Acne is a skin condition characterised by the formation of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and multiple other forms of spots. A possible treatment option is laser therapy, which, by using a powerful light, destroys the bacteria that cause acne and removes blood vessels that cause redness.
What is Acne?
Acne vulgaris is a common skin condition that causes red pimples and oily skin. Oils secreted from sebaceous glands in the hair follicles in pores will produce sebum. Sebum and skin cells block pores and bacteria and other debris from the skin surface. This leads to inflammation at the blocked follicle, which gives rise to blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts and other presentations of acne spots. This condition commonly affects the face, but it can also affect the back and chest area.
Why Have Acne Treatment?
Acne is a stressful and uncomfortable condition. This skin condition can make a person feel unattractive and very self-conscious; this can cause low self-esteem and low self-confidence and, in some cases, lead to depression.
Treatment through the NHS often involves an antibiotic prescription and/or topical gel with a review every 12 weeks. Commonly, this antibiotic treatment works in the short term, and acne will reappear within a few weeks. This may be repeated in 4 or 5 cycles, each time with a different antibiotic, before potentially a referral to a dermatologist is offered. There is then an 18-week average waiting list to receive a consultation.
Treating acne early improves self-confidence, happiness and increases the quality of life. Along with this, treatment can help prevent scars or minimise the appearance of existing scars, stop lingering spots when the acne clears, and stop mild acne progressing into severe acne, reducing the need for stronger medications that can have adverse side effects.
Benefits of Laser Therapy for Acne
Laser therapy for acne has a host of potential benefits:
- Reduced appearance of scars and redness caused by acne
- Non-invasive procedure
- Destroys acne-causing bacteria minimising recurring spots
- Reduces production of sebum from sebaceous gland leading to less oily skin
- Rejuvenates skin to look healthy
- A solution when topical treatments or medications have not worked
What Are The Risks of Laser Therapy?
Laser therapy uses blue light or red light and is a non-invasive treatment; therefore, this procedure is considered safe, and risks are minimal. But some minor risks to consider include:
- Crusting and peeling
- Changes in skin tone
- Sensitivity to sunlight
What to Expect From Laser Therapy for Acne
Important considerations when it comes to laser therapy for acne include:
- The therapy is gentle and virtually painless
- Initially, a vacuum suction device is passed over the skin, clearing the pores of debris, dirt, oils, and excess sebum. It also removes acne-causing bacteria
- After the vacuum process, a pulse of light is emitted, killing the remaining bacteria leaving cleaner skin
- This process is repeated across all affected areas
- No pre-treatment is required, and no downtime is necessary following treatment
How Much Does Acne Laser Therapy Cost?
- Depending on the size of the affected area, multiple treatments may be required. These can be upwards of £250 per treatment.
- Commonly, even after being referred to a dermatologist through the NHS, topical and medication treatments are offered to combat acne. However, laser therapy and injections are not widely offered on the NHS and will often be sought privately.