Almost everyone has tried conventional acne therapies and approaches to acne–creams, cleansers, TV products, prescription drugs, and other home remedies–to little or no effect. Many encounter significant side effects from current treatments like topical medications and antibiotics, which makes it even more frustrating when these therapies are not working. Even worse, acne that persists often leads to long-term scarring.
Acne is the most common skin disease, affecting over 80% of adolescents and many adults. Acne occurs when oil produced by the sebaceous glands do not reach the surface of the skin, but instead becomes trapped in the tiny pores or follicles of the skin. This obstruction may close off the pore, causing the follicle wall to bulge and creating a whitehead of bacteria. If the pore does stay open, the top surface of the skin and obstruction may become darkened causing what is commonly known as a “blackhead”.
In both cases the bacteria Propionibacterium acne thrives in the clogged follicles. When the bacteria and the pus leak from these follicles into the surrounding tissue, pimples are formed. Acne is a multi-factorial condition with causes ranging from heredity to hormones to nutrition.
Available topical treatments for acne are slow and frequently irritating. Oral therapies may be associated with increased bacterial resistance (antibiotics) or possible severe side effects (oral isotretinoin). Hormone replacement is an option in females but may not necessarily be appropriate in all cases. In vitro and in vivo exposure of acne bacteria to 405-420 nm ultraviolet (UV) free blue light results in photo-destruction of these bacteria through the effects on the porphyrins produced naturally by Propionibacterium acnes. A narrow band 420 nm UV free blue light has been shown to decrease inflammatory acne lesions. Clearance is about 80% for extended periods.
We take a combination approach to the treatment of acne and acne scarring using all available technologies and research. Typically we start with a retinoid therapy but also combine chemical peels, microdermabrasion, IPL lasers, and Photodynamic Therapies (ALA 20%). Some scarring can also respond to platelet-rich plasma (stem cell) injections. Contrary to advertising claims, there is no one-size-fits-all for acne solutions. We recognize that this condition has unique causes in each individual, so we personalize each acne therapies treatment program to the person’s needs and lifestyle.