Acne can be tough on the skin. Whether you’ve had acne all your life or you’re dealing with the sudden onset of hormonal acne, it can be difficult to deal with this skin condition. From painful inflammation to lingering post-acne scars, acne can completely change the way you think about your skin. But at Radiant Reflections in Hattiesburg, MS, we know that laser acne treatment can be one way to get control of your skin back.
Laser acne treatment refers to revolutionary energy-based treatments that utilize light and thermal energy to essentially reset your skin cells and kill acne-causing bacteria. This non-invasive treatment is one of the fundamental therapies for dealing with chronic, tough-to-control acne. With the right treatment regiment and frequency, you can restore your skin to its pre-acne glory.
Is Laser Treatment Good for Acne?
Yes, laser treatments for acne can be very effective. Research shows that acne-prone skin responds very well to certain wavelengths of light, which can target the bacteria on the skin that causes acne breakouts, reduce inflammation, and even stimulate collagen production and cellular turnover to address acne scarring.
Many people turn to laser acne treatment when other treatments have failed. If you’ve tried everything from popular as-seen-on-TV acne-fighting skincare products to at-home natural remedies and you haven’t seen significant improvement, a laser treatment for acne might be an ideal option for you. This highly effective option can be used as a stand-alone treatment for mild acne breakouts or it can be part of a larger treatment regimen for moderate to severe chronic acne.
Why Are Laser Treatments a Better Option?
Truth be told, fighting acne always takes a little time and patience. Everyone has different skin factors that may make the use of some topical products and prescriptions more or less effective. Additionally, different types of acne typically require different types of treatment, so finding a treatment that works for you is a process rather than a one-size-fits-all situation.
But laser treatments tend to be highly effective for most people, regardless of skin tone, skin type, or acne type. The basic explanation is that laser treatments for acne work with the cellular processes in your body. Instead of applying medications and hoping the active ingredients penetrate the layers of your skin, laser treatments work beneath the surface layer to stimulate new collagen production, cellular turnover, and overall clearance of the skin by reducing inflammation over time.
What Can Laser Acne Treatment Help With?
A laser treatment for acne is generally customizable to your specific skin needs. There are many signs of symptoms of acne that a laser treatment can help address through cellular turnover and collagen production. Additionally, the light and energy associated with laser treatments can directly address bacteria that cause acne and overactive oil production in the skin. These treatments can address:
- Enlarged pores
- Oily skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Post-inflammatory pigment
- Pigment irregularities
- Bumpy skin
- Beard bumps
- Spider veins on the face
- Active acne
- Acne scarring
Acne Types and Acne Scars
Acne is a very common skin condition – in fact, most people will encounter acne over a lifetime. Usually starting during puberty, acne is known to pop up (literally) during any time of your life, including adulthood. Women who are pregnant, women who are experiencing PMS, people who exercise, and people who experience stress are all examples of adults who experience acne. Sometimes, acne can even occur well into your 40s!
That said, there are different types of acne and different types of acne scars that make treating this skin condition challenging. Acne can come in the form of blackheads, whiteheads, small pustules, or cystic nodules beneath the skin. Acne scars can be rolling scars, boxcar scars, icepick scars, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Most people will deal with a combination of different acne types and acne scars.
What Can You Expect From Your Laser Treatment?
Before you can start on your laser treatment for acne, you will need to attend a comprehensive consultation appointment with one of our skin experts. Your consultation allows us to learn more about your skin needs, specifically the type of acne you have, how long you have had it, and any scarring that may be present on your skin. All of these factors will help us determine the ideal laser treatment to reduce or control your acne breakouts.
Your laser treatment itself will be very simple. Most laser treatments will take about 30 to 60 minutes to complete. The non-invasive laser energy is generally well-tolerated, although your treatment may involve a cooling gel or topical numbing cream for your overall comfort. After your skin has been bathed in the laser energy, we will apply a soothing mask to your skin to hydrate and protect your post-treatment skin.
How Should You Prepare for Treatment?
Although the treatment process is simple, laser treatments can make your skin vulnerable to pigmentation concerns, particularly if your skin turns red easily or you tan easily. The best way to prepare for a laser treatment is to avoid any activity that can darken the pigment of your skin for at least two weeks before your treatment. These activities include sunbathing, outdoor sports, tanning beds, and self-tanning products.
If you can’t avoid going outside, such as with outdoor activities, then it’s very important to wear SPF during the daytime. Preventing any burns on your skin will mean you can attend your appointment as scheduled. If your skin is burned or you have participated in an activity that can trigger melanin production, you may need to delay your treatment.
What Should You Do After Treatment?
There is no downtime associated with a laser treatment for acne. Immediately after your appointment, you will be able to return to work or your other regular activities with very few restrictions. In fact, the only restrictions you will have for the next 24 to 48 hours will be to avoid excessive heat and sweating, including hot water, hot tubs, and saunas.
It’s also important to be mindful of your sun exposure during the first several days after your appointment. Most skin experts agree that if you have to be outside during the first one to two weeks of your treatment, you should wear adequate SPF. Even if you are sitting near a window or the day is cloudy, wearing SPF is always a good rule of thumb to follow.
Is There a Best Time for Treatment?
Ultimately, the best time for a laser acne treatment is when you feel like other treatment methods have failed you. There is no set age where this treatment is most appropriate; if you currently have acne and you want to control your breakouts or improve your skin, then the time for a laser treatment is now.
That said, because laser treatments make your skin especially vulnerable to strong sunlight, some patients like to have their initial round of treatment during the cooler times of the year. The fall and winter months have fewer risks for accidental sun exposure, making them the perfect option for your first several appointments since you will need to be careful about sunlight before and after your treatments.
How Many Treatments Will You Need?
Most people will need at least three to six initial appointments to see significant improvement in the condition of their acne-prone skin, particularly if you are treating acne scars. We will recommend a conservative number of treatments to achieve your optimal results. After your initial round of treatments, you will likely need continual treatments to address ongoing acne. Some people have monthly or bi-monthly appointments, while others may only need treatments once or twice a year.
When Will You See Results?
Most people will notice an improvement in the tone and texture of their skin in the days following each laser treatment. Your results will gradually improve with more laser acne treatments. As your skin recovers from exposure to powerful light and thermal energy, your cellular turnover and collagen production will improve the appearance of your skin.
Treat Acne Once and for All
If you’re tired of trying endless acne-fighting skincare products without getting the results you want, it might be time to consider a different option. Laser acne treatments are customized to meet the needs of your skin so you can stop acne in its tracks and reverse the appearance of acne-related scarring. Please contact Radiant Reflections in Hattiesburg, MS to schedule your first appointment today.