Cosmetic correctional procedures, otherwise known as plastic surgery, embraced lasers as a powerful tool some time ago, so it’s no surprise that acne laser treatment is becoming a more mainstream approach. Laser treatment for scars are commonplace, and now lasers are being used as a preventive measure against acne formation since it burns the follicle sac (from which hair grows) and the sebaceous gland and also induces oxygen to kill the P. Acnes bacteria.
However, on the flip side, inaccurate use of laser to treat acne causes thermal damages resulting in hyperpigmented macules (spots). Additionally, permanent dry skin or dry patches that take a long time to heal can result from faulty laser methods. Nevertheless, the FDA approved the use of laser as an effective treatment for acne and skin texture enhancer, although it is expensive and has limited treatment protocols. there are instances of acne laser treatment causing painful burn injuries, so it’s paramount that the therapy is offered by an appropriately licensed medical facility.
About Acne Laser Treatment
Acne laser treatment is more effective with garden variety zits or pimples (papules and pustules) rather than with non-inflammatory acne like blackheads and whiteheads. this is because lasers work by agitating the porphyrins (the various pigments distributed widely in living tissues-and also in the bacteria in acne). this agitation damages the bacteria’s cell wall, effectively killing it.
Usually, three treatments are recommended (30 days apart), regardless of the type of laser being used. To boost the effect of these acne lasers, 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is sometimes applied on the skin before treatment begins. this makes the skin more sensitive to light, which in turn increases the amount of porphyrins-and the agitation-within the P.Acnes bacteria.
Types of Acne Lasers
Blue light therapy: Blue light is low-intensity, yet strong enough to destroy P. acnes. It is a painless procedure but requires multiple sessions because P. acnes bacteria multiply quickly. The only downside to blue light therapy is its ongoing nature and the possible side effects-temporary redness and dryness in the areas of skin that are treated. Recently, blue light therapy has been teamed with red light, a combination thought to increase the efficacy of the treatment compared to just blue light.
Pulsed light and heat energy therapy: Pulsed light combined with heat energy (simply a hot beam) is believed to destroy P. acnes by shrinking the sebaceous glands. this lessens oil production. a temporary, mild redness of the treated areas may exhibit as a side effect.
Diode laser therapy: Diode lasers are capable of destroying the sebum-producing glands located in the dermis (the deep, vascular inner layer of the skin). but these lasers don’t affect the epidermis (the outer, visible layer). It is more painful at times than the previous two procedures but analgesics can usually take care of the pain. as with other acne laser treatment, temporary redness and/or swelling of treated areas are the most common side effects of diode laser therapy.
Photopneumatic therapy: this is a combination acne laser treatment. It involves vacuum suction along with blue and red light therapy. The suction aids in removing the oil and the dead skin cells that clog up the sebaceous glands. after the suction, blue and red light therapy is employed to destroy the P. acnes bacteria, which boasts the side benefit of reducing inflammation.
Photodynamic therapy: this is another combination therapy involving topical medications and light. The treatment involves applying photosensitizing agents to enhance the effect of light on the skin. The light’s colors are either blue or red and are administered in a pulsed format. as in other laser treatments, redness and swelling are the side effects of this therapy. Additionally, the skin may crust and-ironically-acne breakouts may occur.
Acne Laser Treatment | Effectiveness
There are a number of studies on laser light therapy and the early returns are promising, but none of the studies are large enough or conclusive enough to definitively gauge the effectiveness of this family of treatments. also unknown at this point are the long-term advantages and risks. your best option is to discuss your condition with your physician to determine whether acne laser treatment or an alternative treatment is the best option for you.
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