Hi. I've used a topical retinoid and it did burn at first. Your doctor may advise you to reduce application for a while. What is the other topical lotion he is using? If it contains benzoyl peroxide this may be contributing to his sensitized skin. Whilst using these products i would recommend also using Lutsine hydrafnia cleanser and moisturizer. They are especially made for spot-prone skin which has become irritated due to acne therapy. Look online for delivery or stockists in your area.
How old is your son? If long-term use of anti-biotics has proved ineffective, he may be a candidate for oral accutane. Discuss this with your doctor, and check out our acne forum too. Loiloi xx
Topical accutane is retin-A, and it doesn't work as good as oral accutane, and the initial outbreak lasts longer.
Accutane will help acne vulgaris no matter what the trigger. However, the superficial lesions you see are side effects.
It is usually started in small doses and advanced until the acne responds. Then it is cycled as necessary with the aim to diminish long term therapy. Risk in men is pretty small and focuses on liver toxicity in the main.
When you meet the dermatologist let him know about the burning sensation when he applies.
Hope this helps