Staphylococcus aureus infection as a complication of isotretinoin therapy

Arch Dermatol. 1987 May;123(5):606-8.


Eighteen patients developed Staphylococcus aureus infection during or shortly after a five-month course of therapy with isotretinoin. Staphylococcus aureus was recovered both from lesions and from the anterior nares. In a prospective study, 4% of control patients treated with isotretinoin alone developed S aureus infection, while none who applied topical antibiotic to the anterior nares developed infection. Control patients had a 64% prevalence of anterior nares colonization with S aureus, compared with 18% in the topical antibiotic group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Dermatitis / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin
  • Ointments
  • Staphylococcal Infections / chemically induced*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Tretinoin / adverse effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ointments
  • Tretinoin
  • Isotretinoin