Latest Breakthrough: Laser Acne Therapy

Acne Laser Therapy Oasis Health Dr Elizabeth Chung, Skokie, IL Resolved
Laser therapy: Improve quality of life !

Laser acne therapy is becoming increasingly popular.  It’s the latest breakthrough for active acne management.  Are you a victim of distressful acne, a widespread condition upsetting millions of people in the United States?  It mainly affects emotionally vulnerable teenagers.  Now, adult acne is rising to “epidemic proportions”.   Acne often creates a negative impact on quality of life: Scarring, poor self-image, and depression.  Can laser therapy truly eradicate acne? 

Are you affected? You are not alone.

“I spent most of my life locked in my bedroom, miserable about my raging acne” – Moon Unit Zappa.

You are most likely aware of traditional acne treatment: Benzoyl peroxide; topical retinoid and antibiotics; and oral antibiotics.  Combination therapy, rather than monotherapy, is often more successful.  With monotherapy, Propionibacterium (p. bacteria), the troublesome culprit that promotes despised spots, may develop resistance.  Laser acne therapy is the latest breakthrough.  Does it work well as a part of combination treatment?

Surprise!  The answer is yes. The future looks impressive for lasers.  It has displayed a wonderful promise.  Would you add laser therapy to your acne treatment plan, especially in serious cases?

Looking for more information to make an informed decision? What is acne laser procedure? Is there any associated risk?

“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” –  Desmond Tutu


Is Laser Breakthrough for Me?

“…If you have acne problems, you really shouldn’t be acting like Don Juan…” -John Cusack.

Now, a beam of the laser light can make you Don Juan. (OK, beams of the laser.)

Lasers remove multiple skin imperfections, including active acne.  Do the skin blemishes magically disappear with a beam of laser light?  No, not yet.  However, laser therapy can be a wonderful part of an acne treatment plan: Severe acne resolves faster with the laser use.

The p. bacteria causing pimples is no match for the focused laser light.  Acne clusters, both inflammatory and non-inflammatory, respond well to the laser. 


What to Expect with Laser Acne Treatment?

Laser therapies are increasingly becoming part of or an adjunct to the medical treatment of active acne: It’s a useful treatment modality.

You can expect the following from an in-office laser treatment:

  • Successful acne clearing; although, not 100%.
  • Lasers treatments dramatically reduce the distressing spots.
  • However, seldom are any monotherapy treatments effective in clearing acne.  You need a combination plan – laser plus significant other.

The increasing use of lasers, particularly non-ablative types, to treat pimples is attributable to the following:

  •  Minimal complications
  •  Rapid onset of results.  
  •  Limited number of brief office-based treatments
  •  Potential advantages of treating acne scarring simultaneously.  

Lasers In the Treatment of Acne

Along with the laser acne therapy, you should add the following traditional medications as your combination treatment companion:

  • Benzoyl peroxide or a topical retinoid.
  • Topical antibiotics.
  • Oral antibiotic- Doxycycline and minocycline have been shown to be more effective than tetracycline.
  • New combination medicine, such as Onextin foam

IPL (See below) is a great companion as well. 

Outcome differs from person to person.  Unfortunately, it is uncertain who will see clearer skin and how much the skin will clear when treated with a laser treatment.


Laser Missions:

“I’ve had more acne as an adult than I had as a teenager. After weaning babies my skin’s gone totally bonkers… my skin was so damaged. It was just beyond.  And then, I realized, there’s a doctor who can help you with this.”

-Jennifer Garner

Focused laser light bombards the underlying causes of acne, easily destroying p. bacteria.

The laser light also soothes the sebaceous glands and hampers their production of sebum, the natural oil that our body generates.  How is sebum related to disgraceful facial/body spots?

Sebum can stick to dead skin cells, which our body naturally creates.  Too much sebum clogs pores and causes a variety of acne.  One of the essential jobs of the laser is to reduce serum oil production, thus preventing the spread of blemishes.  Logical, isn’t it?

The laser also restricts keratinization, inflammation, and bacterial invading hair follicles on the face, neck, and back – All leading to serious improvement of acne vexation.

The laser missions are validated by many research studies.


Multiple Treatments for Optimal Result:

“Suffering isn’t ennobling, recovery is.” – Christian Barnard

Generally, multiple treatments deliver significantly better results than a single treatment.  Clearing up existing blemishes and preventing new breakouts requires more than one laser therapy.

How many procedures do you need?  It depends on the type of laser, the severity of your acne, and its response to the treatment.

The spotty blemishes concealing your beautiful features respond well to either ablative or non-ablative lasers.  Ablative lasers remove thin layers of the skin and create a dramatic improvement in a single session.  It is associated with risks: Requires potent anesthesia, long downtime to heal, and possible infection.  Non-ablative lasers keep the skin intact; it is a milder treatment approach. Thus, it needs less downtime and no risk of skin infection.  However, it requires a series of treatment, usually four.


Laser Acne Therapy Procedure

Generally, a typical laser acne therapy session takes 45 minutes to an hour.

Preparation for the procedure beforehand is simple.  Your physician will ask about your daily skin care regimen, especially any prescription acne products.  You need to stop Accutane six months and topical retinoid products a week before the laser treatment to ensure an optimal outcome.

During the procedure, you will receive a thin film of numbing gel to the areas that will be exposed to the non-ablative or ablative laser light.  Your sensitivity to pain may call for intravenous medications for the ablative laser procedure.  Yes, you will be comfortable during the laser acne treatment.

The laser light is highly focused and can pursue small areas of skin, even individual pimples.  You may feel nothing or you may feel a heating sensation, as dictated by your skin’s level of sensitivity.


Ultimate Outcome Can Time

You will note improvement few days after the laser acne treatment.

Expect redness and swelling immediately afterward, followed by itching, peeling, crusting of the treated acne, and increased inflammation.  These are a sign that your annoying cluster of red blemishes is making its farewell. These side effects should recede within 24 to 48 hours.  

Researchers consistently find that patients see the best results weeks after the last treatment.

In one study, patients treated for four weeks with photodynamic therapy (light therapy) experienced a 50% reduction of acne spots.  The effect of the treatment continues: They noted 72% decrease twelve weeks after the last treatment.


Importance of Follow-up Treatments

The outcome from lasers is generally long-lasting.  Follow-up treatments once or twice a year will give you an ideal long-term result.


Side Effects of Acne Lasers Treatments

Redness and swelling are common after treatment with lasers. Rarely, your skin stings or burns. Fortunately, these symptoms are usually mild and resolve within a few hours or by the next day.

Rare side effects are very infrequent.  These include protracted pain, blisters or burns.  Skin color alterations, typically darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation), and scarring is also possible.  There is a simple way to avoid these complications!  Obtain treatments from an experienced physician who frequently uses lasers.  So simple.


Good Acne Skincare

Good acne skincare gives the best results. 

  • Wash twice a day and after sweating.
  • Use your fingertips to apply a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser.
  • Be gentle with your skin.
  • Scrubbing your skin can make acne worse.
  • Rinse with lukewarm water.
  • Shampoo regularly.
  • Let your skin heal naturally.
  • Keep your hands off your face.
  • Stay out of the sun and tanning beds.

Remember, blemish-prone skin requires gentle skin care to prevent new breakouts.


More: Laser and IPL Combination

Acne responds very well to the combination of Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and non-ablative laser therapy. Of course, ablative laser gives the best result in one session.  The IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) is frequently administered form of light therapy.  Lumenis M22 is an IPL with special acne application.  It soothes the angry blemishes and reduces any redness in old acne scars.

IPL, such as Lumenis M22, is a gentle procedure attending to both the p. acne bacteria and the pigmentation and redness of your skin.  It is painless- no numbing gel/cream needed.  It’s a fast “lunch-time” care with no downtime and fewer side effects than oral medication. 

You will receive an apply cold coupling gel on the treatment area to ensure utmost comfort. The session to last 15-20 minutes. You may experience a warm, painless sensation as the light is applied to the clusters of red, angry dots.

A series of treatments is in order to kill the bacteria: Optimal results may take 4-6 sessions, with 4-week rest in between treatments.  Non-ablative laser, such as ReSurFx manufactured by Lumenis, adds serious intensity to your acne therapy and any acne scars present.

You can now fib “I’ve been blessed, acne never knocked on my door. I think I look pretty darn good.” – Deborah Norville

Today, virtually every case of acne can be successfully treated. The use of laser therapy is progressively acknowledged in the treatment of active red dots ready for battle- against your self-esteem.

The laser is a wonderful breakthrough in acne therapy. It works well as a part of combination treatment. It targets existing acne, prevents new breakouts and reduces your chance of developing scars. Now, knowing what to expect, do feel more comfortable about the procedure and inspire to have it, especially if you have a serious outbreak? The laser treatment gives you a fast, wonderful outcome.  The laser is the best arsenal against acne. Enjoy an improved quality of life!