It’s the early teen years, as one is experiencing puberty, when acne usually starts. This period coincides with high school, selfies, and an interest in dating. Acne can negatively impact social interactions and lead to depression, moodiness, negative self-worth, and isolation. Controlling acne is a top priority for large number of teenagers in the US.
A cascade of events leads to acne:
- A trigger: hormonal, emotional, stress, metabolic
- Increased sebum (oil) production from sebaceous glands
- Plugging of the follicles by the sebum
- Infection of the sebum by bacteria
- Inflammation related to the infection/immune response
Treating Acne with Laser
Treating acne with lasers is not a new concept, but the Aerolase has made the process more effective and safer. Even the wavelength, 1064nm YAG laser, is not novel to the Aerolase. However, having a pulse width of 650 microseconds is unique.
The Aerolase sits in the middle of the prior lasers used to treat acne, the Q Switched (nanosecond) and the Excel V/VBeam (millisecond). It has been shown that this pulse width is better tolerated than faster and slower lasers, and therefore more pulses and even stacking can occur. Deeper and more broadly-based heating occurs with the Aerolase. With the increased heating of the acne, the laser becomes more effective in its eradication. The 1064 wavelength is safe for all skin types, but settings are reduced for the darker skin patients.
How does the Arolase laser treat acne?
The Aerolase laser treats acne by:
- Heating up and shrinking the sebaceous glands leading to lower sebum output
- Killing the acne bacteria
- Reducing the redness associated with the acne
- Improving early scarring
- Reducing the inflammatory component of acne
Typically, a series of treatments are needed, 4-6, about a week or two apart. Touch ups are needed every 1-3 months. Flairs should be treated acutely, so they are controlled quickly. Continues use of topical therapy is usually recommended, such as Retin A and benzyl peroxide. The Aerolase gives patients a unique, no downtime, near painless 10-minute procedure to help control even the most difficult acne.
Acne Treatment Benefits
An acne facial starts with a thorough facial cleansing and exfoliation. The esthetician or dermatologist will then do an extraction process for your clogged pores, which can be done with finger-applied pressure and a cotton ball on either side of the pore, or with tools. This is often followed by a mask or facial massage to calm the skin. Often, products such as salicylic and glycolic acids may be used to remove dead skin cells as part of the facial treatment. At the end of the facial, you may be offered product to use at home to treat acne between facials. There’s no expectation to make a purchase, of course – it’s totally up to you.
The main benefit of this type of facial, of course, is the reduction of facial acne. The treatment should help reduce redness and inflammation, and help the skin rebalance. With regular treatments, future acne breakouts may be minimized.
There are minimal side effects from an acne facial. Occasionally people do experience inflamed skin after some of the treatments, but this often subsides within a few hours. If you have especially sensitive skin, let the esthetician know beforehand as it may change which treatments they perform.
You should start to see results after your first acne facial. However, you may need to make multiple visits to achieve your desired results depending on the severity of the breakout. It’s also important to take good care of your skin at home in between facial visits, and a good esthetician will be able to recommend an effective follow-up routine.