five months of treatment.
The drug isn't a step you should take lightly, though -- some of the side effects are scary, such as birth defects if a woman taking it becomes pregnant (or is already pregnant).
On the next page, learn about a rather surprising acne treatment.