The Importance of Diligence When Treating Acne

The Importance of Diligence When Treating Acne

The Importance of Diligence When Treating Acne

As per the American Academy of Dermatology, acne is the most common skin condition in the United States. It affects up to 50 million Americans annually, and approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. While acne can occur at any age, adult acne is increasing, affecting 15 % of women.[1]

Though acne is ubiquitous around the globe, treatment of the condition can be quite complex per individual. Therefore, it is imperative to learn about each client before the SharpLight DPC MaxAC 420 nm series can commence.

Prior to the start of a client’s MaxAC 420 nm treatment, the practitioner must take the time to conduct a thorough consultation to rule out any possible contraindications, counsel realistic expectations, communicate pre- and post-treatment compliance, and perform the required skin test. The practitioner must be attentive to ensure the Medical Health History form has been thoroughly understood and completed, and in doing so they must verify the following:

  • The client is not taking any medications considered to be a contraindication to DPC. Some examples include: Isotretinoin (Accutane), Retin A, oral or topical antibiotics, etc.
  • The client is not using any topical products which may irritate the skin or cause temporary sensitivity, peeling, etc., prior to or during the treatment series. For example, products containing BHA’s or AHA’s.
  • The client does not have any medical conditions considered to be a contraindication to phototherapy.
  • The client is not currently tanned and will avoid sun exposure and artificial tanning during their entire treatment series, and for at least 3 weeks after the series has been completed.

In conjunction with the above, it is advised that the practitioner take the time to properly counsel their client on what to expect during their MaxAC 420 nm series, as well pre- and post-treatment compliance.

Treatment expectations:

  • Results are not immediate—be patient. A series consists of 2 treatments a week (with at least two days between each treatment), for 4–6 weeks. The time to initial visible results is the end of week 3. The time to final visible results is 1 month after the final treatment has been performed.
  • It is important not to deviate from the outlined schedule as it can impact the expected results.
  • Expected results are 60–70 % acne clearance, 1 month after the last treatment.
  • This treatment is suitable for mild and moderate acne—not severe acne. Severe acne should be assessed by a dermatologist.
  • The treatments are generally very well tolerated, with minimal discomfort.
  • The treatments are quick. Excluding the prep and post-care, the DPC application only takes about 10 minutes for a full face.

Although acne is often related to hormones and genetics, due to the varying skin types affected and different levels of severity, it is vital each client have an understanding of how they must participate in their day-to-day routine to achieve the best possible results. Along with the MaxAC Pre- and Post Treatment Compliance Form provided in the LaserSmart file folder or SharpLight Clinical Training Manual, some additional helpful recommendations include:

  • Maintain good hygiene.
    • Bathe regularly.
    • Frequently wash bedding.
  • Use professional homecare and follow the instructions.
    • It is important to know your skin type and use the appropriate products. Follow the instructions carefully to avoid a delay in results, or potential side effects related to overuse.
  • Avoid comedogenic products.
    • Minimize the use of makeup. If it is required, avoid pore-clogging products.
  • Avoid friction to the skin.
    • Frequently touching your skin can cause the spread of bacteria.
  • Maintain a healthy diet.
    • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes large amounts of veggies and fruits. Avoid foods that lack nutrients and cause inflammation.
  • Stay hydrated.
    • Drink 8–10 glasses of water throughout the day. Limit the consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
  • Reduce stress.
    • Try incorporating a relaxing exercise such as meditation, yoga, walking, aromatherapy, etc.
  • Leave extractions to the professionals.
    • If not properly done, extractions may lead to infection, scarring and inflammation.


Remember acne does not just affect the appearance and discomfort of the skin, it can also impact one’s emotional health. Research has found that people with acne can also develop depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and poor self-image.[2]

So, be gentle and be kind. Provide helpful information, take your time and listen to your client. It is important to be diligent in both your treatment and approach as there can be more to acne than ‘what meets the eye.’

For further information on SharpLight’s MaxAC 420 nm applicator and its related clinical protocols, please refer to your SharpLight Clinical Training Binder, LaserSmart File Folder and User Manual.

The MaxAC 420 nm is compatible with the Rapid DPC, Omnimax S3 and Omnimax S4 platforms. If you are interested in incorporating this modality to your SharpLight services please contact info@sharplight.com 



[1] https://www.aad.org/media/stats/conditions/skin-conditions-by-the-numbers

[2] https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/acne-and-rosacea/emotional-health-effects-of-acne