Acne treatment

Acne Treatment

Did you know that human skin consists of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis, and the subcutis. Did you also know that the epidermis, which is the upper level of skin, are constantly replacing themselves every 27 to 28 days. This shedding process as the most superficial cells are replaced by new ones is called exfoliation. Normally the most superficial dead cell collect in the skin pores, then slowly rise to the surface of the opening and eventually shed away from the skin. Sebaceous glands attached to the pores produce natural body oil called sebum which help to prevent skin cells from drying out. The renewal process of the epidermis along with the protective mechanism of sebum oil can sometimes breakdown and create acne from three root causes:

1. Sebaceous glands become hyperactive causing excess sebum oil build up
2. Which in turn can cause the shedding dead cells to clump together and plug up the pores
3. Bacteria in and around the blocked pores called Propionibacterium acnes can enter and infect the clogged pores by multiplying rapidly, eventually leading to pimples and pustules associated with acne breakouts.

In many instances, acne break outs will result in certain degree of discomfort and pustule formation, causing many to attempt to squeeze the content, which can in turn create further injury to the skin and ultimately greater degree of blemish to deal with, often for weeks to months after the acute inflammation have subsided.

There are two categories of acne treatment that Dr. Kang provides.

I. First category is treating patients experiencing active acne breakouts.
II. Second category is treating patients with less acne breakouts but suffering from persistent discoloration and acne scars.

I. Treating patients with ‘active acne breakouts‘:

The cause of active acne breakouts is always multifactorial including
– genetical predisposition,
– hormonal, and
– environmental.
We usually recommend that patients initially undergo a comprehensive diagnostic work up with their dermatologist and treatment as necessary using the various topical and oral medications available. However for patients:
– continuing to suffer active breakouts despite topical and oral medications,
– for those who no longer wish to be on a cookie-cutter regimen creating excessive drying of skin from topical solutions and side-effects associated with long-term oral antibiotics,
– for those suffering from life-long acne breakouts or adult-onset acne breakouts,
we provide a comprehensive regimen of skin care treatments that attempt to treat the active acne breakouts from all ‘three root cause’ perspectives using a combination of
1. medical grade facial treatments and
2. various combination of lasers.

Medical facial treatment includes:

1. deep pore cleansing using either Microdermabrasion or HydraFacial followed by
2. gentle extraction and face calming treatments, and
3. finishing up with Blu light photodynamic therapy which reduces the bacterial load causing the acne breakout.

Patients are usually placed on an intense regimen every two weeks for the first five sessions and monthly thereafter for another five sessions. Thereafter, Dr. Kang and staff will re-evaluate and recommend best interval options to keep your skin healthy and looking its best.

For the past 20 years Dr. Kang has been providing this comprehensive medical grade facial treatment consisting of:
1: gentle exfoliation of the outer-most dead layer of the skin called the stratum corneum using Hydrofacial or Microdermabrasion followed by
2. unclogging of the blocked pores, and finishing up with
3. use of the blue light therapy to reduce the bacterial load.

This comprehensive facial treatment have proven to be extremely effective; and, in many instances, the only treatment modality needed for many of our patients who are acne prone. The truth is, even if you are not acne prone, periodic medical grade facial treatment is probably the best way to keep your skin optimally healthy and looking its best.

At the end of 5 intense facial treatments, patients are re-evaluated and given the option of adding laser therapy to their regimen.

Acne laser treatments work by targeting the two remaining root causes of acne which are the
1. overproduction of oil and
2. bacteria in your skin.

While skin calming component of the facial treatment help with overproduction of oil and blue light therapy with controlling the bacterial load, laser therapy treats these two root causes at a whole new level of efficacy.

In our practice for the past 15 years, we have been using Sciton 1319 laser to
1. effectively shrink down the sebaceous glands and at the same time
2. kill the common bacteria which cause the acne breakouts.

In addition the Sciton 1319 has proven to be one of the golden standard of laser treatments for stimulating new collagen to minimize acne scarring as well as to improve old acne scars.

In addition, at the same setting, we use Sciton BBL with 590 filter to provide “acne photo facial” to hasten the clearing of uneven tone and blemishes associated with acne as well as tone down persistent post inflammatory pigmentation issues seen in acne patients with darker complexion.

Dr. Kang usually recommends 4 sessions every 3 to 4 weeks to see the optimal benefit. The range of power settings are always individualized by Dr. Kang to minimize the down time as the last thing that acne prone patient want is more red and blotchiness from laser therapy, even if they are transient at best. The best part is that the Sciton 1319/BBL therapy can be safely used in patients from the light to darker skin color, all year long.

Hollywood peel

As an alternative regimen, we also offer patented Lutronic Spectra Peel (better known as the Hollywood peel) using dual pulse mode technology.
1. Carbon lotion is applied onto the skin and allowed to seep deep into the pores.
2. The laser is applied in Spectra Mode to gently heat the carbon lotion.
3. The laser is then applied in Q switch mode to effectively vaporize the dried carbon lotion deep in the pores.

This patented dual pulse Spectra Peel will:
1. reduce the sebum production,
2. exfoliate the stratum corneum,
3. improve the blemishes, and
4.stimulate collagen regeneration.

By the end of four to five laser sessions, many patients see reduction in active acne and improved acne scars. The added benefit is that as the skin tone softens and skin texture improves, many patients will also note reduction in pore size and improvement of fine lines and wrinkles, ultimately resulting in a clearer, younger looking skin.

Conversely, for many patients who embark on 4 to 5 sessions of Hollywood Spectra Peel for fine lines and a greater glow to their skin, they note less “nuisance” acne breakouts often triggered by stress and hormonal surges. Lutronic Spectra Hollywood Peel can also be safely used in patients from the light to darker skin color, all year long.

II. The second category is treating patient ‘suffering from acne scars and discoloration‘:

For many patients, acne presenting as whiteheads, blackheads, or superficial pustules will not result in any significant residual scars. But for many patients experiencing the deeper nodules, papules, and cystic type of acne lesions, a greater chance exist for permanent acne scar formation during the repair process once the acute inflammation have resolved.
The scars will result in textural changes in forms of either “indented” areas (atrophic scars from not enough collagen formation) which is more commonly seen than “raised” areas (hypertrophic scar or keloid due to excess collagen formation). Atrophic scars usually have the appearance of rolling, boxcar, or ice-pick textural changes.

Rolling acne scars tend to be shallower with softer and smoother shoulders like a saucer shape, and respond better to laser therapy then other types of atrophic acne scars.

From this reading, we hope that you understand:

1. why you have acne breakout
2. The three root causes of acne breakouts
3. Various proven treatment protocols to reduce the acne break outs as well reduce the appearance of acne scars and associated discoloration.


When you come in for consultation, Dr. Kang and his support team will carefully evaluate your acne related conditions and recommend the best treatment plan individualized to your needs based on all the factors discussed above.