My doctor told me to use isotretinoin for 4 weeks before Co2 Laser scar treatment. Why is this?

I'm a dark skinned individual with acne scars. My Doctor said I need to use isotretinoin for 4 weeks and stop it for a week before beginning Co2 Laser treatment for acne scar. Why is this? I heard isotretinoin is not recommended before Co2 treatment.

Doctor Answers 2

Co2 Laser scar treatment

Isotretinoin is a prescription drug used to treat severe acne.  A patient should wait at least 6 months to a year before considering CO2 Laser treatments.  Your history of dark skinned individual makes you at risk for pigment issues secondary to the laser treatment.  Consider several opinions prior to undergoing this aggressive treatment and ask to see or talk with others of similar skin type to be better prepared.

Isotretinoin and Scars / Lasers with Vitamin A or Accutane

If you have darker skin, I'd recommend a nonablative laser like fraxel or a fractional radiofrequency treatment like VIVA/Skinfinity/Intensif.  Isotretinoin is safe with lasers if used properly. I suggest seeing an expert. Best, Dr. Emer.

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 158 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.