PPx, or photopneumatic energy, uses a combination of pneumatic energy (vacuum) and broadband light to successfully treat acne. PPx treatments are not painful and are clinically proven in the treatment of acne. Interestingly, clinical studies, many of which were performed at the Tennessee Clinical Research Center, have demonstrated successes in treating both inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesions. Dr. Gold has written extensively on the us of PPx in dermatology journals and lectures to colleagues around the world on the benefits of this system for treating acne.
The PPx system gently draws the area to be treated into the hand piece with a vacuum. This “pulling” motion brings all of the sebaceous glands closer to the surface of the skin. Light energy is then applied to and absorbed by the bacteria in the sebaceous gland, quickly and effectively destroying it without damaging the surrounding tissue. Pain is minimal and no topical anesthesia is needed for the PPx therapy.
PPx works quickly – most patients note an effect that can be seen within 2-3 days following a therapy. The treatments are virtually painless and most patients respond after a series of treatments – usually 2-4 given every 2-4 weeks.
We have the Isolaz PPx device located in the Laser and Rejuvenation Center, and the Acleara PPx device located at Advanced Aesthetics. Our office is considered one of the pioneers in the use of the Isolaz or PPx system for the treatment of acne.
Is treatment painful?
The procedure is tolerated well by most patients because the laser functions so quickly that only a mild sting is felt. It does not require pre-treatments with topical anesthetics or cooling gels, therefore treatments times are much less than laser or IPL hair removal procedures. In fact, the treatment head of the device is chilled prior to the application of the light which aids in making the treatments easy for our patients.
Are there any possible side effects?
Side effects are extremely rare. Blistering, soft scabbing or redness sometimes occurs at the treatment site but disappears quickly or within a few days. In certain cases, the skin could become slightly lighter or darker. Permanent pigmentary skin changes or scarring can occur, although very rare with this type of therapy.
What are the benefits?
- The FDA has approved this technology for inflammatory and noninflammatory acne
- You experience no down time and can resume regular activities immediately
- Less pain and discomfort compared to other treatment methods
- Large areas can be treated quickly
- Works faster than most conventional therapies, often within 2-3 days
- Chance of scarring and pigmentation changes is minimal