Acne vulgaris is the most common skin problem in the U.S. It accounts for 25 to 30% of all dermatology visits. It most commonly affects the face and can lead to permanent scarring. It can have profound and long-lasting psychological effects. Acne appears to have the potential to damage, even in the long term, the emotional well-being of patients.
Acne vulgaris is a disorder of the sebaceous or oil producing glands resulting in an inflammatory reaction and bacteria overgrowth.
There are many options available to treat acne. Topical therapies, systemic antibiotics, Accutane, oral contraceptives, etc can all provide excellent results either on their own or in combination. However, all also have side effects that may or may not be tolerable. It is important to find a treatment that is both effective and that has minimal side effects so that it can be maintained.
Lasers can be used to treat both adolescent and adult acne. The exact mechanism is not completely understood but it is thought that the laser wavelength disrupts the sebaceous glands that are responsible for the acne and destroys the bacteria most commonly associated with acne, P. acnes.
Laser acne treatments usually takes about 6 to 10 sessions spaced about one month apart and can be combined with chemical peels and other treatments for enhanced results. Significant improvement can be seen with even just a single laser treatment. Some improvement is also seen with old acne marks. Side effects are minimal and there is no downtime.