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Acne

The acne blemishes you see today formed several weeks ago. Deep within your pores, sebaceous glands produce sebum, an oil that hydrates skin and keeps it supple. Skin constantly renews itself, so old cells die and mix with your skin’s natural oils. Normally, these dead skin cells shed to reveal fresh, new skin.

But some cells shed unevenly and clump together to form a plug, or comedo, that traps oil and bacteria inside the follicle, causing it to swell. Your body responds by attacking the bacteria with white blood cells and a few weeks later, a pimple pops out. Acne ranges from milder comedonal (blackheads and whiteheads) to moderate (pustular) to severe, cystic breakouts. In many cases, several or all of these forms of acne can be present at one time.

Acne affects 85 percent of all teenagers and 20 percent of adults. It most commonly occurs on the face in teenagers and young adults, but can affect other areas such as the neck, trunk, arms and buttocks.

Raleigh Dermatology will evaluate your acne condition to establish a specific and effective diagnosis, define and eliminate potential flare factors, and explain the appropriate treatment. Topical acne therapies include cleansers that remove excessive surface skin oil, retinoids that unlock plugs from within the follicle, and benzoyl peroxides and antibiotics that suppress bacterial overgrowth and inflammatory activity in the oil glands. Oral acne treatments consist of various antibiotics and hormonal preparations, including oral contraceptives and Accutane.

Omnilux Light Thereapy and Photo Dynamic Acne light therapies also treat acne effectively and quickly.

Omnilux Light Therapy

Phototherapy is a well-documented treatment for many skin disorders, including acne. This treatment uses different delivery specific wavelengths of light to acne lesions with the aim of destroying acne-causing bacteria. Essentially 2 wavelengths are optimal for acne treatment – blue and red.

Blue wavelength

A Wavelength of 415nm can be delivered via the Omnilux Blue Light Therapy.

Red light

A Wavelength of 633 nm is delivered via the Omnilux Revive Red Light Therapy.

 

Phototherapy is one of the safest methods of acne treatment. Low-level light treatment is using the blue wavelength and red wavelength targets acne- forming bacteria. Treatments are painless and easy and over in less than 30 minutes.

Advantages

  • Safe. Non-laser light is used with all our acne phototherapy systems including Omnilux Blue Light and Omnilux Revive Red Light Systems.
  • Painless. Low level light systems are painless.
  • No side effects such as skin irritation or other side effects.
  • Temporarily effective in up to 85% of acne cases. Omnilux Blue and Red light in combination can be effective in the majority of papular-pustular acne. Recent studies have shown that this method is superior to treatment with one wavelength alone (eg. Clear Light Therapy).

In fact this treatment is so safe that red and blue light phototherapy can be used to treatment acne in pregnant or breast feeding patients.

Disadvantages

  • This treatment is NOT suitable for scarring acne. Scarring acne or severe acne should be treated by Specialists using methods that have the highest CURE rate, and not temporarily suppress acne lesions. Even though scars can be removed by laser treatment, prevention of scarring is paramount.
  • Acne phototherapy is only effective for pimples (pustules and papules) and not indicated for blackheads, or cystic severe acne.
  • Blue and Red light phototherapy can only provide temporary improvement in acne lesions, and not long term cure. This is because phototherapy only targets the bacteria associated with acne and NOT the cause of acne itself. In your initial visit with one of our providers, we often combine other medical treatments aimed at curing acne.

Treatments

  • Are 8 alternating treatments of Omnilux Blue and Omnilux Revive Red over a 4 week treatment period.
  • Allowing at least 48 hours rest time between treatments.
  • A majority of people see their best results 6-8 weeks after the treatments are completed.
  • Follow-up series can be done 6-8 months after the last treatment was completed.

Photo Dynamic Acne Therapy (PDT)

Photo Dynamic Acne Therapy non-invasively treats resistant, active acne with a combination of light and a special light-activated solution that targets and destroys acne activity. This treatment also diminishes older acne scars and leaves skin smoother.

PDT is performed with a topical photosensitizing agent called Levulan, a clear, painless solution that Raleigh Dermatology applies to your skin and leaves on for 60 minutes. We use Omnilux Revive Red Light, a specific wavelength of light, to activate Levulan for 7 minutes. Targeted acne cells—including papules of acne rosacea—absorb Levulan and become sensitive to the light. At this point, we remove the Levulan and administer the light treatment, which successfully shrinks the oil glands to reduce skin oiliness. It also minimizes the appearance of pore size and improves the skin’s texture.

Please contact us at 919-876-3656 to learn more about Acne or to schedule an appointment.

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American Society for Laser Medicine & Surgery, Inc. American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery American Society for Mohs Surgery American Society for Dermatologic Surgery North Carolina Dermatology Association North Carolina Medical Society