You can thank a group of dentists for finding it. They were looking for a light treatment to help whiten teeth but while trialling their invention they noticed something interesting; spots on the faces of people testing the device were clearing up …. cue a rapid change in research direction.
Now Kleresca is designed solely to treat acne. Patients lie under a high intensity light and a bright orange gel is applied to the skin. This gel allows the light to penetrate the skin where it kills the bacteria that plays a role in acne but also tackles the inflammation that causes larger, bumpy spots.
This gel allows the light to penetrate the skin where it kills the bacteria that plays a role in acne but also tackles the inflammation that causes larger, bumpy spots.
“Because of this, it works particularly well in inflammatory acne, the type characterised by tender red lumps, bumps and pustules,” says Sydney-based dermatologist Dr John Sullivan.
And work it does. Trials published in the International Journal of Dermatology found 81 percent of patients found their spots reduced by at least 40 percent.
When you think about the concept of a bacteria-banishing light, you might think it would hurt, but while it can redden the skin slightly, being under the light feels more warm than painful.
Patient Natalie Walker, below, whose treatment I watched recently, says she sometimes even falls asleep during the nine minute session.
It’s done twice a week for six weeks and peak benefits are seen 8-12 weeks afterwards once the skin has had time to heal and repair.
“But I have seen benefits in patients with particularly severe, visible acne in 1-2 weeks,” says Dr Sullivan.
Admittedly, Kleresca isn’t super cheap. The full course costs around $2400, but once the course is over patients can often just keep outbreaks under control with simple over-the-counter spot treatments.
“It’s good to see patients start to smile spontaneously and no longer lower their face as they greet you,” says Dr Sullivan.
“Acne can really reduce a person’s confidence and it’s great to see people at the end of treatment with the burden of their acne removed.”