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How are lasers and light based devices used to treat acne?

Apr 21, 2023

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Having a good Laser treatment for acne involves using a specific type of light energy to target and destroy the bacteria that cause acne, reduce inflammation, and promote the growth of healthy skin cells.

Some wavelengths target the byproducts the bacteria produce (porphyrins), and others target the enlarged oil glands. The idea is to heat up the area and cause the shrinkage of the oil glands and killing the bacteria as well as reducing the inflammation.

During the treatment, a dermatologist will use a special laser device to deliver a precise wavelength of light to the affected area of the skin. The light energy penetrates deep into the skin, where it interacts with the bacteria that cause acne and helps to shrink oil glands, reducing oil production. This process also stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that helps to strengthen the skin and improve its texture.

The treatment is typically performed in a series of sessions, with each session lasting between 10 and 30 minutes. Depending on the severity of the acne, a patient may require multiple sessions over a period of several weeks or months.

Overall, laser treatment for acne is a safe and effective option for people who have not responded well to other treatments, such as topical medications or oral antibiotics. However, it's important to note that not everyone is a good candidate for laser treatment, and it's important to talk to a dermatologist to determine if it's the right choice for you.

List the lasers used to treat acne and their efficacy and pain levels:

There are several types of lasers that can be used to treat acne, each with varying levels of efficacy and pain levels. Here are some commonly used lasers for acne treatment:

Nd: YAG Laser - This type of laser is often used to target the deep layers of the skin and can be effective in reducing the size of oil glands and killing acne-causing bacteria. It is generally considered to have a low level of pain during treatment.
Pulsed Dye Laser - This laser targets the blood vessels that supply the acne lesions and can help to reduce inflammation and redness associated with acne. It is generally considered to have a moderate level of pain during treatment.

Diode Laser - This type of laser targets the sebaceous glands that produce oil and can be effective in reducing oil production and preventing the formation of new acne lesions. It is generally considered to have a low level of pain during treatment.

Fractional Laser - This laser creates tiny micro-injuries in the skin to stimulate collagen production and improve overall skin texture. It can also be effective in treating acne scars. It is generally considered to have a moderate to a high level of pain during treatment.

Another device Dr. Levit use and love is the Secret RF (one of the micro-needling devices with radio frequency heat). He was the first to use this device to treat acne as well as hyperhidrosis (over-sweating - see the entry on sweating). Using heat one is able to rejuvenate the collagen reduce pore size Scsrs and shrink oil glands while reducing bacterial count and inflammation.

In terms of efficacy, laser treatment for acne has been shown to be effective in reducing the severity of acne lesions and preventing new breakouts. However, the level of efficacy can vary depending on the type of laser used and the severity of the acne.

It's important to note that pain levels can also vary depending on individual tolerance levels and the specific treatment plan recommended by a dermatologist. In general, most patients report experiencing mild discomfort during laser treatment, which can be managed with topical anesthesia or cooling devices. Your dermatologist can provide more specific information on what to expect in terms of pain levels for your individual treatment plan.