What Acne Medications Are Safe Prior to Laser Treatment?

What acne medications can I use the week prior to laser treatment? My face is extremely acne-prone, and I basically have to use acne meds at all times or else my face breaks out. Also, if my face is a little broken out and I go through with the laser treatment, is there a greater likelihood of infection or scarring?

Doctor Answers 1

Acne Medications Prior to Laser Treatment on the Face

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For the most part, retinoid creams (Retin A, Differin, Tazorac) and benzoyl peroxide containing products should be avoided for one week prior to laser treatment. If you are having active acne breakouts, you may apply either a clindamycin, erythromycin or sodium sulfacetamide cream, or a combination of these, but just as spot treatment over the active areas. Depending on the type of laser that you are having, your doctor may have some specific recommendations as to what to expect if the treatment is done when you have many active acne lesions. If you are having IPL or laser hair removal, you probably will be fine. If you are having Fraxel or an ablative CO2 laser, your acne may flare more initially after these treatments. Infection and Scarring are uncommon in either scenario, and are due to other variables such as skin type, laser technique, laser parameters and proper post procedure care. Best of luck!

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