What is Acne?
What is Omnilux™?
How does Omnilux™ work?
Fraxel® Laser Treatments
Acne is one of the misfortunes of adolescence. For some people skinblemishes occur in adult life as well. While not life threatening, acne can leave life-long emotional and physical scars - a reminder of the embarrassment and self-consciousness that came with the pimples. No one wants to get zits.
Approximately 90% of all adolescents and 25% of all adults experience acne at some point in their lives. It's one of the most extensive medical conditions in the world, and is responsible for about 30% of all visits to the dermatologists. Unfortunately, it's not easy to treat. Traditional therapies have a variety of side effects and sometimes require months to work, if they work at all. Topical creams and lotions can cause redness and irritation. Oral antibiotics can cause stomach upset, light sensitivity and yeast infections in women, and studies indicate about 40% of skin bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics, making them a doubtful ally in the fight against skin breakouts.
What is Acne?
Acne is a common, chronic skin condition caused by inflammation of oil-producing sebaceous glands. Acne usually begins between the ages often and thirteen, and persists for five to ten years. Acne breakouts are most common on the face, but they can also occur on the back, shoulders, neck, chest, scalp, upper arms and legs.
Young men and women get acne in equal numbers. Younger males are more prone to severe, longer-lasting forms of the skin condition. Many women suffer from "hormonal acne" - their outbreaks are tied to the hormonal changes related to their menstrual cycle. While hormonal acne typically starts between the ages of 20-25, it can strike teenagers as well. Hormonal acne is sometimes persistent in women in their 30s.
In adolescents, acne breakouts are related to the natural release of androgen hormones, which occur during puberty. Acne can also be caused by the use of harmful, body-building steroid drugs. Humidity and perspiration can also contribute to breakouts. Contrary to earlier belief, acne is not affected by diet or poor hygiene. In fact, over-washing can make an acne flare-up harder to control.
Even though teenagers tend to call any form of a breakout a "zit," acne has more than one symptom. A build-up of P. acnes can cause:
- Blackheads and whiteheads, also known as comedones; comedones are enlarged pores filled with sebum. Blackheads are comedones that have opened onto the skin surface. Whiteheads are comedones that are closed on the surface.
- Pimples, also known as pustules; these inflamed follicles occur when the P. acnes bacteria in the follicle attracts infection-fighting cells. The follicle may rupture, spilling its contents into the surrounding skin, causing further inflammation.
- Nodules and cysts, which are more severe forms of acne that go deeper into the skin, forming firm, deep bumps and swellings; similar to pimples, they result from increased sebum production, which leads to bacterial growth, irritation and redness.
When left untreated, or when "picked at," acne lesions can lead to permanent scarring.
It's Not Your Fault
Acne is not caused by eating chocolate, greasy foods or bad hygiene. It is caused by simply growing up ? puberty and pimples seem to go hand in hand.
People of every ethnic background, nationality, size and shape will probably experience acne during their teen years. During puberty, your body starts producing hormones called androgens that contribute to acne. This is a natural part of human development and, consequently, there's nothing to be done about it. Unfortunately, boys are probably going to have more severe breakouts than girls. This reverses when girls are in their 20s, 30s and 40s, when female acne is more common than that of males.
Where it All Begins
An acne breakout starts in the skin's tiny holes, commonly called pores. It takes about two to three weeks before a blemish shows up on the skin's surface.
Deep within each pore is a sebaceous gland that works to produce sebum, an oil that keeps skin soft and moist. As the skin renews itself, old skin cells die and are shed off. Under the best circumstances this happens evenly and gradually, making way for fresh new skin. But some people shed skin unevenly and as a result, dead cells mix with sebum and clump together to form a sticky plug. This plug traps oil and bacteria inside the pore - the beginning of a blemish. During puberty, hormones accelerate oil-producing sebaceous glands into hyperdrive, putting teen skin at particular risk for acne.
What to Do
First and foremost, don't hesitate to see a dermatologist about your acne. In the meantime, here are some basic skincare tips and advice that can help prevent or ease problems with breakouts:
- Don't overwash or use harsh scrubs. Acne is not caused by dirt. Two gentle washings a day is sufficient. Anything more can leave healthy skin dry and irritated, triggering the glands to produce even more oil. The result being even more pimples.
- Don't use alcohol-based products. Alcohol strips the top layer of the skin and many astringents contain alcohol which can cause dryness and irritation. Again, this can prompt excess oil production and more blemishes.
- Beware of sweat. Working out heats up the body, and perspiration makes the skin an even more attractive environment for acne bacteria to grow. Take a shower as soon as possible after vigorous physical activity.
- Don't squeeze or pick. It's important to adopt a strict "hands off" policy when it comes to acne. Trying to pop pimples on your own can drive acne bacteria deeper into the skin. Picking can lead to more inflammation and permanent scarring.
- Don't let acne define you. Remember that who you are goes beyond the condition of your skin. Smart teens acknowledge the problem, take whatever action they can to deal with it, and then get on with what really matters.
In the U.S. alone, more than $1.4 billion is spent on acne medications and treatments each year. In many instances, the money spent yields less than satisfactory results and causes bothersome or dangerous side effects. Most prescription medications, such as antibiotics, require at least three months of continuous treatment before any improvement can be expected. Often, a second, third or fourth cycle of therapy is needed.
There are numerous non-prescription acne cleansers, astringents, moisturizers and pimple creams available at local drug stores. Some help unplug whiteheads and blackheads while others help encourage the skin to shed. It's important to use all products as directed. Many experts recommend giving over-the-counter products no more than six to eight weeks to work. If there is no improvement in acne during that time period, a dermatologist may be seen to explore other treatment options. Many over-the-counter products are available in stronger "prescription only" formulas.
Prescription Gels, Creams and Lotions
These "prescription only" products help fight acne by killing the bacteria that infect the pores. Sometimes acne may become resistant to the antibiotics, rendering them useless. Side effects can include dry, red skin and an increase in sun sensitivity. Commonly prescribed topical antibiotics include Cleocin T and Azelex.
Oral Antibiotics: These systemic medications affect the entire body and therefore can cause serious side effects. Some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, need to be taken on an empty stomach. Side effects can include nausea and dizziness.
Vitamin A Derivatives: These retinoid medications prevent skin cells from clumping together and encourage shedding. Usually applied once a day, these medications can increase sensitivity to the sun, so it's important that patients use sunscreen. Other side effects can include dryness, redness and irritation. Common Vitamin A derivatives include Retin-A, Differin and Tazorac. One particular retinoid, Accutane, has been shown to cause more serious side effects, including psychological disorders and, in rare cases, birth defects. Sexually active women who take this medication must use contraception during treatment and have monthly lab work performed.
Birth Control Pills: These are prescribed for women who have flare-ups that occur at the same time each month during the menstrual cycle. The pills help control the hormones that prompt oil production in the skin. Women should consult their physician to determine which birth control pills are most appropriate for particular skin conditions.
New Treatment Option: Clearlight™ Acne Therapy
There is a new paradigm for the treatment of acne. It involves a short treatment regimen with impressive results and no side effects, pain or downtime.
ClearLight uses Acne PhotoClearing™ technology to destroy acne-causing bacteria within the skin. Applied in eight treatments over a four week period, most patients see a dramatic decrease in the number and severity of acne lesions; some report significant improvements after only two or three sessions.
What to Expect
During treatment sessions, which last approximately 15 minutes, the patient lies comfortably while the high-intensity ClearLight illuminates the acne. Protective eye wear is used during all treatments. The ClearLight utilizes a unique spectrum of light that causes the acne bacteria to self-destruct, while having no effect on the normal skin. The therapy is suitable to treat all areas of the body, including the back, chest and face. Patients return to normal activities immediately after treatment. The ClearLight was designed to treat mild to moderate inflammatory acne.
ClearLight effectively clears most moderate inflammatory acne within four weeks. Results are especially impressive when compared with conventional treatments, such as topical medicines and oral antibiotics.
What is acne?
Acne is a common chronic skin condition caused by inflammation of oil-producing sebaceous glands. Acne usually begins between the ages of ten and thirteen and persists for five to ten years. Acne is most common on the face, but can also occur on the back, shoulders, neck, chest, scalp, upper arms and legs. Acne develops when the skin cells don't shed properly - they stick together and plug up the pores. This blockage encourages an oil called sebum and a bacteria called p.acnes to build up in the skin pores, leading to inflammation.
Can acne be prevented? How is it treated?
Acne is a fact of life for many adolescents. Approximately 90% of all adolescents and 25% of all adults experience acne at some point in their lives. In adolescents, acne breakouts are related to the natural release of androgen hormones, which occur during puberty. In adult women, acne is often related to the monthly menstrual cycle. Contrary to popular belief, acne is not caused by eating chocolate, greasy foods or bad hygiene. In the U.S. alone, over one billion dollars is spent on acne medications and treatments each year. In many instances, the money spent yields less than satisfactory results, is cumbersome or causes side effects. Conventional treatments include over-the-counter cleansers and lotions, prescription antibiotics, retinoids and hormonal therapies.
What is ClearLight™? How does it work?
The ClearLight system uses a unique high-intensity blue-violet light that activates the bacteria-fighting militia called porphyrins. The porphyrins start a chemical reaction that produces peroxide, which destroys the P. acnes bacteria.
What happens during a ClearLight treatment?
With ClearLight, a typical treatment session requires approximately 15-20 minutes. Patients lie comfortably on a bed while the therapeutic light is applied; sometimes there is a slight warming sensation. ClearLight treatments are described as easy, even relaxing, but most importantly, safe and painless. Patients often listen to music while being treated.
How many ClearLight treatments are required?
Physicians develop treatment plans based on individual patient needs. Typically, ClearLight treatments are given twice a week for four weeks. It is important to keep treatment appointments recommended by the doctor in order to see maximum results.
How effective is ClearLight?
The ClearLight system effectively clears 70%-90% of moderate, inflammatory acne in four weeks. Results are especially impressive when compared with conventional treatments, such as topical creams and oral antibiotics.
Will skin be blemish-free at the end of the ClearLight Treatments?
Though the inflammation will be gone for a majority of patients, some may experience residual redness where the inflamed blemish was located. The redness will dissipate over time.
Are the results permanent?
ClearLight treatments usually help control acne breakouts for four to eight months; after that, occasional touch ups may be necessary.
Is ClearLight safe? Are there any side effects?
ClearLight is one of the safest acne treatments available. The system's blue-violet light penetrates just deep enough into the tissue to reach the acne target, without adversely affecting surrounding skin. ClearLight has no known side effects.
Who can be treated with ClearLight?
Most people can benefit from treatment. ClearLight has proven to be very effective on mild to moderate, inflammatory acne. Pregnant women and people with photo sensitivities should consult with their physician.
Do patients need to prepare their skin before coming in for a treatment?
Yes. The affected area should be washed with a mild acne cleanser, then rinsed with water and dried. Women should remove makeup before treatment sessions, and should only wear oil-free make-up between appointments. Make-up can be re-applied immediately after a treatment session has been concluded.
What type of skincare is needed between treatments?
Patients should consult with their physicians regarding the daily use of a non-irritating, anti-acne cleanser such as salicylic acid. Patients should avoid touching or picking blemishes at all times.
Are ClearLight treatments FDA-cleared?
Yes. The ClearLight system is the first device to receive FDA clearance to market for the safe and effective treatment of moderate inflammatory acne. After eight, regularly spaced treatments, patients show significant improvement with no side effects noted.
Are light-based treatments covered by insurance?
Insurance reimbursement varies from state to state and carrier to carrier. It's best for prospective patients and/or their families to consult with individual carriers for more information.
What is Omnilux™?
Omnilux™ was developed after 12 years of extensive medical research. Omnilux is a new technology based on narrowband Light emitting Diodes (LEDs). Our range of products includes Omnilux blue™, Omnilux revive™, Omnilux plus™, and Omnilux PDT™ for the treatment of a wide range of dermatological conditions including, acne, photodamage, non-melanoma skin cancers, skin rejuvenation, vitiligo and wound healing post elective surgery. Each detachable treatment head delivers pure, optimised, narrowband light via a matrix of LEDs carefully positioned to deliver of light to the treatment area.
The advantages of Omnilux™ therapy:
- Stimulates the bodies own cellular mechanisms by photomodulation
- Not a laser or an IPL so no heat, no side effects or downtime
- Non-invasive, non-ablative safe therapy
- No damage to sub-dermal tissue
- Relaxing and calming experience
- Compatible with existing skin rejuvenation techniques such as Botox™, IPLs, laser resurfacing and cosmetic surgery such as blepharoplasty and breast reduction and augmentation
- Allows treatment of large areas such as the face and chest
Acne is one of the world's most common skin conditions, affecting over 85% of adolescents by the age of 24 years and up to 50% of adults over 25 years of age. Acne is a widespread and upsetting condition. It can produce lifelong physical and emotional scarring.
Acne is NOT caused by bad diet or greasy foods. In fact, acne develops when the sebaceous glands in a person's skin produces excess oil (sebum). This oil combines with cells that line the gland walls and clogs the skin's pores. Normal skin bacteria colonise these pores and the body's response causes the inflammation or reddening of the skin that we associate with acne.
How does Omnilux™ light therapy work?
One of the key bacteria responsible for the inflammation is Propionibacterium acnes or P.acnes. These bacteria produce natural chemicals called poryphyrins, which are sensitive to light at different wavelengths. If stimulated, these chemicals will neutralise the bacteria and with no bacteria present inflammation will subside.
Omnilux blue™ stimulates these chemicals and so eradicates the bacteria that cause the redness or inflammation of acne. This is combined with Omnilux revive™ which has anti inflammatory properties, this helps to minimise the redness of acne lesions and promotes healthier skin.
Omnilux treatments are totally non-invasive and generate no heat. The treatment does not damage normal tissue and works with the body's own natural processes to rejuvenate the skin.
Omnilux is an essential tool as part of an acne management programme. Omnilux™ delivers pure light optimised to deliver the correct wavelength and dose for maximum activation of the target cells.
Combination phototherapy works through the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity of Omnilux blue™ and Omnilux revive™ delivered alternately. Only by delivering the right wavelength in sequence can optimum results be seen.
Activation of coproporphyrin III creates intracellular singlet oxygen - inducing complete bacterial death.
This reduces the bacterial colonisation of the sebaceous gland, returning the gland's abnormally high level of sebum to normal and reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines.
Simultaneously, Omnilux blue™ induces anti-inflammatory cytokines, stimulating specific immunoregulatory pathways.
The intracellular specificity of red light therapy (Omnilux revive™) is well documented and it has long been demonstrated that 633nm offers excellent reduction in inflammatory lesions and is proven to stimulate cellular mechanisms for tissue repair.
What is Omnilux™ light therapy for acne?
Omnilux blue™ is a light source that is specially tuned to activate natural chemicals found in the bacteria that cause skin redness in acne. When stimulated,these chemicals destroy the bacteria. Omnilux revive™ is used in combination with Omnilux blue™. Omnilux revive™ stimulates cells in your body that help with the healing process and reduce the inflammation surrounding the acne lesions.
How safe is the treatment?
Omnilux blue™ and Omnilux revive™ are safe and harmless to your skin and generate no heat. The light works naturally with your body to promote the healing response. The only safety measure is to wear goggles to protect your eyes from the light.
What results can be expected from a series of treatments?
Optimum results will be seen between 4-8 weeks after treatment. The light stimulates natural processes that continue after the treatment has stopped. Whilst studies have shown complete clearance of lesions, on average you should expect 70% of lesions to clear when using blue light alone and over 80% when using blue and red light together. We suggest that the treatment is used in conjunction with a preparation such as salicylic acid. Your advisor can discuss this combination treatment with you.
Are there any side effects from the treatments?
No. There have been no reported adverse side effects like redness or irritation from the treatment, and the light does not damage skin in any way.
Is it painful?
Not at all because there's no heat involved, there's no pain!
What actually happens during the treatment?
You will have to remove any makeup or sunblock before the treatment and you will also be asked to wear safety goggles. The light will then be positioned close to your face and you will be treated for 20 minutes. After that you're free to go home.
Omnilux blue™ in action
The treatment course is usually 8 light treatments. Dependent upon your type of acne, you may be advised to use a face wash and a gel containing salicylic acid. These are both available from the Omnilux range of products and will help with the treatment.
Fraxel® Laser Treatments
Anyone double-burdened with watching their teenage acne turn into adult acne scars knows the profound devastation this circumstance can have on self-esteem and life-outlook. Yet, every bit as profound is the utter transformation - physical and emotional - awaiting those who take advantage of a revolutionary change recently underway in cosmetic health.
Acne scars form wherever acne advances to the point of injuring our tissue. These injuries arise as an inflammatory response to sebaceous follicles becoming plugged with oils, bacteria and dead cells. The result is the formation of a scar - that discolored fibrous tissue with abnormal collagen function that replaces our healthy skin. Successful treatment of a scar requires both the removal of damaged epidermal tissue and the stimulation of new collagen to improve the region's tone and texture.
Traditional approaches - topical agents, abrasion therapies, surgery and conventional lasers - either achieve only moderate results, or else destroy unacceptable amounts of healthy tissue along with the scar. The more effective techniques can also require a great deal of recovery time.
A monumental breakthrough came only recently when the FDA approved Fraxel® Laser Treatment for acne scars after studies showed that the new laser could be far more effective than traditional therapies at both removing damaged tissue and inducing the formation of new collagen.
Fraxel Laser Treatment, with its gentle non-ablative skin rejuvenation and rapid healing time, is now available to people of all skin types for the treatment of acne scars.
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