Laser Treatment For Acne
Photodynamic therapy is the medical term for laser treatment for acne
, this type of therapy uses methods such as light and laser treatments and promises patients a novel way to treat acne that doesn’t involve daily use of oral antibiotics or application of heavy topicals. Because it is still an emerging treatment, there are limited studies conducted on how well laser treatment works for acne. While laser treatment might not be your dermatologist’s first offering due to its prohibitive cost, recent studies suggest that certain types of laser treatment can be an effective way to resolve acne.
How Laser Treatment For Ance Works
According to the Mayo Clinic, laser treatment for acne works by penetrating the deep layers of the skin without harming its surface. While light therapy reduces the presence of bacteria that cause acne, laser treatments have an effect on the sebaceous glands that produce excess oil. Laser treatment may also reduce the appearance of scarring caused by acne, so it can be used on people who currently have acne or acne scarring.
Laser Treatment for Acne
The American Academy of Dermatology states there are two types of lasers used to treat acne: diode lasers and pulsed dye lasers. A 2004 study published in “Dermatologic Surgery” indicated that of 19 patients with facial acne, each one saw a significant improvement after treatment, and after three diode laser treatments, lesion counts had decreased by 83 percent. Early studies conducted on pulse dye laser treatments yielded more inconsistent results. A 2004 study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” revealed that 40 patients with facial acne noted no significant difference after 12 weeks when one side of their face was treated and the other was not.
More recent studies seem to indicate that pulse dye laser treatments have more promise–if they’re used with topical 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), which bonds to the sebaceous glands and makes them more sensitive to light. A study released in March 2009 indicates that 100 percent of study participants, of which there were 14, experienced total resolution of their acne with pulse dye laser treatment in conjunction with topical ALA after one to six treatment sessions.
Laser Treatment for Acne Scarring
Although laser treatment for the effective treatment of existing acne is still undergoing scrutiny, laser treatment is commonly used to reduce acne scarring. According to the Mayo Clinic, laser resurfacing is one technique used to reduce the presence of scarring. Laser resurfacing ablates (destroys) the outer-most layer of the skin by heating the layer just beneath it, thereby allowing new skin to form.
Laser Treatment For Acne Cost
Unfortunately for patients, laser treatment may not be covered by health insurance plans, as it is still considered an experimental procedure. A single treatment could cost as much as $500. While laser treatment for acne may seem desirable, a more cost-effective method of treatment may be to adhere to tried and true combination therapies that consist of antibiotics and prescription topical creams.