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Can I have laser or cosmetic treatments, waxing, or other treatments done while I am on oral isotretinoin?

It is learnt that oral isotretinoin (sold under the trade name of Accutane, and its generics is known as Sotret or Amnesty) affects our skin cell turnover, which means that any surgery or laser resurfacing treatment, or even deeper chemical peels when done within 6 months of taking oral isotretinoin can lead to excessive scarring and disfigurement.

In fact, our skin is drier and more sensitive while on oral isotretinoin therapy, as such any treatment that potentially irritates the skin can be a problem. Hence, our skin may react more strongly to waxing or other hair removal methods too.

Nevertheless, with the advent of the newer lasers today, i.e. nonablative lasers, this is probably less of a risk today because they do not remove the upper layers of our skin. Still, many doctors prefer to wait for at least 6 months before doing any elective procedure, especially if it is for cosmetic purposes.

Laser or intense pulsed light hair removal is sometimes done while on oral isotretinoin, but we should be careful to have the procedure done by a qualified doctor and let the doctor know we are on oral isotretinoin.

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