Medication-Free Acne Treatments

Medication-Free Acne Treatments


Cryotherapy has been used as an effective acne treatment for decades. In this process, liquid nitrogen or solid carbon dioxide are most commonly applied at low temperatures to the skin to cool or freeze it. This reduces inflammation or removes a layer of skin along with the acne blemishes, respectively. Cryotherapy may be used in conjunction with other acne therapies. Patients usually experience little to no discomfort when cryospray is used to reduce inflammation of acne lesions. Mild stinging, redness and discomfort of the skin for a short period after a more aggressive cryotherapy treatment may occur.

Laser Acne Treatment

At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we often use the Cynosure Elite MPX 1064 nm Nd:YAG laser to treat acne. Acne treatment with the Nd:YAG laser is a safe, effective and is a well-tolerated procedure that yields long-term results and no side effects. The procedure offers excellent results – significant reduction of acne may be observed after only one treatment with the Nd:YAG laser. Use of the Nd:YAG laser also helps reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne scarring.
Pulse Dye Laser (PDL) and Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) technologies are also available at Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery and are used in specific cases.
The Nd:YAG, PDL and IPL laser treatments target three of the root causes of acne:

  1. By destroying acne bacteria to clear breakouts
  2. By slowing down overactive sebaceous (oil) / follicular glands to prevent future acne breakouts
  3. By reducing inflammation around and within the gland that further contributes to plugging of the gland opening

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)

Photodynamic Therapy is one of the quickest, and most effective ways to control acne and clear the skin.  In photodynamic therapy, a photosensitizing agent (such as Levulan) is applied to the skin. This is a special solution that is activated by a light source, such as an Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser or even natural light. The combination of light with the light-activated solution targets the root causes of acne to effectively destroy them. Photodynamic therapy is effective for resistant, hard-to-treat acne. It can be used for mild to severe acne (treatment is tailored to the severity of the acne) and can provide an effective alternative to Accutane for patients with severe acne with scarring who cannot, or chose not to, take Accutane.

Chemical Peels

Chemical peels can be used alone or, for best results, in conjunction with laser or other light-based treatments. We treat several acne varieties with different types of chemical peels:

  • Glycolic
  • Salicylic
  • Lactic
  • Pumpkin
  • TCA

Chemical peels work by removing the outer layer of skin, including the blocked pores and glands, to reveal the newer, healthier and non-congested skin that lies underneath. In the case of acne, cells in the affected oil glands are “sticky” and don’t shed properly. Pores then become blocked, which leads to the formation of pimples. Chemical peels can help promote normal shedding of the cells so that pores remain open and the frequency of breakouts is reduced.

At Art of SKIN Dermatology, Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, we offer highly customized chemical peels to treat a variety of acne diagnoses, ranging from comedonal (non-inflammatory) to inflammatory.