Are Lasers and Light Therapy Effective Treatments for Acne?
People are always searching for the next big thing in skincare, from anti-aging technology to treatments that leave you looking like you’ve just returned from a relaxing vacation. For those with acne-prone skin, most are up for trying anything in the hopes of finding some sweet relief from stubborn breakouts.
Treatments involving both lasers and light therapy operate under the premise of diminishing the level of acne-causing bacteria, P. acnes, on the skin and in the pores. Acne is caused by the overproduction of sebum, an oily substance created by the sebaceous glands, and dead skin cells, dirt and debris found on the skin’s surface. Sebum travels along the pore from the inside, mixing with dead skin found on the outside the pore. This mixture is a fertile ground to grow P. acnes bacteria that will cause inflammation as our body to tries to fight it. Acne symptoms, such as pimples and pustules, are the result of an inflammatory reaction of the body when the body sends white blood cells to fight off these infectious bacteria, now living within this clogged pore.
Light therapy works to rid the skin of this bacteria by exposing the skin to certain types of light. Hopefully, this therapy prevents at least some inflammation to arise and possibly temporarily diminishes the number of pimples.
Relying on Pulsed Dye, InfraRed, or Fractional lasers, to name a few, these treatments are usually done over the course of multiple visits, and can cost up to $500 per session. Light therapy treatments have recently offered economical at-home devices, but their results have been described as mild and unpredictable. Light therapy does not show any results in treating non-inflammatory acne symptoms such as blackheads and whiteheads and possible side effects for both treatments include pain, irritation and redness.
While the use of certain lights and lasers have produced some positive results in working to eliminate acne bacteria, this bacteria is known to grow back fairly quickly, making it an ineffective means of treating acne and breaking the cycle of acne once and for all.
Certain laser and light therapy treatments work to reduce the size of the sebaceous glands themselves, limiting their sebum production. This sounds like it should eliminate acne, but tampering with the sebaceous glands can create potentially devastating changes within the body. Some patients report prolonged stinging or burning sensations, over-sensitivity to sun or indoor bright light, and over dryness, redness and peeling of the skin.
Although sebum is often regarded as the “cause” of acne, this oily substance is necessary in order for the skin to function properly. It is only when a hormonal imbalance triggers the sebaceous glands to produce more sebum than is necessary that pores can become clogged which leads to acne. Sebum works not only to moisturize complexions, but to lubricate the pores, and help the outer layer of the skin to protect the body from microorganisms and water loss. If you want to impact the amount of sebum produced by the sebaceous glands, targeting the imbalance is done from inside. A systemic treatment like AcnEase® actually works as a buffer between the hormones and the sebaceous glands, preventing the overproduction of sebum without directly affecting hormone levels.
In summary, the results from laser and light therapy treatments are temporary, with symptoms eventually recurring. This is because pimples, pustules, whiteheads and blackheads are merely a symptom of acne. Laser and light therapy does nothing to treat the actual cause of acne. Real change must be made from within, and AcnEase® does just that. Working from the inside-out, AcnEase® targets acne at it’s source, limiting sebum production to just the necessary amount for the skin to function in a healthy manner.
We want to hear from you! Have you tried any laser or light therapy treatments? What was your experience? Tell us in the comments below!