Prospective study of risk factors of relapse after treatment of acne with oral isotretinoin

Dermatology. 2006;212(2):168-76. doi: 10.1159/000090658.


Background: The effectiveness of oral isotretinoin against acne is undeniable. However, few data on the maintenance of effect after treatment termination have been published.

Objective: The purpose of the study was to identify the risk factors of relapse after stopping isotretinoin.

Method: This prospective open study examined 52 patients with moderate to severe acne at the Dermatological Clinic of the Nantes University Hospital (France). Variables likely to influence relapse were studied using the Cox model.

Results: 27 patients (52%) relapsed after stopping treatment. In multivariate analysis, severe seborrhoea and a high score of inflammatory lesions at the end of the treatment, an early age, a family history of acne, prepubertal acne and acne extended to the trunk were the factors increasing significantly the risk of relapse.

Conclusion: Our data allow to define more precisely the profile of acne patients for whom the risk of relapse is highest and who should therefore be followed up quite regularly after treatment termination.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acne Vulgaris / drug therapy*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage*
  • Isotretinoin / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Isotretinoin