Acne Benefits From Laser Treatments
Often, acne laser treatments are one part of a comprehensive approach to facial and body rejuvenation.
Acne laser treatments are often done in conjunction with another
cosmetic operation, such as a facelift or eyelid surgery. Skin care
maintenance can also be prescribed to compliment the acne laser
"The use of lasers has expanded in the number of patients
treated and the range of equipment available to physicians," says Dr.
Sam Speron, laser surgery expert and consumer advocate.
"New acne laser treatments allow more energy to be released into
the skin so that the overall treatment is more effective but with fewer
"As plastic surgeons, our goal is always to find the safest
alternative possible while making sure that the acne laser treatment is
as effective as possible!"
Ablative (destructive) acne laser treatment
The effects of
skin resurfacing using a carbon dioxide (CO2) laser are similar to
those of chemical peels and dermabrasion. The biggest difference,
however, is that the laser removes skin layers by vaporization rather
than with chemicals or a sanding device. In acne laser treatment, a
laser is used to remove areas of damaged skin, layer by layer. The
laser resurfacing procedure is most commonly used to minimize the
appearance of acne. However, it is also effective in treating facial
scars or areas of uneven pigmentation. Laser resurfacing may be
performed on the whole face (usually preferred) or only in specific
Nonablative (destructive) acne laser treatment
laser technology has impacted cosmetic surgery significantly in the
past decade. A new group of non-ablative acne laser treatments
developed within the last five to eight years work beneath the surface
skin layer utilizing short pulses of light to reduce wrinkles and sun
damage, freckles and acne scars, as well as redness and dilated
capillaries commonly associated with rosacea. These newest lasers build
new collagen while improving skin tone, texture, fine lines and scars.
Some of the first of the non-ablative generation of lasers included the
Cool Touch I or II, the Medlite and the N-Lite. Newer non-ablative
technologies include Syneron and Fotolift and Thermage which utilize a
radio frequency instead of laser energy to heat the dermis (the inner
layer of skin) while cooling and protecting the epidermis (the outer
layer) and the Titan laser which uses laser energy to non-ablatively
tighten the face and other parts of the body.
Non-ablative lasers are fast becoming the hottest new acne
fighting tool. Using the non-ablative laser for acne laser treatments,
it alters the size and function of the overactive sebaceous gland. It
also uses heat to kill bacteria, paving the way for clearer skin. By
being able to build collagen at the same time, it also helps acne
scarring. The newest laser technology also adds a topical medication
(ALA) to the skin (called photo-dynamic therapy) to significantly
increase the effectiveness of the acne treatment is enhanced by also
reducing the oiliness of the skin.
Fraxel acne laser treatments
While non-ablative lasers are
popular and the demand for them is growing, competition is coming to
the market in the form of Fraxel lasers. Non-ablative resurfacing
requires a cooling system to avoid visible skin damage which makes it
difficult to achieve benefits optimal resurfacing. Also, the intensity
of non-ablative resurfacing treatment has to be reduced to prevent
scarring. With Fractional Resurfacing Technology, a new ablative
technology, only a fraction of the skin receives the laser light. The
laser delivers a series of microscopic closely spaced laser spots to
the skin while simultaneously preserving normal healthy skin between
the laser spots. This preservation of healthy skin results in rapid
healing following the laser treatment. Fraxel lasers strive to achieve
the skin improvements obtained with ablative lasers without the
associated side effects or downtime.
When acne laser treatment is performed by a qualified,
experienced surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor.
However, because individuals vary greatly in their anatomy, their
physical reactions and their healing abilities, the outcome of acne
laser treatments is never completely predictable.
Patients can reduce their risks of acne laser treatments by
choosing a qualified plastic surgeon who has received special training
in acne laser treatments.