Facial acne is one of the most prevalent of human skin conditions. In many cases acne results in scarring of the face and gives a person who suffers from it an aged appearance. The scarring causes the skin to be less elastic and the skin loses its smooth appearance. People who suffer from extreme acne often feel self conscious about their facial appearance especially teenagers. Laser treatments are one way dermatologists are now treating both acne and the resulting scar tissue. A dermatologist will evaluate the degree of acne to see if laser treatment will be a solution. They will look at both the acne and scarring, see how deep it is and what layers of skin are affected.
What Is Acne Laser Treatment?
Laser therapy is an outstanding development to effectively treat acne problems. Physicians use a tiny beam of light pointed at the affected area. The laser beam is very precise in treating acne and other skin blemishes. If you have an acne scars, laser treatment may be just what you need,
There are basically two types of laser treatments ablative and nonablative. Ablative laser treatments involve the acne being treated by taking off layers of the skin depending on the depth of the scarring. New, fresh layers of skin will grow over the areas that are treated. This procedure is often known as laser resurfacing and usually only requires one treatment. Nonablative laser treatment does not remove the top layers of the skin. It treats the layers beneath leaving the top layer of skin intact. Nonablative laser treatments are not destructive and as a result there is less risk for the patient but usually takes more than one treatment. Additionally the energy from the laser treatment stimulates the formation of new collagen in the layer of skin known as the dermis.
Laser treatments may be painful, but the pain can be controlled with analgesics applied to the skin before treatment usually in the form of facial creams. Everyone has a different tolerance for pain and what may bother one will not bother another.
Types of Acne Laser Treatments
Carbon Dioxide Laser: This type of ablative laser treatment for acne destroys the skin’s surface. The area of skin is treated with short pulsations of laser light. After the process is complete there is a healing time of about 10 days. Because the surface of the skin is open it can result in infection, scarring or a permanent pigmentation of the skin.
Erbium Laser: This ablative laser treatment is frequently used on patients who have shallow to moderate facial wrinkles and blemishes. It is a good choice for acne treatment as well as for removing individual blemishes. The laser will strip layers off the skin but it is less likely to affect surrounding areas. It typically leaves the patient with skin that is less reddened by acne and because it stimulates collagen, it will give your face a fresh, glowing appearance.
Diode Laser: This type of non ablative treatment destroys the sebaceous glands in the skin by heating the dermis which is the thick middle layer of skin. This treatment enables the dermatologist to keep the outer layer of the skin intact.
Pulsed-dye or heat Laser: This type of laser treatment is non ablative which not only treats the acne but takes the redness out of the scar tissues. It use light and heat to kill the acne causing organisms known as P acnes and also unclogs pores. This kind of laser shrinks the sebaceous glands which produce oils in the skin.
Blue Light Treatment: The intense light beams are focused on the P acnes which are the bacteria which cause acne to grow. Blue light treatments do not use ultraviolet light waves to treat acne and is used in a series of sessions on the patient.
Laser Acne Treatment Video
The below video will show you what happens during a laser treatment for getting rid of acne scars.
Cost of Laser Treatment For Acne
After the evaluation by the physician, the cost of the laser treatment will be determined by the extent of scarring and the type of procedure done. It can range anywhere from $750.00 to $5000.00. The national average surgeon's fee for a one time ablative laser skin resurfacing is $2,128 and for a onetime non-ablative laser skin resurfacing, the national average physician’s fee is $1,359. You have to get a cost estimate when you have your dermatologist consultation. Total costs will include anesthesia, physician’s fees, hospital fees and you may have to have more than one treatment.
Side Effects of Acne Laser Treatment
Side effects of laser treatments may include temporary pain, redness and swelling of the treated areas. Skin crusting and skin discoloration may occur along with dryness of the skin area that was treated. The occurrence rate of side effects is pretty low.