By Michelle Villett
Dr. Lisa Kellett is a dermatologist and medical director of DLK on Avenue in Toronto.
The causes “Acne is caused by many factors, including clogged pores, hormones, bacteria and inappropriate skin care and cosmetics products.”
Her go-to remedy “The best treatment is photodynamic therapy, using Levulan – a topical photosensitizing drug – in conjunction with light. It’s ideal for patients who have tried the standard topical treatments but still have acne.
It also works faster than most other treatment, so it’s great for people who want to see results as soon as possible. Levulan is prepared as a liquid and applied to the entire treatment area. It requires an incubation time of one or two hours, after which it is activated with a specific wavelength of light. The standard light to use is Blu-U or Lumenis One technology. The number of treatments needed varies among patients, but sometimes results are seen with just one or two treatment. Most patients see a marked improvement in acne – some of which permanent – but if maintenance is needed, we do two to four treatments a year.”
At home “Depending on the patient, I often prescribe topical agents in addition to phototherapy. A five percent benzoyl peroxide solution in a moisturizing gel base – so you don’t dry out the skin – is a good place to start. With the exception of acne treatment gels, avoid applying any white lotions or creams, and use clear spray sunscreen with an SPF of 30. Using a gel-based exfoliator twice daily is very helpful.”
Biggest mistake “Not seeing a dermatologist for a proper consultation – many people turn to products that make their skin even worse.”