Laser Acne Treatment
Acne can be found anywhere on the body. Acne lesions that open to the surface of the skin, with a black appearance, are called blackheads. Lesions that are closed just under the surface of the skin, giving a white appearance, are called whiteheads. Both whiteheads and blackheads are called “comodones.” When these lesions become inflamed, the inflammation, if untreated, leads to scarring. Laser acne treatment can help with both acne and scarring.
Hormonal changes during puberty cause overproduction of sebum oil from sebaceous glands in the skin. Sebum keeps our skin moist, but when the body produces too much sebum, it mixes with dead skin and clogs the gland ducts. This creates an environment in which bacteria can thrive.
Other endocrine conditions, unrelated to puberty, also cause acne. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is fairly common. Cushing syndrome is a rare condition related to taking excessive hormones. Certain Corticosteroids medicines can cause acne as well.
Sometimes, when acne lesions heal, the skin becomes discolored to a dark brown or red color. This condition is know as “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.” Although hyperpigmentation caused by acne usually is not permanent, it may take months or even years to fade.
Medications have been the acne treatment of choice for many years, but their effectiveness varies. Oral and topical antibiotics kill the bacteria that cause acne. However, they should only be used for a short period of time. Otherwise, other bacteria in your body may develop resistance to these antibiotics.
Topical creams can also be prescribed. These products dry out the skin and reduce sebum production.
Women with hormonal acne in the lower facial area can take birth control pills or other medications to regulate their acne. These steroidal hormones block the hormones that cause acne.
Other medications are used to treat severe nodular/cystic acne. Some of these may have serious side effects and should only be used when all other treatments have failed.
Laser Acne Treatment & Medication
Many acne patients use prescription medication, but in some cases it may not help. They come to Althea and ask us if we can help. Fortunately, in many cases laser treatments are effective. Results may vary with patients yet in many cases we can say, “Yes, we can help!”
In recent years, laser acne treatment has become an effective method to reduce acne. At Althea, our primary tool in fighting acne is our erbium/pixel laser. This laser reduces acne scarring by resurfacing the skin. Its heat also effectively kills active bacteria at the depth below the skin’s surface where it grows. We use IPL treatments as well to reduce and remove the brown and red pigment associated with PIH.
Lasers can be safely used along with medications. We just pause the medications for a few days before and after the laser treatment to avoid a compounding effect. Lasers can be used on both teens and adults. Age is not a factor.
We also offer a medical-grade product to assist with acne treatments. Retinol may be used. It smooths the skin and removes pigment by causing mild peeling. We also have very mild facial wash, which cleanses the skin. The wash may be used with or without salicylic acid. The salicylic acid also causes peeling but is somewhat milder than retinol. Feel free to call or ask our staff during your visit regarding these treatments.
View our January 2016 offer for this service here: January 2016 acne offer