What’s New in Acne Care?

AcneJune is  Acne Awareness Month and it seemed like the perfect time to  search  out  the best  new acne care options.  Acne is an equal opportunity pest.   It affects  men and women, young and old and every culture and country. That’s the bad news.  The good news?   I’ve got five new options for your acne fighting tool kit.

1.  Dapsone Gel for Acne

Oral Dapsone was originally used to treat leprosy, malaria, and parasites.  Anti-inflammatory  and  antimicrobial,  it is now used in gel form to manage acne.   Sold under the trade name of Aczone, it  attacks acne from different angles.  It can be used alone or in combination with other medications. It works beautifully with Retin A, clindamycin, and salicylic acid.  However it can turn the skin yellow if used with benzoyl peroxide.

Research studies have shown that a 12 week  Aczone treatment program can reduce  acne eruptions by 50%.  its also been shown to be especially helpful  for skin of color and may help to avoid skin discoloration that can follow an acne breakout.  While its only available by prescription, it is less expensive  than Retin A and covered by  most insurance plans..

2. CLn  Acne Cleanser

The right cleanser is the foundation of  good acne care.  Many cleansers can be too strong to use with Retin A  while moisturizing cleansers may trigger more breakouts.  I’m always searching for a cleanser that threads this  needle.  CLn is just what I have been looking for.  Its got a low level of salicylic acid  which can be paired with  just about every other acne fighter.  CLn also includes  a form of chlorine that deals with skin bacteria which are part of the acne process.  But wait, there’s more. It is  paraben and fragrance free and available without a prescription. I found  CLn  a wonderful cleanser for oily skin, even if  acne is  no longer a problem.

3. Bellafill for Acne Scars

Acne is the gift that keeps on giving. During an active breakout the face  can be dotted with white heads, black heads and cysts. Then even  long after the active phase  is  over, the face is left with a variety  of different types of scars.  One of the most distressing are the round saucer shaped depressions.  They  are the consequences of  deep cysts that  have actually destroyed the collagen in the area.

Bellafill is the only filler approved by the FDA for  repair of saucer scars.  And even better, it is permanent.  The Bellafill injection deposits  collagen as well as special  microspheres  into the scar.  The skin immediately levels off and “erases” the scar.  Then in the next few months, these  microspheres create a matrix to support additional natural collagen for a long lasting  fix.

4. Absorica

Isotretinoin is the oral form of Retin A,  and is considered the “nuclear” option for acne.  Under the brand name Accutane,  it was the best treatment option for  cystic or  hard to treat  acne.  Accutane is  no longer available, but new versions  with additional benefits are now available with a prescription from your dermatologist. Traditional isotretinoin needed to be taken with a high calorie, high fat meal.   For diet concious women ( and isn’t that most of  us)  that  kind of meal is a non-starter.   By contrast, Absorica does not need a heavy  meal to be effectively absorbed.

The  well known safety issues and  side effect issues of Accutane  including bone  pain, birth defects and eye damage can still  appear with Abscorica.  These  are not that common and it’s helpful to remember that  Absorica is actually a cure for acne.  Three to six months on Absorica  and the  acne disappears forever.  How’s that for  results?

5. Blue Light Therapy

Blue light therapy  for acne is  extremely popular  in Europe and is slowing catching on here.  When the skin  is exposed to blue LED lights its stimulates the production of chemicals  called porphyrins,, that kill the bacteria  which are part of the acne process.  Less bacteria= less acne.   Antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide  also deal with these bacteria, but over time resistance can develop.  According to Dr Gary Goldenberg of Mount Sinai Medical Center,  office basd light treatments need to last 1000 minutes and do  not cause side effects like redness, irritation and peeling.  For mild acne, Dr Goldenberg recommends a series of 2-3  treatments  2-4  weeks apart.  Cost is about $125/session.   Most insurance companies  do not  currently cover blue light therapy for acne, but these treatments can be worth the expense when other  products are  just not getting the job  done.

3 thoughts on “What’s New in Acne Care?

  1. I’d heard about blue light therapy before but hadn’t known how effective it was – thanks for the info! I’ll have to check out some of these products too.

    • If you try it let me know how well it w version called works for you. There is also a home version called illuMask that is FDA approved and costs less than $30 for 30 treatments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *