If you are one of the 50 million Americans who have experienced acne within the last year, you're probably worried about the acne scars this condition has likely left you with.
Thanks to its ability to minimize the appearance of scar tissue and encourage the growth of new, healthier skin cells, laser treatment could be just what you need to get rid of those troublesome acne scars.
What Is the Cause of Acne?
First off, it's helpful to know why we develop acne in the first place. It's such a common occurrence for many people from puberty onward, but we don't always stop to question what causes this annoying skin condition.
Remember that your skin is a complex organ filled with hair follicles and pores. When dead skin cells, bacteria, and oils produced naturally by your skin clog these pores, your skin develops the pimples, zits, and bumps that we connect with the word "acne."
While acne is hardly a life-threatening condition, it can certainly do great harm to your sense of self-esteem and self-confidence. This is even more true if your acne causes your skin to become severely damagedeading to permanent scarring.
While acne is especially common with adolescents who are undergoing puberty (because those in puberty typically generate more sebum, aka natural skin oil), adults of all ages can experience acne. It is most common on the face, but it can also develop on the back, chest, shoulders, and neck.
While there are many oral medications and topical treatments that can help the body fight against active acne breakouts, sometimes the worst symptom is the damage left by acne scars. In those cases, cosmetic treatment is an appropriate measure to take.
How Does Acne Laser Treatment Work?
Speaking broadly, there are two mechanisms that laser treatment uses in order to reduce acne scarring. First of all, the use of light therapy can reduce the inflammation and pigmentation around the scarring to allow your scar to become less obvious.
Secondly, the light and heat produced by the carefully focused laser work together to break up scar tissue and encourage the growth of fresh, healthy new skin cells. This fresh new skin improves the overall appearance of your acne-ridden skin and allows your skin to heal better than it would have otherwise.
In addition, acne laser therapy can relieve the inflammation that is often connected with acne. By decreasing the redness near your acne scarring, this effect will also work to promote healthier, more robust-looking skin.
Which Laser Treatment Type Is Right for Me?
Your health care expert will help you decide which treatment option is right for you. This may include a combination medications, skin care regimens, and laser therapy. The best way to decide the course of action is to set up a consultation and create a unique treatment plan.
Risks and Side Effects of Acne Laser Treatment
Every treatment carries with it some level of risk, however minor or unlikely. In the case of acne laser treatment, you may experience a combination of swelling, redness, and pain in the area receiving the laser treatment. Some patients describe a stinging or burning sensation.
However, the pain typically disappears after about 1-2 hours, and any redness usually dissipates after no more than 10 days. Your risk of side effects may vary depending on which treatment type you pursue, how many treatment sessions you undergo, and even what type of skin you have.
You should only be concerned if your acne laser treatment leads to an unusual amount of swelling, pus, or fever following your procedure. At that point, you should contact your medical professional for immediate assistance.
What Is the Ideal Frequency of Acne Laser Treatments?
The question of how often to receive acne laser treatments depends on how bad your scarring is and how developed your acne is. For most people, the best results occur with a series of treatments rather than a single procedure.
Your dermatological professional will discuss your ideal treatment frequency, as well as whether you may need annual or biannual follow-up sessions after your initial battery of treatments.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
Remember that no treatment process produces instant results. At the low end, you can expect to wait at least a week before seeing any clear improvement in the health and appearance of your skin. Successful treatment may see your scars fade away as they are replaced by healthier-looking cells after as many as 3-12 weeks.
During the days and weeks following your acne laser treatment, you'll want to be protective of your epidermis as it repairs itself. This includes applying sunscreen whenever you leave the house, avoiding long periods of sun exposure (e.g. tanning) for 6-8 weeks, and using any skin care regimen provided by your medical professional.
Contact Altaire Clinic Today to Schedule a Consult
Do you want to look and feel healthy after acne scarring? If you want skin that stays healthy and young-looking for years to come, you need to talk to the team of dermatological experts at Altaire Clinic.
We are happy to provide the skin and acne treatments you need for lifelong skin health and beauty. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with an experienced medical professional.