Do acne laser treatments work? A guide to acne laser treatments.
Acne is still one of the most prominent skin conditions in the globe. In fact, 95% of adolescents between the ages of 11-30 will suffer from acne. The skin condition is most prevalent across all genders between the ages of 14-19 years old.
Acne is a skin condition that can reduce and flare up throughout adolescence and into adulthood. It’s a skin condition that can come on at almost any without warning and has both emotional and mental effects as well as the obvious physical.
It is common that with acne, confidence can decrease and awareness of your skin condition and eyes on you is heightened. That is why many teenagers and young adults consider acne treatments.
These acne treatments range from both medical to surgical and also laser. Acne treatments vary depending on the severity and location of your acne. Usually, laser acne treatment is used when acne has resulted in scarring.
WHAT ARE ACNE LASER TREATMENTS AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
Some forms of acne result in acne scarring. If left untreated acne scarring can leave a lasting effect on the skin. Dermatologists use laser acne treatment for mild-to-severe acne cases and also as a way of resurfacing the skin or removing the affected part of the skin. The laser treatment is used to reduce skin ‘pitting’ and uneven skin surfaces, but also helps with changes to skin pigment as a result of acne scarring.
How laser acne treatment works is through the use of various types of lights to remove skin cells from the surface of your skin. This stimulates the reproduction of new cells and collagen on the skin. Through the use of laser beams directed at specific areas of your skin, the laser removes the acne-scarred skin creating an opportunity for new skin cell growth. This stimulates the natural healing of the skin and the reduction of oily blotches on your skin in order to remove scarring.
Acne scarring treatments tend to be part of an acne treatment programme that should be initiated once the original acne has been suppressed and isn’t flaring up. Laser acne treatment will require multiple sessions in order to help fully remove scar tissue from the outer layer of the skin.
During the healing process, your dermatologist is likely to recommend lotions and other acne treatment advice to ensure you’re supporting the healing of acne and the laser treatment to gain the best results from the laser treatment.
WHAT LASERS ARE USED TO TREAT ACNE?
As mentioned, there are multiple light and laser beams that are used by dermatologists to treat your acne scarring. These are:
Blue & Red Light Acne Treatment
A common form of acne light treatment that has the least impact on your acne. This form of treatment does not help with acne pimples, blemishes or blackheads on the skin.
PDT Acne Treatment
Photodynamic Therapy, also known as (PDT) which makes the skin sensitive to light. This use of light treatment for acne is used for up to 3 hours depending on the severity of the acne and is used as a pre-treatment before using laser acne treatment on the skin.
TYPES OF ACNE LASER TREATMENT
There are three types of acne laser treatment commonly used by dermatologist acne clinics. These include:
Ablative Acne Laser Treatment
Ablative acne laser treatment removes small layers of skin surrounding the acne scar which allows the skin to grow back, free of scarring or tenseness. The skin comes back smoother and blemish-free, but is only used on deeper acne scarring that doesn’t need surgical procedures.
Non-Ablative Acne Laser Treatment
Non-ablative acne laser treatment stimulates skin collagen production. This type of acne scarring treatment does not remove any skin cells – it is more for the use of skin cell regeneration and used in milder forms of acne scarring that do not require surgical procedures.
Fractionated Acne Laser Treatment
Fractionated laser acne treatment is similar to non-ablative laser treatment as it does not remove any skin cells. It does, however, break down the skin that cells that are causing blemishes and colour differences. This is used to help the skin regenerate to its natural colour and remove redness and blotchy skin colour from acne scarring.
More information on the types of acne laser treatment >>
ALTERNATIVE ACNE TREATMENTS TO LASERS
Microneedling SkinPen Acne Treatment
Microneedling SkinPen is used as an acne treatment through the use of tiny needles to penetrate through the skin to induce a wound-healing reaction that creates microchannels that increases the delivery of specialist products to stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin fibres.
Dermatologists use Microneedling as there is less of a reliance on laser treatments due to the creation of microchannels that boosts the creation of collagen and elastin.
This also allows for skin lotions to impact deeper into the skin pores, clearing out oily composites inside the skin.
DO ACNE LASER TREATMENTS WORK?
Acne scars tend to come in 3 forms. These are:
Boxcar Acne Scarring
Boxcar acne scarring creates divots also known as craters on the skin. This creates a bump and uneven skin surface.
Ice Pick Acne Scarring
Ice pick scars are an advancement of boxcar scars, creating deeper holes in the skin. These create deeper crevices resulting in some creases in the skin.
Rolling Acne Scarring
Rolling acne scars creates a thickened scar tissue that creates the rippling effect that causes acne wrinkles and skin creases
In treating these types of acne scarring, results will naturally vary. You should also consider other factors, such as your age, your diet, your water consumption and your exercise pattern. Whilst these considerations do not have a direct correlation to your acne skin condition in isolation, they naturally build up a profile of how healthy your skin is and how effective laser acne treatments can be in relation to your skin health.
In short, however, acne laser treatment is known to improve acne skin scarring by at least 50%. When used on milder forms of acne, laser acne treatment tends to be between 90-100% successful in the reduction and healing of acne scarring. It must be noted, however, that this is on a case-by-case basis and 100% is an indicative number.
THE LONG LASTING EFFECTS OF ACNE LASER TREATMENT
When considering acne lasering as your choice of acne treatment, you should consider the severity of your acne. For those who suffer from stronger forms of acne, managing your expectations is key.
It is true that acne treatments are very effective and can certainly help with at least reducing your acne in some way or form, however, the treatment and form of laser acne treatment you need/use will result in varied results.
Naturally, ablative, being a more intrusive laser treatment, tends to yield permanent results as the skin cells are being removed to allow for skin regeneration. However, non-ablative forms of acne laser treatment yield either permanent or at least long-term results that must be managed closely by the patient over time.
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