Laser Assisted Acne Treatment
Laser Light has had a wide range of medical uses and in this case, we will examine its application when applied to treating acne. Sadly, there is no ‘Magic Bullet’ treatment for the skin condition, but laser light can play its part in an overall strategy that may involve a combination of different treatments to reduce the skin condition more effectively.
Results do vary, but it must be emphasized nothing has a 100% success rate for individual treatments. Dermatologists using correctly administered doses of laser light in combination with other medicines can lead to a reduction or partial clearing of the condition but this can be over time. Results can vary immensely with no guarantee that the patient will benefit rapidly and over what time period although studies have indicated multiple treatments give better results than single applications.
Research indicates that in one study the specialized use of light known as Photodynamic Therapy delivered 50% less spot reduction at the end of four weeks of treatment and the reduction rate continued to 72% twelve weeks after the last treatment.
Getting this into perspective is important as although the laser and light therapy is generally initially long lasting, follow up treatments may be required possibly once or twice a year to maintain the skin in its better condition. As with any treatment, it’s important to remember side effects are possible. The unique properties of laser and light treatment may lead to swelling and redness of the skin with tingling, burning sensations but these are temporary lasting perhaps no more than a few hours or a day following the procedure.
It is really recommended to speak to a dermatologist who has extensive experience in this field of treatment as extreme side effects although rare, can occur including burns, blistering and lingering pain. Please also remember skin colour changes and possible scarring of the treated area can be a result of wrongly applied laser light with some treatment types. For example, Dermatologists advocate avoiding sunlight for 48 hours following a laser light application in the case of Photodynamic Therapy.
Let’s take a look at the differing types of light therapies but the bottom line is - seek out a professional diagnosis from your cosmetic professional.
Seeing The Light Fantastic
Red, Blue, And Blue Plus Red Light Devices
So-called because the light is visible. Used for treating pimples but not very effective against skin conditions such as Blackheads, Acne Cysts, Whiteheads or skin nodules.There have been some advances in the use of portable home versions of these devices using Light Emitting Diode technology and although approved by the American Food and Drug Administration, they are less powerful than professional approved devices. The at-home versions can only treat pimples and may need to be used for up to an hour twice a day for a month or so.
Approved by the FDA to treat pimples on face and back areas. Note that I.R. light won’t treat Blackheads, Whiteheads, Cysts or Nodules.
Photodynamic Therapy known (PDT)
Uses a light-sensitive skin solution applied to acne affected areas of the skin.The solution rests on the skin for varying times between 15 minutes and 3 hours after which a dermatologist uses the laser/light device to treat the skin causing a mild reaction to the solution.Research indicates this treatment is having a great degree of success in clearing Acne Cysts.
A pulsed light treatment laser that combined with a mild vacuum device removes oil and dead cells from clogged skin pores. Again this is FDA approved on Whiteheads, Blackheads, and pimples, but doesn’t treat Acne nodules or cysts.