The Hope Of Acne Patients


The Hope Of Acne Patients

New Laser Therapy Prevents Acne From Graduating to​ Scars

What’s a​ four letter word for a​ skin condition that affects nearly 80 percent of​ the​ population in​ various forms and can cause considerable emotional stress? if​ you​ answered acne,​ then you​ hit this hard-to-treat condition on​ the​ head. While a​ more difficult question might have been how to​ treat acne,​ dermatologists are at​ the​ forefront of​ using laser technology to​ stop acne in​ its tracks – and prevent the​ acne scars that are often a​ result.

No. 1 Skin Condition

Acne is​ the​ most commonly diagnosed skin disorder in​ the​ world,​ topping the​ list of​ reasons that patients seek out the​ help of​ a​ dermatologist. While studies show that acne is​ not caused by diet or​ stress but by physiological factors such as​ hormones,​ excess oil and bacteria,​ patients often place the​ blame on​ their own shoulders.

“Acne patients are often times truly frustrated,​ and rightfully so,​” said by a​ dermatologist. “They hear mixed messages about the​ causes of​ acne and sometimes spend an​ enormous amount of​ time and money trying to​ treat the​ condition with the​ latest over-the-counter products. By the​ time I see them in​ my office,​ the​ acne usually has worsened to​ the​ point that it​ is​ affecting their self-esteem and social lives. But it’s important to​ remember that acne is​ a​ treatable medical condition.”

Acne lesions are prevalent on​ parts of​ the​ body where there is​ a​ high concentration of​ pores that contain oil-producing sebaceous follicles,​ such as​ the​ face,​ neck,​ chest,​ shoulders,​ and upper back. When these follicles become clogged and inflamed,​ blackheads and whiteheads develop. if​ a​ whitehead or​ blackhead ruptures,​ its infected contents come into contact with the​ skin and the​ infection spreads - producing what is​ classically referred to​ as​ a​ zit. in​ a​ worst-case scenario,​ the​ zit becomes so badly infected it​ turns into a​ cyst that is​ located deep in​ the​ skin. if​ left untreated,​ these painful lesions can lead to​ an​ acne scar.

Until recently,​ a​ combination of​ topical and oral medications - including antibiotics - has been used almost exclusively with varying degrees of​ success to​ combat acne. Now,​ dermatologists are using non-ablative laser technology to​ successfully treat active acne and the​ scarring that often results as​ well.

One of​ the​ main benefits of​ non-ablative lasers,​ in​ contrast to​ their ablative counterparts,​ is​ that they can clear acne without producing a​ notable injury to​ the​ outer layer of​ the​ skin. Non-ablative therapy works by targeting the​ overactive sebaceous glands that are responsible for acne. the​ laser emits a​ wavelength of​ light that is​ strongly absorbed by water within the​ skin. This generates heat in​ and around the​ sebaceous glands. By creating a​ mild thermal injury just below the​ skin’s surface,​ a​ non-ablative laser alters the​ structure and function of​ the​ sebaceous gland,​ leading to​ prolonged acne clearance.

"I believe that laser-based applications for acne will one day become the​ preferred treatment option for acne patients,​ many of​ which are dissatisfied with topical and systemic treatments and are wary of​ their risks and side effects,​" explained by the​ dermatologist. "I use non-ablative therapy extensively in​ my practice,​ and I've found it​ to​ be a​ safe and cost-effective treatment that has dramatically changed my patients' lives for the​ better."

Non-ablative treatments typically take between five to​ 20 minutes,​ during which time the​ patient experiences a​ slight snapping or​ stinging sensation that is​ alleviated with a​ pre-treatment topical anesthetic and post-treatment ice application. a​ series of​ three to​ five treatments are delivered at​ monthly intervals in​ order to​ achieve the​ desired clearance.

Marked reduction in​ acne lesions often occurs within a​ couple of​ treatment sessions,​ and a​ series of​ treatments should result in​ acne clearance for more than six months. Side effects are limited to​ mild redness and swelling,​ which will not interfere with a​ person’s daily activities.

Acne’s Cruel Reminders

Non-ablative laser therapy is​ also being used to​ successfully treat the​ scars that remain long after the​ initial acne has been cleared. While acne scars rarely pose a​ health risk,​ they are difficult to​ treat and can be very damaging to​ a​ person’s self-esteem. Traditionally,​ dermatologists have used dermabrasion,​ surgical excision,​ and fillers,​ such as​ collagen,​ to​ diminish scarring. However,​ the​ results in​ many cases were limited.

Over the​ last several years,​ laser technology has assumed an​ increasingly important role in​ the​ treatment of​ acne scars. at​ first,​ ablative lasers were used to​ sculpt or​ vaporize the​ skin's surface. Now,​ techniques involving non-ablative lasers have taken over,​ thanks primarily to​ their ability to​ promote collagen growth beneath an​ acne scar without creating an​ external injury.

"Our experience has shown that patients treated with this therapy experience significant improvement in​ the​ appearance of​ their acne scars,​” said by a​ dermatologist. “After a​ series of​ three monthly non-ablative treatments,​ patients have many times exceeded our expectations and often outperformed the​ results obtained by ablative lasers."

With medical technology advancing at​ a​ rapid rate,​ Dr. Alster cautioned patients to​ be sure to​ consult a​ dermatologist experienced in​ laser therapy for proper treatment.

"Don’t be afraid to​ ask your physician questions about his or​ her experience and qualifications or​ training with a​ particular procedure,​” said Dr. Alster. “Since any type of​ laser procedure can carry potential side effects,​ it’s important to​ entrust your care to​ qualified hands."






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