Laser Light Treatment for Acne
Before choosing laser light acne treatment for acne, consider all aspects and alternatives to make an informed decision as to whether or not the procedure is right for you. Your dermatologist can help decide if your acne may benefit from these treatments. According to Mayo Clinic, the FDA has approved some lasers for treatment of acne, but benefits and effectiveness of laser light therapy is still currently unknown.
Laser light treatment is one of many possible acne treatments available. The procedure can be done by itself or in conjunction with another form of treatment. Laser light therapy works to target the deeper layers of skin without damaging the skin's surface. Certain lasers work to target the sebaceous (oil) glands, which causes them to produce less oil. Other lasers work by targeting Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), which is the bacterium that causes acne inflammation. Laser light therapy has also been used to treat acne scarring.
There are different types of laser treatment available. Blue light therapy uses a low-intensity blue light sources that targets and destroys P. acnes. Blue light therapy requires multiple treatments. Newer treatments include a combination of blue and red light. Pulsed light and heat energy therapy is an FDA-approved acne therapy that is thought to destroy P. acnes and shrink sebaceous glands. Sebaceous glands are responsible for excess oil production associated with acne. Diode laser treatment also targets sebaceous glands and the thick middle layer of skin. Analgesics can be used to improve pain associated with laser treatments.
Preparation and Recovery
You must avoid exposure to sunlight before the laser treatment. If you must be exposed to sunlight, use a high SPF sunblock, wear protective clothing and stick to shady areas. Numbing cream can be applied to the area to minimize pain and discomfort during the procedure. Your skin may be red after the procedure, requiring gentle skin care and avoidance of sunlight and other light sources for 48 hours.
The advantages to laser light acne treatment include the possibility of reduced acne and the ability to treat hard-to-reach areas, such as the back and shoulders. The procedure can remove the need to apply or take other forms of medication. The treatment can also target other skin conditions, such as acne scarring.
According to Skinsight, a website with dermatological information, the risks of laser light acne treatment include lack of results, redness and blistering, temporary skin darkening, temporary or permanent skin lightening and rare scarring. Long-term benefits and risks are still unknown. The procedure may be costly. Laser treatment is often not covered by medical insurance, and is often considered a cosmetic procedure.
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