Healthcare: Dermatology

Acne Therapy - Laser and Light Options

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Candela Smoothbeam laser
Pros: In widespread use over the past three years. Good solid data. Virtually no downtime (1-4 hours of redness). Seventy percent improvement with four treatments on average. No light sensitivity and may be used on any skin type.

Cons: Not covered by insurance ($300-500 per session). Four sessions required on average. Discomfort must be prevented or minimized by using numbing cream (Recticare).

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Alternatives

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There are many more conventional options to the above light based treatments. All have pros and cons as detailed below. Any of our dermatologists may offer these treatments.

Topical medications
Pros: Very safe and often effective. May be used in conjunction with laser therapy as maintenance.
Cons: May cause skin irritation. Long term therapy required for maintenance.

Oral antibiotics
Pros: May be helpful in inflamed or cystic acne.
Cons: Side effects include upset stomach, headache, diarrhea, allergic reaction, pigmentation changes. Long term therapy required for maintenance.

Oral isotretinoin (commonly known as "Accutane")
Pros: High rate of improvement or clearance. Long term results.
Cons: Many potential side effects including: headache, birth defects, depression, dryness, monthly blood testing.