Can Smoothbeam Laser Treatments Be Used While on Accutane?

I was interested in knowing if smooth beam laser treatments could be done while on accutane. I was told by a dermatologist that the smooth beam laser would be suitable for my shallow acne scars (only noticeable in certain lightings or when I tilt my head on certain angles). As a result I am interested in getting smoothbeam treatments but I am currently on accutane. However, I have seen that smoothbeam can help with acne. So it is possible do have smoothbeam laser treatments while on accutane?

Doctor Answers 2

Smoothbeam cannot be recommended while on Accutane

Revision of acne scarring using surgical procedures, ablative, or non-ablative lasers (like Smoothbeam) cannot be recommended during or within 12 months of Accutane.  The problem is that there are no studies showing the safety of ablative or non-ablative lasers in these cases.  However, in the past there have been several reports of abnormal scarring, especially after ablative procedures, during or within a year of Accutane.  (Dermatologic Surgery, 38(9):1521-1526, 2012)

Additionally, it is important to know that about 41% of patients who have completed a course of Accutane experience a relapse of acne, usually between 6 months and 2 years of completing the course.  About 26% of these patients require a second course of Accutane. (J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012 November; 5(11): 17–24).  

In summary, it is not known whether Smoothbeam is safe while on Accutane.  Besides, if your acne comes back, you could get more scarring and your investment in laser will be wasted.  Therefore, I advise my patients to wait 1 year before having any scar revision procedures.  

Greenwood Village Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Lasers and Accutane

I would not advise any laser treatments while on Accutane because of the potential for irregular or delayed healing. In fact I wouldn't recommend any laser treatment for at least six months following the discontinuation of the Accutane to ensure a safe result. Good luck. 

Jason R. Lupton, MD
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 7 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.