Trends and Opinion of Isotretinoin Use for Acne Treatment by Dermatologists in Western Area of Saudi Arabia: A Cross-Sectional Survey
Background: Acne is a common disease. Variety of treatment methods are available. Oral isotretinoin is an effective treatment but has some precautions. Methods: In this study, the attitude of dermatologists in western area of Saudi Arabia toward isotretinoin and their practice are being studied through online questionnaire survey. Results: More than half of responding dermatologists used the dose of 0.5mg per kg per day. Variable dosing, length of therapy, and laboratory investigations were reported. All responding dermatologists did laboratory investigations before commencing therapy and most did it as well after one month. Most of responding dermatologists thought it was safe to perform laser hair removal during or shortly (1-2 months) post isotretinoin therapy, but laser resurfacing was not thought to be safe to do while on therapy. The most common side effects encountered with oral isotretinoin were skin and lip dryness and chelitis. All dermatologists counselled females for teratogenicity and pregnancy prevention. There were variable responses to depression, blood donation abstinence and irritable bowel syndrome. Conclusions: In conclusion, isotretinoin is an effective therapy for acne. There is a controversy among physicians on the dose, length of therapy and laboratory follow up. Controversies for depression, irritable bowel syndrome still exist.
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