" I never thought I would struggle with acne at my age. I thought the only option I had left was to go on Accutane, which I dreaded. Finding Advanced Aesthetics Group changed my life. I can't say enough great things about this laser treatment ... it really works and I have gotten so many compliments on my skin." 

- Richard, M. 38 yo Cincinnati, Ohio

Clinical Treatment of Acne 

 

Goals of Acne Treatment: 

 

Acne is a disruption in the skin caused by different factors, including bacteria, hormones and genetics. The pilosebaceous unit is comprised of the hair-growing follicle and sebaceous gland which releases sebum to the skin surface through the pore. There is a normal population of bacteria called Propionibacterium Acnes (P.Acnes) in the skin, but when pores become clogged the buildup of sebum and the enhanced proliferation of P.Acnes under anaerobic conditions causes blackhead or whitehead comedones to form within the pore. White blood cells infiltrate the area ensuing inflammation can lead to acneiform lesions called papules, nodules, or cysts. The goals of treatment for active eruptive acne are: to reduce the bacteria count of the acne-causing P.Acnes, and to control the activity of the sebaceous gland to reduce excess sebum p[production. The clinical improvements in the appearance of acne are evidence by reducing the size of individual acne lesions, reducing the frequency of acne eruptions, and promoting faster healing times. 

 

Preventing future blockages or clogging of pores can be facilitated through a variety of topical therapies including light chemical peels and an acne skin care regimen. 

 

The AC treatment uses a broad spectrum of light and radiofrequency energies to target the sebaceous unit in the skin. The spectrum of light used is 400-980 nm. The short wavelengths in the blue light spectrum target the P.Acnes bacteria in the tubes of the sebaceous glands. The photodynamic reaction between the blue light and the photoporphyrins, which are integral part of the bacterial membrane (light sensitive molecules), results in oxidation and free radical damage to the bacterial cell membrane. P.Acnes are destroyed in this free radical environment, reducing bacterial cell membrane. P.Acnes are destroyed in this free radical environment, reducing bacterial count and stopping the inflammatory process within the sebaceous glands to produce and secrete less sebum. The addition of radiofrequency in the AC application also offers the unique advantage of improving the texture of acneiform skin (which is often blotchy and rough after acne eruptions). 

 

The AC procedure is a low-risk treatment with no downtime, and which can offer the gradual and safe improvements for active papular-papulopustular acne. 

 

The treatment sessions during the initial four weeks are aimed at gradually attacking the P.Acnes population in the sebaceous gland. The clinical improvements, as a result of lowered bacterial count and consequential sebaceous gland normalization may not be evident until approximately half way through the series. Patient may notice improvement in acne lesions after two weeks or four treatments, however there are always patients that respond faster or more slowly than average. 

 

While the AC application can treat existing acne and also help to maintain results, genetic and environmental factors may cause new acne breakouts. Further treatments may be performed as a maintenance program for slight popular acne (once or twice a month) or another bolus of treatments to get severe outbreaks under control (2x weeks for 4 weeks). 

 

A skin care regiment for acneic skin should be used and consist of: oil-free sunscreen, gentle washer, oil and keratin regulation agents such as glycolic acid, AHA, retinoids, and other products that help prevent a plug formation of epidermal keratin. 

 

Treatment for male patients in hair bearing areas may result in damage to the follicles and subsequent loss of hair. Avoid the beard area and other hair growing zones if the patient does not wish to have reduction or miniaturization of the hair. If treatment is being performed over hairy areas, ensure the hair is clipped or shaved prior to treatment. 

 

Residual erythema and/or pigmentary changes in the skin are common sequelae after acne lesions heal. Such dyschromia can be addressed with Skin Rejuvenation treatments to improve vascular and melanin-based irregularity. 

 

Possible side effects: 

 

Discomfort

Excessive redness 

Damage to natural skin texture 

Change of pigmentation 

Scarring 

Bruising 

 

Contraindications:

 

Pacemaker or internal defibrillator

History of skin cancer

Cardiac disorders

Pregnancy or nursing 

Impaired immune system 

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Porphyria, or Epilepsy

Poorly controlled diabetes

History of keloid scarring 

Accutane within last 6 months 

Tetracycline or St. Johns Wort within the last 2 weeks

Facial laser resurfacing or deep chemical peel within last 3 months

Any surgical procedure to the area within the last 3 months

Tattoo or permanent makeup to area

Excessively tan skin, tanning beds, or tanning creams within the last 2 weeks

 

 

 

 

Pre-treatment Preparation 

 

Avoid skin irritation or intentional skin tanning. Sunscreen is advisable when outdoors during daylight hours. 

 

Discontinue all retinol products 3 days prior to treatment. 

 

Arrive for treatment with clean skin. There should be no lotion, make-up, perfume, deodorant, powder or bath/shower oil present on the skin in the area to be treated. 

 

The area to be treated should be shaved. Unshaved hair absorbs optical energy, preventing delivery of energy to the target and interrupting with electrode coupling to the skin. 

 

 

Treatment:  

 

 

First Month

 2 x a week 

 8-10 treatments

Second month

2 treatments

Monthly

Until cleared

 

 

Post-Treatment Care: 

 

A cold (not frozen) pack may be applied to the treated site.

 

Blistering or ulcerated skin can be treated with antibiotic ointment and burn ointment cream. 

 

During the first 2 days following the treatment, care should be taken to prevent trauma to the treated site. 

 

If scabs appear after blistering, they should be kept soft with a lubricating cream. 

 

Use SPF greater than 30 and protect treated areas from sunlight for at least one month following treatment. Tanning after treatment may cause hyperpigmentation. 

 

Return to normal acne skin regimen (retinols) 1-2 days after treatment. 

 

 

Cost of treatment 

 

$200 per treatment or series of 8 for $700 (a $900 savings!)