Acne is generally successfully treated with a variety of topical and oral medications. Inflammatory acne often requires the chronic use of antibiotics by mouth. Laser treatment can usually lead to a lessening of the amount of required antibiotics. Laser treatment can improve not only the inflamed acne, but also leads to improvement in acne scars. If you are interested in a no medication approach the laser treatment might be right for you.
Why does acne occur? Acne occurs for a variety of reasons including an inability of skin cells to shed properly, causing the pores to plug, forcing the oil and bacteria that would naturally escape to be trapped inside. As the oil and bacteria accumulates, the skin becomes inflamed and swells outward forming the familiar whiteheads, blackheads and pimples. Acne is seen in many age groups, but is most common in teens and frequently appears on the face, neck, shoulders, back, and chest.
What systems treat acne? The Aura and *Gemini.
What kind of acne does the Aura/Gemini lasers treat? The lasers are FDA cleared for facial acne, though they can be used anywhere acne is normally present.
How does the laser help clear acne? Light pulses are delivered through the skin’s surface, targeting an organic compound generated by the Propionibacterium acnes (p. acne) bacteria called porphyrin. These porphyrins are photosensitive and when targeted by light, generate singlet oxygen, which kill the p. acne bacteria that cause inflammation.
How long should the treatment take? Treatment times will vary depending on the size of the treatment area, though a full face will frequently take about 20 minutes.
How many treatments should I need? Physicians who have conducted acne laser treatments frequently start with a four treatment course, two per week for two weeks. More treatments may be needed for those with more severe acne.
How long do the effects last? Clinical data suggests that most patients find their acne improves after two weeks of twice weekly treatments. While many patients continue to improve over the months following treatment, some patients experience a plateau in their improvement. Repeated treatments may be necessary to maintain results.
How effective is the laser? In studies conducted at Wellman Labs in Massachusetts and at a private facility in California, 91% of patients saw their acne improve by an average of 66%. In the most recent clinical study patients saw their acne become 81% less severe.
What will happen in the procedures? After discussing your medical history, including any drugs you are currently taking, with your medical practitioner, the treatment area will be cleaned and a thin layer of clear gel will be applied. Your practitioner will glide the laser handpiece over the treatment area in a brushing motion as the laser light is pulsed safely through the skin.
Is it painful? Many patients describe the laser pulses as feeling like the snap of a rubber band against the skin, however treatments done over active lesions may be more uncomfortable. Your medical practitioner may recommend a topical anesthetic in order to make treatments more comfortable.
When should I see results? Patients frequently see results within the first week following treatment.
Are there side effects? Immediately following the procedure patients may experience mild to moderate redness and swelling that will fade in as little as a couple hours to as much as a few days.
Can I apply make up right afterwards? Yes.