Posted by Dr. Shareef Jandali
Acne vulgaris is one of the most common skin disorders. It occurs in a large number of adolescents, but often extends into adulthood. It has the potential to cause significant scarring on the face and other areas of the body such as the shoulders and upper back. It can affect the psychological development and personality of young adolescents due to its disfiguring appearance. There are many different treatment options, including topical products, oral medication, and laser therapy. Severe acne is often resistant to topical therapy and is therefore treated with oral therapy including antibiotics or Accutane. Accutane is a harsh but very effective drug which does cause a significant improvement or complete resolution of acne in the vast majority of individuals. However, some people are not candidates to take Accutane or they have significant side effects and the treatment has to be stopped.
Recently, there has been increased demand for alternative non-medication therapies for acne. There is very good data that certain types of lasers, such as IPL (intense pulsed light), can lead to a significant long-term improvement in acne. The main advantages of the use of IPL for acne is the ease of treatment and the low risk of potential side effects.
Light-based therapies for acne, like intense pulse light (IPL), target the pigment or porphyrin within the skin bacteria (Propionibacterium acnes or P. acnes) that cause acne. The biologic pigments absorb light at specific wavelengths – this produces toxic effects resulting in bacterial destruction. Another mechanism for improvement of acne with IPL is that the sebaceous glands are temporarily damaged by the thermal heat effects from the light-based therapy. IPL can also help reduce the pink appearance of active acne lesions. Studies have shown a 70 to 80% reduction in acne lesions following twice weekly therapy for four weeks in a row. In our Connecticut plastic surgery office, we offer a package of IPL treatments specifically for acne treatment. This package includes two treatments per week for four weeks. The effects are seen within a few treatments and often last up to six to twelve months. It is best to combine IPL for acne with a good skincare regimen in order to obtain optimum results.
IPL is used for the treatment of active acne. It does not treat acne scarring from previous acne. For this type of acne scarring, our office offers Dermapen microneedling treatments which help improve the contour of the skin and make the indented acne lesions flatter and less visible.
IPL laser treatments for acne are performed in Connecticut at Jandali Plastic Surgery. Come visit our plastic surgery office in Fairfield County, Connecticut to have a series of treatments performed by one of our skin care nurses. Call 203-374-0310 to set up an appointment today!