Whether it’s teenage or adult acne, some skin eruptions can be so severe that sufferers will try almost anything to improve their skin’s appearance. The objective of most acne treatments is to control sebum activity and destroy the bacteria that cause infection and inflammation. Promising acne solutions run the gamut from light-based therapies to skin peels to drugs, and everything in between. Most of these have various levels of success so patients need to choose their clinic and acne treatment very carefully.
Visit Azala Medical Aesthetics in San Francisco for acne therapy. Our experts will create a balanced program to live an acne free life. We welcome all adults and teens who are looking to get rid of life long acne and acne scaring.
As far as light devices go, patients looking to clear up mild acne and lighten acne scars can experience superior results with Sciton’s Forever Clear BBL. It’s an advanced Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technology that uses three targeted light wavelengths (blue, yellow and infra-red) to kill the bacteria that cause acne, to stimulate skin healing and address a number of vascular and pigment related issues. Forever Clear BBL offers patients the best acne treatment overall in addressing less extreme breakouts with minimal downtime, irritating skin products or medications.
Isolaz is another light therapy that is being used to treats moderate to severe acne. It’s an FDA cleared device that combines vacuum suction, antibacterial skin products with broadband light to close off the pathways that lead to breakouts using their “CPR” approach: cleanse, purify and replenish. The biggest complaint about Isolaz is that it’s not suitable as a cystic acne treatment. In fact, it’s not recommended for any serious cases because suction is contraindicated for patients with nodular acne. Isolaz currently has a 68% approval rating on RealSelf and many reviewers reported that it made their acne permanently worse. Other complications include bruising, blisters, burns, scabbing, scarring, and pigment changes.
Blue Light Phototherapy is an FDA-approved acne treatment that utilizes light in the blue wavelength range to kill the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes in the pores and on the skin’s surface. The procedure involves having the patient subject their skin to a blue light lamp for 15 minutes per session, two times per week over a 4-week period. Currently the efficacy of Blue Light Phototherapy is debatable. Studies have produced conflicting results and for this reason physicians who offer this modality will often recommend a combination of treatments and not phototherapy alone.
A variation of Blue Light, Levulan Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is typically used as a treatment for Actinic Keratoses, pre-cancerous, scaly skin growths caused by UV exposure. Some clinicians, however, also use it to control moderate to severe acne. Levulan® is both a skin product (Levulan® Kerastick®) and Blue Light Phototherapy that shrinks sebaceous glands in order to prevent and treat acne breakouts. The biggest drawback with Levulan® PDT is that it can be extremely sensitizing to skin with intense redness and also irritation that can persist for one week or longer. Extreme caution must be taken not to expose the skin to UV rays for 48 hours after the procedure of severe skin damage can occur.
Chemical peels work by weakening the bonds that hold skin cells together thereby removing the top layers of the epidermis. The Vi Peel line of chemical peels offered at Azala Medical Aesthetics delivers safe, gentle and reliable results when treating mild adult acne, acne scarring and pigmentation. There are two formulations to choose from: The original ViPeel is a blend of TCA and Retin-A for a thorough yet gentle resurfacing of the skin and to kill acne-causing microbes in the pores. The second option is Precision Plus, a combination of the original ViPeel and boosters of Hydroquinone and Kojic acid to treat melanin-related pigment issues.
Home care is an important component after having a series of Vi Peels to maintain results, ensure proper healing and prevent future breakouts and scars. The basics are cleansers and toners, suited to the patients’ skin pH for better absorption of other products. We offer cleansers and toners from highly reputable medical lines such as Obagi, Neocutis and SkinCeuticals. For healing and protecting skin from environmental factors such as sun and pollution we recommend using antioxidants such as CE Ferulic and Phloretin from SkinCeuticals or vitamin C by Obagi. Finally, acne scars and pigmentation can benefit from retinols and retin-A which help to speed up cell turnover and in the process diminish scarring for a clearer and smoother complexion. Pigmentation issues can be prevented with a good daily sunscreen such as Elta MD, Obagi or SkinCeuticals.
Glycolic (also called alpha hydroxy) and salicylic acids are popular with patients because of the gentle nature of these peels. Although they have little downtime, salicylic and glycolic peels don’t penetrate very deep which makes them more suitable for restoring a healthy glow or to manage oily skin rather than to kill persistent acne-causing bacteria or fade years of acne scarring. Glycolic and salicylic peels produce very subtle results and multiple sessions over long-term use is required to see noticeable improvement in acne or any other skin conditions for that matter.
For severely aggressive and hard to treat cases of acne an oral medication called Accutane or the generic form Isotretnoin are prescribed as a last resort and recommended by dermatologists for cystic or nodular acne but under very strict supervision. The drug which is part of the retinoid family works by reducing the amount of sebum produced in the oil glands making the pores less sticky and giving bacteria less sustenance to thrive. Although patients have seen some satisfactory results with Accutane it was linked to serious side-effects and long-term health risks. Therefore all other options should be explored first before resorting to a drastic medication like Isotretnoin.
Dr. Mosser and his team of trusted clinicians at Azala Medical Aesthetics San Francisco are experts at helping patients achieve clear, beautiful skin. We have an arsenal of highly effective solutions to help improve your mild acne and reduce red and brown pigmentation. If you’re thinking about visiting our clinic for the first time we invite you to book a personalized consultation with one of our experienced clinicians to have your complexion analyzed by our diagnostic Visia machine. Together we can create a customized plan to address all your skin concerns.
* Individual results may vary, and not guaranteed.