Beauty Buzz: “Ask Amy” tries the zit zapper

Dear Amy,

I’ve seen ads for a laser-type device that claims to “zap” pimples away. What is this and does it work?

Dear Zapper,

thermaclear.jpgThe two most popular acne treatment devices currently on the market are Zeno and Thermaclear. Both are battery operated, hand-held devices that use heat to kill pimple-causing bacteria below the surface of the skin. Both devices promise to clear pimples up to four times faster than they would otherwise heal. The Zeno ($89-$200) delivers a low level heat for two minutes; the ThermaClear ($150) is more of a “sting” that takes about two seconds. (Click on the photo to go to if you’d like to read more customer reviews of this device.)

Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? I thought so, but I had to try it out anyway. After some online research, I decided to purchase the ThermaClear. According to the product information, the ThermaClear works best before a pimple breaks the surface. The idea is to start “zapping” it up to four times a day as soon as you feel it forming under the skin. (I have to admit, the idea of inflicting a little pain on an angry zit was enticing – for the first time in my life I actually hoped I would get a pimple!)

Sure enough, when that time of the month approached I got to test out my ThermaClear. I couldn’t believe it, but it actually worked; my monthly monster never cracked the surface! I don’t know if it would work for everyone, and the product information stresses that it isn’t effective for all types of pimples. But if you struggle with a breakout here and there, you might agree with me that it’s worth the investment. Good luck!