In the past, pimple sufferers were always told to cut out greasy foods, head to the local drug store and grab their favorite spot treatment, or head to the dermatologist to be put on a regimen of medications … all to try and improve one of the most bothersome skin conditions, acne. The problem is every person’s skin is different. Acne varies from person to person. Even though 80% of people between the ages 11 and 30 suffer from acne, there is no single proven therapy that can be hailed as the magic treatment to cure them all.
Treatment options for acne
Certain types of acne tend to be more difficult to treat because it runs within a family’s genetics. This type of acne can cause painful lesions that may end up severely scarring the skin long after the acne has subsided. When the usual treatment regimens fail, a common treatment for this skin condition is an oral antibiotic called isotretinoin or Accutane. Accutane is a popular medication for the treatment of acne. Although this medication is highly powerful, it has been known to have some very harsh–potentially fatal–side effects, and does not always prove to be effective.
For those who have not found a successful treatment for their acne or for those who do not want to undergo traditional treatment methods, laser therapy can be an excellent alternative. Treatments with light-based and laser therapies are relatively new and have been limited in their treatment range and efficacy. These traditional devices could also produce side effects if not done correctly. Plus, they were limited to lighter skin types and treatments were not exactly pleasant. Fortunately, the newest laser technology can offer your patients a safe and effective way to successfully treat acne while adding extra cash revenues to your business.
To highlight the new light-based treatment methods for acne, it is important to understand the previous ones.
Vacuum-assisted light-therapy. This includes covering the face with gel, placing a handpiece on the already-sensitive skin and then sucking the skin with a vacuum while light pulsed onto the skin. This option could be very uncomfortable for the patient, giving only average results.
Blue-light therapy. This includes adding topical medication to the skin and then having the patient sit under an LED light for a period of time, which activated the medication to kill bacteria and then exfoliate the skin. This method typically had a period of downtime resulting in increased sensitive skin and redness.
Other laser therapies have included a mix of handpieces that needed to contact the skin, which could further painfully irritate the condition and only yield mediocre results.
Now, these traditional light-based devices have been replaced, and their side effects and limited results have been eliminated. A new 650-microsecond pulsed Nd:YAG 1064nm laser has produced amazing results for acne maintenance and prevention, while having an added benefit of smoothing out any present acne scarring. Natalia Geraskova, MD, and Khalil Khatri, MD, conducted a study on more than 100 patients that determined this treatment to be incredibly safe and effective for acne. This study, titled “Treatment of Acne with a 650 Microsecond Pulsed Nd:Yag 1064nm Laser Using High Fluences and Stacked Pulses at a Low Repitition Rate” will soon be published in The Journal of Drugs and Dermatology.
Using a single handpiece, the doctors first canvassed the entire affected area with low energy and then applied 5-15 pulses with a higher energy to each active acne lesion. Subjects reported a reduction in pain and pressure in inflamed acne lesions immediately after the treatment. The acne lesions gradually became pale and reduced in size. Subjects with severe acne transitioned in into either light or moderate acne. Subjects reported high satisfaction from the treatment due to the rapid and aesthetically pleasing results.
Why laser treatments for acne?
Laser therapy for the treatment of acne has a dual benefit for both patients and providers. Patients who have been long-time acne-sufferers and have had no other treatment options may finally have a chance for clearance and are readily willing to pay their provider out-of-pocket for that chance. Many practitioners have enjoyed adding this service to their business to boost revenue, as well as help struggling patients. Many patients have seen significant clearance with just several treatments.
Advance your aesthetic practice with new laser technology to quickly become the go-to provider in your area for the safe, gentle and effective treatment acne.