Laser treatment : Acne Treatment Guide

Many acne sufferers are choosing to undergo laser treatment to treat facial and body acne. Laser treatment and light therapy are seen as effective ways of treating acne although some experts claim that further research is needed to determine how effective it is.

As with any form of treatment, you need to do some background research, speak to others who have undergone this treatment (if possible) and then, weigh up the pros and cons. Once you have done this you can then make a decision about having treatment.

The laser treatment performed to treat acne is ‘pulsed dye laser’also marketed as ‘N-Lite’.

N-Lite pulsed dye laser

This type of laser emits a pulse of yellow light onto the skin which attacks bacteria that cause acne. It does this by combining with a substance called ‘porphorine’, which is found in the bacteria, to create oxygen.

Oxygen destroys bacteria over a wide area which prevents any further acne outbreaks. It also promotes collagen production which aids with healing and results in little or no scarring. This procedure lasts for around 30 minutes and is relatively painless. You may experience a tingling feeling on your skin but it is unlikely to be painful.

More than one session is needed with most people having a minimum of three. You will not see any results until two weeks after the treatment and this will continue over a period of three months. The N-Lite laser was originally designed to treat fine lines and wrinkles as well as boost collagen production. It was promoted as an innovative form of treatment for combating the signs of ageing and is now being utilised as a form of treatment for acne and acne scarring.

Laser resurfacing

This type of treatment is performed on acne scars. Acne scars often develop as a result of squeezing or picking pimples or as a side effect of severe acne. These scars can be disfiguring and in many cases, permanent, so any treatment which can minimise the effects of these is welcome.

One such treatment is laser resurfacing. It involves using a laser beam to remove the top layer of skin – the epidermis, which contains the acne scars. This reveals the middle layer of skin – the dermis.

The laser is used again, although on a lower setting, to heat and stimulate collagen growth in the dermis. This causes new skin to grow which is smoother and less marked than the original layer.

There are two types of laser:

  • Ablative
  • Non-ablative

An ablative laser removes the top layer of skin as described above. The most popular type of laser used for this is the YAG laser which results in a controlled ‘burning’ of the epidermis. This softens and reduces acne scars.

A non-ablative laser is quicker than the ablative version and concentrates on the dermis only. This means no damage to the top layer of skin (epidermis). It tightens up the skin and triggers new collagen growth and is often used in cases of mild acne scars.

An example of this is the pulsed dye laser.

Laser treatment is not suitable for everyone. If you are considering this form of treatment then your suitability for this will be discussed between you and the private clinic.

Another alternative is light treatment such as intense pulsed light therapy.

© Medic8® | All Rights Reserved