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Jun 13, 2004
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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=392 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=beautytitle colSpan=2>New Acne Cures</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>
</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=top rowSpan=2></TD><TD class=bodytext vAlign=top>News on three effective treatments

by Erin Verkler</TD></TR><TR><TD vAlign=bottom></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD vAlign=top width=600><TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=600 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD class=bodytext>Too much oil and sebum--the products of overactive oil glands--start the acne spiral by clogging pores. Later, bacteria move in to munch the oil, turning clogged pores into pimples. The usual remedies for oil overproduction, lotions and gland-shrinking medications, don't always work or can have severe side effects. In 2003, the FDA approved a laser treatment that causes temporary heat damage to oil glands, which may reduce the oil supply.

In a study of 27 men with acne on their backs, the Smoothbeam laser therapy cleared up 98 percent of breakouts after four 5-minute treatments. It's also being used to treat moderate acne problems on the face, says Arielle Kauvar, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. The only side effect: Skin turns pink for an hour or two.

Drug-Free Pimple Control

A FDA-approved light treatment for mild to moderate acne is available in dermatology offices, as of April 2003. ClearLight uses high-intensity light to kill Proprionibacterium acnes, the "bug" responsible for acne pimples, bumps, cysts, and redness.

In a study at the State University of New York, 60 percent of acne breakouts cleared up after volunteers got two 10- to 15-minute treatments per week for 4 weeks. Their skin continued to improve for 3 months after the last treatment.

Light therapy may help teens and adults whose acne has become antibiotic-resistant and those who don't want to take antibiotics. If you have severe acne, however, you may still need topical or oral medication to control oil production and pore clogging. ClearLight has no known side effects.

Stop Wrinkles and Acne with One Treatment

Radio frequencies aren't just for radio stations. In one study, 28 people with moderate to severe acne underwent a 30-minute radio-frequency skin procedure using a device called ThermaCool TC. Most had significantly clearer skin, and acne scars became less visible.

ThermaCool TC is FDA-approved for treating wrinkles but, as of 2003, has yet to be cleared for acne. Doctors are not sure how the treatment clears up pimples. They do know that it shrinks the skin to eliminate wrinkles. In the process, it may be shrinking oil glands as well. That would decrease their output of pore-clogging oil and sebum.

Like lasers, ThermaCool TC generates heat under the skin and should be effective. "Radio frequency is a reliable, intense, and sustained form of energy," says Javier Ruiz-Esparza, MD, researcher and president of the International Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons in San Diego.

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