A 2017 update: Challenging the cosmetic procedural delay following oral isotretinoin therapy

J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2019;21(1):58-60. doi: 10.1080/14764172.2018.1444775. Epub 2018 Feb 28.


For decades it has been widely accepted that elective procedures should be delayed for at least 6-months following completion of isotretinoin therapy. However, numerous 2017 publications demonstrate the need for change in best practice. The evidence has yet to be succinctly summarized in a single article or in a stand-alone quick reference algorithm for physicians. This article's review of all 2017 publications confirms that the 6-month delay is not necessary for all procedures and provides a simple algorithmic approach to summarize the updated recommendations for procedural delay of cosmetic procedures following systemic isotretinoin therapy. This is a useful tool for clinicians and allows patients to receive the most appropriate and timely cosmetic therapy to minimize the psychosocial impact of the skin condition.

Keywords: Lasers and light sources; isotretinoin; microdermabrasion; surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermabrasion / methods
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Isotretinoin / administration & dosage*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods
  • Time Factors


  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Isotretinoin