If you’ve ever had acne, then you’re very familiar with discomfort. The stares from strangers, the eyes dropping from yours to your breakout. It’s not fun. And it leaves many individuals with low self-esteem and shame.
But the fact is that 60-million people in the U.S. have acne—ranging from mild to severe cystic cases. Thankfully, nowadays, there are a variety of treatment options to choose from including laser treatment for acne.
It seems too good to be true, right? Just shine some fancy light on your skin and all your acne troubles disappear. Well, that’s not quite how it works. Here’s the truth about laser treatments for acne.
1. Keep Expectations In Check
Acne laser treatment is effective, but will not “cure” your acne. Most patients who undergo this type of therapy see a significant clearing of their acne but it’s rare for this treatment to completely eradicate it. Talk to a dermatologist about combining treatment options to give you the best results.
2. Results May Vary
Because each of us is unique and different, the way each of our bodies responds to certain chemicals or substances is different. There’s no way to predict who will and won’t respond favorably to laser treatment.
3. A Series Of Treatments Is Usually Required
Some issues can be addressed effectively with a single laser treatment—but acne isn’t one of them. Most studies have shown that it usually takes multiple treatments for acne to respond to the therapy.
4. Be Patient
Expanding upon truth #3, regardless of how many treatments you undergo, don’t expect to wake up the next day with a perfectly smooth face. It takes time for your skin to respond to the treatment—usually a couple weeks or so.
5. Side Effects ARE Possible
Maybe you’re drawn towards laser treatments because you’ve heard horror stories about the side effects of some of the prescription medications. If that’s the case, I’m sorry to say that lasers carry their own side effects, although mostly minimal and far less serious than some other acne treatments. Swelling, redness, sensitivity to the sun, or burning sensations are the most common. Other uncommon side effects include blisters, pigmentation, and lingering pain. It’s important to follow your dermatologist’s instructions very carefully to avoid this.