i am really close to deciding on professional acne treatment like a laser. is there a laser that you recommend best for acne clearing?
What is the Best Laser Acne Treatment?
Doctor Answers 9
The Best Laser Acne Treatment
We can target the bacteriacausing the acne lesions with things such as blue light alone or with a chemical and blue light known as photodynamic therapy (PDT), which I have published on over the years, and can help many suffering from acne. Blue light alone requires a series of treatments, 1-2 a week for up to 4 weeks, to seesignificant improvement. PDT – the use of a sensitizer put on the skin called Levulan in the U.S., which penetrates into the oil glands, and when subjected to a light source like blue light – or a laser like the pulsed dye laser or the IPL can improve acne pretty quickly. We usually recommend treatments 2 weeks apart, and several treatments may be necessary here. Another great treatment is the Isolaz IPL device, which uses a vacuum apparatus to bring the oil glands closer to the light source. It works really well in most people. Also, a newer device known as the Aerolase Neo is a special 1064 nm wavelength laser that has shown some great clearance in acne, especially in those with darker skin types.
Other devices exist which target the sebaceous glands themselves. The problem with these is most of them have caused pain and so therefore, in 2014, most of these have gone out of favoramong those of us who use a lot of lasers. Pain is not necessary, and the machines we are currently using work really well.
So find the right doctor, one who can offer multiple modalities, and get the best results that you can get.
Laser Acne Treatment
Erbium and CO2 lasers treat acne scars well
Another option is the CO2 laser. The CO2 laser penetrates the skin deeper than the Erbium; therefore, the results are a little better, but you would need about 7-10 days of downtime. Also, because this laser is more invasive, you do not need multiple treatments like the Erbium.
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Laser Acne Treatments
Acne Laser Treatment
For our acne treatment program, we use a combination of three lasers and a Blu-light device.
- Aramis Laser for shrinking the sebaceous glands.
- Q-switched lasers (Palomar & Hoya Conbio) to kill bacteria and control active acne.
- Pulsed dye (Cynosure V-star) laser to decrease redness and inflammation as well as activate ALA (aminolevulanic acid) during Photodynamic therapy.
- Blu-U treatments to activate ALA and/or kill acne bacteria.
I am going to assume that you are not a candidate for Accutane ( ? high triglycerides, increased intracerbral pressure) or hormonal treatment (?male). Accutane is a permanent treatment while laser or Photodynamic therapy is only temporary. I wo;uld always take the permanent cure over the temporary fix all other factors being equal.
That said: there are three choices that I like. One would be the Smoothbeam, a diode laser. This works by killing bacteria and disrupting the sebaceous glands. The second light source that helps is the Isolaz. This is relatively new and works through what the manufacturor calls photopneumatics. The pneumatic energy blows the skin which causes tightening and more efficient use of their broadband light. Finally, photodynamic therapy combines a liquid which sensitizes the bacteria and a light source which then kills it.
My recommendation would be the Isolaz, but as I said I would exhaust traditional treatment first before investing in laser treatment.
Acne Laser Treatments
Often patients who have cystic acne do well from multiple PDTs, comedones do well from Isolaz and redness and inflammation do well from Red/blue light but a combination sees the best results.
Spectra laser for clearing Acne
One laser to consider as well, for controlling and clearing acne is the Spectra laser. Acne is caused by several factors such as pore blockages and overactive sebaceous glands. The presence of bacteria makes conditions worse by causing inflammation. And this can lead to acne scars. The Spectra laser addresses these three dynamics.
The Spectra is an Nd:YAG laser that uses the 1064nm wavelength. (In dermatology, different wavelengths are used for different objectives.) The 1064nm wavelength is relatively long and can reach areas deep beneath the skin's surface to diminish the activity level of the sebaceous glands. Also the ability to affect deeper layers of the skin facilitates the turnover of new skin cells.
During the procedure, your dermatologist will apply a photosensitive lotion to your skin. The laser interacts with the carbon in the lotion to clear out the existing blockages in your pores. The laser also kills any bacteria in your skin that could lead to inflammation.
Usually by the third or fourth session, patients will notice significant improvements in their acne condition.
Best lasers for Acne
There are a variety of lasers used for acne treatments; there is no one specific system that works for everyone. Some help by decreasing the bacteria that cause acne. Other lasers used for acne work by shrinking the oil glands that also play a role in causing acne. Some physicians will combine these two different lasers together. It is best to discuss this with your laser dermatologist to discover the best approach to use.
To your health,
Dr. David Goldberg