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Tackling Teenage Acne with Fractional Lasers

HomeBlogTackling Teenage Acne with Fractional Lasers

Acne is the bane of existence for many of us especially teenagers. Puberty and hormones combined with stress from school and extracurricular activities result in acne that is persistent and affects large areas. The acne might ultimately subside, but you might be left with the scars.

This is why many people begin to attempt addressing the problem of acne and cystic acne while they are still teenagers with a wide variety of potential solutions. Often, however, skincare routines, healthy diets, and off-the-counter creams are not enough to tackle teenage skin issues.

This is where professional treatments come in, and none are as effective and popular than laser-based treatments, including procedures such as fractional laser treatments. In this article we discuss laser for acne scars and fractional laser treatments, as well as how they work and what they can do for you.

How do laser treatments work?

While the specifics vary from treatment to treatment, the basic premise is very similar. A light-based laser treatment is used upon the skin surface to be treated. This laser treatment has varying effects on the cells of the skin it is applied to, but commonly they do things like stimulate the production of collagen, destroy bacteria, and encourage repair. Laser treatments mostly aim to give the natural processes of your body a boost by providing energy to your skin cells.

Laser technology is popular not just as a laser for acne scars; they are in fact used frequently in many other medical treatments including dentistry. Depending on the intensity, the effect of the laser treatment may be either very light (e.g. peeling treatments) or a little heavier. The various treatments you see are different applications of this laser technology – the machinery directs the lasers in certain ways, and does certain things. This is why different treatments and machines are used for various conditions, even if to the layperson they sound the same.

What kind of laser treatments are there?

Laser treatments can be classified into two categories: ablative and non-ablative.

Ablative (from the Latin word ablatus, ‘to carry away’) treatments are considered more abrasive and work with heavier intensities of light. They remove thin outer layers in varying degrees and heats up the underlying layer (dermis) of the skin. This stimulates the underlying cells to produce collagen and other elasticity-related molecules. All of this helps to improve the elasticity and firmness of the skin, thus allowing the area to look smoother and tighter. Ablative treatments include fractional lasers, carbon dioxide lasers, erbium lasers, and other combination systems.

Non-ablative lasers, on the other hand, are less aggressive and include pulsed-dye laser as well as IPL treatments for hair removal. They are most helpful in cases of pigment removal and skin texture.

Non-ablative treatments start off quickly with limited preparation, ablative treatments may sometimes require additional preparation. One of the common steps that may happen is that numbing cream may be applied to your face, for instance, depending on your tolerance for pain.

What side effects should I expect?

Common side effects generally include redness of the skin, slight swelling, and mild sensitivity to the skin. As mentioned, the degree of side effects will increase with the intensity of the treatment.

In general, most treatments can take place within an hour (less intense treatments are usually shorter, and are often referred to as lunchtime treatments), and do not really produce any side effects that may hinder you on a daily basis. For ablative treatments, we recommend that you avoid the sun until the redness and swelling go down. Other than that, you are usually free to continue your day as per normal; many simply return to work as per usual.

We always recommend, however, that you speak with a professional before starting any treatment. Never undergo laser treatments from unverified sources as they are likely untrained in handling this technology. Speaking with professional will also allow them to properly assess your skin and gauge what treatments are suitable for your type of skin – this is important, because if you take on a laser treatment without proper advice, it may result in permanent side effects.

In summary

Laser treatments are a common way of treating acne, even for teenagers. They are superficial treatments that do not mess with hormones and are therefore very safe and popular for people of varying ages. Lasers tackle a large variety of skin problems on top of acne, and the limited side effects and clear results makes it a great skincare solution.

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