“Medical procedures, such as light therapy or chemical peels, may help clear stubborn acne.” – MayoClinic
Now, it is very rare that you will need to undergo laser acne treatment.
However, in some cases, it may be a necessity. Your doctor may recommend laser acne treatment if all over the counter and prescriptive acne treatments have failed to clear up your acne. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at what laser acne treatment is, whether or not is it effective, what are its benefits and cost, and why you may need to undergo it.
What is Laser Acne Treatment in The First Place?
As you may well know, acne is caused by bacteria in the skin. It does not matter what the underlying cause of your acne is, whether it is puberty, not cleaning your skin properly, or something else altogether. The inflammation is always going to be caused by bacteria. This bacteria starts to grow when your skin pores become blocked. It is this which causes inflammation.
Laser acne treatment involved a variety of lights. The type of light used will be dependent on the physician providing you with your laser acne treatment.
There is no general consensus as to which method is most effective at the moment. There are a number of different machines out there such as SmoothBeam® laser, ICG, Diode laser, and different radio frequency devices.
Is it Effective?
Although, majority of the clinical trials done on the subject are small cohort (few people undergoing trial), they all show at least some (if not significant) improvement in acne condition.
I’d like to quote one study published on Journal of American Academy of Dermatology:
“Significant improvement in acne lesion counts were noted after the first treatment and was maintained 12 months after the third treatment, indicating significant long-term clinical remission after laser treatment.” [source]
What it Does?
Laser acne treatment looks to kill the bacteria on your skin. It will penetrate deep into it. It will penetrate to places which ordinary acne products are unable to reach. By killing bacteria, acne-related symptoms are greatly reduced. Most people will find that laser acne treatment is all that it takes to eradicate their acne once and for all.
In addition to this, laser acne treatment will shrink the glands on your skin which produce oil. As you know, the vast majority of acne cases are actually caused by the oil, known as sebum, flowing into the pores and blocking them up. By reducing excess oil production, you will be well on your way towards kissing goodbye to your symptoms.
How is Laser Acne Treatment Performed?
The treatment process is actually fairly simple, although you will need to rest after as it can be quite painful for some people. The length of the session will, of course, be dependent on the type of acne that you are suffering from and where it is located on your body – Is it on your chest? Your back? Or even on your neck?
The procedure will begin with a solution being applied to the skin. This is a medication and will come in the form of a cream. The purpose of this cream is to make your skin more sensitive to light. By boosting sensitivity to light, the chances of this method of treatment working are far greater.
After this, the doctor will apply the laser light to your skin. The actual method for doing this will be dependent on where the acne is located. It will also be influenced by the actual machine that the doctor is using for the procedure. In most cases, it will involve a small gun-like item being brushed over your skin slowly. The way in which the treatment works, other than the type of light put out, will be the same.
In most cases, you will need to return to your doctor on a regular basis to undergo further treatments. The number of times that you will need to return will be dependent on the severity of your acne. You should, however, notice a decrease in your symptoms pretty soon after you have undergone the first treatment.
How Much Can Acne Laser Treatment Cost?
For obvious reasons, I can’t tell you the price of laser acne treatment. However, you do have to be prepared for it not to be cheap. This is not a conventional acne treatment and, at the moment, there are very few places that can offer you laser acne treatment, sadly. This means that the prices which do offer it are probably going to charge a pretty high rate for it.
It is probably worth noting at this point that under most insurance policies you may not be covered for laser acne treatment. This is because it is a new treatment and the impact of it is not well-known at the moment. The result is that many insurance companies are not offering it under their policies, just because they do not know whether it is going to work on a person or not.
Before you try out acne laser treatment, it is recommended that you ensure that no other method of eradicating your acne works first. This will save you money.
Benefits of Laser Acne Treatment
Perhaps the biggest benefit of laser acne treatment is that it will, most likely, work. It does not work for everybody, but for most people, it will clear up their acne. You may have to return for a few sessions to make sure it is gone, but this will not take too long.
If no other method of removing your acne is working then this is a treatment that you are really going to want to look into.
Other Side of the Picture
This method of treating acne is not going to work on everybody. It is almost impossible to predict whether it will work on you beforehand. This means that you are going to be paying for a treatment ‘out of pocket’ which has zero guarantee of having an impact on you, which is not a good thing.
In addition to this, you may experience a small amount of pain during and after the treatment. It is not a lot of pain, but it can be uncomfortable. Depending on the type of laser that is used to administer this treatment, you may also suffer from skin peeling or light sensitivity afterwards.
You will need to avoid sunlight for 30 hours (or more as suggested by your physician) after the treatment to ensure that you are not going to be damaging your skin.
Therefore, this treatment is not going to be suitable for everybody. And its success is highly dependent on the expertise and experience of the practitioner. So, make sure you’re consulting with a reputable Derm about your laser acne treatment.