Isolutrol ketsugo acne treatment

It is a substance that is extracted from the aqueous solutions of the liver or gall bladder of a shark. This acne medication was discovered by Professor Takuo Kosuge of Shizuoka Pharmacy College Japan. He discovered this substance when he heard of reports about Japanese fisherman rubbing shark liver to the face to clear acne.

II. How does topical Isolutrol work on acne?

Isolutrol has the ability to normalize hyperseborrhea or excessive production of sebum on the oil glands. The normalization of oil production also results in reduced proliferation of blackheads and whiteheads. Reduction of sebum also corresponds to a decrease in the population of P. acnes bacteria. Isolutrol is able to reduce the “shine” and “greasy appearance” on people with very oily skin.


Most chemicals that affect oil production are prescription anti-androgenic drugs like Dutasteride and Finasteride. These drugs are for female use only and cannot be taken by males. Isolutrol is over the counter and can be used by males or females.



Although very impressive at least on paper, there has been a limited study on the efficacy of Isolutrol in the reduction of sebum output on human oil glands. Users often report of mixed results.


It would take approximately 4 to 6 weeks to see improvement on acne when you are using this product. In my opinion the efficacy of isolutrol is not as good as current mainstream anti-acne products like benzoyl peroxide.

“We have performed a double-blind clinical trial on 70 patients to evaluate the efficacy and skin tolerance of isolutrol 0.15 g/100 mL (Ketsugo) in the treatment of mild to moderate acne when compared with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion. The results from this study showed that both isolutrol and benzoyl peroxide significantly improved patients’ acne by reducing the number of inflamed lesions. Isolutrol did not significantly reduce the numbers of non-inflamed lesions whereas benzoyl peroxide did. Fewer side effects were experienced by patients treated with isolutrol when compared with benzoyl peroxide. These results indicate that isolutrol may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of acne, particularly in patients with inflamed lesions”.
( Source: A comparative study of isolutrol versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne Katharine J Dunlop11Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia and Ross StC Barnetson11Department of Dermatology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia1 )

“Isolutrol 1991 Volunteer Studies on 20 people with facial acne vulgaris”, Dr David Fenton, St John’s Dermatology Centre, St Thomas’ Hospital, London: 20 volunteer patients participated in this open study and applied Ketsugo lotion (containing Isolutrol) twice daily, in the morning and before retiring. Fifteen of the twenty volunteers completed the two month study. Results demonstrated that 14 out of the 15 patients completing the study showed some improvement in their facial acne. The greatest improvement (reduction in acne severity and grading) was seen within the first month and this was either maintained at the same level throughout the second month of treatment or improved further. 1 patient of the final 15 failed to show any improvement throughout the trial period”.
( Source: Gazette Medicale No 36 27 Oct au 2 Nov 1989)

III. Forms, Dosage and Administration

Available in topical solutions and sprays at 0.15g/100mL (0.015%) concentration. Typical application frequency is twice daily. Clean the your face gently with an antibacterial soap then pat dry with towel. Spray Isolutrol gel on affected areas or apply a thin layer of Isolutrol gel.

IV. Precautions

Users who may have severe allergic reactions to Isolutrol (rare)

V. Side Effects

Mild skin irritation

Brand Names



Gazette Medicale No 36 27 Oct au 2 Nov 1989

The Australasian Journal of Dermatology 1995 Feb;36(1):13-5

Isolutrol for Acne | Ketsugo for Acne | Isolutrol acne treatment | ketsugo | ketsugo spray | ketsugo gel

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