Acner.org: Acne treatment

Acner.org: Acne treatment

Information on Laser Acne Removal

Information on Laser Acne Removal Information on Laser Acne Removal

Overview

Acne is a skin condition in which the pores become blocked and develop into inflamed nodules called pustules. These pustules may rupture and lead to scarring when the lesions don't heal quickly. Dermatologists can use lasers to remove the scars caused by acne and other imperfections in the skin.

Er:YAG Laser

The most recent type of laser used for resurfacing the skin is the erbium, yttrium, aluminum and garnet (Er:YAG) laser. This type of laser produces light that's easily absorbed by the skin, which results in a shorter recovery time. However, few long-term studies are available on the effects of an Er:YAG laser.

CO2 Laser

The carbon dioxide (CO2) laser has been in use for a longer period of time than the Er:YAG laser. This means that the results of treatment with a CO2 laser are generally more predictable than those of the Er:YAG laser. A CO2 laser treatment generally requires a longer recovery period than an Er:YAG laser treatment.

Medication

Patients who receive laser resurfacing will routinely receive anti-viral medication for months before the procedure. This will help prevent the viral infections that are likely when a large amount of skin is removed. Patients generally receive only local anesthesia for laser resurfacing, although a large treatment area may require a nerve block anesthesia.

Procedure

Laser resurfacing is typically performed on the face, so the patient's eyes will need to be protected from the laser. The laser will make multiple passes over the treatment area based on the operator's instructions. A CO2 laser usually requires more passes than an Er:YAG laser.

Recovery

The recovery from laser resurfacing may be done as an open or closed wound, depending on the surgeon's preference. An open wound doesn't have a dressing and is soaked in a solution of acetic acid or salt water. A closed wound has a dressing that's changed daily until the skin can form a scab.

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