Archive for October 2011
October 14th, 2011
Acne – a four letter word for a teenage rite of passage and a developing concern for many adults. As the average age of hormonal acne outbreaks has risen, the platform of elective treatments is growing to meet the needs of this broadening demographic. Acne treatment at Cosmedica in Victoria, BC involves a comprehensive approach to managing active acne and treating the texture and discolouration of scars. With an armament of medical-grade devices, we seek to manage acne-causing bacteria, excess oil production, inflammation and cystic pimples, sometimes combining the strengths of elective treatments with the medicinal properties of topical and/or oral medications for maximum prevention and correction.
For more advanced acne (acne vulgaris), Thermage® CPT utilizes applications of deep heat to reduce cystic pimples and pustules, effectively killing acne-causing bacteria and helping to calm inflammation. While multiple treatments are indicated, Thermage® CPT requires no downtime and results can last for several months.
Metvix Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) treatments are also effective for more prominent acne (acne vulgaris) when 2-3 days of redness and peeling can be afforded (beginning 3-5 days post treatment). Metvix cream is applied to the face and left to ‘incubate’ for 3 hours. Following a thorough cleanse, the affected area is exposed to medical-grade red light for an interval of time. Metvix cream, having been selectively absorbed by oil glands and acne-causing bacteria, is ‘activated’ under the red light, effectively killing bacteria and shrinking oil glands. Results from a series of 2-3 treatments may last several months.
For mild to moderate acne on the face, back and/or chest, Isolaz™ treatments combine vacuum suction and broad-band light to clean pores and reduce redness and inflammation. A series of 6 treatments, once every 1-2 weeks, will work to keep bothersome spots at bay while reducing pore size and minimizing scarring.
Another option for mild to moderate acne is Gemini laser. Gemini, a vascular laser, works to minimize redness and inflammation and can be concentrated and translated to heat to kill acne-causing bacteria. Again, 1-2 treatments every week for 6 weeks may be beneficial for managing active acne. Spot treatment with Gemini laser can also stave off untimely pimples before important occasions.
Daily management of mild acne may be achieved with gentle, no-downtime SilkPeel™ Dermalinfusion treatments or MicroPeel Plus™ chemical peels. Both options utilize salicylic acid, preferentially absorbed by oil in the skin, to manipulate the environment in which acne-causing bacteria proliferate. Patients may experience some flaking several days after treatment but will also enjoy instantly smooth, soft skin.
Once active acne is controlled, the presence of residual scarring is often an issue. Fraxel® laser is the only FDA approved system for scar revision. Over a series of treatments, expect a softening uneven, even icepick scarring. When red or brown colour is more prominent, pigment or vascular specific lasers are indicated and effective at restoring even skin tone.
Pharmaceutical therapies are still effective and can often maximize and prolong the results achieved by the elective treatments above. Incorporating acne-appropriate skincare at home is instrumental for daily prevention and maintenance. Topical therapies like clindamycin, vitamin A creams and/or benzoyl peroxide products can be alternated at night. Systemic antibiotics can also be help control active acne. Accutane, systemic vitamin A, remains the gold standard of pharmaceutical acne therapy with the highest curative rate.