Zits are like cockroaches -- squash one and another pops up to take its place. And they're about as attractive as cockroaches, too. That's why so many people go out of their way to use cleansing washes and acne-fighting creams to eliminate them -- or apply makeup to make them less noticeable. Of course, some people just pop their pimples, but that's a painful habit that could damage the skin. There has to be a better way.
The Zeno acne treatment device may be that better way -- it's a zit zapper that radiates heat to destroy the bacteria responsible for breakouts. It may sound like a futuristic technology, but the Zeno has been on the market since 2005. However, NASA did have a hand in its creation [source: NASA]. Zeno is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it's available in stores and online without a prescription. Although it can be a little pricey -- most models cost more than $100 -- it claims to clear up individual pimples in 24 to 48 hours [source: NASA]. Of course, individual results vary, but it could be worth its weight in acne cream to a self-conscious teenager or an adult still dealing with acne.
Some things are too good to be true, and when it comes to pimples, people will try anything to get rid of them. So is the Zeno worth its cost? Read on to find out.
- What is the Zeno Acne Device?
- Does the Zeno Acne Device Really Work?
- Using the Zeno Acne Device
What is the Zeno Acne Device?
The Zeno acne device is a rechargeable, handheld tool used to clear up pimples. It costs between $39 and $200 per unit, and it uses replaceable treatment tips [source: Reuters].
The idea behind the device is simple: Bacteria can't live in areas that are exposed to certain sustained temperatures, and bacteria -- more specifically, P. acnes -- are responsible for 90 percent of acne [source: AAD]. The Zeno Acne Device is designed to shock bacteria with heat -- it reaches a temperature of 118.5 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius) and delivers a focused heat treatment to pimples forming beneath the skin. The Zeno's tip will feel warm to the skin, but the temperature is below the threshold that can cause burning [source: Bleimes]. Robert Conrad, the inventor of the Zeno, says the level of heat doesn't burn the bacteria, but it elicits a "heat shock response" in which bacteria retreat when presented with a threatening environment [source: Bleimes].
While the Zeno may sound like an effective way to treat pimples, it doesn't cure acne, and it works only under certain conditions. Read on to see if the Zeno is right for you.
Robert Conrad was working at a biological testing firm and experimenting with killing bacteria with heat when the idea for the Zeno first came to him. Plagued by adult acne, Conrad wondered if shocking acne-causing bacteria with heat would improve his complexion. He built a working prototype of the Zeno in his garage for personal use before he realized the market potential of his invention [source: NASA].
Does the Zeno Acne Device Really Work?
When used as directed, the Zeno Acne Device is 90 percent effective, according to its FDA clinical trials [source: NASA]. But what is "as directed"? To understand that, you must first realize that not all acne is created equal.
There are actually several different types of acne, but they all from when excess oil mixes with dead skin cells to clog pores, creating an environment where P. acnes bacteria can thrive [source: WebMD]. When these impacted pores push out through the follicles, they form whiteheads or blackheads. But sometimes these clogged pores don't break the skin -- they form painful pustules or hard nodules that appear red and swollen due to the inflammation of the surrounding tissue [source: WebMD]. This type of acne can be especially difficult to treat with topical creams and ointments [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
The Zeno acne device is specifically designed to treat pustules or nodules before they fully form -- both the type of acne and the timing of treatment are essential to its effectiveness [source: Zeno]. Because this type of acne typically begins as a sore spot on the skin, it's fairly easy to identify. If you use the Zeno before the pustule fully forms, there's a 90 percent chance the potential pimple won't progress into a painful protrusion. Individuals may have varied results with the Zeno, but if you use it according to its operating instructions, your odds of success are good.
For the Zeno to be 90 percent effective, you have to use it correctly. Read on to learn how.
The Heat is On
The ThermaClear device works in a manner similar to the Zeno, but it's applied for 2 and a half seconds -- as opposed to the 2 and a half minutes required for the Zeno. The device activates heat-stabilized proteins in the skin to reduce inflammation [source: Bleimes].
Using the Zeno Acne Device
The Zeno acne device comes with a detailed instruction manual, and its use is fairly straightforward.
Some of the Zeno models need to be precharged prior to use -- others use rechargeable batteries [source: Abney]. Zeno recommends charging your model for 24 hours before using it for the first time. Once it's charged and you have a pimple beginning to form, fire up the device -- three tones will indicate that the Zeno is on. Most of the Zeno devices will take about a minute to reach the necessary temperature, but the new Zeno Hot Spot, which fits in the palm of your hand, reaches approximately 118 degrees within seconds. When the device is ready, a green light will flash and you'll hear two beeps [source: Zeno, Bruce, et al.]. Next, push the treatment button and lightly press the Zeno tip against the spot where the pimple is forming. Hold it there for 2 and a half minutes - the device will do the counting for you -- and remove it when prompted by another series of tones [source: Zeno]. Repeat this process one or two more times to ensure the pimple clears up during the next 24 hours. The Zeno device allows you to treat a total of three pimples in one sitting before it needs to power down for a two-minute rest [source: Zeno].
For more information on the Zeno, visit the links on the next page.
Whatever acne treatments end up working best for you -- topical creams, the Zeno or medicine prescribed by your dermatologist -- none are a substitute for regular skin care. Choose a mild cleanser that won't overdry your skin, and use it in the morning and at night to help keep your skin clear [source: American Academy of Dermatology].
Lots More Information
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
- 15 Ways to Get Rid of Acne
- 5 Surprising Acne Treatments
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- What are some easy steps I can take for better skin?
- Abney, Hannah. "Manufacturer of Innovative Zeno Acne Treatment Device Announces Corporate Name Change." Reuters 9/9/08. (Accessed 9/15/09) http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS149084+09-Sep-2008+PRN20080909
- American Academy of Dermatology. "Acne." 2009. (Accessed 9/15/09) http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/common_acne.html
- Bruce, S., et al. "Significant Efficacy and Safety of Low Level Intermittent Heat in Patients with Mild to Moderate Acne." Zeno White Papers (Accessed 9/30/09)http://www.acneclearingdevice.com/Zeno_White_Papers.pdf
- MedicineNet. "Definition of Propionibacterium acnes." 7/29/04. (Accessed 9/15/09) http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=38136
- NASA STI. "Hand-Held Instrument Fights Acne, Tops Over-the-Counter Market." Spinoff 2007. (Accessed 9/15/09) http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/Spinoff2007/hm_5.html
- Reuters. "High-Tech Cosmetic Gadgets Move from Clinic to Home." 5/16/08 (Accessed 9/15/09) http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSN1336602820080516?sp=true
- Ross, E., et al. "Attacking Acne with Laser and Light Sources." Supplement to Skin and Aging January 2006 (Accessed 9/30/09)http://www.skinandaging.com/supplements/pdf/0206_Controversies.pdf#page=19
- WebMD. "Acne: Topic Overview." (Accessed 10/15/09). http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/acne/acne-vulgaris-topic-overview
- Zeno Corporation (Support). Zeno Product Manual. 10/08. (Accessed 9/15/09) http://myzeno.com/doc/UserGuide.pdf
Does Zeno work on acne? ›
Skin care appliances such as Zeno Hot Spot, Thermaclear, and Claro claim to blast acne bacteria with heat, reducing the size of your pimple overnight. Sadly, there is limited evidence to show that these devices do anything for acne sufferers. That's because the devices operate on the basis of the assumption that P.Does Zeno work? ›
I used the Zeno as soon as I could feel it developing and then about twice a day and all of them disappeared without erupting. It may leave your skin a bit pink/red but it's better than a full blown pimple. I could tell it was working because after using it, the 'pain' of the emerging pimple was gone.What is a Zeno device? ›
Of course, some people just pop their pimples, but that's a painful habit that could damage the skin. There has to be a better way. The Zeno acne treatment device may be that better way -- it's a zit zapper that radiates heat to destroy the bacteria responsible for breakouts.How do you use a Zeno? ›
You just press a button and give the Zeno a few seconds to heat up, then it blinks to let you know it's ready, and you press the warm tip onto the blemish and hold it there until the time (2.5 minutes) is up, indicated by some beeps.How strong is Zeno? ›
ZENO IS THE MOST POWERFUL CHARACTER IN DRAGON BALL AND CAN DESTROY PLANETS AND STARS SO EASILY, EVEN THE MULTIVERSE. THERE HAS BEEN NO CLEAR LIMIT TO HIS POWER.What can Zeno erase? ›
Zeno charges twin blue spheres of energy in his hands that is used to erase anything from existence, seemingly including immortals (the Dragon Ball Heroes manga indicates that it is ineffective against immortals who gained their immortality from the Super Dragon Balls).What is Zeno known for? ›
430 bce), Greek philosopher and mathematician, whom Aristotle called the inventor of dialectic. Zeno is especially known for his paradoxes that contributed to the development of logical and mathematical rigour and that were insoluble until the development of precise concepts of continuity and infinity.Can Zeno be hurt? ›
Zeno can be killed by somebody faster than he can see. This video confirms it. Dyspo, UI Goku and Hit may possibly be able to kill the Omni King if they got the chance.Who is powerful than Zeno? ›
Even Krillin is stronger than Zeno,because Zeno does Not know how to fight. This whole arc is about that. He is just very powerful to the point that his abilities are so OP,even the mightiest warriors fear him. If it came to a 1v1 Battle hand-to-hand.When is Zeno first? ›
Zeno made his first appearance in the Dragon Ball Super manga titled 'The Winning Universe Is Decided!' by Akira Toriyama. In that storyline, Universe 7 within the Dragon Ball multiverse (which is the universe in which Goku and the other Z-Fighters reside) has a tournament with Universe 6.
How much can Zeno erase? ›
If he so wished, he could erase all existence, which Future Zeno did during "Future" Trunks Saga. According to Whis, there were originally 18 universes before Zeno destroyed 6 of them when he was in an "unpleasant mood".Is Zeno a boy or girl? ›
Zeno is a masculine name of Greek origin, meaning “gift of Zeus.” Formed from the name Zenon and the ancient derivative of Zeus, this timeless name holds powerful significance to those intrigued by Greek mythology. The ancient Hellenes worshipped Zeus as the father of gods and the ruler of the sky.Why is Zeno childish? ›
It says Grand Zeno has a child-like personality since his apparent innocence perpetuates a sense of neutrality. Being neutral is very important, especially as the Omni-King. Zeno must decide whether he wants planets or universes destroyed, and there cannot be any favoritism influencing his decision.Who is stronger Goku or Zeno? ›
Goku may be powerful, but the Saiyan is not capable of the things Zeno can do. The Omni-King cannot be touched in terms of power, and his childlike personality makes his obliviousness truly dangerous. So, it is a good thing Goku can level with the guy.Who is stronger Beerus or Zeno? ›
The Omni-King of the Dragon Ball franchise, Zeno, is undoubtedly stronger than Beerus. Zeno is, in fact, so much stronger than Beerus that the Destroyer is terrified of angering or upsetting him.Can Goku ever beat Zeno? ›
Even if they're as powerful as the Angels and Destroyers, Zeno's guards should easily and quickly take down Goku. While the scenario is unlikely, it would almost certainly end with Goku's quick defeat.Who is stronger than Omni King? ›
According to Whis, Zeno reigns over the Dragon Ball Multiverse as its Omni King and had erased six entire universes when he found himself in "an unpleasant mood." Prior this unseen event, there had been eighteen universes within the Multiverse, now, only twelve remain.