Acne: New Treatment Protocols

IIWAM - International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine is a One-Stop Centre of Excellence in Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine that provides Education, an Online Library & Learning Portal, and Advanced Cosmetic Procedures. IIWAM is destined to be the Future of Aesthetic Medicine.

IIWAM Aesthetic Education (previously known as Aesthetic Academy Asia) provides evidence-based Aesthetic Medical courses with Dual International Certificates for Medical Doctors, Dentists, Nurses & Certified Aestheticians. In a recent article, we spoke about using Botox as a treatment for acne.

(Read the blog here- Treatment of Acne with Botox)

In today’s article, we will help to educate you about the latest treatment protocols for acne in recent times. This is how it works-

About acne

Acne vulgaris is a chronic inflammatory skin disease of the pilosebaceous units, characterized by the formation of comedones, erythematous papules, pustules, and/or nodules (i.e., pseudocysts) that can be accompanied by scarring. Acne is very common among adolescents and young adults but can continue into adulthood.

Latest treatment protocols for acne

Although there are a number of acne treatments available in the market, efforts are underway, to reduce side effects such as skin irritation, dryness, and photosensitivity as well as to improve efficacy via improved formulations and drugs with novel mechanisms of action. Emerging treatments target various points along with acne’s multifactorial pathogenesis. There has been an interest in developing effective acne treatment methods to reduce the side effects such as burning, erythema, and redness as much as possible.

Topical therapies

Topical antimicrobial therapy for acne has shown to be an effective first-line therapy against comedonal and inflammatory acne. These agents have demonstrated, in vivo, anti-inflammatory activity. They reduce microcomedones and mature comedones, promote desquamation of follicular epithelium, and reduce inflammatory and noninflammatory lesions. Various topical medications such as clascoterone, sarecycline, and trifarotene are medically approved with antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. Clascoterone cream, 1%, is a topical androgen receptor inhibitor with a novel mechanism of action for acne treatment. clascoterone cream, 1%, is safe and effective in patients 9 years and older who have facial acne vulgaris. Clascoterone cream, 1%, is under consideration as a first-in- class therapeutic agent for acne treatment, potentially providing an alternative to antibiotics and/or offering an adjunct treatment to existing combination acne therapies, including retinoids. Sarecycline is used to treat moderate to severe acne. This medication belongs to a class of drugs known as tetracycline antibiotics. It is thought to work by slowing or stopping the growth of certain bacteria on the skin. It may also lessen redness and swelling caused by acne lesions.

Trifarotene Cream, 0.005%, sold under the brand of AKLIEF®  is a retinoid indicated for the topical treatment of acne vulgaris in patients 9 years of age and older. AKLIEF Cream is the only topical retinoid that selectively targets retinoic acid receptor (RAR) gamma, the most common RAR found in the skin.

There are a number of benefits of using topical pain creams/gels instead of oral pain relievers in tablet, capsule, or liquid form such as they can be applied locally on the area where pain relief is needed along with the fast onset of action. Though topical treatments helps to treat acne, it does not help with the skin texture, complexion and scars.

 Advanced Aesthetic courses in Skin

Adjunctive therapies

Adjunctive therapy refers to the additional clinical therapy given in addition to the main treatment to maximize its overall effectiveness.

Light and laser-based devices

The use of light-based therapies in the treatment of acne is increasing in today’s time as these procedures are safe, effective, and associated with no or minimal complications when used correctly. According to recent studies, it has been found that narrowband light sources like intense pulsed light (IPL), lasers, and photodynamic therapy (PDT) work well to decrease propionibacterium acne levels and reduce pilosebaceous unit size and function. Specifically, light is absorbed by porphyrins produced naturally within sebaceous follicles by propionibacterium acnes. Porphyrins (coproporphyrin III and protoporphyrin IX) absorb light wavelengths between 400 and 700 nm with 415 nm wavelength within the blue light spectrum being most effectively absorbed.

How do light-based therapies work? Light absorption leads to photo-excitation of porphyrins and subsequent release of singlet oxygen and reactive free radicals that finally exert bactericidal effects on propionibacterium acnes.

Longer wavelengths, such as red light, activate porphyrins less effectively but penetrate deeper into the skin where it may directly target sebaceous glands and exert anti-inflammatory properties by influencing cytokine release from macrophages. Blue light has also been shown to exert anti-inflammatory effects in keratinocytes.

In addition to light-based therapies, the use of ablative lasers such as CO2 and Erbium YAG in acne removal is being popularised once again. Papules, pustules, and nodules respond well to therapy using the 1,550-nm Erbium–Glass laser. These lasers work below the surface skin, stimulating the underlying tissue, encouraging collagen production, and leaving the skin smooth and rejuvenated.

(Also read- Laser Scar Revision Training Courses)

Chemical Peeling

Though chemical peel may seem obsolete when compared to Lasers, it still has a positive role in treating acne. During the chemical peel procedure, a mild chemical is applied over the skin thereby destroying the outer damaged layers and accelerating the overall healing process. Chemical peeling is extremely useful for the treatment of skin lesions as well as acne. Applying these chemical solutions results in controlled exfoliation of the damaged layers of the epidermis, thereby allowing new skin layers to take their place while simultaneously minimizing complications, such as scarring due to acne. The chemical solutions that are applied to the cleaned-up treatment area usually include alpha-hydroxy acids (e.g., glycolic and lactic acid), mandelic acid, or Jessner’s solution. Also, low concentrations of beta-hydroxy salicylic acid or alpha-keto pyruvic acid have also proven to be highly effective for the chemical peeling procedure.

(Also read - Training on Chemical Peel Procedures)

About IIWAM training in acne removal treatment

As always, it is imperative for the practitioner to undergo proper training in facial aesthetics to understand the procedure, the product, and the patient. Equally, he/she must know the benefits, risks, and countermeasures to correct complications. IIWAM also offers an Online Aesthetic Certification programme for Non-Surgical Body Sculpting, Advanced Dermal Filler Training (Restylane, Juvéderm, Teosyal, Bellotero), Advanced Botulinum Toxin Training (Botox, Dysport, Xeomin), Skin Booster Training (Restylane Skin Booster, Profhilo, Rejuran), Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Training, and Threadlift Training (PDO, Aptos, Happy Lift).

At IIWAM, our trainers pay utmost attention to teaching the following subjects in non-surgical acne removal treatment under Advanced Aesthetic courses in Skin.

  • Skin anatomy and physiology

  • How to treat acne and acne scars?

  • New methods & techniques for acne treatment

  • Topical and adjunctive therapies for acne removal

  • Types of lasers or light-based therapies that can be used in acne treatment

  • Risks involved in acne treatment

About IIWAM Aesthetic Education  

At IIWAM, we provide an International Aesthetic Certification program and also Advanced Online Aesthetic Courses for Doctors, Dentists, Nurses, Aestheticians, and Spa Owners in the field of Aesthetic Medicine. Our Institute is based in Malaysia and has international students from the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, and other parts of Asia. With our insignia of “Be Certified, Be Recognized”, we develop knowledgeable, skilled, and confident aesthetic practitioners of international repute. Our Aesthetic training focuses on teaching the principles of Aesthetic procedures before venturing into Aesthetic clinical skills. IIWAM training Programs are a combination of Onsite Training, LIVE Online Webinars, and Online Learning. IIWAM is the first Institute in the World to have its Programs assured by City & Guilds of London and certified by European International University. IIWAM is also a registered CPD Training provider with CPD Standards Office in the UK and by CPD Malaysian Medical Association.

Onboard is our Assoc. Prof Dr. Morthy, the lead trainer, medical director of the International Institute of Wellness & Aesthetic Medicine (IIWAM), formerly known as Aesthetic Academy Asia ( In the Aesthetic part of our Institute, we provide Advanced Aesthetic Medical Procedures that are Safe, Effective, and Affordable, offering a wide range of specialized treatment for All Your Aesthetic Needs.