What are the side effects of taking Isotretinoin while on acne scar treatment?

Doctor's Answers (1)

Dr Justin Boey

"Doctor with interest in Aesthetics and Lasers"

Isotretinoin intake while on acne scar treatment is considered generally safe based on the latest research studies published from 2014 onwards. Because acne scarring is associated with substantially reduced quality of life, early initiation of effective treatment is desirable.

Ablative CO2 fractional laser treatment for acne scarring seems to be safe regardless of isotretinoin use (10-60 mg/d) [1].

Follow-up was for at least 6 months post-treatment to evaluate side effects. No major and permanent side-effects were seen. Non-ablative lasers are also safe within 1 month after stopping oral isotretinoin use [2]. No major and permanent side-effects were seen.


1. Kim HW, Chang SE, Kim JE, Ko JY, Ro YS. The safe delivery of fractional ablative carbon dioxide laser treatment for acne scars in Asian patients receiving oral isotretinoin. Dermatologic surgery : official publication for American Society for Dermatologic Surgery [et al]. 2014;40(12):1361-1366. doi:10.1097/DSS.0000000000000185 ‌

2. Saluja SS, Walker ML, Summers EM, Tristani-Firouzi P, Smart DR. Safety of non-ablative fractional laser for acne scars within 1 month after treatment with oral isotretinoin: A randomized split-face controlled trial. Lasers in surgery and medicine. 2017;49(10):886-890. doi:10.1002/lsm.22711 ‌

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