Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Home Laser Treatment for Acne

Home Laser Treatment for Acne

Overview

At-home laser treatment is a misnomer. Though the devices sold for home use are said to be lasers, they're really low-level light emitters. But low-level light therapy has been proven to improve the appearance of the skin, though it's still left to be seen whether or not these at-home devices have the same effect on acne as their professional counterparts used by dermatologists.

Acne-Causing Bacteria

The bacteria responsible for acne is said to be photosensitive, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Molecules within the P. acnes bacteria absorb low-level light. As these pathogens soak up light energy, they're essentially heated from the inside out. This destroys the bacteria, which should reduce the signs of infection and help to speed the recovery time of acne. This is the idea behind both the professional low-level light emitters and those devices issued for home use.

Light Therapy

Light therapy has other benefits besides killing the bacteria responsible for acne. When light therapy is administered in a doctor's office, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Mayo Clinic maintain that it should also help to shrink oil glands. Excess oil, coupled with dead skin, can clog the pores, leading to a soft plug, which usually results in the formation of the comedones, papules and pustules associated with acne. Devices used at home may not be able to assert this same claim. This is largely because at-home devices contain such low levels of light that the energy isn't necessarily able to reach the sebaceous glands.

Effects

If these at-home devices are unable to reach the sebaceous glands, the glands remain the same size as before and continue to produce excess oil. This means that at-home device do nothing to prevent additional breakouts. The only benefit that these products could provide is ridding any infected pores of the P. acnes bacteria, and even then the results may not be as expected.

Use

At-home treatments are typically administered in three- to six-minute intervals. You place the device directly over the blemishes, twice a day, according to one of the makers the home laser kits. The time in which it takes to rid the skin of acne varies from person to person, and the improvement of your complexion may end up being a result of time rather than the use of the light emitting device.

Considerations

If you're looking for an inexpensive, yet effective way to treat acne, you may be better off with simple self-care methods. This includes washing with a gentle cleanser twice a day and applying an over-the-counter acne medication containing benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid or lactic acid. If these fail to provide results, you can talk to a dermatologist about a prescription medication or in-office treatment.

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