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By Shelly Kramer, ARNP

Any successful acne treatment with a goal of clearing and controlling, needs to address causative factors. When skin cells develop abnormally in the presence of P.acnes (bacteria that causes acne) and the overproduction of hormones, an inflammatory process occurs. The process can lead to the 3 categories of eruptions:1) comedones, 2) papules and pustules, 3) cysts and nodules.

The first step in treatment is gentle but effective cleansing of the acne areas.

Products containing salicylic, lactic or glycolic acid have the chemical capacity to dissolve clogging oils and should be used twice daily.

Secondly, an antibacterial approach will target P. acnes.

Benzoyl Peroxide has long been used  because it produces oxygen in the sebum that inhibits growth as P.acnes thrives in an oxygen free environment. Topical and oral antibiotics are also treatment options alone or in combination and particularly indicated with cystic or nodular lesions. Narrow-band phototherapy will additionally destroy P.acnes through photo destruction and can be used alone or with combination therapies. According Alexiades-Armenakas, a New York based dermatologist, who uses the Lumenis ClearLight, “Just exposing the patient’s skin to this high-intensity light for 15 minutes will result in the elimination of bacteria that cause acne“.

Thirdly, the use of topical retinoids is considered the gold standard in acne treatment.

This approach is also highly recommended for the acne sufferer who desires an anti-aging program. Topical strengths very and should be individualized pending tolerance. UVA and UVB sunblocks are necessary for any and all treatment options as sun sensitivity will be increased.

The most successful acne treatments are those that are followed! Patient understanding and simplified treatments will facilitate greater compliance. The newer combination topicals that minimize the number of products required have gained popularity. One such product is Jan Marini’s Duality MD that combines Retinol and Benzol Peroxide. This product combined with Light Therapy will further enhance results. Goal orientated treatments that are simple, that will clear and control acne are what is necessary to manage an age-old and common skin problem.

At Laser Skin Solutions we offer a free consultation to personalize a treatment program that tailored to the individual patients needs in controlling acne.

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