Sponsored by Cutera;
AviClear™ by Cutera (Brisbane, Calif.) is the first FDA-cleared device to treat mild, moderate and severe acne vulgaris with proven results and a high safety profile. Developed to fill a gap in acne therapy that has left many patients dissatisfied with treatment, this device continues to impress the aesthetic industry. New clinical studies are showing long-term efficacy, improved skin quality, positive patient experience and little-to-no harmful side effects. As acne remains a major concern among patients of all demographics due to its negative impact on mental health, it is imperative for physicians to offer innovative solutions like AviClear.
The Detrimental Effects of Acne
Karyn Grossman, MD, founder and director of Grossman Dermatology (Santa Monica, Calif.), explained that a significant part of the population suffers from acne, so it is still a serious problem for many patients. “Many studies have shown that acne has a detrimental effect on people’s psyche. Even after acne clears, residual acne scars can have negative effects on people’s mental health as well. Thus, it is important to get acne under control in a quick and effective manner,” she explained.
R. Sonia Batra, MD, founder of Batra Dermatology(Santa Monica, Calif.) agrees. “Acne takes a psychological toll because it directly impacts appearance. Patients are often self-conscious and embarrassed by breakouts and any resulting scarring,” she noted. “I like AviClear because it allows me to offer a novel and cutting-edge treatment for acne with many added benefits.”
How AviClear Targets Acne
According to board-certified dermatologist Gary Goldenberg, MD, co-founder of Goldenberg Dermatology (New York, N.Y.), AviClear works similarly to isotretinoin by specifically targeting and decreasing sebum production. “Sebum is the driving force in acne lesion production and without it, you decrease the number and severity of acne lesions. With AviClear, you essentially remove the fuel of the acne lesion whether it is a papule, nodule or cyst,” he noted.
“Overactive sebaceous glands correlate with the severity of one’s acne,” added dermatologist Michelle Henry, MD, who leads a team of providers at Skin & Aesthetic Surgery (New York, N.Y.). “AviClear works on acne by specifically targeting and destroying the sebocytes. And patients are excited because the treatment is an effective, comfortable option that works; it can clear their acne in as little as three treatments and is very well tolerated.”
Recent studies of AviClear treatments continue to demonstrate long-term treatment efficacy. Current clinical studies confirmed continual improvement of acne clearance and skin quality over time, with a 90% visible improvement of acne six months after three 30-minute treatments, while more recent clinical findings showed a 92% improvement at 12 months.1 Articles published in Lasers in Medical Science and the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology validate Cutera’s research methods and exemplify the proven safety and efficacy of AviClear’s method of action.
Patient Comfort is Key
Acne not only affects mental health; it can have an impact on physical health too as acne pustules and cysts can be painful and itchy. Traditional therapies often add to this discomfort with a long list of potential negative side effects, which can affect patient compliance.
“Patient comfort is very important. If treatments are painful, patients may not want to complete the series of three treatments needed to get the shown efficacy,” said Dr. Grossman.
This is why Cutera incorporated AviCool™, a sapphire cooling feature with smart sensors in the handpiece to cool skin on contact, which makes treatment more tolerable. Patients rated AviClear only four out of ten on the pain scale, which is comparable to that of hair removal.
“Patient comfort is critical as it allows a more thorough treatment to be performed and thereby ultimately yields better results,” Dr. Batra shared. “AviCool allows providers to chill the skin before and after the device fires. This offsets the discomfort from the heat of the device and keeps skin at a safe temperature during treatment.”
Easy Compliance for Lasting Results
Patient compliance is a large part of acne treatment success, and may be difficult to ensure with medications and other home care regimens. Fortunately, the ease and comfort of AviClear treatments improves patient compliance and outcomes, according to Dr. Batra. “Since there are only three in-office treatments, it makes compliance much easier and is a helpful option for busy people or teenagers who might have difficulty sticking with an at-home regimen,” she explained.
Dr. Goldenberg shared that enthusiasm also improves compliance, leading to improved outcomes. “I think patients are excited about the fact that they can have three treatments one month apart, and have a long-term result or acne clearance,” he shared. “It is a very high tech and very targeted option that utilizes the newest technology.’’
Today’s acne patients demand treatments with longstanding effectiveness and AviClear fits .Along with the clinical studies showing continued improvement over 12 months, it was also demonstrated that three-fourths of patients showed a 2+ IGA score improvement and two-thirds were assessed as clear or almost clear 12 months after their final AviClear treatment.1
A Variety of Applications, Safe for All Skin Types
AviClear is a drug-free treatment that targets the source of sebum, which makes it effective for all types of acne including inflammatory, hormonal and cystic acne. Adding this laser acne treatment to a practice can expand the physician’s ability to increase their patient profile.
AviClear is also a safe treatment for all skin types and tones, which does not go unnoticed by dermatologists. “AviClear works,” stated Dr.Henry. “It is a tolerable treatment that works for everyone, and all skin types. To have an effective, non-oral treatment that can be used on all skin types with a low side effect profile is a fantastic option for acne.”
Little-to-No Side Effects or Downtime
Side effects are a major concern for some acne patients, especially adult women who may become pregnant and prefer to avoid systemic medications. The way AviClear treats acne makes it a safer and more viable option for this demographic, as well as any others who want to avoid the risks.
While some patient’s acne is controllable with topicals, others require more intense treatment, altering the digestive system and a patient’s way of life. “Many patients today are concerned about antibiotics and the effect on the gastro-intestinal microbiome,” reported Dr. Grossman. “Many are also concerned about Accutane, its long course of treatment, and need to decrease other liver metabolized ingestants such as alcohol. Patients see three visits as easier, less time consuming, less concerning for their overall health, and more compatible with their lifestyle than any other treatment previously available.”
Once an AviClear treatment is completed, patients can continue with their daily activities without interruption. Some mild symptoms, including redness, inflammation and sometimes acne flareups, are normal and quickly fade. However, with little-to-no downtime, most patients are comfortable and may even begin to see improvement after the first treatment. Physicians should be sure to stress the importance of using sunblock after treatment. Aside from this, many patients can continue their daily skincare routine at home.
AviClear has also been used in adolescent treatment and is an ideal option for patients who have grown unhappy with their current treatment due to side effects, forgetting to take a daily prescription, or inability to commit to a skincare program. AviClear can offer a more convenient, high-tech treatment that only requires the patient to show up for an appointment. Patients appreciate getting back to their lives instead of missing important moments due to acne flareups.
Benefits to Dermatologists and Their Practices
Dr. Goldenberg feels that Cutera’s business model is an added benefit for aesthetic practices. “I like the AviClear business model. I do not have to lay out capital to buy the equipment and we share the profitability with the company,” he explained. “I think it is a future model because capital for equipment is very expensive. This system helps potentially increase the profitability of practices, as acne procedures are something the dermatologist is specialized in doing, so AviClear gives us another option to add to our treatment portfolio.” He also mentioned that he felt it is important to add new treatments with the latest technology to help dermatology practices stand out from the rest.
Education for patients, physicians and staff is a key element of Cutera’s support for physician customers and their practices. The Company provides extensive hands-on training through a variety of live and online experiences designed to orient physicians to the technology, train staff and help optimize outcomes. Cutera offers turnkey practice marketing kits and digital marketing tool kits to help raise patient awareness, along with a provider referral section on its website. Cutera provides more personalized service as well.
“A very nice account manager came to my office, and we put together a plan for launching the device in my practice,” Dr. Grossman shared. “She offered to support the practice in different ways such as having events in the office, so I think that is important. Also, I feel that Cutera has created a bit of a buzz on social media, which I think is great because a lot of us are getting patients from social media as opposed to traditional avenues, especially with acne. It is such a visual disease and the before and after photos for this device are quite impressive, so I think that also helps generate interest from patients.”
Cutera stays ahead of the game and helps physicians do the same with webinars such as their business and clinical-based continuing education webinars for AviClear. Physicians can also take advantage of learning from a panel of industry experts who share best practices for new and current technologies, as well as clinical pearls and business knowledge with their Cutera University Clinical Forums. Easily accessible educational tools like on-demand webinars, videos and training are available through the AviClear customer portal, making it easy to take advantage of a refresher or train new staff.
While lack of support might be a concern forsome physicians when it comes to aesthetic devices, Cutera provides as much support as possible to their physician customers. The Avi360 Partnership is the Company’s unique approach to physician support, driven by their concierge team. The team will help coordinate installation of the device, provide training and onboarding, and ongoing support. This program is stream-lined with one phone number that physicians can use to connect with a concierge who will provide support with any aspect of AviClear, including service, warranty, in-office practice marketing and even lead generation.
Proven results and patient satisfaction can give any business a boost. “If a treatment is effective patients will comply, which improves the outcome,” Dr. Henry explained. “I have seen patients very, very happy to come back into the office to have additional treatments. And because it works, some of my patients refer as soon as the first month, as they already begin to see improvement in their skin quality. When you have a safe and effective treatment with a very low side effect profile, word of mouth is very strong”.
Not only do aesthetic practices benefit with a viClear’s proven results, but they can now provide an acne treatment that works on any type of acne including hormonal. It can benefit patients who do not want to give up their current acne regimen and patients who want to try something new. No prescriptions are required and there is no need for follow-up labs to monitor liver function or pregnancy status.
The AviClear protocol is easy to follow, benefitting both patients and practices. “Patients are excited about this treatment because it does not involve systemic medications, possible medication side effects or blood test monitoring,” explained Dr. Batra. “Patients also like that it is a finite protocol of three treatments one month apart that they are scheduled to have performed rather than a regimen they must continue on their own for an open-ended length of time – months or even years.”
AviClear treats the source of acne using a wave-length of light that selectively targets and heats sebaceous glands, rendering them less active and less likely to trigger acne. Thanks to the proven long-term effects in treating acne, improvement in skin quality, as well as Cutera’s awareness campaign, AviClear is a win for all.“There is a lot of excitement from well-informed patients who seek us out on the Cutera website,” said Dr. Batra.
“I think this is the beginning of an acne treatment algorithm revolution,” said Dr. Goldenberg. “I believe patients will continue to expect to be treated with newer, high-tech procedures that work. They are already seeking long-term treatments that are safe, effective, localized, targeted and high-tech – like AviClear.”
1. Data on file. FDA clearance study. Cutera, Inc.