Many patient who have been on isotretinoin for acne want to receive treatments for scarring, or other cosmetic procedures while on, or shortly after completing, a course of isotretinoin.
The conventional wisdom has been that most procedures should be delayed six months after completing the isotretinoin. However, two consensus statements published in 2017, one from the American Society for Dermatalogic Surgery (ASDS) and one published in JAMA Dermatology, conclude that most procedures are safe immediately following or during isotretinoin treatment.
The ASDS guidelines concludes that superficial chemical peels and nonablative lasers, including hair removal lasers and lights, vascular lasers, and nonablative fractional devices can be used while on isotretinoin or immediately after. Similarly the JAMA Dermatology article concluded that manual dermabrasion, superficial chemical peels, cutaneous surgery, laser hair removal, and fractional ablative and nonablative laser procedures are suitable for patients currently receiving or having recently completed isotretinoin therapy.
Mechanical dermabrasion and fully ablative laser are still not recommended during or soon after isotretinoin treatment.
These guidelines are welcome, and will allow those suffering from acne and acne scarring to receive the necessary treatments in a timely manner.