Diseases Acne

What Is Laser Treatment For Acne?

Introduction

Laser treatment for acne is considered an option for people with acne scars or active acne. The therapy can be expensive, but depending on the results; it may be worth it. There are several types of laser treatment available, including blue light, photodynamic and pulsed light. Each therapy can have side effects. Laser treatment for acne is considered a last minute alternative to dealing with acne that has proven resilient to other forms of treatment, including oral medications, prescription creams and cleansers. A dermatologist can help to determine if laser treatment is a viable option for treating outbreaks and whether it will be effective.

Overview

Laser treatment for acne involves the use of energy beams or lasers to remove visible acne from a person's skin. The therapy is becoming more common place since more insurance companies are beginning to cover the procedure. The procedure can run up $500 per treatment. Depending on the severity of the acne, the number of treatments a client may need can vary. In most instances, a physician will recommend three treatments. The treatments are performed once a month on an outpatient basis in the physician's office. The lasers used in the therapy work to reduce the bacteria in the skin that leads to the development of acne. Although light devices that function similarly to the lasers are available for home use, it is recommended that the therapy is performed in a licensed physician's office.

Effectiveness

The effectiveness of laser treatment for acne varies depending on the types of acne present. Regular zits that most young people are affected by are usually treated successfully by laser treatment. The therapy is less effective when dealing with non-inflammatory acne such as blackheads and whiteheads. People who are suffering from the more severe forms of acne including nodules and cysts may not experience any noticeable change after laser treatment. Physicians have found that the results obtained by using laser treatment for acne are usually short-lived due to the quick growing nature of the bacteria that causes the breakouts. Some studies have noted a success rate as low as 37 percent when dealing with laser treatment for acne. Research is ongoing to determine under what conditions can the results from laser treatment be improved.

Side Effects

The most common side effects from laser treatment for acne is redness and swelling. The side effects usually disappear on their own without any need for treatment. In some rare instances, some patients have noted a darkening of the skin in the areas that received laser treatment. When this occurs, patients are advised to avoid all sunlight for at least 30 hours to prevent the further darkening of the skin. The dark spots or patches usually clear within a week of having the treatment. Peeling and some pain are also side effects that may be experienced after receiving laser treatment for acne. A physician can provide tips on minimizing the effects and dealing with them. Depending on the severity of the effect, medications may be recommended to lessen the affect of the side effect.

By Laurel Moore, published at 02/27/2012
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