Tender, red, and elevated facial pustules and vesicles are seen with active acne. This can be very psychologically distressing especially to young adults. Without treatment, permanent facial scarring can result. Treatment includes topical and systemic antibiotics including tetracycline derivatives as well as Retin A, Accutane, and vitamin A derivatives. While Accutane has demonstrated excellent results, it must be carefully monitored for serious side effects and can cause teratogenic congenital anomalies (birth defects) in children of pregnant mothers taking this medication.
An exciting new alternative to Accutane is now available at the Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center. This new light based treatment using Intense Pulse Light using Levulan (aminolevulonic acid HC1) has shown 50-75% clearance of the acute acne condition. Several treatment sessions are necessary, 1-3 weeks apart, it is however necessary to avoid direct sunlight and use topical sun block. Other treatment options are available as well, including invasive treatments such as Fraxel, laser treatments, or dermabrasion.