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Acne Laser Treatments

Some form of acne is a problem for the vast majority of people between the ages of 10 and 29, and for many it can continue on through middle age. It can affect the face, neck, chest, and back. Although most cases of acne are successfully treated with special ointments or bacterial cleansers, some acne will need more powerful oral medications that can have undesirable side effects. Those who are unwilling to chance these risks may prefer to treat their acne with lasers instead.

If you are thinking of undergoing laser treatments for your acne, consider the following:

  • Laser treatments take only about 10 to 20 minutes per session but in order to be effective you must have four to eight treatments spaced about three to four weeks apart. If you are also using creams as part of the treatment, they will need to be applied about an hour before the session.
  • Laser treatments can be uncomfortable even when anesthetic cream is used to lessen the pain. There are two types of laser treatments: yellow light lasers and infrared types; yellow light lasers tend to be less painful than infrared.
  • Infrared lasers target the sebaceous glands that cause acne when they over secrete the oily sebum that clogs the pores of the skin. Side effects from this type of laser treatment can include temporary skin redness and swelling.
  • Other types of lasers emit a yellow light believed to destroy the bacteria that causes acne. These are often used in combination with a cream containing aminolevunlinic acid, which causes a chemical reaction that alters the sebaceous glands. Side effects from this type of treatment can include not only swelling and redness but also skin peeling.

Those considering laser treatments for their acne should be aware that there are no definitive scientific proofs of their effectiveness. In rare cases lasers have resulted in scarring and skin discoloration.

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