Ask a doctor

Waiting Time for Accutane After Scar Improvement Procedures?

How long should I wait AFTER Dermaroller, Fraxel Laser (Restore) or Microdermabrasion BEFORE starting Accutane? My skin is really breaking out, but I'm controlling it with antibiotics and I want to get these scar improvement procedures done BEFORE Accutane, because after Accutane, I'll have to wait for a year. So am I right in doing this? Is it safe to do so? This will be my 3rd time on Accutane after nearly 3 years. Thanks!

Doctor Answers (2)

As soon as you are visibly healed

+2

Your dermatologist will explain that resurfacing procedures require 12 months AFTER Accutane to be started, but as soon as you are healed from your procedure to correct scars, you can begin Accutane. Retinoids have a direct effect on the sebaceous glands which are critical to healing after resurfacing. But once you are healed, Accutane is fine. Be sure you understand the I-Pledge requirements and follow the directions of your dermatologist. Good luck.


New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Waiting period between acne scar treatment and beginning Accutane

+1

You mention three different procedures, each which would require different waiting periods. If your acne is out of control, my recommendation is to handle that first - even if you have to wait a year for scar improvement. Any new acne that occurs following the scar treatments (or during, which is always a possibility) will potentially create even more scars than already exist.

However, if you decide to proceed with scar treatment first, here are some general guidelines

Microdermabrasion at standard levels should not require a waiting period. IF you have aggressive microdermabrasion that actually creates raw skin, you need to wait until your skin is healed.

Dermaroller will create small holes in the skin (somewhat on the idea of Fraxel but with no heat involvement.) I'd suggest a waiting period of 3- 4 weeks depending on the depth of the roller spike used. I assume you are speaking of the medical level Dermaroller and not the "home version". It is not recommended that you use Dermaroller with active acne.

Fraxel Restore is a variable energy laser and the amount of healing required is again dependent upon the levels used. I would suggest here again 4 to 6 weeks waiting period following your final procedure if you are treated at aggressive levels.

If the dermatologist who is prescribing your oral treatment with Accutane is also the treating physician for your scar treatments, that will be your final resource for advice.

Nissan Pilest, MD
Irvine Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.