No Need to Delay Certain Skin Procedures for Isotretinoin Patients

June 27, 2017

New consensus recommendations set the record straight on the timing of skin procedures for patients taking isotretinoin.

After reviewing 32 relevant publications, the authors found “insufficient evidence” to support delaying manual dermabrasion, superficial chemical peels, skin surgery, laser hair removal, and fractional ablative and nonablative laser procedures for patients who are currently taking or who have recently completed isotretinoin therapy, according to the recommendations which are published in JAMA Dermatology.  However, mechanical dermabrasion and fully ablative laser procedures are not currently recommended.

For decades, it has been widely taught that isotretinoin causes abnormal scarring or delayed wound healing, although this notion stems from three case series published in the mid-1980s describing only a handful of patients, according to the article.

“With the information presented in this article, physicians may have an evidence-based discussion with patients regarding the known risk of cutaneous surgical procedures in the setting of systemic isotretinoin treatment,” the authors write. “For some patients and some conditions, an informed decision may lead to earlier and potentially more effective interventions.



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