Right now, an estimated 60 million people in this country people (20 percent of whom are adults) are battling active acne breakouts. Most teenagers develop acne at some point during maturity, and about 25 percent are left with permanent skin scarring. Laser therapies have revolutionized dermatology, and now they are changes the outlook for acne sufferers. Dr. Ariel Ostad brings laser acne treatment to patients in NYC.
In order to understand how laser treatment can be beneficial, it helps to understand how acne develops, and what it does to skin.
You might not realize it but nearly all of your skin is covered with hair – only lips, palms, and soles of feet are not. Each hair grows from a follicle, a tiny sac into which a sebaceous gland opens. The purpose is to keep hair protected with natural oils. Epidermal (skin) cells line the follicle, supporting hair as it grows.
About 1,000 strains of bacteria make their home on our skin. In some cases, the situation is symbiotic, with certain microflora aiding the immune system and other bodily processes. However, the Propionibacterium acnes strain is not beneficial to skin.
P. acnes bacteria live deep inside pores and hair follicles. They feast on sebum and dead skin cells as a source of nutrition. As oils and cellular debris block follicles, P. acnes bacteria flourish, multiplying quickly. Their waste, a secretion of proteins and digestive enzymes, destabilizes follicle cells and triggers inflammation. Inflamed tissue is more susceptible to bacterial colonization, fostering the acne cycle.
The body responds to this attack by sending white blood cells to fight infection. Pus, a collection of expired white blood cells, fills the pimple, pustule, or cyst. The temptation is great to squeeze, pop, or poke a pimple to relieve pressure. However, this does not clear the problem. Rather, it sets the stage for secondary infection and stimulates the bacterial population. The body tries to mend tears in skin with a concentrated meshwork of collagen fibers, resulting in scarring.
Yes. Dr. Ostad recommends laser therapy not as a sole acne treatment, but as part of a multi-faceted attack on P. acnes bacteria. Concentrated light energy penetrates skin, exciting porphyrins produced by bacteria. This activity damages bacterial walls, killing P. acnes. Knocking down harmful bacterial populations significantly reduces symptoms.
The best candidate for laser acne treatment is an individual with any skin tone, who has light, moderate, or severe acne including nodules and cysts. Usually a series of treatments, scheduled about a month apart, is necessary to clear skin. Dr. Ostad may suggest laser treatment in combination with topical or oral medications.
The anti-inflammatory effect of laser therapy shrinks pimples. Plus, laser acne treatment has benefits that extend beyond immediate reduction in outbreaks. It lowers sebum levels, reducing incidence and severity of future acne flare-ups.
Laser resurfacing stimulates uniform collagen production, helping to revitalize overall skin tone and to refine texture, contracting enlarged pores. Laser techniques can be used to target discoloration left by acne breakouts, and to smooth pitted scarring.
“Laser” seems to be the cure-all of our times, and any internet search results in a multitude of at-home DIY solutions purported to work just as well as professional treatment. Yet laser and light therapies are real medical procedures, with tremendous healing capacity, and genuine potential for disastrous side effects in untrained, inexperienced hands. In addition, no single laser is appropriate to treat all types of acne breakouts – whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, and cysts.
Making laser treatment part of an effective acne remediation plan requires specialized training, clinical experience, and professional instrumentation.
Dr. Ostad is Board-certified in dermatology and in dermatologic surgery. His passion for helping patients overcome medical and aesthetic skin conditions (make no mistake – acne is both) has been recognized by the media and in leading industry publications. He has the expertise to help patients of all ages get acne breakout under control, designing a management strategy to preserve skin health, and to improve scars from previous acne flare-ups – even old scarring.
Are you ready to take control of acne breakouts, and start enjoying a clearer, healthier complexion? Call 212-517-7900 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ostad in NYC. He will answer your questions about making laser treatment part of your personalized plan to overcome acne.
“My Botox looks great. I look refreshed and happy and it shows! Dr. Ariel Ostad and the staff were very helpful throughout the procedure. I look forward to my next treatment.”
~ Mark. J Thompson