Miracle Treatment for Acne Scars

Dealing with acne is a battle as is, then you add in the fact that it tends to cause lingering post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and even permanent scars. Kendall Jenner is easily one of the most high-profile people who has openly dealt with acne and all the related scarring, and she also has access to some of the best treatments in the world. One of her go-to treatments is Laser Genesis, which some also refer to as a “laser facial treatment,” but it’s surprisingly accessible.

Whether your end-game is to treat acne and acne scarring or you’re simply curious about how Laser Genesis can up your glow factor, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about the treatment below.

How Does Laser Genesis Work?

In short, Laser Genesis is a non-invasive, non-ablative (doesn’t cause purposeful damage) that gently delivers heat to the dermal (deeper) layer of the skin to regenerate collagen

“The treatment is scientifically proven to improve acne, acne scars, fine lines and wrinkles, and shrink pore size,” a physician assistant and owner of Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Human Performance in Las Vegas, Nevada heather rohrer ,“The heat from the laser kills bacteria on the skin and deep within the skin, which drastically helps diminish active acne while preventing further breakouts. The heat also stimulates collagen production, which is what helps remodel/heal scars and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”

She says that Laser Genesis is recommended for treating the face, neck, and chest which is where it’s most often performed. However, it can also work on other parts of the body to help with scar reduction.

Laser Genesis vs IPL: The Difference!

Laser Genesis and IPL (intense pulsed light) are like sister treatments: similar, but not quite the same. The primary difference is the type of laser that’s used.

“Laser Genesis is a laser that uses a single wavelength of light to target a specific molecule in the skin called a chromophore. On the other hand, IPL uses multiple wavelengths of light so it has multiple targets,” says Dr zain husain, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of New Jersey Dermatology and Aesthetics Center.

When trying to decide between the two, it’s important to consider a few things. First, note that IPL is only safe to use on lighter skin tones. When used on darker complexions, it can potentially cause an over-production of skin pigmentation. Laser Genesis is generally considered safer for all skin types.

Rohrer adds, “What type of treatment you choose also depends on the condition of your skin and the things you want to treat. While IPL is great for rosacea, skin discoloration, and aging skin, Laser Genesis is better for targeting acne, pore size, fine lines, and uneven skin texture and tone. I recommend a thorough consultation with a skin expert to determine which treatment if not both is right for you.”

What a Laser Genesis Treatment Feels Like

When compared to other forms of lasers, Laser Genesis falls on the mild end of the spectrum in terms of causing discomfort. Dr. Husain says that the laser causes a warm sensation versus the sharp stings or “rubber band snaps” that other lasers can create. Before your treatment, you’ll be guided into a calm room where you’ll be instructed to lie on a comfy treatment bed. From there, your face will be cleansed thoroughly.

“I have trained my aestheticians to do an extensive examination of the skin after the cleaning,” says Rohrer. “If the patient has excess dead skin buildup or excess facial hair, they are instructed to perform dermaplaning or microdermabrasion.”

Both of these pre-treatments help the laser penetrate more deeply, which results in a more effective treatment. Once skin is prepped, your treatment will begin

“Laser Genesis is performed by taking a handheld device that is slowly moved back and forth over the skin, gently warming up the dermis. Treatment typically takes around 30 minutes, and most patients enjoy the warm feeling, describing it as ‘warm sunlight’ hitting their face.”

Common Side Effects and Expected Down Time

Given its gentle nature, you can expect minimal downtime and only mild side effects following a Laser Genesis treatment. Dr. Zain says, “There’s often some redness and mild swelling, but the redness usually subsides within a few hours after the treatment for most people. Following your treatment, strict sun protection with a broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential to reduce the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).”

You can resume your normal activities immediately following the treatment, and some people note that they even have a nice, subtle glow afterward.

This Pill Could Finally Get Rid Of Hormonal Acne

Few things are more infuriating than working overtime on your skincare regimen trying to blast acne, only for your efforts to barely pay off (if they even do at all). It’s the same old story over and over again: someone swears by a hack or a product — or you come across an “acne success story” on Insta or Pinterest, you get your hopes up and throw your money and time at said product or hack, and then walk away with little change in your complexion.

Eventually, it feels like there’s nothing left you can do except throw your hands up and erupt in frustration. Guys, so many of us have been there. We’ve been there. In my late 20s, I suddenly started developing a smattering of acne across my jawline and on my cheeks and absolutely nothing worked.

I smeared weird DIY pastes on my skin, swapped out my entire skincare regimen, and applied way too many abrasive acne treatments. It took me years — AKA way too long — before I decided to hit up a dermatologist, who immediately prescribed a little hormonal acne pill called Spironolactone (also referred to as Aldactone). That pill changed everything for me.

Today, with dermatologist insight, we’re answering all your Q’s on what so many people have dubbed the “miracle hormonal acne pill” to see if it could change everything for you, too.

What Is Spironolactone? And How Can It Help Treat Hormonal Acne? 

In the same way that Latisse (the serum that grows lashes) was accidental discovery when glaucoma patients suddenly started walking around with Disney-esque eyelashes, the original use for Spironolactone had nothing to do with hormonal acne.

“Spironolactone is traditionally considered a cardiovascular drug. [In short], it prevents your body from absorbing too much salt and keeps your potassium levels from getting too low, and is used to treat heart failure, high blood pressure, or low potassium levels,” explains Dr. Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City. “When used [to treat these disorders], a side effect was that it had an anti-androgen effect.”

In other words, the pill notably reduced the production of male hormones, including testosterone, which is linked to hormonal acne. This concept led to Spironolactone’s use for hormonal acne in women.

Can Anyone Use Spironolactone To Treat Hormonal Acne?

As you probably gathered, Spironolactone specifically treats hormonal acne in women. That means the ideal candidate is an adult female who’s dealing with a hormonal imbalance.

But what does hormonal acne look like, exactly? Dr. King says, “Hormonal acne primarily consists of cystic acne  [the large, tender bumps that seem to dwell under the surface of your skin]  that affects the lower part of the face and neck, and it usually flares cyclically with the menstrual cycle.”

Spironolactone shouldn’t be taken if you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant since it directly affects your hormones. In fact, you need to be off it for at least a month before getting pregnant, notes Dr. Linkner. It should also be avoided if you’ve been diagnosed with renal insufficiency, abnormal uterine bleeding, or an estrogen-dependent malignancy. Finally, it shouldn’t be mixed with certain drugs since the combo could potentially lead to potassium levels that are unhealthily low.

How Long Will It Take For Spironolactone To Treat Hormonal Acne? 

“Once you are taking spironolactone, it takes one to two months to see the full effects,” says Dr. Linkner. “I see my patients back one month after they started taking the pill in order to check their bloodwork for electrolyte changes and also to see if their dose needs to be increased.”

Though one to two months is the norm, some people say they experience a notable difference within as little as a few weeks after starting to take spironolactone for their hormonal acne. Others may have to take the pill for up to six months before they see the full results, and dermatologists recommend sticking with it for at least that long in order to give it a fair shake.

You do also need to continue taking spironolactone to reap the benefits, and regular blood checks are necessary to keep an eye on your potassium levels (although only two to four times a year).

Speaking from my own personal experience, I saw a reduction in my own acne within the first two weeks of taking the pill. To say that I was overjoyed was an understatement. It felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders every time I looked in the mirror  like I was free from the confines of something I couldn’t ever seem to get a handle on.

I’m not the only one who’s reaped the reward of spironolactone, either. Dr. King says, “This medication has literally been described as life-changing by many of my adult acne female patients who had tried numerous non-hormonal treatments for acne with unimpressive results.”

If you’ve tried every wacky hack and have thrown way too much cash at topical acne treatments that don’t work, it’s totally worth hitting up your dermatologist about spironolactone for at least a consultation. Who knows? This little hormonal acne pill could be the solution you’ve been waiting for.

Let us know if you’ve tried spironolactone in the comments below.