Acne Laser Treatment


Most people who see a dermatologist about their acne problems are prescribed medications in an attempt to cure the symptoms of the condition. Sadly, most medications do not actually treat any root causes of acne or attempt to prevent it from returning in the long term. They are simply trying to cover up the problem instead of fixing it.

Additionally, many of the most harsh yet routinely prescribed acne prescription medications can bring about a large number of serious and unwanted side effects. Which is why people turn to vitamins for controlling acne.

Laser treatment is not an option that many people consider to be useful for acne – but can it be? There are other skin conditions where dermatologist successfully use laser to reduce the appearance of blemishes; for example, rosacea and birth marks. Laser treatments for the skin have come a long way, and in recent years the technology of laser machines has resulted in them becoming more useful for a wider variety of skin conditions, and without the severe side effects that were once common place when older, less advanced laser therapy machines were in use.

So how can laser therapy help people who have acne? The main idea behind this treatment option is that the laser should destroy the bacteria that causes the inflammation associated with acne. Laser therapy can also target redness on the skin – another major problem for many acne sufferers. Due to the nature and intent of laser treatment, it is generally used for inflammatory acne, and not all types of acne may be suited for this type of therapy (it’s not simply for reducing pimples for example). Your dermatologist will be able to advice on whether or not laser therapy is a viable option for your skin problem.

One approach however that many people do not consider before looking into more severe therapies such as laser, is that of a holistic one. You can read more about this type of approach in our Acne No More review.

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

IPL Laser Treatment. Photo credit Vancouver Laser & Skincare Centre @ FlickrBut laser treatment is not only being used to treat the acne itself. Acne scarring is a huge problem for millions of people. Old acne lesions can turn into lifelong scars, and it can be extremely difficult to reduce the appearance of these. Some people live with their acne scars for life, believing that there is simply nothing that can be done about them.

Does laser therapy work for acne scars? Intense pulsed light (IPL) type laser is now being used to treat acne scars. It is billed as a permanent solution, although laser is never guaranteed to work for each and every individual.

What Are The Downsides?

There are of course a number of important factors to consider before you decide that you’d like to try laser therapy for your acne problem. The first is the cost of the procedures. Due to the nature of laser therapy, it almost always requires multiple sessions to get the results that you desire. In some cases it will take two or three laser sessions, whilst some people who have more severe acne and related skin symptoms, will need up to eight or more laser sessions in order to see results.

The consequence of this of course is that the cost of acne laser treatment adds up quickly. A basic laser therapy session may cost from anywhere between $200 up to $400 per treatment, depending upon the type of laser machine and how severe your skin is.

Laser therapy is a relatively painful process, although it is generally a fast procedure. The sensation that a person feels whilst undergoing a facial laser treatment is similar to that of having a rubber band snapped against the skin. Immediately after the treatment, the patient will feel a burning sensation, and the skin will generally be quite red and sensitive. In cases where a higher laser setting has been used, bruising may occur in the days following.

laser warningThese symptoms should clear within one week of the laser treatment. Newer and more technological advanced laser therapy machines have reduced the side effects that people experience in recent years, however many will still be uncomfortable with the after-effects, and it can be worth planning to take some time off work or other commitments in order to recover.

Another possible side effect of laser treatment is permanent scarring. Whilst this has become a much rarer occurrence with the developments in laser therapy technology, it is still a possibility and one to keep in mind as a risk factor for laser treatments.

Should You Get Laser Treatment for Acne?

Whilst laser treatment may be a suitable option for many people who suffer from severe and stubborn acne and acne scarring, not everyone will feel completely comfortable with the procedure, or with the costs involved. Laser therapy is often thought of as a last resort for acne sufferers who have tried and failed many times with other methods.