Acne Vulgaris (common acne often referred to as zits or pimples) is the single most troublesome skin condition for teens and young adults. Fortunately, it is also one of the most manageable. Dr. Heidari uses the most advanced laser acne treatment and light-based treatments to treat and control acne.
Acne begins when the sebaceous glands become clogged and there is build-up of acne bacteria called P. acnes. This bacteria build-up causes inflammation and the formation of acne. Acne problems can begin early, even before preteen years and can continue for some through middle adulthood. For many years, acne sufferers have been forced to rely on topical and oral medications to treat their blemishes, cysts, and inflammation. These medications, such as Accutane and long-term antibiotic therapy, tend to have inconsistent results and many side effects.
If you suffer from acne, proper skin care and laser treatments can prevent long-term problems such as scarring and the discoloration of your skin. Everyone has different responses to acne inflammation. Some people scar deeply and others experience no scarring or faint scars. Some experience persistent redness of the skin around acne. Depending on your condition, Dr. Heidari will recommend specific laser treatments and closely monitor your progress, resulting in healthy, beautiful skin.
Certain light spectrums activate bacteria-fighting agents produced by your body called porphyrins. Blue Light is a high-intensity blue-violet light that activates these porphyrins and starts a chemical reaction that destroys the P. acnes bacteria (the root cause of inflamed blemishes). This process treats and controls acne. At Contour Aesthetic Center, Blue Light treatments are usually done in six to eight sessions and can be performed two to three times per week. We also recommend monthly maintenance Blue Light therapy sessions.
Laser and Photo-Rejuvenation
Laser treatments heat the sub-epidermal layers of the skin and are ideal for treating wrinkles, acne, and acne scars through collagen remodeling, proliferation of active fibroblasts, and decelerating over-acting sebaceous glands that cause acne. Dr. Heidari uses Sciton’s ThermaScan, which delivers pulsed, infrared energy at a 1319 nm wavelength.
Sciton’s Broadband light (BBL) photo-rejuvenation is also an effective way to shrink acne vesicles and kill the bacteria responsible for acne formation. These treatments are more aggressive than Blue Light therapy, require fewer treatments and deliver faster results. For moderate to severe and cystic acne, this is used as a more aggressive treatment.
For the most severe and stubborn acne, Dr. Heidari uses photo-dynamic therapy (PDT)—the newest breakthrough in treating acne.
Dr. Heidari will apply Levulonic acid, which is a clear painless solution, to your skin and let it settle for about 60 minutes. It is then activated with a specific wavelength of light, either Blue Light or the more aggressive BBL. This second phase takes about 16-20 minutes. Often two to four treatments four weeks apart can eradicate 70-90% of acne lesions for up to one year.
The Levulonic acid is absorbed by active cells, like acne sebaceous glands, making the targeted acne cells more sensitive to the light. This combined interaction of the solution and the light is what gives rise to the term “photodynamic therapy.” Levulonic acid will also target sebaceous hyperplasia (small benign bumps under your skin) and the papules of acne rosacea.
Depending on the type of acne treatment, recovery varies from no recovery to two to three days of recovery after photo-dynamic therapy. Although the laser system is very powerful, most patients describe the light pulses as a ‘snapping’ sensation, which causes mild discomfort at most. After the treatment, you may have some redness for about a week, but that quickly fades and you can enjoy your clear, bright skin.