Are they Effective & Safe?

From over-the-counter creams to antibiotics to a variety of home remedies for acne, the list of treatments available for acne are endless, and the latest entrant in this list is the Laser treatment. But how effective is the laser therapy? Will it clear my acne scars too? Are there any side-effects? If you want to know the answers to these questions, keep reading.

There are so many questions often asked about this treatment method that even though it is not a home remedy for acne we feel it important enough to try and provide you with some information so that you can make the best decisions concerning your treatment plan.

Laser treatment for acne has recently become quite popular, and a lot of dermatologists recommend it for treating active acne, acne scars and other skin conditions. While laser treatments have shown extraordinary results, they are not suitable for everyone. They are mainly used for:

  • Reduction & elimination of scars
  • Treating active acne
  • Shrinking oil producing glands
  • Controlling the Acne-causing bacteria

Different Types of Laser Therapies

The thought of laser rays being beamed into your skin might sound scary, but it actually depends greatly on the type of laser used to the amount of pain and redness on the skin, it is a relatively simple process. During a Laser treatment for acne the doctor holds a laser pen just above the pimple or scar tissue, and concentrates the beam in that area. The laser beam reaches deeper levels of the skin, destroys the unwanted tissues and creates room for new collagen or skin cell growth.

Depending upon the severity of your acne and the underlying cause, the doctor will recommend the most suitable laser and light treatment for you. Let’s have a look at the various types of Laser treatments:

1.) Blue Light Therapy –Blue Light therapy is FDA approved and is mostly used for treating inflammatory Acne Vulgaris. It involves killing the acne-causing bacteria P. Acnes, with a narrow-band, high intensity blue laser light.

2.) Pulsed light and heat energy (LHE) therapy – This treatment combines pulses of green light and heat, which targets two main causes of acne – excessive oil production by the sebaceous glands and bacterial infections. The LHE therapy destroys P. acnes, the acne causing bacteria and shrinks the size of oil producing glands. If you suffer from mild to moderate acne, LHE therapy is best suited for you.

3.) Diode Laser Treatment – 1450-nm Diode lasers destroy the sebaceous gland, the thick middle layer of the skin responsible for oil secretion. Diode treatment can get a little painful, which is why analgesics are applied to the skin before starting the treatment. This is most effective for laser treatment for acne on the back.

4.) Pulsed Dye Laser – Another laser treatment useful for mild to moderate acne is Pulsed dye laser. This is quite effective in treating inflammatory acne lesions and shows remarkable results in just one sitting. If you are looking for quick relief from inflammation and acne, Pulsed dye laser can work well for you.

5.) ALA + Light TreatmentThis treatment involves two steps – first a solution of Aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is applied to the skin, this makes your skin more sensitive to light. Step 2 involves, cleaning up the ALA solution and using light therapy on scars and active acne. You will need to avoid sun exposure and use high SPF sunscreen after the treatment.

While laser therapies are being widely used for the treatment of acne, a lot of people are still quite skeptical about going for them.  It is still only treating the condition from the outside, it is not getting to the root of the problem and it is not uncommon for some people who undergo laser treatment for acne to get recurring breakouts even after several treatments with lasers. I would strongly suggest that you don’t solely rely on laser treatment to solve your breakouts, but rather include dietary changes, supplementation and other internal remedies, in order to take a holistic approach to your acne.

Some of the common side effects of laser include Sore skin, Dryness & Flakiness, Itching, Bleeding on the treated spots, Oozing, Redness of skin etc. Most of these side-effects are temporary and depending on the laser go away within 48 hours to two weeks after the treatment.

One of the main drawbacks for laser treatment is the cost they can often be very expensive, with no guarantee that the result will be permanent. There is also the issue of very little regulation as to who can operate a laser machine in many countries, this is often where people encounter problems, make sure that the practitioner you see is well qualified and has had extensive experience with the use of laser to treat acne before you go ahead with treatment.

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