Accutane has been in use for more than 22 years.

With most medical treatments, doctors and their patients must evaluate what we call the risk-benefit equation and determine if the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks. When it comes to treating a severe form of acne called cystic acne – a condition that causes nodules that turn into painful cysts – the medication Accutane has triggered some controversy about its risks vs. benefits.

Accutane and SmoothBeam Laser

Accutane and SmoothBeam Laser

Accutane, Before & After

Accutane (Isotretinoin), Before & After

History of Isotretinoin

Accutane (Isotretinoin) has been in use for more than 20 years. “In my experience, Isotretinoin is akin to a miracle drug in treating cystic acne, which is one of the most difficult forms of acne to cure since it resists standard treatments, including oral antibiotics,” states Dr. Timothy Jochen. Accutane not only clears up the disfiguring pimples and cysts, but also helps prevent scarring. And the psychological benefits that patients realize, in terms of increased self-confidence and self-esteem, are immeasurable.

Accutane does have side effects, however. Most common are muscle aches, lip inflammation, drying of the skin and mucous membranes, and skin peeling on eyelids. More serious side effects include changes in cholesterol levels and abnormal liver enzymes. It may also cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy, and may cause depression, leading the FDA to limit its use for the most severe cases of cystic acne.

All of this underscores the importance of carefully selecting and monitoring patients who undergo Isotretinoin treatment – a fundamental tenet of any treatment in our practice. Be assured that your safety is always of paramount importance to us.

Treatment Options for Acne

Chemical Peels

Among the variety of peels we offer, the Glycolic Acid Peel is the most common for those with acne and oily skin. Click here to read about other peels we offer.

A Glycolic Acid Peel is a superficial chemical peel that uses beta hydroxy acid to exfoliate dead and dull cells from the skin’s surface, stimulating a renewal within the skin to bring new, healthy skin to the surface. A Glycolic Acid Peel is also able to penetrate skin follicles, making it a well-suited chemical peel for treating acne, and to minimize the appearance of acne scars, hyperpigmentation and enlarged pores. A Glycolic Acid Peel takes just minutes. No anesthesia is required. Following treatment, the skin may lightly peel for three to five days.

Smoothbeam Laser

The SmoothBeam was specifically designed to target the root cause of acne, the sebaceous gland. It provides the perfect balance of controlled cooling of the epidermis with precise heating of the upper dermis. For patients seeking smoother skin, SmoothBeam helps control acne as well as softens acne scars and softens fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. We offer special student rates for SmoothBeam laser treatments.

Elos™ Laser

If traditional topical or oral therapies for acne haven’t worked for you, or you’d simply like an alternative treatment, The Laser Center at Contour Dermatology is pleased to offer elos™ Acne Treatment. Using a new AC Applicator (the AC stands for “acne clearance”) powered by our elos™ laser system, this treatment uses a specific spectrum of light that targets the bacteria that cause acne.

“When acne-causing bacteria clog pores, it can cause bumpy and inflamed acne lesions,” explains Dr. Jochen. “The AC combines light and gentle radio-frequency energies to ‘zap’ these bacteria. It also reduces the over-production of oil in the sebaceous glands and promotes healing of the skin after an acne break-out.”

AC Applicator treatments are performed twice a week for four to six weeks. Each treatment session takes about 15 minutes, and the sensation is often described as a “hot pinch” that lasts for a fraction of a second, followed by brief warmth or a tingling sensation. The cooling tip of the applicator makes the treatment comfortable – most patients do not use any topical anesthetic. And there’s virtually no downtime – most patients experience some temporary skin redness following treatment, but they can return to regular activities right away.

“Most patients report a noticeable improvement as early as three weeks into the treatment schedule,” Dr. Jochen notes. “This is one of the safest acne treatment systems available, and it’s appropriate for all skin tones and types,” he adds.

We also offer special student rates for the elos™ Laser.

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