Treating Acne with Laser or Surgery
The majority of people who have just a mild case of acne can treat it effectively by keeping the area clean and applying a topical product that contains benzoyl peroxide to help clear up the blemishes. Those with persistent acne or more severe acne often seek alternative treatment methods. A dermatologist can help discuss the different treatments currently available including treating acne with laser therapy or acne surgery.
If treating your acne with laser therapy or surgery is something want to look into, it's important to fully evaluate each of the processes, including the number of required treatments, the associated costs and the potential side effects of the treatment. It's also important that you select a process that is designed to deal with reducing the presence of acne - not acne scarring. It does get confusing.
Using Lasers to Treat Acne
Laser treatments for acne involve the use of varying wavelengths that are aimed directly at the impacted area. The wavelengths pulsate against the skin and work to destroy overly-large sebaceous glands and acne lesions. Lasers help to reduce the inflammation and redness that surrounds acne lesions. Laser treatments also remove the damaged outer layers of skin so that new cell growth can be initiated. The laser technician will vary the intensity of the laser as required to effectively treat the area. This is a desirable acne treatment method because it has few side effects. It's simple, only slightly uncomfortable and doesn't involve the use of messy creams or potentially dangerous prescription drugs.
There is considerable debate surrounding the effectiveness of laser treatments for acne. It has been shown to be effective at improving the skin's appearance, even after just one treatment. As with most of the available acne treatments, there are side effects. Some patients do experience red, burned skin after treatment that can last for weeks. The appearance of the skin can be uneven if the laser is applied inconsistently. Also, individuals with dark-colored skin can end up with skin discoloration after laser treatments.
Acne surgery commonly involves making an incision into the affected area and draining out the clogged matter. The process for blackheads and whiteheads doesn't actually involve surgery, but is often easily performed by a nurse, esthetician or dermatologist. They'll use a small, pointed blade to open the comedone and then gently work the material out using a comedone extractor.
Severe acne cysts can be drained and removed by a procedure known as excisional surgery. This process is much more involved than that which is described above or even the at-home method of 'popping zits'. The procedure needs to be performed in a sterile environment using sterilized instruments to reduce the risk of spreading bacterial infection and should only be performed by a person with proper training. If deep acne cysts are not carefully extracted, they can develop into a serious infection and result in severe acne scarring.
Because of the increased likelihood for acne surgery to produce acne scarring, this acne treatment method isn't as popular as it used to be.