"I didn't want to go out as much," he said.
Treatment after treatment failed, leaving Steve more withdrawn than ever.
After some research, he discovered Isolaz.
Isolaz works in two ways with laser light to kill the bacteria within the skin's pores and with a vacuuming action.
"The skin actually gets pulled into the tip. (A) footplate allows the energy to be concentrated, just where it needs to be directed," said Dr. Michelle Eisenhower of the Cosmopolitan Skin Care Studio.
Medical Esthetician Naomi Fenlin, also of the Cosmopolitan Skin Care Studio, says unlike lasers she's previously used, Isolaz works more gently, attacking the roots of acne, without leaving a burnt, crusty look on the skin surface.
"This seems to be the most comprehensive, with the quickest results with the least side effects," Fenlin explained.
For moderate to severe acne, Isolaz is used once a week for a month, and then 2 more treatments are done over the next month or so.
Steve started out looking with the whole left side of his face covered. After 6 weeks, Steve's confidence is coming back, and friends are noticing a change.
"I've tried Accutane. I've tried so many over-the-counter things. I've tried ProActive," said 24-year-old Nicole Esposito, whose struggle with acne stretched more than a decade until she decided to give Isolaz a try.
It not only works, but it is also one of the easiest treatments to receive.
"You can't really feel anything. Just a little bit of heat from the light and then, of course, the suction," said Esposito. "Right away, you can tell your pores are much cleaner."
Dermatologist Cheri Ditre of the University of Pennsylvania says Isolaz isn't just for acne. It's also effective for age spots, rosacea (a reddening of the skin), and for removing unwanted hair.
"We've been treating patients for over a year, and we've seen some really nice progress, so we're really excited about it," said Dr. Ditre.
The cost ranges from $125 to $300 per treatment. Once the initial sessions are done, patients will need to come back periodically as they get breakouts.
Again doctors say this is for mild to moderate acne. It may not be the best option to treat cystic acne.