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March 1994

A Prospective Study of the Effect of Isotretinoin on the Follicular Reservoir and Sustainable Sebum Excretion Rate in Patients With Acne

Author Affiliations

From the Leeds (England) Foundation for Dermatological Research, The General Infirmary, Leeds.

Arch Dermatol. 1994;130(3):315-318. doi:10.1001/archderm.1994.01690030047007

Background and Design:  A prospective study of 30 patients with moderate to severe acne was performed. The follicular reservoir and sustainable sebum excretion rates were measured before and after a 4-month course of isotretinoin at a dose of 1 mg/kg per day.

Results:  The follicular reservoir and sustainable sebum excretion rates were profoundly reduced at the end of the course of isotretinoin (79% and 83%, respectively) and remained significantly suppressed at 1 year following therapy (43% and 36%, respectively). Those patients who relapsed clinically at 1 year after treatment had a significantly higher follicular reservoir rate.

Conclusions:  These data support the concept that up to 1 year after therapy, there is a reduction in the sebum secretion rate accompanying the remission of acne. This suppressed sebum secretion may modulate the microenvironment of the pilosebaceous canal through an effect on the follicular reservoir.(Arch Dermatol. 1994;130:315-318)

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