How does laser interrupt the acne cycle?
Acne is an extremely common skin condition affecting more than 85% of all teenagers and over 30% of adults. It can be a major cause of embarrassment, social isolation and pain and can ultimately result in permanent scarring.
To understand how laser works to control acne, we must first understand how acne forms:
The acne cycle begins when excess oil and debris builds up in the pores, causing blockages that can be seen on the skin as blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are simply whiteheads in which the congested material has oxidised via contact with the air, causing it to darken. Blackheads and blocked pores can become inflamed and infected and develop into pustules, nodules or cysts. Acne commonly occurs on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and even the upper arms. Infected lesions may rupture either superficially at the exit of the pore onto the surface of the skin, or deeper down along the pore channel, resulting in deep seated inflammation.
Optimum control of acne often requires a multi-faceted approach with each treatment breaking the acne cycle at different points for maximum results. Treatment options include topical and/or oral medication, skin peeling, microdermabrasion, LED light therapy and laser therapy.
Laser treatment works by interrupting the acne cycle at its source. It deeply cleanses congested pores, shrinks overactive sebaceous glands, stimulates new cell growth to minimise enlarged pores and removes the outermost layer of dead skin cells that can contribute to congestion and dull, tired looking skin.
This vigorous exfoliation of the surface cells exposes and stimulates the underlying dermal cells that are responsible for skin regeneration (fibroblasts, mast cells and macrophage cells). These stimulated cells produce more collagen that re-models and resurfaces the skin and pores. Skin tone and texture improve and pore size reduces and you will experience fewer breakouts with reduced superficial scarring.
What does laser treatment for acne involve?
Laser treatment for acne is a patented three step process.
Step 1: Application of a carbon lotion to the treatment area that infiltrates the pores to attract the laser light to where it is most needed.
Step 2: A laser in gentle long pulse mode attacks acne deep in the pores by stimulating cell regeneration and reducing inflammation.
Step 3: A Q-switched Nd Yag laser treats active acne on the surface of your skin using both mechanical and thermal exfoliation to deeply cleanse and minimise congested pores, gently exfoliate the topmost layer of dead skin cells, shrink sebaceous glands and stimulate new skin growth.
Is laser treatment for acne painful?
No. Treatment is minimally invasive and is usually well tolerated without need for anaesthesia. If needed we will use a chiller to cool your skin and minimise sensation.
Is there any downtime?
No, normal activities can be resumed immediately. Your skin may feel dry for a few days after a treatment. Sunscreen must be worn on a daily basis and direct exposure to the sun should be avoided throughout the course of your treatments.
How many treatments are required?
Sebum levels, congested pores, pimples and general skin condition will begin to improve after your first treatment. 2-3 more treatments spaced at 2-3 weekly intervals should deliver impressive results.
How much improvement can I expect?
Laser treatment for acne delivers predictable results. You can expect visible improvements after the first treatment and additional improvement after each subsequent treatment. Laser treatment for acne has multiple benefits. Not only will active acne be considerably reduced, but those who suffer from both acne and/or sun damaged skin, poor skin texture or uneven pigmentation will see improvement in their skin colour, texture and tone. In addition, laser treatment for acne also improves the appearance of enlarged pores and some acne scars.
This treatment is not suitable for anyone with melasma (hormonal pigmentation)
Are results long lasting?
Acne is most often a chronic short to long term condition that responds best to regular maintenance. A laser treatment every 2-3 months, together with appropriate skin care and medical treatments as required, will keep your skin looking its best.