What causes it?
There are oil glands on our skin that are connected to pores that are located at the base of hair follicles. If these follicles become blocked and the skin produces excessive oil, it promotes the growth of bacteria (P. acnes). Our immune system tries to fight it off and unfortunately, results in inflammation/red spots on the skin.
The accumulations of the substances in the hair follicles are referred to as sebum (which is often accompanied with a mixture of other bacteria and material).
Majority of laser acne treatments focus the sources of acne production by removing/modifying the P.acne, oil glands or sebum.
The enlargements of oils glands could be connected to the idea of why acne occurs since larger oil glands produces more oil. Puberty, stress, hormones, diet, lifestyle, etc. are several reasons why the enlargement of glands occurs.
Acne is not only common found on the surface of the face but also found on the neck, shoulders and back. Pimples also appear as: blackheads, whiteheads, papules, pustules, nobules and cysts.
Acne have different levels of severity (mild, moderate, inflammatory) which all requires special forms of treatment.
Determining the form of acne you may have is a step closer in being able to effectively treat it.
Types of Laser ACNE Treatment
Laser ACNE Treatment is not limited to only acne itself but is also efficient in removing scarring and redness caused by acne. The type of treatments that are available differentiate by the chemicals and machinery used. The types of treatments offer also differ by the forms and stages of acne it treats.
Diode Laser Therapy (Smoothbeam)
Is growing popular among treatment for more severe acne, inflammatory acne.
What it does: The diode lasers work by targeting sebaceous gland, which serves to lubricate the skin by secreting the oily/waxy substance, sebum. The laser damages these glands in attempts to terminate the secretion of sebum and reduce the symptoms of acne. It also stimulates the production of collagen that is responsible for improving the appearance of your skin.
How it works: Diode lasers use LED that produces a wavelength around 1450 nm. As the length of the wavelength increases, penetration of the cutaneous tissue is accomplished and light is reached into the sebaceous glands to be absorbed. As more light is absorbed, heat is produced which affects the structure and function of the sebaceous glands, thus decreasing its size and activity.
Other applications: The diode lasers have other applications in the hair removal and scar treatment fields.
Radio Frequency Laser (Accent Laser)
Is another effective treatment used to treat inflammatory acne.
What it does: It emits high frequency beams of radio waves that heats sub-cutaneous tissue to damage acne bacteria or size/activity of sebaceous glands (which decrease sebum secretion).
How it works: The machine emits a radio wave frequency of approximately 5 MHz which produces heat causing the temperature of internal skin tissue to increase. The outer surface of skin tissue is sprayed with cold gas for it to cool down so that it does not reach to the same temperature as the internal tissue. The heat around this area causes inflammation to decrease, kills off acne bacteria and minimizes sebaceous gland activity/size.
Photopneumatic Therapy (Theravant Clear)
Is usually used as treatment for mild acne to inflammatory acne, pustular acne, comedonal acne and redness.
What it does: It uses a combination of light and vacuum to clear the pores of the skin through heating the dermis and removing the sebum.
How it works: The device is placed onto the targeted area and vacuums the build up of sebum. During this process, light is also used, which activates porphyrnes that destroys acne and decrease the secretion of sebum.
Laser Resurfacing (YAG Laser)
Most preferred in treating severe acne, mild acne scars caused by infection and excess pigmentation (melisma).
What it does: The YAG laser acts as peel by targeting the surface layer of the skin. It is less intrusive to the skin than other skin removing treatments since it only targets the artificial layer part of the skin. It also permits resurfacing of new skin.
How it works: the YAG laser uses an erbiumdoped yttrium aluminium garnet that produces an infrared wavelength (around 2940 nm). The treatment consists of turning the water on the surface of the skin into vapor. This able to be accomplished by the infra-red light since it is strong enough to be capable of absorbing water. Approximately 1/100 mm of skin tissue is removed during this process.
Other applications: The Er:YAG lases are utilized in dentistry and surgical procedures, such as bone and tissue cutting.
CO2 Laser resurfacing
Latest versions of laser resurfacing that help treats severe acne and acne scar.
What it does: The pulsating laser acts as peel that targets the surface layer of the skin by using heat. The CO2 laser produces a long wavelength that penetrates deep into skin tissue.
How it works: A local anesthetic is applied prior to treatment. The carbon dioxide laser produces pulsating infrared wavelengths directed on the infected area. This produces heat that increases the rate of the repairing skin cells and collagen production.
Other applications: Also used for treating wrinkles, blemishes, warts, enlarged oil glands, etc. It has a variety of purposes, such as, cutting skin and superficially vaporizing the skin to remove shallow tumors and skin cancer as well.
Blue Light Therapy
Used for treating mild-moderate acne.
What it does: The blue light targets the molecules porphyrins, which are produced by the bacteria, P. acne. It eliminates P. acne thus prohibiting the production of sebum and inflammation.
How it works: Prior to exposure to the blue light, an agent is applied onto the skin that helps induces more light absorbent in the skin. A blue light is then emitted at approximately 405-420 nm on the patient’s face. When the wavelengths of the blue light hit the porphyrin, the light kills the bacteria. It also affects the sebaceous gland thus reducing the secretion of oil.
Other applications: The blue light therapy is utilized in treating psychological disorders as well.
Pulsed Light and Heat Energy (LHE)
Used for treating mild-moderate acne lesions (similar to Blue light therapy).
What it does: Similar to blue light therapy, targets the porphyrins and kills the P. acne with a higher range of wavelength.
How it works: Prior to the exposure to the light, a gel is applied onto the skin that assist in speeding up the absorbent rate of light into the skin. Two lights are used (400-430 nm) during the treatment. The first light is green, which is absorbed on the melanin in the hair, thus increasing the temperature of the hair follicle. Then pulsation starts to occur and targets the porphryins thus killing P.acne. Red wavelength is introduced to open the pores for a more invasive removal to occur.