Kleresca For Acne Scars At A Glance
- Best Results12+ sessions (For real?)
- Treatment Recovery1-2 days
- Procedure Time20 min
- Skin SpecialistDermal therapist
- Duration of ResultsExtremely Variable
- AnaestheticNil required
- Back to Work1 day
Kleresca For Acne Scars
Klesesca is a new name for an old acne treatment. It involves treating acne & acne scars with light sensitive chemicals called porphyrins. In the case of Kleresca this gel has been given a fancy name of Biophotonic Gel. The treatment has minimal effects on established scars, in fact, retinoid preparations gives better results at a fraction of the cost. This treatment has merit for those seeking a novel treatment.
FactsFacts on Kleresca For Acne & Acne Scars
- This is a form of photodynamic therapy
- PDT uses a light sensitive agent
- This chemical is termed Biphotonic Gel by the marketing company of Kleresca
- Blue light activates the chemical, in turn reducing oil production
- This treatment can reduce active acne
- Blue light has marginal effects on established acne scars
- Kleresca should not be used on patients with scarring acne
What is Kleresca?
This is the trade name for a very old, but well known acne treatment. Kleresca is basically the same as Photodynamic Therapy.
A gel is used that contains light sensitive chemicals known as porphyrins. This chemical gets activated by blue & red light (in the context of Kleresca, it is blue). This is why acne improves with natural sunlight.
The aim of Kleresa is preferential absorption of the Biophotonic gel in the oil or sebaceous gland. The blue light lamp activates the chemical, & the oil gland gets nuked. Simple. What they don’t tell you is that c.acnes, the bacteria implicated in acne, is also sensitive to blue & red light. Normal light exposure or better still, LED or IPL filtered light can give similar results without the gel.
Does Kleresca actually work?
Yes, PDT or photodynamic therapy (another name for Kleresca) has been used for well over 20 years by dermatologists to treat acne. By itself any source of blue light, such as IPL filer, Omnilux, Healite, even sunlight can improve acne. This is because blue, & red light activates chemicals produced by c.acnes, the bacteria associated with acne spots.
Does Kleresca treat acne scars?
Here is the catch. Any effective acne treatment will improve early scarring. In fact over the counter Adapalene Gel (Differin) that cost $22 USD will give better results than spending over two grand on Kleresca.
This means that if Kleresca works for your acne, you may get some improvement in mildly atrophic acne scars. I am aware of the marketing claims of increasing collagen by over 400%, however it is general consensus that this quantifiable increase in dermal collagen does not result in significant remodelling of acne scars.
Is Kleresca permanent?
No- that is why results are not studied beyond 6 months. Remission is only seen when the sebaceous glands are destroyed or permanently shrunk down with chemicals. If the PDT or ALA (Biphotonic Gel) concentration is high enough, there may be some destruction of the follicle.
In most cases if significant destruction is seen, the treatment will be very painful. Clinical performed PDT hurts- this is due to oxidation.
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What is the active ingredient in Kleresca?
There are two components to this treatment, one, the light. This is a dual spectrum blue light classed as a light emitting diode. By itself blue light works very well for treating acne.
The second component is their marketing term for ALA or a porphyrin (light sensitive molecule) – Leo (the pharma behind Kleresca) has come up with a ripper of a name- Biophotonic gel. This gel is light sensitive; the blue light activates the gel, the gel is then heated up & oxidation occurs.
What are the side effects of Kleresca?
The most common side effect is skin bronzing. This usually fades after 4-8 weeks. Flare ups of rosacea are common (even though it has been used to treat rosacea). In some cases acne can worsen. Skin purging is not uncommon.
Your specialist dermatologist supervising this treatment can easily treat the side effects with vascular lasers, & a short course of anti-inflammatories.
Is Kleresca painful?
Most people tolerate this treatment. A warm and tingling sensation while they are under the lamp can be felt by most. If pain is an issue your provider can use a cooler or give you short breaks from the light source.
The treatment is non-invasive and non-destructive, and it doesn’t cause any harm to the skin tissue.
How many treatments will I require?
The number of treatments will vary depending on the condition you are treating:
Acne: 6-12 treatments for the initial course. Maintenance treatments can then be performed if the treatment works.
What is the difference between Kleresca & photodynamic therapy?
The branding, & possibly the dual wavelength light. Biphotonic therapy is the trade name for Kleresca. It is essentially the same as PDT, which is an old fashioned treatment for acne.
How do I know if Kleresca is the right choice for me?
If you have mild non-scarring acne and would like a non systemic treatment, consider Kleresca or better still Blue & Red light phototherapy. If you have potentially scarring acne, you may want to consider other options. Be guided by your medical dermatologist.
What type of acne is not suitable for Kleresca?
Blackhead & whitehead acne, or non-inflammatory acne does not respond well to this treatment. Simple peels, retinoids & skin care acids can help reduce breakouts without the need for lasers or phototherapy.
Can Light Emitting Diode treatment work on its own?
Absolutely! In fact the makers of Kleresca should disclose that. Normal blue light from the Kleresca lamp without the gel (Biophotonic gel or ALA) works nearly as well as having the gel with the light. LED phototherapy has been shown to be very effective, without the expense of gel consumables.
Can I have Kleresca with other acne treatments?
Yes. Kleresca is compatible with most treatments. If you are on Accutane, blue light is permitted as the action spectrum of the Kleresca lamp falls outside the AS for retinoids- namely UVA 315 to 400nm. Your provider will explain the photobiology of retinoid action spectrums.
Is Kleresca a safe treatment option for acne?
Yes. Kleresca® is a scientifically proven technology with different scientific papers published that explain its high efficacy and efficiency. Side effects, seen in some patients including worsening of acne, prolonged redness & skin bronzing or discolouration. These are all temporary (except for persistent redness in some). PDT is the preferred treatment of choice for some jobs – like pilots.
In fact blue light phototherapy is so safe that we use it is used to treat acne in pregnancy (without the ALA- Biophotonic gel).
When will I see results?
Acne should start to clear within the first 1-3 sessions. If you do not notice a change after the second treatment, chances are Kleresca will not work for you. I disagree with the marketing claims of 12 or more sessions.
Is a simple Dermaroller from eBay more effective than Kleresca for acne scars?
Yes. A cheap $5 0.2mm Dermaroller from ebay or Amazon is far better than Kleresca treatment, in the context of acne scarring.
If you are after effective treatments on a budget, buy a sensible Dermaroller & Differin online. This combination is more effective than Kleresca.
What other treatments are there for acne scars?
If you are after acne & acne scar treatments on a budget, then Differin or Adapalene is infinitely cheaper, & better than Kleresca. This gel can be purchased online in the United States. If you are in Australia, you can source this from International sites such as Amazon or via an online pharmacist. Alternatively you can get a prescription from your local doctor.
If you are serious about effective treatments for both acne, & acne scars without the marketing, discuss options with your dermatologist. Peels, microneedling, lasers & surgical options are available.
Davin’s Viewpoint On Kleresca & Acne Scars
It is not that Kleresca does not work. On the contrary, dermatologists have been performing photodynamic therapy for the management of recalcitrant acne for decades. The marketing of this product by Leo Pharmaceuticals must be congratulated as it has turned medical management of moderate to severe acne into a commercial venture.
What I dislike about the marketing of Kleresca is the fact that the most important predictive factor for acne scarring is the time taken to effectively control the condition. It is different if Kleresca is marketed for open pores & blackheads as this is cosmetic. Every patient (or in Leo’s eyes ‘client’ or ‘customer’) that has uncontrolled acne has a very high chance of scarring. The marketing behind this product suggests that people should ‘have 12 or more sessions’ before making a clinical decision if Kleresca is right for them or not! Not cool, like i said, it is different if we are talking about wrinkles, or open pores.
Moderate to severe acne has the potential to cause a lifetime of scarring. Promoting cosmetic treatments targeted at this subgroup of acne is, in my opinion, in-correct & not ethical marketing.
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