A bright future for acne and its scars
Is there a downside to using lasers for acne?
Unfortunately, while the sheer diversity of lasers offer a comprehensive means of tackling acne, there are shortcomings to such procedures, as with many healthcare treatments available on the market. Although laser therapy targets the three main roots of acne by interfering with the colonisation of P.acnes within the pilosebaceous unit, reducing the activity of the sebaceous gland and minimising the local inflammatory response of the skin, studies and experiments have concluded that laser therapy has limited clinical efficacy in the treatment of non-inflammatory comedonal acne. Rather, they prove to be more useful in the battle against inflammatory acne. Even then, multiple laser sessions are required in order for results to show, and this may not be financially viable for some. Moreover, results differ between patients and side effects such as redness and swelling can be expected. Although lasers do promise the results of clearer skin, it is unlikely that laser treatment can guarantee a complete clearance of acne.
What are the other options besides lasers?
As such, the treatment of acne is highly complex and requires a combination of treatments. Traditional treatment for acne may include topical creams, facial products and oral medication such as antibiotics or isotretinoin. Chemical peel masks which utilise mild acids to remove the superficial layer of the skin also help to rejuvenate the skin and treat some forms of acne. Another consideration would be light therapy, which is a viable alternative to laser treatments. Photodynamic therapy is one such example. This procedure involves the application of a photosensitising agent to the skin. After exposure to light, this agent will be activated to kill P.acnes and reduce the size and activity of the sebaceous gland. In so doing, there is an overall reduction in the development of acne. The type of light used in photodynamic therapy is decided upon by the doctor and can range from blue to red or even intense pulsed light. Apart from being used in photodynamic therapy, intense pulsed light can also be used to remove unwanted or excessive facial hairs that may serve as a possible cause for acne development in some patients. To lighten acne scars, dermabrasion can be contemplated. As its name suggests, this procedure uses a coarse, abrasive tool to remove superficial layers of the skin in a bid to improve the appearance of acne scars when the skin grows back.