Skin Care Cosmetic Procedures Laser Acne Treatment

A number of new treatments arose with the commercialization of the laser. From mild procedures, such as hair removal, to more invasive surgeries, such as LASIK® eye surgery, lasers currently play a central role in treating a number of cosmetic and medical problems, including acne.

As one of the most common skin problems, acne currently affects about 60 million Americans. While over 80 percent of those between 12 and 24 years of age have acne, roughly 20 percent of adults over 25 suffer from this skin condition. Some of the most common causes of acne include:

  • clogged pores
  • genetic predisposition to acne
  • hormone fluctuations
  • infection
  • stress.

Because acne causes unsightly pimples, zits and other embarrassing skin abnormalities, getting the proper treatment is crucial to preventing the affected individual from suffering from lowered self-esteem.

Ideal Candidates for Laser Acne Treatment

Laser treatments for acne work best on those with:

  • acne scars
  • blackheads
  • hair follicle infections
  • pimples
  • whiteheads
  • zits.

Depending on the cause and severity of your acne, your doctor may also recommend that you take antibiotics, use prescription topical creams and/or take oral medications to improve your acne.

Those with autoimmune diseases (such as lupus or HIV) and those who have recently had surgery to the affected area should not undergo laser treatment for acne. If you are considering this procedure, talk to a dermatologist or other skin specialist about whether or not laser treatment is the best option for you.

How Laser Treatments for Acne Work

Once you and your dermatologist have determined that laser treatment will be effective for treating your acne, you will be ready to start the process. This acne treatment is one of the fastest ways of treating acne.

During the procedure, your doctor will pass lasers of specific intensities and wavelengths over the affected area(s). While the length of time a laser treatment takes depends on the severity of your case and the area of the body being treated, most acne laser treatments take less than 15 minutes.

Because laser treatments are fairly straight-forward procedures, they don’t require any anesthesia nor do they have any associated down time. You can carry on with your daily activities immediately after undergoing laser acne treatment.

However, like other cosmetic procedures, such as tattoo removal, you may need to undergo multiple treatment sessions before you achieve the results you want. Your doctor can approximate how many sessions you need to treat your acne.

Laser Treatment Side Effects and Complications

Because lasers effectively vaporize layers of damaged skin, this type of acne treatment does have some associated side effects, including redness, swelling and tenderness. However, once the treated skin heals, which generally takes a few weeks, these side effects will subside.

To aid the healing process, your doctor will likely recommend that you clean and moisturize your skin with gentle oil-free, perfume-free products. Similarly, you should avoid the sun for the first few weeks after laser treatments to prevent major sun damage from developing on the treated area. Once the skin has healed, be sure to wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 whenever going in the sun to preserve the health of your skin.


Acne Resource Center Online (n.d.). How Can Lasers Benefit Acne? Retrieved November 8, 2007 from the Acne Resource Center Online Web site: