What Rules Do I Have to Stick to While on Accutane?

I'm on accutane 20mg a day for 6 months, and I want to know whether or not I can: - smoke cigarettes while on accutane? - do laser hair removal? I know that exposure to sunlight is to be avoided while on accutane but is sun bed tanning also banned?

Doctor Answers 2

No laser or tanning on Accutane

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Of course, the first rule is always: listen to your doctor. Accutane affects the sebaceous glands from which the skin heals after injury. For that reason, you should avoid all lasers. The family of drugs called retinoids also make you sun sensitive, so NO TANNING BOOTH! And be sure to use a suncreen everyday. Lastly, smoking is just plain bad for you, so quit. There is, however, no Accutane effect with smoking.

New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


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This is a rather small dose.

While obviously smoking is not a good thing (speaking as a dermatologist, it ages the skin), it does not conflict with Accutane.

However, laser hair removal could pose a hazard since it can damage the dermis. Thus, it should be avoided for at least six months after Accutane.

I feel the same way about tanning beds as I do smoking: it is bad for the skin. While I personally use Accutane on my patients in the summer months, and have yet to see a sunburn from it, only moderate sun exposure is compatible with Accutane.

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach 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.