A Look at Laser Acne Treatment
Laser acne treatment has been around for a few years now, and it is quickly replacing more traditional forms of acne removal and prevention. As antibiotics become increasingly ineffective due to overuse, more and more people are opting for this new technique. During laser resurfacing, a doctor holds a laser pen just above the acne or acne scar tissue and waves the concentrated beam of light back and forth, vaporizing only the unwanted tissue and creating a new surface for skin cell growth. Thus the term "laser resurfacing". New collagen actually forms after laser treatment. (Collagen is a protein in the skin's connective tissue that helps give the skin its texture.)
Although laser resurfacing is safe and painless in almost all cases, some post-procedural bruising and swelling are normal. In most cases, these side effects persist for seven to ten days. Wait until this passes before applying make-up.
Currently there are no federal restrictions on who can perform laser resurfacing; regulations only affect the laser manufacturers themselves. There are many types of lasers for many different purposes, so be sure to use a dermatologist or plastic surgeon. Be sure to ask where your doctor was trained to use the laser equipment and whether your doctor rents or owns his or her laser equipment. Ask to see before and after pictures of the doctor's cases, and find out how many different types of lasers the doctor owns and how often each piece of equipment is used.
Many doctors feel that laser resurfacing isn't meant for dark skin because it alters the color of skin too dramatically and unpredictably. Others believe that in the hands of a very experienced surgeon, people with darker skin tones can benefit.
Lasers acne treatment is much more invasive than non-ablative lasers. They remove by erosion, melting, evaporation, or vaporization. Ablative lasers are not recommended for use on darker skin colors.
Laser resurfacing costs upwards of $2,500 for a full face, versus $1,000 for other types of scar and acne removal. Consult with an experienced aesthetic dermatologist and laser surgeon to determine what it best for you.