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Treating Acne With Laser

Dr. Anju Kollare 90% (104 ratings)
PG Diploma In Clinical Cosmetology (PGDCC), PG Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine & Hair Transplant, MBBS
Dermatologist, Mumbai  •  25 years experience
Treating Acne With Laser

Human skin is prone to many problems like pimples, pigmentation, wrinkles and acne. Acne is the bane of an adolescent’s life. Yet it happens due to a common problem. Hair follicles on skin, arms and the torso, sometimes overproduce cells and become blocked. Due to this blockage, oil produced by tiny oil glands in the skin gets trapped and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, giving rise to acne.

There are two main types of acne - non-inflammatory and inflammatory. Examples of non-inflammatory acne are whiteheads and blackheads. Blackheads form when a clog or plug develops in the opening of hair follicles in your skin. Each follicle contains one hair and a sebaceous gland that produces oil, called sebum, which helps keep your skin soft. Dead skin cells and oils collect in the opening to the skin follicle, producing a bump called a 'comedone'. If the skin over the bump stays closed, the bump is called a whitehead. When the skin over the bump opens, exposure to the air causes it to look black and a blackhead forms. These are ugly but can be taken care of through common cosmetic procedures.

Inflammatory acne is not so easy to treat or hide. Usually, in this type of acne, the hair follicle wall ruptures and the fighter white blood cells rush into the spot, causing either a very prominent white, yellow or red sore to form or a pus-filled lesion which is damn ugly and leaves a lifelong scar on drying.

Acne Scar Removal-

That’s all about acne, now the treatment. Acne is partially a hormonally linked problem and it is also linked to inflammation. Adolescents suffer the most. Treatments include pills and creams.

But now lasers have become the treatment of choice for sufferers.

Lasers are the magic wands of plastic surgery. They work by emitting a ray of light which produces certain effects in the skin leading to the removal of acne and its scars, as well as skin tightening, and hair removal. Laser treats acne by shrinking oil glands and killing the bacteria that cause acne. They, apparently work on ’porphyrins’, compounds which are present inside acne-causing bacteria. So when porphyrins are targeted, they damage the bacterial wall killing the bacteria.

The kinds of lasers that doctors use for treating acne include Diode, Nd:YAG, IPL, Glass, and Pulsed Light and Heat Energy (LHE), as well as a new "vacuum" laser called ‘Isolaz’ which is extremely effective. There are reports that laser treatment may also reduce sebum (skin oil) levels in the skin which trap bacteria and cause acne in the first place.

The lows of laser for acne treatment are that it’s expensive and usually, requires multiple trips to the dermatologist. Doctors usually recommend three treatments, about a month apart. This can go up if you have stubborn acne.

Laser resurfacing, a process that smoothes the top surface of the skin is also used for getting rid of acne scars. But once again it’s expensive and takes multiple sittings. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

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