About Laser Acne Treatment
Acne is a chronic skin condition, causing many individuals embarrassment and aggravation. Topical medications may not yield desired results, and prescription medications can present harmful side effects. An alternative for those who are fed up with their facial flaws is laser acne treatment, an FDA-approved procedure that targets the overactive sebaceous glands, helping eliminate acne at the source.
Acne is a result of various factors, such as excess sebum (oil) production, sudden production of p. acnes (propionibacterium), build-up of shedding skin cells and the release of inflammatory substances, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (ADA). Several types of laser acne therapy exist, treating acne in different ways. Blue light therapy targets p. acnes to eliminate acne, while pulsed light and heat energy treatments combine the pulses of light and heat to destroy p. acnes and reduce sebum production by decreasing sebaceous glands. Diode laser therapies treat inflammatory acne. They initially were used on the back but have shown improvements to the face, according to the ADA.
Depending on the physical procedure, some laser acne treatments target only one factor responsible for acne--p. acnes, According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). For this reason, some patients find laser treatment is an incomplete treatment. For these individuals, other remedies may be needed to manage acne. In addition, the use of lasers and light therapies for acne still is being investigated, according to the AAD. More research is needed to determine its effectiveness and long-term effects. A dermatologist can decide whether laser treatment is appropriate for you.
Laser acne treatments may be beneficial for those who have acne in other areas than the face. Individuals who have found over-the-counter remedies ineffective or irritating and those who experience bothersome side effects related to oral medication also may benefit from laser acne treatments. Additionally, those whose skin is clear of acne but have scarring resulting from a previous acne condition may find laser acne treatment effective for improving the appearance of the skin.
One of the major obstacles to obtaining laser acne therapy may be the cost. According to the AAD, laser therapies for acne can be expensive. In addition, insurance companies may not cover such procedures, as they are typically classified as emerging technologies. In 2008, blue light therapy cost between $100 and $200 per session, and treatment generally requires eight sessions, the ADA reports.
Recovery times may vary from person to person. However, typical recovery from laser acne scar treatment is minimal, according to Dr. Eric F. Bernstein, clinical associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Redness and swelling may occur following treatment, which may last for several days.
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