Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Answers for
Laser Acne Treatments
Q: What causes acne?
A: Acne occurs when the pores become clogged with dead skin cells and excess sebum. This provides an ideal medium for bacteria to multiply – causing pimples and inflammation. Acne generally begins in puberty but can flare up into adulthood.
Q: What body areas can I get my acne treated?
A: The upper lip, face, neck, underarms, arms, hands, bikini line, legs, chest & back can all be treated. Almost any area, except directly around the eyes can be treated with a laser, but when using our Lamprobe, we can treat nearer to the orbital ring.
Q: What are pulsed light, Photofacials or acne treatments like?
A: Your certified laser technician will move the Palomar Lux-V, Cynosure Max-G, Acleara, Lamprobe or other handpieces over your skin, pulsing it as it goes. Each pulse sends a beam of light or energy through the skin. An audible tone, a flashing light and a mild sensation on the skin will tell you when the hand piece is being pulsed. The sensation produces little to no discomfort.
Q: How soon will I notice results?
A: Most people notice results by or after their second treatment. After your first treatment, you usually experience a decrease in the breakout. Sometimes a slight increase can occur, this is because the laser has reached the innermost layer of the skin and has begun to bring up the bacteria to the skin’s surface (epidermis). Once all of the acne bacteria is brought to the epidermis (and sanitized by the healing power of light), the skin will begin to resurface healing and the bacteria will disperse.
Q: How does intense pulsed light (IPL) work to stop acne?
A: Pulses of filtered light are directed into the skin, where they destroy bacteria or shrink oil glands to clear current acne breakouts. The light pulses also slow down production of sebum, which can clog pores – this prevents future acne breakouts.
The flash of heat may kill bacteria and flush of blood flow can have healing effects as well. We use specialized handpieces that filter light from different parts of the spectrum. Each band of the spectrum has a wavelength that is ideal for different treatments, such as hair reduction, sunspot removal (red and brown spots), age spot removal and acne treatment. When the handpiece pulses, light’s energy converts the damaged or troublesome cells into heat energy, which is delivered to the dermis (deep layer of skin), leaving the epidermis (outer layer of skin) unharmed. Pulsed light systems are similar to lasers, but with a larger light beam than most lasers for wider coverage and faster, more comfortable treatments.
Q: How long do laser acne results last?
A: Laser treatments can have life-long results if the skin is properly cared for. We recommend investing in protection of your skin with either of our skin care product lines and doing future maintenance sessions. Dermaplaning or facials can help continue results, once this is achieved.
Q: What are the alternative treatments if I don’t want to use a laser?
A: There are many different laser treatments available, depending on your skin’s condition. You could try acne creams, chemical peels, ultrasound or lamprobe treatments and facials. We recommend coming in for a free consultation to help determine the best route for your individual needs.
Q: How many laser treatments will I need?
A: This differs between patients. It also depends on the area being treated. However, most clients need anywhere from 2 to 5 treatments in 4-week intervals (since the skin is on a 28 day cycle).
Q: Who are the best candidates for laser treatment for acne?
A: The best candidates for laser treatments are those who have acne or acne scars, enlarged pores, red spots or a flushed face.
Q: Will the treatments hurt?
A: Pulsed Light Systems use a unique long pulse width that delivers energy to the skin over a relatively long period of time. This makes the pulses safer and more comfortable. You may experience a feeling similar to that of a light rubber band snap on the skin, but most people do not report this sensation as painful.
Q: Is there any downtime?
A: There is minimal downtime after this laser treatment. You can return to your normal routine immediately and even apply your makeup.
Q: What kind of results should I expect?
A: After just one treatment, your skin may become more smooth and have a brighter even tone. Other improvements include: shrunken pore size, reduced fine lines and wrinkles, fading sun and age spots, and patients with Rosacea will notice a decrease in redness after every treatment.
Q: What does it look like after treatment?
A: There are very minimal side effects after photo facials, but this only lasts a few hours. However, vascular issues, such capillaries might less noticeable right away. After the flushed skin and capillaries are gone, your skin will look much younger and rejuvenated.
Q: What should after treatment care involve?
A: Sometimes a mild sunburn-like pinkish sensation, maybe minor swelling, usually lasting 2-3 hrs hours but may last up to a day, but they could be soothed with a cold compress or gel packs. Sometimes there could be a flare of acne, this also can happen after a peel treatment or in the beginning stages of a new oral or topical acne medication. Some blemishes may appear to become temporarily redder. They usually fade after within the week. Following your treatment course, a reduction in the number of lesions and the prevention of new lesion formation can be expected.
Q: How is pulsed light different from a laser?
A: Lasers and Pulsed light systems are similar, but pulsed light systems use a much larger treatment window parameters than most lasers. This spreads light over a wide area of skin and allows faster coverage of skin, while delivering a safer but quicker treatment as a result.
Q: How does IPL pulsed light work?
A: Body Beautiful has multiple Systems to choose from (IPL, BBL, Diode, ND Yag, etc…), which give the patient “better and safer options” to choose from. These specialized handpieces which filter light from different parts of the spectrum, each band of the spectrum has a wavelength that is ideal for different treatments, such as hair removal, acne reduction, sunspot removal or leg vein clearance. The multiple IPL handpiece filters light in the ideal band of the spectrum to affect active acne. The selected LuxV handpiece spectrum concentrates the “healing power of light” into the bacteria that target acne breakouts.
A series of treatments at 3-6 week intervals may be required to achieve the desired result of smoother, tighter skin in the face, arms, abdomen or other areas. Your treatment provider will be able to give you a better idea based on which skin conditions including: sun spots, age spots, rosacea, birthmarks, freckles, spider veins, acne and acne scars, and other facial blemishes.
Body Beautiful Laser Medical Spa can address many of your skin conditions or concerns at our 10 Pittsburgh locations. Call 724 987 3221 to schedule.