The first FDA-approved device to treat acne is here, and it’s life-changing

Battling acne can take away some of life’s most memorable moments. From skipping wedding photos to not wanting to see friends during a particularly bad breakout, acne can get in the way and negatively impact self-confidence. Until recently, acne control options were limited to topical solutions or oral pills with unwanted side effects. Now AviClear, the first and currently only FDA-cleared device for the treatment of mild to severe acne, is available. “This breakthrough treatment has been shown to be safe and effective through extensive clinical testing and provides long-term results for all skin types,” says New York dermatologist David Goldberg, MD.

How does AviClear work?

Dr. Goldberg insists that to understand how AviClear works, it is essential to understand the cause of acne. “Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands,” he explains. “AviClear targets sebocytes and suppresses sebum production. It selectively targets and regulates the sebaceous glands, eliminating acne at the source without the need for prescription drugs, topical or oral steroids.

Boca Raton, FL dermatologist Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD explains that AviClear has a 1726 nm wavelength laser that targets the sebaceous glands. He says that by disrupting the integrity of the sebaceous glands, they decrease in size and number. This then reduces the oiliness of the skin and subsequently improves the acne.

Who is a good candidate for AviClear, and who is not?

One of the most exciting things about AviClear is that it can treat mild, moderate, and severe acne, which makes many people great candidates. Although AviClear is safe for all skin types and tones, Dr. Fromowitz notes that he suggests patients with very dark skin or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding avoid the treatment.

Do AviClear treatments hurt?

Although an AviClear treatment might not feel like a walk in the park, experts assure that it’s not that bad. “The device incorporates a skin cooling system to make it comfortable and well tolerated,” says Dr. Fromowitz. Dr. Goldberg explains that “sapphire skin cooling and sensory controls” maintain skin temperature to help patients better tolerate the experience.

There is no anesthesia used during the treatment. “No pain attenuation was used or required by any clinical study participant, and no reportable events were observed during the clinical trial,” says Dr. Goldberg. “I can tell you that my patients thought it was quite tolerable, and every single one of them got all three treatments.”

How many sessions does AviClear involve?

AviClear consists of a series of three treatments of 30 minutes each performed one month apart. “Maintenance can vary and it’s still early inception, but some of the data we have is following patients for up to two years, and they’ve consistently maintained their results,” says Dr. Fromowitz. “I think it will be individualized, but patients can expect clear skin long term.”

What kind of results have the experts seen in their practice with AviClear?

Dr. Fromowitz says his practice was surprised by two factors: “The good tolerability of the procedure and how quickly patients see their acne clearing up.” He adds that they have even seen results in patients who would have been candidates for isotretinoin had they not opted for AviClear treatments.

“I have patients from clinical trials done in 2019 who still have clear skin from their initial treatments,” says Dr. Glodberg, who explains that it was part of the original FDA studies that led to the approval. “Over 90% of people were better three months after the third treatment. We now have six-month results for this group. All are even better six months after the third treatment. Dr. Goldberg adds that early nine-month data shows the results are holding up.

What makes AviClear a better alternative to topical products or pills for some people?

“AviClear is ideal for anyone who suffers from acne and doesn’t want to spend time at the dermatologist every month, taking harsh medications, or having the side effects of oral medication,” says Dr. Goldberg. Treatments target acne at the source, the sebaceous glands, like Accutane. So, AviClear works the same way but without the side effects. Dr. Fromowitz notes that, unlike Accutane, there is no registration program, no pregnancy tests and no risk of serious adverse events such as night blindness, increased cholesterol, inflammation bowel, homicidal thoughts and dry eyes, lips and skin.

While AviClear may be better for some people, Accutane may be more beneficial for others. “As with procedures and medications, no one is right for everyone,” says Dr. Fromowitz. He notes that experts individualize treatment suggestions based on “a whole patient approach,” taking into account lifestyle, skin type and concerns.

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