Acne Treatment in Rochester NY

Having acne can be a cause for concern for millions of people.  Acne can be painful and embarrassing and sometimes doesn’t go away on its own.  In this article, we will go through all of the causes of acne, the treatment options, and further research for acne and similar skin conditions.
before after IPL treatment

Treatments for acne?

There are so many treatments available for people with acne.  Choosing the type of treatment will be a combination of the type of acne and pimples you have along with the dermatologist recommendation.  Below are the available treatments for acne:

Topical medications:


This is usually a very effective ingredient for treating acne. Retinoids can come in many different forms: creams, gels and lotions. Basically, retinoids work by plugging the hair follicle blocking any oil or dead skin cells from clogging the pore. The downside to this type of treatment can make you more sensitive to light (for the entirety of usage).


These treatments will lessen skin bacteria and reducing redness and inflammation. Usually, this treatment is combined with retinoids (to make it more effective). Though most antibiotics are often combined with benzoyl peroxide. Antibiotic resistance is still a possibility with this treatment

Azelaic acid and salicylic acid

This treatment is antibacterial (removing the bacterial found commonly in acne). Though azelaic acid can also be used to manage discoloration that occurs with some types of acne, the side effects include skin redness and minor skin irritation. Salicylic acid help prevent plugged follicles, though studies show its effectiveness is limited. Side effects can include skin discoloration and minor skin irritation.

Oral medications:

Oral contraceptives

These therapies are used to regulate hormone levels usually in women. These hormones help the control of excess oil. Common side effects of combined oral contraceptives are weight gain, breast tenderness and nausea. These drugs are also associated with increased risk of cardiovascular problems, breast cancer and cervical cancer

Anti-androgen agents

Experts might recommend women and adolescent girls take anti-androgen if antibiotics are working. Anti-androgen works by blocking the effect of androgen hormones on the oil-producing glands. Possible side effects include breast tenderness and painful periods.


Light therapy

Intense pulsed light (IPL) has been used for the treatment of facial acne and/or acne reduction in Rochester, NY. Modifications of various parameters allow flexibility in treatment, which include energy fluence, pulse duration, and pulse delay.  Studies show that IPL can be an effective treatment for acne (NCBI).

Chemical peel

This procedure uses repeated applications of a chemical solution, such as salicylic acid, glycolic acid or retinoic acid. This treatment is for mild acne only. The side effects are that It might not improve the appearance of the skin, it can be painful and many treatments might be needed (Mayo Clinic)

Drainage and extraction

Though not recommended as a long term solution for severe acne, this technique will need a doctors trained skills to extract whiteheads and blackheads (comedos) or cysts that haven't cleared up with topical medications. This technique temporarily improves the appearance of your skin, but it might also cause scarring.

Steroid injection

Nodular and cystic lesions can be treated by injecting a steroid drug into them. This therapy has resulted in rapid improvement and decreased pain. Side effects may include skin thinning and discoloration in the treated area (Mayo Clinic)

How does IPL work?

IPL lasers work, with light energy is absorbed into particular target cells with color (chromophores) in the skin. The light energy is converted to heat energy, which causes damage to the specific target area. IPL systems are different from lasers in that they deliver many wavelengths (or colours) in each pulse of light instead of just one wavelength (Dermnet NZ).

More information on IPL

IPL uses light energy to target accurately and remove pigmented or damaged skin cells or hair follicles. Using a handheld device, a medical professional will target multiple wavelengths of light onto the skin. This light heats cells in the skin and breaks them down. The body then removes the damaged tissue naturally. The effectiveness of IPL depends on many things. It works better on white or light brown skin than on black skin, for example. Treatment sessions usually last about 20 minutes. A course of 4-6 sessions every 3-6 weeks may be needed to achieve desired results.



What is the spectrum IPL laser and the ultralight for acne reduction?

The Spectrum IPL laser is an FDA approved machine for medical professionals. There are many different aspects to the Spectrum:

Intense Pulsed Light

The intense pulsed light (IPL) has four filters that technicians can utilize for various non-abrasive procedures, including acne reduction in Rochester, NY, vascular and pigmented lesions removal, and hair reduction.

Erbium Yag | Skin Resurfacing

Erbium is a skin resurfacing procedure for the face, neck, chest, and hands to eliminate surface pigmentation and minimize mild to moderate fine lines and wrinkles. The Erbium treatment requires minimal downtime but helps patients achieve dramatic results (Rohrer Aesthetics).

Cost of IPL laser?

The pricing for IPL (a full face treatment) is $400 for one treatment and $1050 for 3 treatments.

Side effects of IPL

Side effects are usually minor and not long term. Some people experience pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling and if necessary, topical anesthetic).

Will acne go away?

There is a chance that acne will clear up on its own but in a lot of cases (especially with the more severe acne) it wont.  People who are looking to try treatments should be patient.  Giving each treatment at least 4 weeks to work.  This is because skin cells are constantly turning over and most treatments are treating the overlying cause which are build-up of debris, dead skin cells and oils.

When should someone see a dermatologist for acne?

People with any type of acne (severe or not) should consider seeing a dermatologist to treat the overall cause. Experts suggest asking yourself several questions to determine if seeing a dermatologist would be beneficial (you will need to answer yes to at least a couple of questions):

What is the main cause of acne?

Acne is caused when hair follicles are clogged with oils and dead skin cells. When pimples show up for a long period of time, it’s called acne.  People who have acne can get, blackheads, whiteheads, and pimples.  The severity of the acne will depend on the person.

Anatomy of skin

The skin covers the whole body and is the largest organ in the body.  The skin has three layers, the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.  Each of these layers serves a critical function as a barrier to water, invasion by microorganisms, mechanical and chemical trauma, and damage from UV light (Mayo Clinic).

What are the different types of blemishes?

Any person has the potential to get different types of blemishes when they have acne. Here are the different types of pimples:

What is the difference between acne and pimples?

The only difference between acne and pimples are acne is a disease and pimples are the symptoms of the disease.


IPL as a monotherapy showed a beneficial effects in the treatment of facial acne. Burst-pulse mode was better than the single-pulse mode in clearing acne (NCBI).

The red light side showed a better response than the IPL side after the first treatment. Serious adverse effects after treatment were not observed. MAL-PDT with red light and IPL are both effective and safe modality in acne treatment (Wiley Online Library).

The IPL of wavelength of 400-600nm offers effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment of mild to moderate acne lesions in Malaysians with skin types III-IV. The majority of subjects had a fair score on treatment satisfaction. It is recommended that reasonable expectations for clinical results be addressed with patients before hands to prevent over-expectation (The Medical Journal of Malaysia, 2021).

50 questionnaires were available for evaluation. With LAight therapy, the number of surgical interventions per year fell from 3.2 to 0.3 ( p  <0.001). The secondary endpoints also improved significantly: the number of sick days / year due to Ai decreased from 30.4 to 7.2 ( p  = 0.002), and the number of doctor appointments due to Ai relapses decreased from 7.3 to 1.5 ( p  <0.001). Correspondingly, the pain level reported by the patient, the general well-being and the quality of life also improved. (Springer, 2021).

IPL could successfully improve the GAGS scores of acne vulgaris, as well as regulate the equilibrium between C. acnes and S. epidermidis, and inhibit the sebum secretion (Wiley Online Library).


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