Safe Hair Removal Products While on Accutane?

I am in my second month on accutane. Are there any products, other than waxing, to remove facial hair?

Doctor Answers 3

Accutane and hair removal

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There will be significant risk of hypertrophic scarring with laser hair removal during Accutane and thus should be avoided. Waxing, threading, etc can exacerbate already dry skin brought by Accutane. Vaniqa cream is meant for long-term maintenance, would be safe but not address your immediate hair concerns.

Hair removal while on Accutane

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Dryness is very common with Accutane; therefore, there is a greater chance of irritation with hair removal products. Vaniqa is a great topical cream and as mentioned above it decreases the hair growth (effectively) but you still need either to shave unwanted hair or remove with tweezers. Depilatory creams also can be used; however, irritation might be an issue. These creams are OTC and can be found in any drug store.

Richard E. Stiefler, MD
Grand Junction Dermatologic Surgeon

Hair removal products while on Accutane

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There is a product called Vaniqa, a hormonal treatment (eflornithine) available by prescription only. This product is appropriate for application for example on the upper lip, chin, cheeks for excessive facial hair. The effect of the cream is to reduce hair growth to the point where they become so fine and wispy that they are not noticeable. To my knowledge, this product is not contraindicated while on Accutane.

Hope this helps.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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.