Laser acne treatments can be used to target the specific cause of acne eruptions while keeping skin damage to a minimum. Unlike dermabrasion or chemical peels that have an effect on a large area of skin, a laser can be used with pinpoint precision so that surrounding skin remains unharmed by even the severest of acne conditions are treated. There are several kinds of laser treatments used for dealing with acne, all of which have different advantages, costs, and side effects.
The Types of Laser Acne Treatment
Laser CO2 treatments are one of three different types of laser acne treatments. This method of treating acne involves the use of a laser tool to remove the surface layer of skin over acne formations so that new skin can grow. A dermatologist will take a laser tool and pass it over an acne eruption up to three times. Small areas, when treated, may only take a couple of minutes, but if you have severe acne conditions, treatment can take about sixty minutes to complete. The doctor will give you a local anesthetic before you are treated so you will not experience any pain as the laser acne treatment is performed.
The same type of treatment can be conducted with an ER: YAG laser. This type of laser is less powerful when compared to a CO2 laser. So even though the side effects of the laser resurfacing treatment are similar, they are somewhat diminished. With an ER: YAG laser method, you will experience a reddening of the skin that will dissipate in a few weeks. The skin may remain pink in color for many months following the procedure. Your doctor may give you an ointment or cream to apply to the skin on a regular basis to promote healing.
By far the least expensive acne laser treatment is identified as the fractional laser treatment. This treatment is used to treat specific spots on your skin only. Since the laser used in this treatment method is not as powerful as the ER:YAG or the CO2 laser, you will require at least four or five treatments to see full results.
Laser Acne Treatment Side Effects
Laser acne treatments are in no way 100% effective in every case, and it can take repeated applications before acne conditions are under control. Usually, after several treatments, the final effects of laser treatments can last about six months time. Laser treatments do not cure acne conditions, but they can offer temporary relief from intermittent outbreaks.
Laser CO2 treatments take about one to two weeks to fully heal. You will have to cover the treated area with a dressing for at least three days after you have received treatment. The treated area of skin might have some skin discoloration for up to three months. Additional side effects associated with CO2 laser treatments include the potential for infection, scarring, the dilation of blood vessels, prolonged reddening of the skin, and the treated area may weep, ooze, and crust over during the healing process.
As mentioned earlier, when comparing the side effects of the ER: YAG laser technique with the CO2 laser treatment, you will find that the side effects are far more mild when an ER:YAG laser is used. You may experience some surface swelling, skin reddening, and oozing in the treated area. Still, the effects are not as extreme as those associated with the more powerful CO2 laser.
With a fractional laser treatment, your skin may take on a pink color for up to five days. Some people experience a bronzing of the skin for a period of two weeks after the procedure. Additional side effects include swollen, inflammation, crusting, and skin scaling at the treated site. This treatment clearly offers the least in terms of overall side effects.
Laser Acne Treatment Cost
The cost of laser acne treatment options varies depending upon the type of laser treatment you receive and the frequency you receive treatments. The severity of your skin condition will also have an effect on how much you pay for laser acne treatment solutions over the long term. You will need to talk to your doctor about which laser treatment will serve you best in terms of dealing with your acne outbreaks.
A laser acne treatment like the CO2 application can cost right around $3000.00 to as much as $6000.00 per acne treatment. This process will probably have to be repeated in six month’s time, so it can cost you $6000.00 to $12000.00 a year. If you choose to have laser ER:YAG treatments instead, you will be paying about the same amount of money on a semi-annual and yearly basis.
You can expect to pay as much as $1000.00 per session when you get fractional laser acne treatments. If you require 4 sessions in a year’s time, it can cost you about $4000.00 a year. This process might have to be repeated if your acne returns.