Many individuals experience mild acne during some point in their lives. Usually, the acne clears up after some time. However, some people experience serious trouble with acne, which needs more than just over the counter medications. There are various treatments available in the market for treating severe acne, however one treatment stands out amongst them all. The treatment which stands out and is rapidly gaining popularity is the laser treatment for acne. Mentioned below are some procedures for treating acne as well as laser treatment for acne.
This is an aesthetic medical procedure wherein the skin’s surface is removed by abrasion or sanding. This procedure is used to get rid of sun damaged skin as well as to remove or reduce dark spots and scars on the skin. This procedure is extremely painful and normally requires a general anaesthetic. Following the procedure, the skin turns very red and it requires several months for the skin to heal. Dermabrasion is effective in scar removal if the scar is raised above the surrounding skin and is less helpful with sunken scars.
During the past, dermabrasion was performed by using a sterilized electric sander. At present, it has become common to use laser dermabrasion with the help of CO2 and Er:YAG laser. Sometimes, a combination of both these lasers is used for the treatment of acne scars. The indications for the use of CO2 laser treatment would include previous non erythematous, burn scars, non-proliferative hypertrophic scars and atrophic acne scars. Laser dermabrasion is easy to control, easy to gauge, and is almost bloodless in comparison to classic dermabrasion.
Red and Blue Light:
Light exposure has been used as a short term acne treatment. Lately, visible light (deep penetrating light treatment or phototherapy) has been effectively employed in order to treat mild and moderate acne; with the use of intense violet light of 405-420 nm which is generated by dichroic bulbs, purpose built fluorescent lighting, and lasers or LED’s. When used twice a week, this treatment has shown to lessen the number of acne lesions by almost 64% and has proven even more effective when used on a daily basis. The mechanism appears to be that a porphyrin which is produced within P. acnes produces free radicals whenever irradiated by the 420 nm and shorter wavelengths of light. When applied over a period of time, these free radicals eventually kill the bacteria. As porphyrins are not present in the skin and there is no UV light employed, it seems to be safe and has been approved by the FDA.
It appears that this treatment functions even better when used in a combination with violet and red visible light. This leads to a 76% decrease of lesions following three months treatment on a daily basis. For 80% of the patients, the overall clearance was almost similar or even superior to Benzoyl peroxide. Unlike a majority of other treatments, this treatment causes a few side effects and development of bacterial resistance to the treatment is quite unlikely. Post treatment, the clearance achieved is long term as compared to any oral or topical antibiotic treatments.
Laser treatment or laser surgery has been used for a very long time to help in reducing scars that have been caused due to acne. However, lasers have been researched for the prevention of acne formation. The lasers are made use of in order to produce some of the effects mentioned below:
- To burn the sebaceous gland that produces the excess oil
- To burn the follicle sac from which the hair grows
- To induce the formation of oxygen in the bacteria
As intense pulsed light treatments and lasers result in thermal damage to skin, it raises concerns about the lasers or intense pulsed light therapies for acne, causing hyper pigmented spots or perhaps long term skin dryness.
Generally, acne can be cured with the help of over-the-counter medications. However, if the acne is severe and does not improve with over the counter creams and medications, it is always advisable to consult a dermatologist for the right treatment procedure.
The FDA has approved the use of aesthetic lasers for treating acne. However, efficiency studies have made use of very small sample sizes for a period of six months or less, and have revealed contradictory results. Since, laser treatment is relatively new, the protocols remain subject to revision and experimentation with the treatments being quite expensive. Furthermore, some smooth beam laser devices were recalled as a result of coolant failure and caused painful burn injuries to patients.
Laser acne treatment works perfectly and ensures a boost to the confidence of individuals who are looking for a treatment that would surely treat their acne. Laser acne treatment enjoys an extremely high success rate and is rapidly gaining popularity as an option for severe acne treatment.