Laser Acne Removal Can Remove Active Acne as Well as Acne Scars
Laser acne removal can address both active acne as well as acne scars.
Acne typically involves blocked pores and bacteria. The bacterial, primarily propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes), multiplies and causes painful and unsightly pimples or inflamed pustules. These pustules can be found on many areas of the body including face, chest, back, as well as legs and arms. If not treated, acne can leave scars that include pigmented areas or surface irregularities. These scars can last a lifetime unless removed.
Laser Acne Removal Devices
There are a variety of lasers use to treat acne as well as acne scars. They use different wavelengths of light that penetrate the skin to different depths and they can be set to different power levels. This variety provides for a wide range of choices that enables you to select the most effective laser treatment for your particular condition.
405-420 nm light from the Dusa Blu-U is high intensity blue light that kills acne bacteria and can shrink sebaceous glands where aminolevulinic acid is used. This is an aggressive acne treatment.
Switched 532 and 1064 nm lasers like the Palomar Q Yag 5 and Hoya Conbio Medlite C6 target melanin in the skin and destroy cells so new tissue can be generated. These lasers are useful for removing age spots, tattoos, or other pigmented areas.
585 nm lasers like the Cynosure V-Star and the EU Photonix NLite can treat spider veins, Rosacea, stretch marks, acne, and port wine stains. This wavelength is absorbed by the hemoglobin in the blood and helps eliminate the redness associated with these conditions.
Dual 1064 and 2940 nm lasers like the Sciton Profile is intended to provide laser hair removal, spider veins and laser resurfacing.
The 1450 nm diode laser like Smoothbeam heats the upper dermis to produce new collagen to promote skin smoothing and to shrink the sebaceous glands to reduce sebum production.
1540 nm lasers like the Quantel Medical Aramis laser is absorbed by the fluid under the epidermis causing new collagen to be generated to smooth the skin. It can also shrink the sebaceous glands so they produce less sebum.
Ablative or Non-Ablative Skin Resurfacing
Moderate to severe acne often leave scars or indentations in the skin surface. Often these indentations can be reduced or eliminated with laser skin resurfacing techniques.
Resurfacing involves the controlled destruction of skin cells so new skin cells can be generated. Ablative techniques remove the top layers of the skin, including the epidermis. Non-ablative techniques heat and destroy the dermis, leaving the epidermis or top layer of skin intact.
The pulsed and scanned CO2 lasers and the Erbium:YAG laser are typically used for ablative resurfacing. The results of new skin generation are excellent and ablative resurfacing is often called the gold standard for skin resurfacing. Drawbacks include some pain, redness, swelling, infections and potential scarring. Depending on the depth of skin removed, several days to several weeks of downtime may be required to apply healing ointments and avoid outside sunlight and other contaminants.
Non-ablative systems target the dermis and leave the epidermis intact. Mid-range infrared lasers as well as the pulsed dye laser and the intense pulsed light system are often used. Downtime is minimal since the skin is not broken and recovery is rapid. Pain is also minimal. But, the results are not as effective as ablative techniques.
Fractional Laser Acne Removal Treatment
A combination of ablative and non-ablative treatment is provided by fractional lasers. The Fraxel laser was the first to use the technique, but additional lasers based on the erbium:YAG and CO2 lasers are now available. These devices divide the laser beam into thousands of microscopic beams that treat many microscopic zones at a time. In this way the surrounding tissue remains intact, resulting is faster healing.
All laser acne removal techniques require professional evaluation. So, see your dermatologist to determine the treatment options that would be best for your condition.