How To Get Rid Of Acne Scars Fast
Laser Treatment for Acne Scars
Using lasers to remove acne scars has been around for a while now. In the early days, laser treatments were hailed as the ultimate treatment for removing old acne scars and restoring beautiful, clear skin for those who suffered with severe acne during adolescence.
There are many different treatments and procedures for removing those scars that are daily reminders of the years we suffered with teenage acne. Every morning we are treated to a vision of the results of those miserable acne-ridden years and we would like to have those scars removed. We’d like to feel confident and good about ourselves.
Dermabrasion is a method that was used long before lasers were invented. It’s a moderately effective method of acne scar removal. Dermabrasion works quite well for those who have only minor acne scarring, and it is a relatively inexpensive treatment.
Chemical peels are another option for acne scar removal. Chemical peels are only moderately effective, even on minimal acne scarring. I’m not saying that chemical peels don’t help at all; they do, but they aren’t as effective as dermabrasion, and far less effective than laser resurfacing.
There has been a relatively new breakthrough in laser resurfacing of late. A new procedure that is trademarked under the name Fraxel Laser is now available at limited locations.
Some dermatologists are calling the Fraxel Laser resurfacing technique a real “breakthrough” in acne scar removal. In a carefully worded statement, the dermatology association said, “the new laser could be far more effective than traditional therapies at both removing damaged tissue and inducing the formation of new collagen.”
In addition to being used to remove scars left by acne, the Fraxel Laser resurfacing technique is also being used to rejuvenate skin and remove wrinkles and fine lines.
Those of us who have mild to moderate cases of acne know the drill — twice daily facial cleansing with pH-balanced soap, followed by application of whichever-acne-medication-is-being-tried-this-month. We do it because up until now, there really has not been an alternative. But there may be an alternative coming to a dermatologist near you in the near future.
Blue light therapy has been given approval by the FDA for treating acne. This is a completely noninvasive treatment. No drugs are involved in the blue light treatment for acne, so FDA approval didn’t take the years and years of trials usually required before approval was given.
The question of whether the blue light therapy is actually effective in treating acne will be answered by the acne patients who use the blue light treatment. Narrow-band, high-intensity blue light therapy was approved by the FDA for the purpose of treating acne. The idea behind the blue light therapy is to kill the bacteria known as P. acnes. Blue light therapy has also been used to treat inflammatory acne vulgaris that has not responded to more common treatments. It’s kind of amazing, but there is no ultraviolet light in the blue light therapy, unlike other light therapies.
Trials using blue light therapy have proven that the therapy is effective and acts fast against most acne. The treatment is given in a series of eight sessions, each lasting about 15 minutes over a period of about four weeks. The blue light acne treatment is not effective for those who have nodulocystic acne lesions and can actually make those lesions worse.
Nodulocystic acne lesions are severe acne lesions that have deep inflamed bumps or nodules and large pus-filled lesions that look like boils or cysts.
Blue light therapy has been proven to be a somewhat more effective treatment for acne than the common treatments but it is not a magic bullet.
The blue light acne therapy is the best known of the emerging light therapies for the treatment of acne. Blue light therapy is painless. The patient simply sits in front of the light source for a period of about 15-16 minutes once or twice a week for four to eight weeks. Since there are no UV rays, the treatment is completely safe and it has been proved effective for most acne.
Blue light therapy is not recommended for those who have severe acne with lesions that look like boils or cysts and who have large nodules. The blue light therapy can actually make this severe form of acne worse.
Pulsed light and heat energy (LHE) therapy is another kind of emerging light therapy for acne. Pulses of green light are combined with heat. Researchers know that LHE destroyes the P.acne bacteria and have determined that it might also decrease sebum production by the sebaceous glands.
ALA + light therapy is another way in which blue light therapy is administered. ALA (a solution of 5-aminolevulinic acid) is applied to the affected area and left for varying periods of time, depending upon the severity of the acne. ALA makes the skin more sensitive to light. Then blue light therapy is given. Researchers tried using red light therapy but it caused some discoloration problems so now only blue light therapy is used.
Diode lasers are in trials now. There is minor pain associated with diode laser treatments, but topical anesthetics seem to be effective. So far it appears that diode laser treatments are effective in treating acne vulgaris.
The bottom line here is that while different light treatments are being proven to be effective in treating acne, the technology is still new. More research needs to be done and light treatment will not likely be your dermatologist’s first choice of treatments for your acne.
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