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Cystic acne is the worst form of acne that causes painful bumps and scarring for sufferers. For the last 30 years or so, treatment has involved chemical peels and drugs like Accutane, which carry scary side effects such as birth defects.

Fortunately, at the beginning of 2022, a new breakthrough treatment for acne sufferers was approved by the FDA. This new treatment carries very few side effects and has been proven to work on all skin types, types of acne, skin colors, and ages. With treatments lasting only 30 minutes and carrying no downtime, the new AviClear treatment is set to rock the acne treatment world.

For those of you in a rush, we recommend looking into AviClear. For those that want a bit more information, we have created this article to explain what the best current treatments are and who is suitable for them.

At Xanadu Med Spa, Fort Collins, as industry leaders, we are proud to have received one of the only AviClear machines currently in the country, and we are the only med spa in the Northern Colorado area to offer this breakthrough treatment.

Get in touch today with one of our skilled estheticians today to discuss your needs, and we can discuss the procedure and create a plan of action.

Acne – Public Enemy Number 1

Acne is a skin condition suffered by over 50 million people in the United States alone, making it the number one skin issue for Americans. Past cystic acne treatments, such as oral medication, have seen varying levels of success. Some of them would not work on certain skin types, some come with nasty side effects, and for some unfortunate people, no treatment on the market has, so far, managed to help them with their condition.

AviClear is set to change that. With clinical studies showing massive improvements in severity and number of breakouts and working on every skin tone and type with no side effects, the landscape is finally changing.

What is Acne?

Acne is a skin condition caused by blocked hair follicles. In acne sufferers, sebum, which is an oil produced in your skin cells, plugs up your hair follicles. This is often because they are overactive and are producing more than they should due to hormone changes.

When hair follicles are clogged, it can lead to dead skin cells and bacteria building up, leading to spots, blackheads, or pimples.

As teenagers and middle-aged men and women go through the most hormonal changes, they are the most likely to suffer from acne, but there are other causes too.


There are four factors that are believed to be the cause of Acne:

  • Excess oil (sebum) production
  • Hair follicles are clogged by oil and dead skin cells
  • Bacteria
  • Inflammation

The areas of skin that cover the chest, face, upper back, and forehead have a lot of sebum-producing glands, and this means they are the areas where people generally suffer from acne breakouts.

When these glands produce too much sebum, they can bulge your hair follicle wall, and this produces a white head. With enough pressure, the skin is broken, leaving an open pore that can fill with oil and skin cells, resulting in a blackhead.

Certain things may trigger or worsen acne:

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes are one of the main reasons why acne develops, and this is why teenagers are so prone to suffering. During puberty, sebum glands enlarge and become overactive, and this means sebum production spikes.

Other common sufferers are women going through menopause, as they are also going through massive hormonal changes.

Treating Cystic Acne Option 1 – Our Top Recommendation – AviClear

So what are the most effective cystic acne treatments?

Well, with all of the current literature and studies, and after speaking to both physicians and long-term acne sufferers, the AviClear treatment seems to be the best treatment on the market currently.

This is due to its strong, immediate results, low side effects, and ability to work on all skin types, colors, and ages.

How Does AviClear Work?

AviClear utilizes a cutting-edge laser system that targets sebum glands in the skin. Compared to previous treatments that worked better on lighter skin tones, AviClear is equally effective on all skin types. It can be used to treat mild, moderate, and severe cystic acne.

By targeting the sebum glands, which produce the sebum that causes acne cysts for many individuals, AviClear reduces sebum production. The laser works at a special intensity of 1726n, allowing it to target the sebum glands alone without it affecting anything else.

AviClear treatments last around 30 minutes, and a typical treatment plan requires the patient to undergo one treatment per month for three months. AviClear provides immediate results and begins to clear severe acne after the first treatment, and the results only get stronger each month as you compound the effects. As soon as patients have had one treatment, they may notice that a breakout occurs immediately after the treatment, but after several days, this will die down. From this point onwards, breakouts should be less severe and occur less often.

Compared to the harsher treatments of the past, like antibiotics, chemical peels and steroid injections, AviClear has been designed from the ground up to combat and prevent cystic acne without the patient suffering unwanted side effects.

How Long Do AviClear Results Last? 

In clinical studies, AviClear showed two major benefits.

The main benefit of AviClear is the results that it provides. Patients undergoing AviClear treatment see an immediate reduction in breakouts and an immediate reduction in their severity when they do breakout.

In the clinical studies, 80% of patients who underwent AviClear treatment reported a 50% reduction in their acne breakouts and severity. 90% of the group reported that after one month, they were extremely happy with the results.

Furthermore, 90% of the group reported further improvements each month over the 3-month treatment, and at the 6-month, they reported an even bigger improvement.

This shows that AviClear treatment not only works immediately, but the results get even stronger and last for a long period.

The second benefit is the success rate of AviClear. Many cystic acne sufferers have gone through the whole list of treatment options, suffering the side effects of each as they go without seeing any improvement in their acne at all. In a clinical study involving patients who had seen no success from other treatments, patients reported that AviClear was “miraculous,” providing strong results to acne sufferers who believed it was hopeless.

Who’s a Candidate for AviClear?

AviClear has FDA approval and is clinically proven to work safely on all skin types. During testing to gain FDA approval, rigorous testing was carried out to ensure that AviClear is in fact as safe as it claims.

Many of the other traditional treatments were unable to target the sebum without targeting the melanin found in darker skin tones. AviClear, on the other hand, utilizes the most up-to-date laser system, capable of precision that was not possible in the past. It actively targets the sebum glands while having no effect on melanin. This means that those with darker skin tones can see incredible results from AviClear, something that was not previously possible with other treatments.

Following AviClear treatment, as long as a healthy diet and skin routine are followed, patients can expect to maintain their results for a long period of time without any side effects. This means that parents of teenagers suffering from cystic acne now have options that carry no side effects. Compared to chemical peels and Accutane, this is a blessing.

Finally, if you are one of the individuals who has suffered from acne for a long time and have tried all of the treatments on the market, yet you have had no success, AviClear is the perfect choice for you.

Are There any Risks or Side Effects to AviClear?

During the AviClear treatment, which lasts around 30 minutes, the laser system that is used may create some strange sensations on the skin. Most patients liken it to that of someone snapping a rubber band on your skin. Not painful, simply strange.

This is unlike most painful laser treatments because the AviClear system utilizes a new cooling technology that detects the heat of your skin and adjusts the laser to either cool or heat, resulting in a more comfortable experience.

After the treatment has been given, there are no side effects, and as the whole process is pain-free and non-invasive, there is no need for any downtime. Many of our clients come in for treatment on their lunch break and return to work afterward.

The only notable side effect is that some patients may notice they suffer an acne breakout in the days following the treatment, this is perfectly normal, and once it dies down, you should begin to notice that your breakouts occur less often and are less severe than normal. The second and third treatments do not inhibit this response in most patients,

How to Treat Cystic Acne

Cystic acne, in particular, is a more severe form of acne based upon inflammation of the hair follicle walls. The pimples caused by cystic acne are painful and occur deep within the victim’s skin. Cystic acne is caused by a type of bacteria that lies in the pores under the skin and is less to do with sebum production, although cystic acne can be caused by that too.

Cystic acne is the worst version of acne in terms of pain, and the pimples can also lead to severe scarring. It is also the hardest form of acne to treat, with many patients going through every treatment without seeing any notable results. Cystic acne treatment in the past has involved taking oral antibiotics, prescription-strength topical creams, and topical Benzoyl peroxide.

Using these forms of treatment can take a long time before any results can be seen, and they carry a long list of nasty side effects. While the treatment is often not effective, the side effects are usually prevalent.

Thankfully, AviClear is effective on all forms of acne, including cystic acne, making it the perfect treatment for cystic acne sufferers. With the low chance of side effects and strong immediate results, cystic acne sufferers see incredible results from AviClear treatment, results they did not think were possible beforehand.

How to Treat Teen Acne

Teenage acne often clears up on its own as teenagers proceed through puberty but for the teenagers themselves, waiting this long may not seem like an appealing option. For parents, however, it is normal to be concerned about the side effects of treatment.

Most teenagers will go through some form of acne, ranging from oily skin to serious breakouts. Those with acne-prone skin may suffer the worst, but the spots and pimples rarely pose any health risk, besides the mental trauma it causes in teenagers during this difficult time of their lives.

Teenagers generally begin to suffer from acne as they begin puberty, as hair is growing and oil production is in overdrive. To combat this, teenagers may use dodgy products, chemical peels or cover them over with cheap makeup. This usually exacerbates the acne and makes it worse.

In an attempt to cover up pimples, teenagers may squeeze spots, and this often makes the acne worse or leads to acne scars.

If you are worried about your teenager’s acne and want to discuss an effective treatment plan, we recommend calling one of our estheticians and/or a dermatologist so a plan can be created.

However, traditional treatments come with a range of problems, and many of them are unreliable. This is why we recommend trying AviClear as your first or last resort, as, fortunately, we can also treat Cystic acne with AviClear.

Some common teen acne treatments include:

Topical Treatments

Retinoids and Retinoid-like Drugs

Retinoids contain retinoic acid or tretinoin as their main ingredients. These topicals are prescribed for severe acne and usually come as a cream or gel that is applied to the area.

To use these products, the individual usually applies the topicals in the evening 2-3 times a week before the skin gets used to them. At that point, you can proceed to apply them daily. These drugs work to unclog pores and block hair follicles.

Using these topicals can increase your risk to the sun’s rays and will likely lead to some dry skin.

Azelaic Acid and Salicylic Acid

Topicals containing Azelaic acid and Salicylic acid can also be used. These acids are created using a yeast that contains special antibacterial properties. Used twice a day in a wash-off product, they may plug hair follicles and provide some relief.

There are studies documenting their effectiveness to be sub-par, however.

Unproven Topicals

While some websites and articles suggest zinc, sulfur, nicotinamide, sodium and aluminum, there are no studies or strong evidence to support these claims so avoid them.

Oral Medications

Antibiotics for Acne Vulgaris

For those that are suffering from severe acne, antibiotics that are taken orally may be prescribed to reduce the bacteria that may be in excess in the body. Taking oral antibiotics can reduce the clogged pores responsible for a lot of acne.

The first line of antibiotics that may be prescribed is tetracycline, but a macrolide may be given to children under eight and pregnant women.

When patients are prescribed antibiotics, care should be taken to ensure they are on them for as short a term as possible, or there is a risk of antibiotic resistance.

To combat this, some physicians will combine these antibiotics with other drugs, the main one being benzoyl peroxide.

Combined Oral Contraceptives

The FDA has approved four contraceptives that can be used to treat acne as long as the woman also wants contraception.

These contraceptives often combine estrogen and progestin to reduce acne. After several months patients may begin to see strong results, but short-term drugs may be prescribed upfront so patients do not need to wait this long.

There are some common side effects suffered by those on this treatment, including weight gain, tender breasts, and nausea. They also increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer and cervical cancer.

Anti-androgen agents

If prescribed oral antibiotics are not working, some women may be able to use Aldactone to block their androgenic hormones. For some, this can prevent sebum production, but it can have some nasty side effects, the main one being painful periods.

Isotretinoin (Accutane)

Accutane is one of the strongest treatments that have been used traditionally over the past 30 years. Accutane is a derivative of vitamin A and can be used to treat severe acne. It does have strong effects, but the side effect list is long and full of nasty side effects.

These potential side effects include inflammatory bowel disease, depression, and severe birth defects.

All people receiving isotretinoin must participate in an FDA-approved risk management program.


Light Therapy

Light therapy, such as red light therapy or UV exposure, can reduce acne symptoms in mild to moderate sufferers. Red light therapy may increase the body’s natural ability to heal.

Both treatments need further clinical studies to confirm these results, however.

Drainage and extraction

Physicians may remove your blackheads and whiteheads using a specialized tool if they have not cleared up using medication. While this may remove them, it can also cause scarring, so it should not be undertaken lightly.

Steroid Injection

Steroid injections may reduce pain and provide rapid relief from symptoms, but there are a number of side effects, such as skin thinning and discolorations of the skin.

Accutane Vs. AviClear

Previously, Accutane was one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for severe acne. If patients did not see any relief or success in other treatments, Accutane was the next step for most sufferers. Accutane carries a long list of terrifying side effects, making it a choice that many sufferers struggle to make.

Common side effects include dry skin, vision issues, dry eyes, chapped lips, back pain, and joint pain, while the most severe side effects include inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease, severe birth defects, miscarriage, and mental health conditions, including depression and suicidal thoughts.

When looking at that list of side effects, it is easy to see why so many patients refused treatment.

AviClear treatment provides results that are similar or stronger in strength and effectiveness to Accutane but has none of the long lists of nasty side effects.

Why Choose Xanadu Med Spa For Acne Treatments

For those suffering from severe, moderate, or even mild acne in the Northern Colorado area, we recommend visiting Xanadu Med Spa, Fort Collins. We are one of the only med spas in the country to gain access to the AviClear device, and we are excited to help our long list of happy customers experience the amazing benefits the AviClear treatment can provide.

Our media spa utilizes only the finest cutting-edge technologies, and our estheticians are the best in the business. Combining these results in a med spa experience that is, quite simply, unrivaled by any of our competitors.

Our list of treatments include:

  • The new AviClear Acne Treatment
  • Anti-aging treatment
  • Skin rejuvenation
  • Coolsculpting
  • Body contouring
  • Botox
  • The new Alma Ted hair restoration treatment

Age, gender, skin type, none of it matters; if you want to obtain outer beauty that matches your inner beauty, we are ready to help.

We offer all clients a comprehensive skin consultation. In this meeting, a skilled esthetician will evaluate your skin and ask you what you wish to achieve. They will then use their extensive knowledge to design a treatment plan that achieves those goals.

Top 50 Company To Watch – Silicon Review

Recognized by the Silicon Review as a top 50 company to watch, Xanadu is proud to be one of the country’s industry leaders when it comes to groundbreaking new treatments. We are committed to exploring new science and offering cutting-edge treatment to our loyal clients.

We are one of the first med spas across the United States to offer AviClear and the first in the Northern Colorado area.

Call us today to speak to one of our skilled estheticians and book a consultation at 970-591-7919.