If you struggle with cystic acne, then you have undeniably heard of Accutane and may have even been recommended this drug for treatment. If that medication isn’t for you, then you need to consider AviClear – a non-invasive treatment that is better than Accutane, an acne dermatologist in DC claims!
Why Is Accutane So Problematic?
Accutane is the brand name for a drug called isotretinoin, a derivative of vitamin A that belongs to a drug class called retinoids. It is a commonly prescribed medication that is used to treat cystic acne. In particular Accutane is used to treat severe cases that haven’t responded to other treatments.
Accutane works by decreasing sebum production. Sebum is an oily substance that the skin naturally produces from your sebaceous glands, helping to moisturize and protect the skin. When you produce too much sebum, however, it can clog your pores and lead to acne.
While isotretinoin isn’t the most problematic option for acne treatment, it certainly has its disadvantages and limitations that equally as effective treatments don’t. While taking this medication, it can cause unpleasant side effects such as:
- Birth defects
- Dry and/or peeling skin and lips
- Dry and/or sensitive eyes
- Hair thinning
- Muscle and joint pain
- Severe skin rashes
- Stomach or liver problems
Why Does an Acne Dermatologist in DC Say AviClear Is a Better Option?
Even though Accutane is an effective, proven way to treat cystic acne, it has many caveats and potential complications that make it unsuitable or even unsafe for many patients. If you are one of these people, then it’s recommended that you try AviClear instead.
AviClear is an FDA-approved laser treatment that is the first of its kind to reduce existing acne while making future breakouts less frequent, shorter in length, and less intense. It may even reduce potential breakouts entirely for some patients.
Additionally, it uses a 1726 nanometer wavelength laser to precisely target and carefully heat your sebaceous glands. This decreases the natural production of sebum in a different way than Accutane, but with the same goal. It is safe for all skin tones and can treat multiple types of acne for patients of all ages.
Does AviClear Hurt? What Happens During a Session?
The standard AviClear appointment is fast, easy, and relatively painless. Most people complete their in-office sessions in about 30 minutes. There may be some discomfort during your session. Howevertit is incredibly tolerable and likened to the sensation of a rubber band snapping against your skin – more annoying than painful.
Additionally, the innovative AviClear device is equipped with a built-in cooling system. This helps to reduce discomfort from bursts of heat and protect the surrounding skin from overheating.
If pain is a concern for you or you have a low tolerance, talk with your dermatologist about ways to make the procedure more comfortable for you.
All patients are recommended to undergo a series of three treatments spaced four weeks apart for best results. Future maintenance sessions may be recommended. These sessions usually occur a year or two after your last appointment.
You should notice a significant improvement in your acne and skin as a whole within three to four weeks of your final AviClear session. Your skin will continue to improve over time. Because of this, you should experience clearer skin with easily managed acne for at least two years.
It is not unusual to experience an acne flareup after each treatment. In fact, this is pretty standard for virtually all acne treatments (including Accutane) due to a natural purging effect. It typically resolves on its own quickly.
What Is Aftercare Like? Is AviClear as Restrictive as Accutane?
After your session, you are likely to experience changes in your skin and experience swelling, redness, and/or inflammation for the first two to three days. These side effects are often mild and resolve without any necessary treatment.
The only requirement for aftercare is that you wear broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or above when going outdoors. Your skin becomes photosensitive after laser-based procedures. Therefore, it’s especially important to practice sun safety daily, even on rainy or cloudy days when the sun isn’t out.
Isotretinoin requires you to use two specific forms of birth control and join a special program called iPLEDGE. However, with Aviclear, you are not required to take birth control. There are no known birth defects that can occur for pregnant or nursing women. However, it is still not recommended.
You are still allowed to donate blood, drive safely at night without impaired night vision, and experience significantly fewer limitations as a whole compared to Accutane.
How Much Does AviClear Cost?
It is true that AviClear is an investment, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Investing in your skin for long-lasting acne relief is worth it for many patients. Especially if you experience severe, painful, and/or cystic acne.
Most providers charge anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 for three sessions. Unfortunately, health insurance doesn’t currently cover the treatment. So, talk with your doctor about payment plans.
For Clear Skin, the Choice Is Clear – AviClear From DC Derm Docs!
Our dedicated team of board-certified dermatologists at DC Derm Docs is here to help you take control of your acne with state-of-the-art treatments like AviClear!
Contact us at 202-822-9591 to schedule your consultation and learn more about why not just one acne dermatologist in DC but many recommend this drug-free alternative to Accutane!