- Have you diligently tried multiple ways to get rid of acne?
- Do you have trouble following strict acne treatment routines?
- Are you concerned about the side effects of taking prescriptions, like Accutane and antibiotics?
- What is your pain tolerance like?
- Are you strapped for time to make it through long treatment sessions?
- Do you have the budget for treatments?
- Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
- Conclusion: laser acne therapy can be the perfect solution for acne sufferers
You may have heard of the ‘new kid on the block’ when it comes to treating blemishes: acne laser treatments. They’re certainly a breakthrough in the world of acne solutions. They’re making waves in beauty magazines. Doctors are finding them extremely helpful for their patients.
If you have persistent acne, you may be wondering: are acne laser treatments right for me?
In this article, we’ll explain the basic questions to ask yourself about this option.
Have you diligently tried multiple ways to get rid of acne?
From rigorous face-washing to topical creams, switching out makeup brands, getting chemical peels and even seeking prescriptions, those with stubborn acne know how hard it is to find their golden ticket to a blemish-free life.
It’s like a broken record tape. It starts with a novel product that might work. At first it seems promising. But after months of following instructions to a ‘T’, the effects are clearly not what they claimed they’d be.
Then, it’s on to the new strategy. More cleansers, more face masks, more aesthetician treatments and – dare we say – more prescriptions.
If this sounds like your experience with acne, then laser acne therapy may be for you.
And, you’re not alone. Research shows that 80% of women have tried systemic antibiotic treatments for acne multiple times, to no avail.
Do you have trouble following strict acne treatment routines?
Parents of teens who suffer from acne often have trouble getting them to follow their doctor’s orders. Compliance is an ongoing issue for acne prescribers. Prescriptions require following routines very carefully in order to see results. In fact – it’s a weakness that doesn’t just affect teens; adults mess up their acne meds too!
If you find you have trouble with the rigidity of traditional acne treatments, laser acne therapy may be for you. The process requires a few treatment sessions. Afterwards, results begin to show in 6 to 12 months.
Keep in mind, however, that regular face washing and showing up for facials may continue to be important for your case of acne, even after laser treatments. This can also be true after taking prescriptions.
Are you concerned about the side effects of taking prescriptions, like Accutane and antibiotics?
If you’re worried about the side effects of Accutane and antibiotics, you should be.
Accutane (i.e. isotretinoin) is a last-resort drug for the treatment of acne for a reason; it can be dangerous. While those pills may seem magical for treating severe acne, they can cause birth defects, liver abnormalities and more. That’s aside from the depression, headaches and dryness in the skin, nose and mouth – all symptoms you may experience while taking them.
Antibiotics, as we know, are not meant for long-term use. The body can become immune to their effects. And, while they kill ‘bad’ bacteria, they can kill ‘good’ bacteria at the same time. Our bodies need ‘good’ bacteria to stay healthy.
If the idea of using prescriptions or drugs to clear acne makes you uncomfortable, then laser acne treatments may be for you. No harmful side effects are expected with acne lasers.
What is your pain tolerance like?
While laser acne treatments are not the most painful thing you’ll experience in your lifetime, they can produce a stinging or ‘snapping’ sensation. This is from the heat that is produced as the laser ‘zaps’ away at sebaceous glands.
That said, clinical study participants who had laser acne treatments with AviClear™ did not require any anesthetic for their treatment. They also did not need any breaks during their sessions. So, the treatments – at least with AviClear™ – are tolerable.
Modern laser machines usually come with cooling features, such as cold plates or cold air. They work as the laser is being pulsed against the skin. This maintains skin’s temperature, so that the treatment is not as painful.
If you can handle a bit of discomfort for the payoff of clearer skin, then laser acne therapy may be right for you.
Are you strapped for time to make it through long treatment sessions?
If you’ve tried photodynamic therapy (PTD) for acne, you’ll know that the sessions are long. They can last from 45 minutes up to 2.5 hours. The process also needs to be redone for up to five sessions in a cluster. Re-treatment with groups of sessions may be required to continue to see results long-term.
After being treated with PTD, you will likely be required to stay indoors and out of sunlight for a couple days. This is because the prescription medication used to sensitize your skin for the treatment can also make you highly susceptible to sunburns. Sunscreen is not an escape for this temporary side effect.
All the steps involved in PTD can be really time consuming. If you have a busy schedule, laser acne treatments may be the better choice.
Laser treatments are typically done in 30 minute sessions (plus pre and post procedure protocols). In the case of the AviClear™ laser, only three sessions are needed. Patients can return to normal activities right away, as long as they wear sunscreen.
Do you have the budget for treatments?
Currently, laser acne therapy is an out-of-pocket, cash pay treatment. It is not covered by Medical Services Plan (M.S.P.) in British Columbia, for example.
Treatment costs can vary from region to region. However, to be very general, treatments can come to around $1,000 CAD per session. They are sold in packages, since more than one session is necessary. The total spend to complete a series of sessions can be around $3,000 – $4,000 CAD, give or take. Financing options are usually always available.
While this can seem more expensive than paying for a prescription or topical solution, keep in mind the results of laser acne treatments are long term. This means they continue to prevent or lessen the severity of acne breakouts in the future.
If you add up the cost of skin care products and facials, then the price for laser therapy may be well worth it. Not to mention – your sanity! Acne can certainly cause depression and lower your quality of life.
Are you pregnant or planning to become pregnant?
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, then you’ll need to hold off on laser acne treatments. This rather new technology has not been studied for safety on pregnant women. So, practitioners won’t take any chances – just like they won’t with topical retinoids, either.
But, once your cutie-pie is out of the ‘oven,’ be sure to look up laser acne treatments again!
Conclusion: laser acne therapy can be the perfect solution for acne sufferers
As we’ve seen above, laser acne treatments can be perfect for acne-prone skin in certain situations. If you have already tried several ways to clear your acne, are wary of using prescriptions, are strapped for time and can handle a bit of the ‘ouch’ factor, then acne lasers may be your new best friend.
Of course, the treatments will need to fit into your budget. Financing can make that easier.
And, last, but not least, you’ll need to qualify yourself by ensuring you’re not pregnant or planning to become pregnant!
Are you looking for acne laser treatments in Vancouver? We’ve got up-to-date acne laser technology at our Surrey clinic!
See more on our website:
- What causes acne and how can I get rid of it?
- How to treat adult acne (plus learn what causes it to begin with)
- Stop breakouts with Vancouver laser acne treatments and more (in Surrey)
- Acne Products Kit: Cosmeceutical Skin Care System to Calm Breakouts & Treat Scars