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Laser Treatment for Acne

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Laser Treatment for Acne

Acne, or acne vulgaris, is a skin disease that most people have dealt with at some point in their lives. It can take the form of blackheads (open comedones), whiteheads (closed comedones), pimples (pustules), or cysts (deep nodules), which can be very painful and persistent.

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Acne cause

While diet and lifestyle may be a contributing factor, genetics and hormones are typically the cause of acne.  Individuals whose parents suffered from acne are much more likely to develop acne themselves. Hormones also play a large role, which is why acne is common throughout the teenage years. Hormones can increase the glands of the skin, produce oil and clog pores, which causes acne to develop. Adult acne can be caused by a hormonal imbalance, and often appears during pregnancy or during other times of hormonal change. Switching between birth control pills, elevated stress levels (that can spike cortisol), or taking certain prescription medications are also known to cause acne.  There is little concrete scientific evidence to link certain foods, like chocolate, to acne breakouts; however, sugar may be a culprit, as it raises your insulin levels.

Evidence suggests that insulin may boost male hormones, like testosterone, triggering excess oil production. Many people report being plagued by adult acne into their 30s, 40s and even 50s. Whether it is mild, moderate, or severe, those who suffer from acne may feel like they have tried everything to eliminate it. This can be extremely frustrating as there are a number of products out there that make promises they cannot deliver – and trying a number of new products is expensive and often exasperates the problem. While some oral treatments such as isotretinoin (Accutane) are effective in reducing acne, they also have a number of serious side effects, which may make individuals feel like they are trading one problem for another. Since severe acne can lead to permanent scarring, it is crucial to treat it properly with the help of a specialist.

Age & Acne

Often associated with puberty, as it affects approximately 80-90% of teenagers, many continue to suffer from acne well past their teens. In fact, roughly 20% of adults struggle with acne and adult acne can be slower to respond to treatment. Regardless of one’s age, acne can have a great impact on a person’s self-esteem, confidence and relationships. Acne is most commonly located on the most visible parts of the body: the face, neck, chest, back, and even arms, making it difficult to hide.
In more severe cases, it may even lead to scarring; leaving a trace of the acne long after the blemish has healed.

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How does laser treatment work?

Acne treatment is one of the most commonly requested and performed procedures at Q Esthetics Laser Clinic in Toronto. We use the Palomar Starlux 500, a dermatologist recommended IPL (intense pulsed light) laser system, which was the first laser to obtain FDA approval for “Acne Clearing.”  IPL is one of the most frequently used types of light therapy by dermatologists. IPL therapy is used to treat a number of skin conditions such as skin discoloration, sun damage, and scarring. However, it can also be used to diminish acne by reducing bacteria, sebum levels and inflammation. Since the light IPL produced is absorbed by pigmented tissue, it can work to reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmented acne scars. It uses a high intensity light to treat acne in short bursts. This quick pulsing makes it safe and gentle, preventing thermal damage to the skin and reducing discomfort. The IPL acne hand-piece of the Palomar Starlux 500 is gentle and effective. When the high intensity light is flashed onto the affected areas of the skin, the short wavelength destroys the acne bacteria, and the longer wavelength slows down the metabolism of the hyperactive sebaceous glands to prevent future acne. This laser treatment is particularly effective for cystic acne; and when used in combination with other acne treatments, such as Chemical Peels and Acne Blue Light Therapy, it can clear current and prevent future breakouts.

Different Types of Acne

Acne may appear in different forms, including:

Blackheads (open comedones)

Whiteheads (closed comedones)

Pimples (pustules)

Cysts (deep nodules)

Acne Laser Treatment

What can I expect during and after the treatment?

Prior to the treatment, a topical numbing cream will be used on the treatment area. This helps to prevent discomfort during the procedure. Individuals may experience a slight stinging, as the laser heats up when skin absorbs the light energy. Since treatments are very short, (15-20 minutes on average) pain and/or discomfort is minimal. Afterwards, it is important to wear sunscreen and avoid being in direct sunlight to protect the skin, which may be slightly red following the treatment. This redness is temporary, lasting anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Any redness can be easily covered with makeup, so there is no downtime. In the week following the treatment, acne blemishes will gradually shrink and fade, and become less visible. While significant improvement may be seen after only one treatment, typically a few treatments are necessary to greatly reduce acne.

In most cases, three to five monthly treatments are recommended. In addition, your specialist may recommend a skin care product to be used in conjunction with this treatment, in order to increase its effectiveness.  Studies have found IPL treatment to be effective in offering long-term relief to those who suffer from acne. In addition to diminishing the appearance of blemishes, it can also even out skin tone, reducing blotchiness and facial scarring.IPL is most effective on lighter skin tones as darker skin tones may experience hyperpigmentation. It is not suitable for individuals who are currently taking Accutane.

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Esthetic Laser Clinic

Here at Q Esthetics Laser Clinic, we work with thousands of our patients each and every year, so we can understand how you feel and how to serve your needs better. You may already have problems to deal with, and you’ve likely tried many products to treat yourself at home, experiencing disappointment and frustration. Our experienced medical staff will thoroughly examine your complexion to ensure the right treatment options are offered to you for your specific needs*. There is not one solution that fits all, and your private one-on-one consultation will be the first step to regaining your beauty and health again. Rest assured we offer many different treatment modalities, and if you’ve given up, because of poor results from previous treatments, we will find effective alternatives so that you can begin to see yourself in great shape again.

Call one of our three convenient clinics today and book your complimentary consultation to find out how we can assist you.

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