Author Topic: New light treatments being used to treat acne  (Read 4366 times)

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New light treatments being used to treat acne
« on: Tuesday February 18, 2003, 10:22:38 AM »
New light treatments being used to treat acne
Jill Burcum
Star Tribune
Published Feb. 18, 2003 BURC18

After the birth of her second child nearly two years ago, Lynn Johnson of Fridley found herself grappling with an unwelcome reminder of her teenage years: acne.

Flare-ups left her face red and sore, her self-esteem bruised. Prescription medications and creams were out of the question because she was breast-feeding her child.

Late last year, Johnson tried a different acne treatment -- one that uses the blue part of the light spectrum instead of drugs. After eight sessions under the ClearLight lamp at Rejuvenation Partners in Edina, Johnson said, she no longer needs to hide her skin under makeup.

"My husband says I look radiant," said Johnson, 34. "And when I play with my kids, I let them touch my face now. I feel so much better."

The latest in acne treatment offers a new twist on an old idea -- using sunlight to clear complexions. In the 1960s, doctors recommended sunlamps to the pimple-plagued, although that approach fell out of favor because of skin cancer risk. Now, light therapy -- minus the sun and its cancer risk -- is making a comeback.

Preparing for a treatment

Bruce Bisping
Star Tribune
Two new treatments

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year approved two new acne light treatments. The ClearLight system, made by Israel-based Lumenis Ltd., received clearance in August. The Smoothbeam treatment, made by Candela Corp. of Wayland, Mass., was approved in October for use on the back, although doctors can use it "off-label" to treat facial blemishes.

Because acne affects up to 80 percent of the population, "There's a lot of interest in new approaches," said Dr. E. Victor Ross, a U.S. Navy dermatologist who has researched Smoothbeam at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif.

Lumenis Ltd
ClearLight and Smoothbeam are not widely available in the Twin Cities. Rejuvenation Partners, which is affiliated with Edina Family Physicians and advertises heavily on Twin Cities radio stations, has the only ClearLight lamp in Minnesota, according to Lumenis. Other clinics in the state have ordered the system, the company said.

Abbott Northwestern Hospital's Center for Cosmetic Care in Edina has the only Smoothbeam system, the company said.

Although both use light that penetrates the skin surface to speed healing and stop pimples from forming, ClearLight and Smoothbeam work differently.

Lumenis Ltd
The ClearLight system operates like a tanning bed, blasting the skin with light. These light wavelengths, which don't cause cancerous changes in skin, kill a type of bacteria that live in the skin's oil glands. The bacteria, called P. acnes, feed on oil that becomes trapped in hair follicles in the skin. When the bacteria multiply, they can cause the inflammation that leads to pimples.

Eight ClearLight sessions of 15 minutes each over four weeks are recommended. Rejuvenation Partners charges $800 for the full treatment.

Lumenis Ltd
The Smoothbeam system relies on laser light. After the face is numbed with an anesthetic cream, doctors place a hand-held device next to the skin.

The device generates heat in the deeper layer of skin known as the dermis. The heat shrinks oil glands, causing them to produce less oil.

Four hourlong sessions at monthly intervals are recommended, according to Candela Corp. The treatment costs $500 to $1,600.

Neither ClearLight nor Smoothbeam treatment is covered by medical insurance, according to the companies. Light treatment for acne is considered a cosmetic procedure.

Comparing options

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) has not weighed in on either approach, but a spokesman said the treatments may benefit people who already have turned to traditional approaches such as prescription creams or drugs such as Accutane.

Dr. Stephen Mandy, a professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Medical School, cautioned that light treatment alone won't cure severe acne -- deep, cyst-like pimples. Medication such as Accutane is usually needed, he said.

For those with mild to moderate acne, Mandy recommends over-the-counter or prescription creams or medications first -- especially because these are typically covered by health insurance.

If these traditional treatments don't work or if patients don't want to use them, then light therapy could be a good option, he said. Accutane and creams can dry out the skin and make it more sun-sensitive. Accutane also can cause birth defects and has been linked to depression.

Ross, the Navy dermatologist, said no one has compared ClearLight and Smoothbeam head-to-head. "Both devices have their pluses and minuses," he said.

ClearLight and Smoothbeam have gotten good results in small trials. Researchers have also found both treatments to be safe.

A Clearlight study of 10 patients with mild to moderate acne found that eight showed significant improvement after eight sessions. The pimple count on their faces declined on average by 60 percent.

In a study of the Smoothbeam treatment, 17 patients underwent four treatment sessions. Researchers found 100 percent clearing of acne in 16 patients six months after the last treatment.

"While lasers have been used successfully for acne scarring for years, their use in actually controlling existing acne is a major breakthrough and could be an excellent alternative for those patients who have had minimal success with traditional therapies," said Dr. Arielle Kauvar, a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the New York University School of Medicine.

Ross and Mandy cautioned that it's unclear how long the benefits of the treatments last. It's possible that the ClearLight sessions kill bacteria but don't stop them from returning. More research is needed to determine if the Smoothbeam laser permanently shrinks oil glands, although Ross believes this is likely.

Johnson, who underwent the ClearLight treatment in Edina, finished her eight sessions in December. While she thought her acne increased after the early ClearLight sessions, pimples disappeared dramatically after five or six appointments, she said.

Her acne has not returned, she added.

"The oiliness of my skin has changed. It used to be really oily; now it rarely is," Johnson said.

If the acne does come back, Johnson said, she'd pay for more ClearLight sessions rather than use creams or drugs.

"This was much better," she said. "And it's so relaxing. It's just like being in a tanning booth."
« Last Edit: Thursday January 01, 1970, 12:00:00 AM by 1047168000 »

Offline SharonBlaine

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Re: New light treatments being used to treat acne
« Reply #1 on: Thursday December 14, 2017, 05:44:59 AM »
It's fundamentally a light that infiltrates the skin and eliminates microorganism’s cells. Or on the other hand. enough it should. The blue light should eliminate microscopic organisms. The red light should recuperate and un-kindle.