Struggling with acne can take away from some of life’s most memorable moments. From skipping wedding pictures to not wanting to see friends during an especially bad breakout, acne can get in the way and negatively impact self-confidence. Until recently, options for combatting acne were limited to topical solutions or oral pills with undesirable side effects. Now, AviClear, the first and currently only FDA-cleared device for the treatment of mild to severe acne, is available. “This revolutionary treatment has been proven safe and effective through an extensive clinical trial and provides long-term results for those of all skin types,” says New York dermatologist David Goldberg, MD.
How does AviClear work?
Dr. Goldberg insists that in order to understand how AviClear works, it’s essential to understand the cause of acne. “Acne is caused by an overproduction of sebum by the sebaceous glands,” he explains. “AviClear targets the sebocytes and suppresses sebum production. It selectively targets and down-regulates the sebaceous glands, eliminating acne at the source without the need for prescription medications, topical or oral steroids.”
Boca Raton, FL dermatologist Jeffrey Fromowitz, MD explains that AviClear features a 1726 nm wavelength laser which is what targets the sebaceous glands. He says that by disrupting the integrity of sebaceous glands, they decrease in size and number. This then reduces skin oiliness and subsequently improves acne.
Who is a good candidate for AviClear, and who is not?
One of the most exciting aspects of AviClear is that it can treat mild, moderate and severe acne, which makes many people great candidates. While AviClear is safe for all skin types and tones, Dr. Fromowitz notes that he suggests patients with very dark skin or those that are pregnant or nursing to avoid the treatment.
Do AviClear treatments hurt?
While an AviClear treatment may not feel like a walk in the park, experts assure that it’s not so bad. “The device has integrated skin cooling to make it comfortable and well-tolerated,” says Dr. Fromowitz. Dr. Goldberg explains the “sapphire skin cooling and sensory controls” maintain the skin’s temperature to help patients tolerate the experience better.
There is no anesthesia used during treatment. “No pain mitigation was utilized or required by any clinical study participant, nor were there any reportable events observed during the clinical trial,” says Dr. Goldberg. “I can tell you that my patients thought it was totally tolerable, and every single one of them had all three treatments.”
How many sessions does AviClear involve?
AviClear involves a series of three 30-minute treatments each performed one month apart. “Maintenance can vary, and its launch is still early, but some of the data we have follows patients out to two years, and they have still maintained their results,” says Dr. Fromowitz. “I think this will be individualized, but patients can expect long-term clear skin.”
What kind of results have experts seen in their practice with AviClear?
Dr. Fromowitz says his practice has been surprised by two factors: “How well-tolerated the procedure is and how quickly patients are seeing clearance of their acne.” He adds that they’ve even seen results in patients that would have been candidates for isotretinoin if they had not opted to have AviClear treatments.
“I have patients from the clinical trials done in 2019 who still have clear skin from their initial treatments,” says Dr. Glodberg, who explains that he was part of the original FDA studies that led to approval. “Over 90 percent of people were better three months after the third treatment. We now have six-month results on that group. All are even better at six months after the third treatment.” Dr. Goldberg adds that early nine-month data shows that results are sticking.
What makes AviClear a better alternative to topical products or pills for some people?
“AviClear is great for anyone who suffers from acne and does not want to spend the time going to the dermatologist monthly, going on harsh drugs or having the side effects from being on an oral medication,” says Dr. Goldberg. The treatments target acne at the source, the sebaceous glands, like Accutane. So AviClear functions similarly but without the side effects. Dr. Fromowitz notes that, unlike Accutane, there is no sign-in program, no pregnancy tests and no risk of serious adverse events such as night blindness, increased cholesterol, inflamed gut, thoughts of homicide and dry eyes, lips and skin.
While AviClear may be better for some people, Accutane may prove more beneficial for others. “As with procedures and medications, no one is right for every person,” says Dr. Fromowitz. He notes experts individualize treatment suggestions based on “a whole-patient approach,” taking lifestyle, skin type and concerns into consideration.