Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Topical Heat for Acne

Topical Heat for Acne

Overview

Acne is a common skin problem that both men and women experience, especially during the teenage years. While several skin creams, face washes and spa treatments aim to decrease acne, most of them take a long time to begin working. Popular facial cleansing systems claim to decrease acne within 30 days. A new option is available, however, that is said to decrease acne in a matter of a few days. Topical heat is being used by people who wish to get rid of acne quickly.

Acne-clearing Devices

New devices that use heat to treat acne are now available for home use. Many of these are small enough to fit in your pocket. USA Today states that acne-clearing devices that use heat typically warm to temperatures as high as 212 degrees. Then, the heated tip of the device is held against the problem area of the skin for a few seconds to a few minutes, depending on the type of device.

Theory

There are several different theories that explain how heat can be used to clear acne. Dr. Robert Conrad, chief operating officer of Therative, a company that manufactures acne-clearing devices, told USA Today that concentrated heat shocks the bacteria on the skin and forces them to retreat to a smaller colony, causing acne to shrink. The Mayo Clinic states that such concentrated heat might be able to kill P. acne bacteria that cause breakouts.

Effectiveness

No independent clinical trials have been conducted regarding the effectiveness of acne-clearing devices. The company which manufactures Zeno brand acne-clearing devices, states that they did a 14-day clinical trial to determine their product's effectiveness. The results of their study indicated that 90 percent of all the blemishes treated with the device faded within 24 hours. Further study regarding the effectiveness of these devices will likely be conducted soon by independent third-party researchers.

Safety

The safety of using heat treatments to decrease acne has not been extensively reviewed by independent third-party researchers. It is possible that holding a heated acne clearing device on your skin for too long could cause burns and peeling of the skin. The Mayo Clinic states that one side effect of using heat to treat acne is the potential for temporary redness in the treated areas.

Cost

Acne-clearing devices that use heat might be effective in decreasing acne, but they are not cheap. USA Today states that acne-clearing devices can cost $100 or more for 6 months of use. The cost of ongoing maintenance should also be factored in, as replacement tips for the devices can cost as much as $25.

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