You may have heard that treatment with isotretinoin was impossible in summer, that it had to be stopped between June and September… Nuançons.

Increased sensitivity to the sun

I explained to you previously that isotretinoin refines the epidermis. However, the epidermis plays a role in protecting the skin against ultraviolet radiation, the solar radiation responsible for sunburn. This means that during treatment with isotretinoin, the higher the dosage, the greater the risk of sunburn.

We all know that a sunburn is unpleasant – it’s red and it hurts – but above all, it peels off in the days that follow. Imagine a sunburn on skin already weakened by isotretinoin, it can do damage with severe burns, painful blisters, even scars and long-term spots.

–> Appropriate precautions

However, sunburn is not a fatality in summer. The risk depends on:
• our phototype (our skin color);
• our activities (if we spend the day indoors or if we work as a lifeguard at the beach!);
• our clothes (a tank top protects less than a long-sleeved T-shirt);
• sunscreen applied regularly.

Postponing treatment with isotretinoin for someone with dark skin, who will essentially be working indoors all summer and who is well informed to protect themselves properly in the event of exposure (clothing and SPF50 cream), would be a waste of luck.

On the other hand, leaving a high-dose isotretinoin treatment to a light-skinned person who plans to work outside and who never puts on cream is not a good idea, because the risk of sunburn is major

Stopping, reducing or continuing treatment during the summer are individual decisions, to be discussed with your prescribing doctor, depending on the dose of medicine, your skin type, your activities, and especially your seriousness. regarding sun protection.


Be honest with yourself and with your doctor. If you have fair skin (you have already had at least one sunburn in your life) and you are not diligent about sun protection, plan to reduce the doses, or even temporarily stop treatment.

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