Acne is probably the most common skin condition that both men and women have to face. Most people believe that, once we are done with the puberty years, this problem will go away on its own. This is only partially true; indeed, the majority of people who suffer from acne get rid of it in their 20s. But there are also those for which acne is a constant problem even in their 30s or 50s. Even more, these forms of acne are oftentimes the most aggressive. In cases like this, topical treatment or pills are not enough.
What are the causes of acne?
At the surface, human skin has pores or tiny holes – you can see some of them with the naked eye, especially if yours are enlarged. Pores are connected to the oil glands that reside under our skin and produce sebum through. Sebum is an oily liquid that helps keep our skin looking smooth and radiant when it is produced in normal amounts. When the follicles get blocked by too large a sebum secretion, oil and bacteria accumulate under the skin and pimples appear.
Our sebum secretion is naturally higher during the menstrual period. This is why most women have acne outbursts around this time. In men, this is related to the testosterone levels – when this hormone is secreted in larger amounts, acne breaks happen.
Of course, there are a lot of other triggers for acne breaks: diet, pollution, lifestyle and many other factors are responsible for one of the world’s most dreaded skin conditions. However, nobody knows exactly what the causes of acne are; the only certainty is that it also has a genetic basis. So, if one of your parents has suffered from a severe form of acne, you are very likely to have inherited it.
Another downside of this issue is that, even if you keep your acne under control or the outbreaks stop as soon as you reach maturity, you still have to deal with the scars they left behind. Let’s face it, even if we know that it is not advisable to pop zits and pimples, we’ve all done at least several times and at least during our puberty. Maybe we had an important date or school function to get to and a pimple was the last thing we needed. So we took action – the only action that we knew how to take back then.
Luckily, there are now ways that we can get rid of both the acne and the scars it left behind. Moreover, these ways aren’t even painful or costly.
Laser treatment for acne and acne scars
Forget about topical creams and over-the-counter medication. You must have already tried them and realized they have very limited (if any) effect. The next revolution in acne treatment is laser. There are several laser-based procedures that you can have for acne treatment; your doctor or cosmetician can advise you on which to choose based on your individual needs.
Still, all of these procedures work on a similar principle: a handheld device is used to send laser beams across the area to be treated. These laser beams target the clogged pores and destroy the bacteria causing pimples and zits. At the same time, they stimulate the natural collagen production and act as a rejuvenating agent.
Stimulating the collagen production also helps with the treatment of acne scars. The newly produced collagen will fill the irregularities caused by acne on your skin. The result? A radiant and smooth complexion.
What should you expect during laser treatment for acne?
Laser treatment for acne is a procedure that can take less than 10 minutes (including prepping time) and requires no downtime. The only side effect you can expect is mild redness or swelling; these should go away on their own in 24 to 72 hours after the procedure.
The results of acne laser treatment are visible from the first session. However, for optimal results, 6 to 10 sessions are recommended. These sessions should be 4 to 6 weeks apart and their exact number will be established by your cosmetician according to your skin condition. During the duration of your treatment, it is very important to steer clear of the sun and use SPF cream every day. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have acne laser treatment during summer; it just means that you will have to be extra cautious with your sun exposure. But look at it this way: sun is one of your skin’s greatest enemies, so SPF should already be part of your routine.
One of the most common questions patients ask about acne laser treatment is related to pain: does this procedure hurt? The answer is no. There is no pain associated with laser treatment; you will feel a small discomfort though. Most patients describe it as being similar to the sensation you have when someone snaps a rubber band against your skin. However, if you know that your skin is more sensitive than average, you can simply ask your cosmetician to apply a topical anesthetic for the procedure.
One of the things patients love most about acne laser treatment (aside from the great results it yields, of course) is that fact that there is no downtime required. Some of them even schedule the procedure during their lunch break. Since it also takes very little to perform it, it is ideal; you spend 10 minutes in the clinic and then you are free to resume your day.
Want to know if acne laser treatment is right for you? Give us a call and schedule your free consultation. We would be more than happy to meet with you and offer you the ideal solution for getting rid of this dreadful condition!