What is Acne Laser Treatment or Laser Acne Treatment?

A misconception about acne laser treatments is flooding the Internet.  Many sites are publishing incorrect information about acne laser treatments or claims that acne laser treatment is merely acne scar laser treatment.  While it is true that lasers are currently the most effective treatment for acne scars, we would like to clarify that lasers are also primarily used to treat inflammatory acne vulgaris. In addition we would like to show you the actual lasers approved by the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA) for use to treat acne.  Hopefully, our article will help people by providing accurate information for better informed decisions.

To understand how lasers are used to clear acne, we must first recognize the source or cause of acne.  The physical appearance of acne is caused by the thickening or inflammation of the lining of the follicle by clogged pores.  Increased sebum production by the sebaceous glands and the presence of bacteria in a blocked pore will result in acne.  The less severe form of acne is known as blackheads and whiteheads.  Acne can become more severe in the form of inflammatory papules and pustules.  The most severe acne is known as nodules and cysts which can lead to scarring.  People that complain of oily skin are those who has the skin type in which the sebaceous glands produces much more sebum.  In such a case, it may predispose those people to a higher chance of developing acne.


Some lasers target the sebaceous gland as the source to combat acne.  The first FDA approved lasers to combat acne vulgaris are known as diode lasers.  Diode lasers alters the sebaceous glands and treats acne by reducing the production of sebum and sterilizing the pimple.  Again, it is sebum that begins to fill a pore when it is clogged.  This pimple then gets infected by bacteria and the pimple becomes inflamed.  By altering the sebaceous gland to produce less sebum, the laser targets a root cause of acne.  People that experience persistent acne may need to have lasers target the sebaceous glands to help clear acne.  The laser may cause pain but that can be reduced using local anesthetic.  Side effects are very mild and temporary and include- redness, swelling etc.  However, some dermatologists are more skillful to control the common side effects depending on your condition.  Also, dermatologists will commonly use other lasers in various wavelengths depending on your acne condition to achieve better acne clearing results with minimum side effects.  The benefits of using a 1450 nm laser is that the acne are less likely to come back.  Other lasers are used to prevent the blockage of pores and reducing the side effects or symptoms of acne laser treatment.


Therefore, the term acne laser treatment is a loosely used term to explain a combination of various lasers to treat acne.  The lasers used to treat acne are known as non-ablative lasers.  In other words, they do not break the skin which minimizes the side effects and improves the safety of the lasers.  Experienced dermatologists will use various lasers to also treat the temporary side effects as to minimize downtime.

As you can identify over producing sebaceous glands is only one cause of acne.  It is a combination of clogged pores, bacteria, and sebum. Hormones may play a role in the amount of sebum production.  Often times acne must be treated using a wide array of tools available to the Dermatologist.  A truly effective treatment of acne requires the dermatologist to utilize all these tools in a balanced and effective way to treat acne. Therefore, just using laser alone in many cases will not cure your acne. It is best to see a dermatologist that is certified by the Board of Dermatology and member of the American Society of Laser Medicine & Surgery (ASLMS) to clear your acne. Only then are you guaranteed that the Dermatologist is well versed and equipped with all the necessary tools to combat your acne.

The major benefit of laser treatment on acne is the ability for a dermatologist to target a specific local area.  Typical acne medication that is ingested is systemic while laser is localized.  Therefore, it is less toxic to the entire body.  Sometimes you may have only one area on your skin that needs treatment such as the forehead or cheek.


Before & After Pictures of Acne Laser Treatments:


Above Pictures are provided by Candela Laser


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