What is a Light-Based Acne Treatment?
Acne is the most common skin condition in the world, affecting 650 million people globally. It is not only embarrassing, but painful and can result in scarring if left untreated. Acne is often addressed with over-washing and topical applications that can be irritating to the skin. We think of it as a condition that affects only teenagers, but a growing number of men and women aged 30-50 experience adult acne, which can be even more frustrating, causing anxiety and a negative self-image. At Westside Aesthetics, Dr. Rivkin uses several light based acne treatments to solve the problem painlessly and effectively.
Candidates for Light-Based Acne Treatments in Los Angeles
Our Blue Light system is effective in resolving mild acne. We start with a cleansing acne facial to prepare your skin for the treatment. Next you will spend about 20 minutes under the Blue Light. When blue light is delivered to the oil glands in the skin, it stimulates porphyrins, which are compounds found inside acne bacteria. When porphyrins are activated by the blue light, they kill the bacteria from the inside out. Your current acne diminishes and future breakouts are reduced. Red light treatment with the same device helps to reduce inflammation and improve healing. Blue and red light spectrums may also inhibit sebum production and lessen inflammation. This painless process kills the bacteria associated with acne and reduces oil production in your skin.
For moderate acne we use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). The IPL machine sends light through your skin that is set to a specific wavelength, which targets the bacteria associated with acne and overactive oil glands, while leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. There is little or no recovery time and most patients return to work or school immediately after the treatment session. Side effects from IPL photofacials can include redness, tenderness and some brown pigmentation while the skin heals, all of which should resolve within two weeks. We typically recommend up to five 30 minute sessions, spaced 3 weeks apart for best results.
Truly stubborn acne is treated with Photodynamic Therapy (PDT). This combines IPL or Blue Light with a light sensitizing agent that is applied to the skin, making the treatment much more intense and powerful. PDT is sometimes used in place of Accutane. It is a potent treatment that clears up active acne and works well to prevent future outbreaks, sometimes for years. This treatment is effective for resistant or cystic acne without painful and dangerous side effects. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is the most intensive light based acne treatment and does require some downtime. Sunburn-like redness and mild swelling, as well as some peeling, are all common after PDT treatment. Swelling lasts for a couple days, while redness and some peeling persist for up to a week. Most patients will require about three treatments at a frequency of once a month, but the exact number of sessions required will depend on the severity of your condition.
Pros and Cons of Light Based Acne Treatments in Los Angeles
Light based acne treatments are ideal for patients with mild to severe acne. These treatments offer a safe alternative to risky medications and harsh topical products. Getting rid of acne now is the best way to prevent acne scars in the future. During your free initial consultation, Dr. Rivkin will evaluate your skin and recommend the most effective course of treatment. He will explain the procedure in detail, and recommend a skin care regimen to help you maintain your acne-free skin. You will have the opportunity to view before and after photos, so that you will know exactly what to expect from the treatment.
Light based acne treatments do not work for all patients Some severe cases do not respond to light. We refer these patients to one of our excellent Dermatology colleagues for Accutane treatment. Topical products may also be necessary to fully address the condition. Oftentimes, there is some trial and error when treating acne. Each case is slightly different and many factors can contribute to the condition. Hormone levels, vitamin deficiency, stress and inflammation all seem to play a role in the development of acne. At Westside Aesthetics, we have the latest technology and continue to treat the condition with the safest and most effective methods.
Contact our Los Angeles office today to learn more about our acne treatments in Brentwood or to schedule a free consultation. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to answer and questions you may have.