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Acne

Our bodies produce a hormone called androgen, which stimulates our sebaceous glands to produce an oily substance called sebum. An overproduction of sebum can block pores, trapping the oil. Skin bacteria (P.acnes) that feed on and break down sebum also become trapped, and the mixture of hair protein, sebum, and fatty acids produced by the bacteria irritate the walls of the hair follicle causing inflammation.

How does Ellipse treatment work?

Ellipse treatment reduces the blood supply to the sebaceous gland, slowing down production of sebum. The light also has the ability to kill some of the P acnes bacteria directly. To do this, short, safe bursts of intense pulsed light (called Ellipse IPL, but often referred to as a laser) are directed at the skin. The system filters the light to ensure the wavelengths used are absorbed by haemoglobin in the fine blood vessels that supply the sebaceous glands.

Can I be treated?

The best results are achieved on inflammatory acne– red, aching, raised pimples. It is important your skin does not have a recent suntan.

How long does an Ellipse treatment take?

It takes approximately 60 flashes to treat the full face. Including consultation and preparation, you should count on 20 minutes in the clinic. A typical course of therapy includes four treatments, three weeks apart.

Do I need to take special precautions before and after treatment?

The light used is completely safe, visible light, so no special precautions are necessary. Ellipse acne treatment is a combination therapy, so in the clinic you will be given a tube of adapalene cream or gel (in most countries branded Differin®) to apply once every evening to the acne-affected area. Adapalene works by reducing the inflammation caused by acne, and by reducing (normalising) the thickness of the skin in the treated area. You will learn more from the doctor who will prescribe adapalene. Generally, no special care is necessary after treatment, but people with sensitive skin may benefit from applying a cold compress (a cold damp cloth) to the face immediately after treatment or from using an ointment prescribed by the doctor

What can I expect?

You may notice some general redness on the face following the treatment. If you have sun-damaged skin, some of the pigmented spots may turn darker and eventually disappear. Because the bacteria are difficult to eradicate completely, your doctor will probably recommend that you continue using adapalene cream for some months after Ellipse treatment has ended. If you have a future acne outbreak, Ellipse treatment can be repeated. Although results vary from person to person, you should expect more acne lesions to clear compared to adapalene alone, and a faster clearance rate. Please talk to your physician about what results you can expect.

Does the treatment hurt?

No anaesthetics are required, and many patients describe the treatment as practically pain-free, like a flick from a rubber band followed by a sensation similar to the feeling of gentle warmth after a day on the beach.

How can I be sure Ellipse is safe and effective?

“Clinical trials documenting Ellipse safety and effectiveness were carried out by leading doctors prior to the launch of the treatment, and these were published in respected, referenced medical journals.

Frequently asked questions

How does Ellipse acne treatment work?

Energy from the light source is absorbed by oxy-haemoglobin and haemoglobin in the blood. The light energy is converted into heat energy. This reduces the number of blood capillaries supplying the sebaceous glands and thereby slows down the overproduction of oil that leads to acne. Additionally the wavelengths used will kill the P acnes bacteria responsible for acne.

How many treatments are required?

A typical course of therapy includes four treatments, three weeks apart.

Is any post-treatment necessary?

Patients who have been treated in the upper part of the therapeutic window may benefit from a cold moist cloth held against the skin immediately after the treatment. .Because the acne bacteria are difficult to eradicate completely, a doctor may recommend you use a mild topical retinoid such as adapalene cream or gel for some months after the Ellipse acne treatment has ended. Should you suffer from future acne outbreaks, the Ellipse treatment can be repeated.

Is any pre-treatment necessary?

A doctor may discuss that one month prior or at least from the start of Ellipse treatment, you apply adapalene (in most countries branded Redap® / Differin®) cream or gel on the acne affected area every evening. Adapalene makes the skin thinner and thereby helps opening the sebaceous ducts enabling secretion of oil and fatty acids produced by the sebaceous glands.

What are the side effects?

Immediately after treatment a slight stinging sensation and erythema are common.

What is the clinical endpoint when performing acne treatments?

Normal skin will become erythematic (red) following a treatment.
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