What is acne?
Acne appears on the skin as blackheads (sebum-filled pores) or as whiteheads (flesh-colored bumps, sometimes with pus inside). Acne mostly appears on the face, but it can also appear on the back, chest, shoulders, and arms.
How does this condition occur?
There is no consensus on how acne is caused, however, it is known that hormones and stress usually affect this condition. Teenagers and young adults are more susceptible to acne due to their hormone fluctuations, but older adults can have acne too.
What are acne treatments?
There are many treatments for acne on the market. Facial cleansers that target acne are an option for mild acne, while other topical treatments like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can offer relief for temporary breakouts. For more severe acne and acne scarring, laser therapy is beneficial.
What type of methods are used to treat acne?
Acne can be treated at home with cleansers and topical ointments. More severe cases are treated by dermatologists with lasers and antibiotics. Some doctors may treat acne with oral contraceptives.
What types of lasers are used to treat acne?
Various types of laser can be used to treat acne and acne scarring. Intense Pulsed Light lasers are a gentle option that targets the bacteria in acne as well as any hyperpigmentation. There are very few side effects and the treatment doesn’t require downtime. KTP 532 lasers are also good options because they do not affect the surrounding skin and can easily target the acne or scarring. 1064 Nd:YAG lasers are a common laser that safe, but scars can potentially return with this type of laser. They are able to penetrate deeper into the skin as well, without damaging the surrounding skin.
What are the benefits of laser acne treatment?
Laser therapy is beneficial for those with severe acne or scarring, as it is the most effective treatment for heavy acne. There is no downtime required and little to no side effects as compared to other treatments like medications.
Who is a good candidate for laser acne treatment?
Candidates who do not have sensitive skin, have not responded well to other acne treatments, and who are in good physical health are the ideal candidates for laser therapy. Those who have mild acne should try other methods of
treatment first before jumping in to laser therapy.
What is the average cost of laser acne treatment?
Laser treatments for acne can get very expensive, and insurance does not cover this cost as it’s a cosmetic procedure. Most sessions will run approximately $200-$800, but the size of the area being treated can greatly affect this. The type of laser being used can also affect the cost of treatment.
How many treatments will I need to remove my acne?
Most patients need multiple sessions in order to fully treat acne. If acne is severe, four to six sessions may be necessary. However, the number of sessions will be highly affected by the severity of the acne.
How long will each treatment take?
Each treatment can last about half an hour to over an hour, depending upon the area being treated. Larger areas and more severe acne will take longer to treat.
How far apart are treatments?
Treatments will usually be four to six weeks apart. The frequency of treatments will depend upon how bad the acne is and how it is responding to the treatments. Your doctor will determine the best treatment schedule for your case.
How can I prepare for the treatment/procedure?
All patients who will have laser therapy for acne should avoid the sun and any harsh skin care solutions. Follow a
gentle skin care routine, always use sunscreen, and take any antiviral medications recommended by your doctor.
What should I expect after the treatment?
Redness is common after this type of treatment, however, many patients experience no visible change in their skin right after the procedure. If you have a topical gel on during the treatment, you may notice a sunburned look for a couple of days after the treatment. This will resolve on its own.
Where can I go to find a treatment?
Many dermatology clinics offer laser therapy for acne. Plastic surgery clinics also offer these services.