Is salicylic acid treatment necessary for nodular cystic acne?

Q. Is salicylic acid treatment necessary for nodular cystic acne?

Answered by
Dr. Ashwini. V. Swamy
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 04, 2018 and last reviewed on: Jul 21, 2023

Hello doctor,

I am an 18-year-old boy with severe acne, nodular cystic acne, and acne vulgaris. I tried everything, but nothing really worked. So, two months back, I finally decided to visit a dermatologist. The dermatologist prescribed me Isotretinoin capsules or Sotret of 20 mg. So, it was working quite well, but I had some breakouts. So, on my next follow-up, she added 10 mg more. And today, after six weeks, I had another follow-up. My previous doctor is on maternity leave. So, I had to meet another doctor. The new doctor decreased my dosage by 10 mg, and now I am supposed to be taking 20 mg per day. The doctor I visited today suggested going through some acidic treatments like Salicylic acids. She said taking medicines would not get me the desired skin and I should be doing these acid treatments. So, what I want to know is: Is acid treatment necessary? My acne is fading away, but there are some new breakouts that I think are due to my own carelessness. I eat oily food, sleep very less, and do not drink enough water.

Thank you.



Welcome to

Isotretinoin is a wonderful medicine for acne. The typical course of Isotretinoin ranges from three to four months, depending on the acne response to the medicine. The dose of Isotretinoin depends on your weight. Isotretinoin shrinks the oil-producing glands and normalizes the lining of ducts. This is the best medicine for nodulocystic acne. Salicylic acid peel is helpful for comedonal (black and whiteheads) acne. It helps to exfoliate the skin. It removes the topmost dead layer of skin and helps to reduce comedones. The treatment regimen for acne depends on many factors; each dermatologist will have their best protocol. I cannot comment on this because I have not seen your acne pictures. Hence, I am providing you with information about Salicylic acid peel. Talk with your dermatologist and express your concerns.

Thank you.

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