Laser Treatment for Acne

Medical science continues to make advances in the treatment of humanity’s afflictions.  One of the latest advances is laser treatment for acne, which is usually reserved for the moderate to severe cases.  Dermatologists must be consulted on this matter as playing with a laser, even if it’s of a medical grade, is akin to playing with fire.

How It Works

Acne laser treatments work in various ways depending on the type of laser used.  These ways include partial damage on the sebaceous glands to lessen oil production, elimination of the acne-causing bacteria particularly P. acnes, and improvement of skin appearance.  Your dermatologist may use different types of laser for varying amounts of time depending on the progress your skin is making over the course of the laser treatment.

In most instances, however, the lasers reach into the deeper layers of the skin without actually harming its surface. Take note that many topical applications cannot penetrate sufficiently deep into the skin to produce the desired results, thus, the laser treatment for acne.

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Again, we cannot overemphasize that laser treatments require the supervision of a dermatologist.  You will find handheld laser devices for home use, of course, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry afterwards.  We cannot stress enough that you are subjecting your skin to concentrated light, which can cause adverse side effects when used improperly.

When It Works

Laser treatments against acne takes time to produce results, which means that you must be patient in coming back to the dermatologist’s clinic for repeated sessions.  The good news is that laser works on 90% of individuals with results that top even the most intensive antibiotic regimen.

Just remember, too, that not every laser treatment for acne will work for all individuals.  Your results will vary from those of other patients mainly because of differences in skin structure, genes and hormones, to name a few factors.  So, it will be in your best interests if you stop comparing your results with that of others lest you become frustrated.

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Your dermatologist will use a certain type of laser to start on your therapy for acne.  It is important to discuss the many aspects of your laser treatment from the benefits to the side effects so that you can come into the program with an open mind and, possibly, with an open pocketbook.  The following are the most common methods in laser treatment for acne:

  • Pulsed light coupled with heat energy kills the P. acnes bacteria while also shrinking the sebaceous glands.  Your skin will be reddish after treatments but this is only temporary.
  • Diode laser therapy destroys the sebaceous glands located in the dermis but keeping the epidermis intact.  Your skin may swell and be reddish but these side effects should subside soon.  Topical analgesics may also be applied on the area for treatment to lessen the pain.

When we say that you must come into the laser treatment for acne with an open pocketbook, we mean that the costs for the therapy can be expensive.  Insurance will not cover the costs unless it can be proven that acne is affecting your line of work – work with your insurance company on this matter.  Costs can easily run up to $500 for a 15-minute treatment, which will be repeated many more times before acne clears up.