Welcome to the Coastal Laser and Aesthetics blog! Here, you’ll find articles about laser treatments, skin rejuvenation, body contouring technologies, wellness tips, and more! Our clinic is committed to providing high-quality results using non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed with the latest skincare technology. Refreshed, healthy skin is an important aspect of optimal health and self-esteem. That’s why we’re happy to help our patients achieve their aesthetic goals! Most of our procedures are quick, with minimal downtime and side effects. Our site features a full list of services, active promotions, discounts, and reviews. We encourage you to take a look around and familiarize yourself with our highly-trained staff.

Our last post talked about sunscreen and its importance. Sunscreen is a topical product that utilizes an SPF rating to block or absorb some of the sun’s rays. SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and it measures how well a sunscreen will protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays can damage the skin in various ways, and can also lead to skin cancer. If you are interested in learning more about sunscreen and why it is essential, check out our last post!

Today, we’ll be talking about laser-based acne treatment and how it works. Acne is the most common skin condition in the United States and affects up to 50 million Americans annually. It is a common misconception that only teenagers suffer from acne, however, it can occur at any stage of life– You can even have acne in your 30s or 40s! If you suffer from acne, you know just how debilitating it can be. Not only can it be painful, but it can really take a toll on your confidence and self-esteem. There are many acne treatments out there, but some people have a hard time finding one that works. Laser-based acne treatments are an innovative way to tackle acne problems, as well as scarring from past acne breakouts. If you want to find out more about laser-based treatment for acne, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

It is important to note that there are different types of acne, and each type may require different treatment. “Acne” is a broad term, so let’s break down the different types.

  • Whiteheads: These appear when the pores are clogged all the way through. The length of the pore and the head of the pore are closed, which forms the white bump you see on top of the skin. These are often treated with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
  • Blackheads: With blackheads, the head of the pore remains open while the length of it is clogged. They appear dark, or black, on the skin’s surface and are often treated with benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid.
  • Papules: These are small, red bumps that form when excess oil or dead skin cells block a pore. They mix with bacteria on your skin and create inflammation. Papules are often treated with benzoyl peroxide, topical retinoids, or antibiotics.
  • Pustules: Pustules have a white center surrounded by red inflammation. They typically form in clusters and form when a blocked pore becomes infected. However, they can also form due to hormonal changes in the body. They are typically treated in the same way as papules.
  • Nodules: This type of acne consists of flesh-colored or red bumps. They are deep under the skin’s surface and are usually a result of bacteria causing an infection within the pore. Over-the-counter treatments aren’t as effective for nodular acne, so they are often treated with prescription-strength topical creams. 
  • Cysts: The most severe form of acne, cystic acne is a result of an infection deep within the skin. They are large, painful, and pus-filled. Cystic acne is often the most difficult to treat, and medications are typically prescribed. 

However, for some people, the typically prescribed treatments may not bring relief. Other people may not want to deal with applying topical creams or taking medications to treat their acne. This is where laser-based acne treatment comes in. Laser-based treatment can vary, but here at Coastal Laser and Aesthetics, we utilize treatments based on Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) laser therapy. This treatment is sometimes known as a photofacial or photorejuvenation and is used to treat the skin without surgery. 

IPL uses light energy targeting and vacuuming to heat areas of the skin to be treated. When the laser hits the skin, it is absorbed by pigment cells and turned into heat. Once the heat is produced, your body gets rid of the targeted cells, which gets rid of what you are being treated for, like acne, in this case. While regular laser technology sends out one beam of light, IPL sends out more than one wavelength of pulsating light. It delivers various rapid and controlled pulses of light, which prevents thermal damage to the skin and minimizes discomfort.

IPL penetrates through multiple layers of the skin without damaging the top layer, or epidermis, effectively killing acne bacteria, reducing inflammation, and reducing sebum excess that can lead to acne. Sebum is an oil-like substance that is naturally produced by your body to form a protective barrier on the skin. However, some people produce excess sebum, which can lead to oily skin. Hormones called androgens help regulate sebum production, so if you have a hormone imbalance, this could cause your body to produce excess sebum. This, in turn, can lead to acne breakouts. IPL effectively targets the pores, clearing them, clearing acne, and stopping active acne outbreaks. 

Since this treatment targets the deeper layers of the skin, it promotes a boost of collagen. Collagen is a protein found in the skin and is responsible for skin elasticity. In other words, it keeps your skin looking youthful and healthy. Since IPL encourages the production of more collagen, you can expect an improved texture of the skin as well as a minimized appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. IPL treatment can also minimize the appearance of scars from past acne outbreaks. The high-quality laser is also effective in removing build-ups of dead skin cells, which can clog pores. Removal of these skin cells can result in a more glowing appearance of the skin!

The number of IPL treatments you need can depend on the severity of your acne. However, your skin is likely to feel less oily after just one treatment. Additionally, any active acne outbreak will begin to fade during the first 48 hours after your treatment! Talk about effectiveness. For optimal results, we recommend at least 3 treatments, spaced every month apart. We will work with you to tailor an acne laser treatment plan based on your skin’s needs. This treatment has virtually no downtime– It can be done on your lunch break and you can return to your normal activities right away! 

Patients who undergo IPL treatment often feel slight irritation afterward that is similar to that of a sunburn, and sometimes slight bruising occurs. However, these side effects typically last less than 24 hours. Your skin will be a bit more sensitive to light for at least 4 to 6 weeks after treatment, so you should try to avoid direct sunlight and always remember to utilize sunscreen. You should care for your skin by using a moisturizer regularly– Not only is this standard skincare, but it will also help you see optimal results. You can read more about IPL photofacials, what they can be used for besides acne, and what to expect from your treatment in one of our previous blog posts!

As you can see, acne can be stubborn and can significantly impact your confidence. For those who have already tried various treatments to no avail, or do not want to deal with applying topical creams or taking medications daily, IPL laser therapy is the perfect option– And it works! We hope you found this article informative and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns regarding IPL laser treatment. At Coastal Laser and Aesthetics, we are committed to helping you look and feel your best through high-quality treatments. We offer skin resurfacing treatments, laser hair removal, chemical peels, Botox, dermal fillers, and more! Beautiful, radiant skin begins with a strong foundation of skincare fundamentals and a set of trusted skincare professionals. You can book your free consultation, read up on our services, and browse our active promotions all on our site! Until next time—thank you for reading!