The explosive onset of fluctuant facial papulonodules, usually in young women, is characteristic of pyoderma faciale. This disorder is neither a true pyoderma nor a variant of acne, but rather a severe form of rosacea. The most effective therapeutic modality appears to be isotretinoin, especially if preceded by a brief course of oral corticosteroids or a short interval of application of potent topical corticosteroids. Despite our concern about the potential adverse effects of systemic retinoids on underlying inflammatory bowel disease, isotretinoin was given to a patient with refractory pyoderma faciale. Response was dramatic, and no ill effects were encountered.