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You've tried everything for your acne. Now what?

Acne can have a significant impact on a person's self-esteem and mental well-being. When typical treatments for acne have not been successful or when the acne is severe and potentially scarring, it can be frustrating and upsetting. Up until 2022, the medication Accutane, also known as isotretinoin, was typically the suggestion when all other acne treatments had failed. Now we have an FDA-approved laser device called AviClear to treat acne in a way that challenges the safety and risks of Accutane.

What is AviClear?

AviClear is an FDA-cleared device that uses a laser wavelength that specifically targets the troublesome sebaceous (oil) glands that are responsible for acne lesions. These are the same sebaceous glands that are targeted by Accutane.

Accutane vs. AviClear




Oral medication



Reduces the size and activity of oil glands

Targets oil glands to reduce oil production and killing bacteria in the skin


Highly effective for severe and persistent acne, especially cystic acne

​Highly effective for all stages of acne. Can also improve skin texture and tone.


A systemic medication that can affect the whole body which can lead to other unwanted effects

A localized treatment directed to the areas needed to be treated. Does not affect the entire body.


A typical course 4-6 months long. Effects can last even after stopping medication.

Three 50-minute sessions over a three month period. Improvements continue even after the last treatment.

Side effects

Dry skin, chapped lips, dry eyes, joint pain, mood changes including depression and suicidal thoughts, liver injury, headaches, changes in vision, and diarrhea, nausea or stomach pain.

​Temporary redness, swelling, dryness and flaking. Mild discomfort during the procedure. Serious side effects such as pigment changes are rare.


Average cost for a complete course $2700-$3200*

Average cost for full series $3000


​Boxed warning: Accutane must not be used by patients who are pregnant. There is an extremely high risk that life-threatening birth defects can result if pregnancy occurs while taking isotretinoin in any amount, even for short periods of time.

Can be used on all skin types, for all acne stages, in all age groups.

*includes cost of medication, visits, and labs.


Untreated or inadequately treated acne can potentially lead to several serious consequences, both physical and emotional. Scarring, hyperpigmentation, secondary infections, physical discomfort, social isolation, low self-esteem, poor body image and reduced overall quality of life are all very good reasons to look at all available options for acne treatment.

It's crucial, though, to balance the benefits of acne treatments with the risks of treatments. When considering your options after you have failed the common treatment courses, the benefits of AviClear seem to far outweigh the known risks of Accutane.

To learn more about the AviClear laser device, visit our blog post or visit Dr. Cardona for a complimentary consultation.


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