Things to know before undergoing laser resurfacing for acne

Things to know before undergoing laser resurfacing for acne

The procedure for facial rejuvenation is called laser resurfacing. The treatment utilizes a laser to boost the appearance of the skin and treat facial problems such as acne or a scar. Lasers prove to be a great medium to lower the visibility of scars resulting from an old acne outbreak. It also aids in encouraging the production of new and healthy cells to replace scar tissue. Let’s find out more about laser resurfacing for acne.

Methods of laser resurfacing for acne
There are two methods of laser resurfacing for acne, which comprise ablative and nonablative laser therapy.

Ablative laser
This laser method eliminates the epidermis, the thin outer layer of the skin while heating the inner layer is known as the dermis. This procedure stimulates collagen production, which is recognized as a protein that boosts skin firmness as well as texture. As the thin outer layer of the skin undergoes healing, and there is regrowth of the skin, the area which has been treated tends to become tighter and smoother. Furthermore, an ablative laser utilizes a carbon dioxide CO2 laser and an erbium laser.

Nonablative laser
This method of laser resurfacing for acne is also known as a light source as it uses infrared light. The procedure stimulates the growth of collagen as well as encourages cell growth to restore scarred and damaged tissue. The procedure proves to be less aggressive than the ablative laser procedure. It also takes less time for recovery. However, the results are not very prominent in this procedure. Different nonablative lasers that can be used are pulsed-dye lasers and intense pulsed light lasers.

Fractionated laser
The procedures mentioned above can be performed with a fractional laser that leaves microscopic pillars of untreated tissue along the area that has undergone treatment. These lasers reduce recovery time and lower the side effects associated with treatment. This form of laser stimulates tissues underneath the scar to eliminate cells that are darkly pigmented below the top layer of the skin.

Benefits of laser resurfacing
It is known to reduce fine wrinkles.
It aids in lowering age spots.
It can treat uneven skin tone as well as texture.
It can repair sun-damaged skin.
It can treat mild to moderate scars formed due to acne.

Risks factors associated with the treatment
Laser resurfacing for acne may lead to certain side effects, including:
Inflammation, pain, itching, and redness: The skin undergoing a laser resurfacing procedure may experience a burning sensation, inflammation, or itching. Redness of the skin may be severe and can stay for several months.

Infection: Laser resurfacing for acne can cause a bacterial, fungal or viral infection. An attack of the herpes virus, which leads to cold sores, is the most common infection experienced after the procedure.

Acne: The laser treatment involves the application of thick creams as well as bandages on the face post-treatment, which may lead to more acne and the development of small white bumps, also known as milia, along the treated skin.

Alterations in skin color: The color of the skin might become dark or light compared to the skin before the procedure. People with darker skin tones most likely experience permanent alterations in skin color.

Scarring: This is another possible side effect that can occur post-ablative laser resurfacing procedure.

People who should not indulge in the procedure
People taking or have taken acne supplements such as isotretinoin in the past are advised against undertaking the procedure.
People suffering from autoimmune disease or with connective tissue and poor immune systems are advised not to opt for the process.
People who had keloid scars in the past.
People who have undergone radiation therapy on their face.
People who have undertaken laser resurfacing before.
People who develop cold sores frequently or have a recent outbreak.
People who have a dark skin tone or are excessively tanning.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
People who have a history of ectropion which is the outward turning of eyelids.

Result of the procedure
After the ablative laser resurfacing procedure, patients may experience swelling on the skin for many months. However, when the treatment area starts to heal, there will be noticeable skin quality and appearance changes that may stay intact for years. Those who opt for nonablative laser resurfacing procedures might experience slow but continuous improvements in the texture of the skin as well as pigments. However, it is important to note that post the laser resurfacing procedure, patients are advised to use sun protection at all times.

If one is considering laser resurfacing, it is best to discuss all the doubts and queries that one might have about it with a healthcare expert.

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