Acne is a skin disease where infected sebaceous glands in the skin generally manifest as red pimples on the face and sometimes even other areas of the body. Although acne is often thought of a condition that only affects teenagers it can also be a problem for adults of any age.
One treatment option that produces good results for adults and teenagers is laser acne treatment. Also known as laser resurfacing, the treatment involves the use of a high energy light to remove the skin that has been damaged by acne scars. Laser acne treatment serves as an alternative to more traditional treatment options such as chemical peels and dermabrasion. Laser treatments can help relieve the entire range of acne conditions including pustules (the medical term for zits), whiteheads and blackheads (non-inflammatory acne) and cysts (more severe lesions).
There are a variety of lasers that can be used for laser acne revision. Some of the most popular laser treatments include:
· Fraxel Laser – Causes the natural healing process of the patient’s body to stimulate the growth of collagen. In turn, this leads to healthy skin cell regeneration.
· Pulse-Dye Laser – Heats the blood in the vessel walls and any underlying blood vessels. This causes the vessels to narrow and reduces the redness on the skin.
· Isolaz Acne Laser – This treatment destroys the bacteria creating the acne and by vacuuming the excess sebum, skin debris, and oils from the clogged pores, improving blackheads. The vacuum process is followed by a flash of light that kills the bacteria.
Whether or not the doctor uses one of the lasers listed above or decides on another laser acne treatment option, they all generally work in the same manner:
· The laser heats the oil (sebaceous) glands in the skin which causes the sebaceous glands to shrink. The shrinking of the glands leads to less oil production. It also affects the sebaceous glands without harming the outer layers of the skin.
· Some bacteria on the skin can get trapped in the hair follicles causing inflammation. The pores cannot receive any oxygen which in turn causes inflammation. The laser treatment allows oxygen to enter the trapped pores which destroys the inflammation causing bacteria.
The areas that can be treated by laser acne removal include just about any area where acne is found on the body. These areas include the face, back, chest area, and neck. The lasers are designed to treat the skin where the acne is prominent without damaging any of the surrounding areas of the body.
Thankfully, the types of laser treatments for acne that is used by the doctor don't matter as most laser acne therapies are not painful for the patient. There might be a bit of discomfort and even some redness following the treatment. Both the redness and the discomfort resolve naturally over time. A soothing cream can help relieve the discomfort.
Skin peeling, blistering, and skin darkening can occur in some cases. In these situations, patients should avoid direct sunlight as much as possible until the skin returns to normal.
No two patients are exactly the same which means the final results will be different for each person. The results depend on the laser used in the treatment as well as the severity of the acne on the patient. These factors must be taken into account when looking at the results. Visible results can be seen anywhere from two weeks to two or three months following laser acne treatment.
Once again, the results of laser acne treatment depend on the laser used and the severity of the patient’s acne. In many cases, follow-up treatments to resurface the skin can be performed once or twice per year.
The total cost for laser acne treatment is different across the country. Some of the cost variables include:
· The laser used in the treatment
· The amount of treatments the patient undergoes
· The state where the treatment is performed
In general, the cost can range from anywhere as low as $85-$200 per treatment to the higher range of $400-$600 per treatment.
While acne is mostly viewed as a “teenage condition”, adults of all ages can suffer from hard to treat outbreaks of acne. Consulting with a board-certified doctor is a first step in undergoing laser acne treatment. A thorough examination gives an experienced doctor the information he needs to determine which laser treatment is best suited to solve the acne problems currently being suffered by the patient.
Written by Cosmetic Town Editorial Team - MA
Based on an exclusive interview with Nissan Pilest, MD in Irvine, CA