Dermatologist Idaho Falls, ID

Smooth Beam Laser Acne Treatment

Laser Acne Treatment with the Smooth Beam

Smooth beam acne laser therapy is an effective way to treat your back acne. This gentle, safe treatment uses a laser to target overactive sebaceous glands in your skin - the root cause of acne. Medical lasers such as Smoothbeam are safe and have been used for over 20 years to treat many medical and cosmetic skin conditions. You likely have questions about any new treatment, such as Smooth beam for acne. Below are the most commonly asked questions and answers about this procedure:

Are lasers safe for my skin? What are the long-term effects?

Lasers used in medicine are quite safe and are very precise instruments, enabling physicians to target structures they otherwise could not access. Lasers, like Smoothbeam, have been used in medicine for the past 20 years and have revolutionized many common dermatological procedures. Smoothbeam, in particular, is such a safe laser that it is commonly used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes.

What will the laser treatment be like?

You and the physician will wear protective eyewear during the short laser treatment. Your doctor will use a small handpiece to deliver the laser pulses to your skin. You will feel a probe touch your skin and deliver a small spray of coolant in conjunction with each laser pulse. This coolant protects the upper layer of the skin during each laser pulse.

Do I have to go to the hospital for the treatment?

No, this is a simple procedure that is performed in an outpatient setting such as a physician's office or skin care center.

How long does each treatment session last?

Depending on the size of the treated area, a session could last from five to 30 minutes.

Is it painful?

Most patients report the procedure to be "mild" with little more than a slight snapping or stinging sensation, like a rubber band. Topical anesthetics are available if you find the procedure to be uncomfortable.

What are the risks/side effects?

There are minimal risks to this laser procedure. Mild redness is usually seen immediately after the procedure and typically subsides in a few hours. Slight changes in skin tone are reported in a small number of patients. The changes in skin tone were temporary, lasting at most a few weeks. Patients with darker skin tones should discuss this issue with their physician. No scarring or burning has been reported during any of the clinical trials.

How does Smoothbeam acne laser therapy work?

Over 80% of your skin is made up of water. Smoothbeam emits a wavelength of light that is strongly absorbed by water in your skin. As the laser penetrates into the skin, heat is generated in and around the sebaceous glands in the upper layers of your skin. The heating of the sebaceous glands creates a mild thermal injury that changes the activity and function of the glands. Shortly after the first treatment, you will start to see a reduction in the number of acne lesions on your skin. These lesions do not reappear for as long as 6 months.

Do I need to pre-treat my skin before the Smoothbeam acne laser treatment?

There is no pretreatment required in advance of the Smoothbeam laser acne treatment. You should, however, avoid sun exposure for two weeks before and after the laser procedure. Also, your skin should be thoroughly cleaned to remove any makeup, creams or oils on its surface before the laser procedure. If you do require a topical anesthetic, it should be applied in advance of treatment. Consult your physician on whether this is needed.

What will I look like after my laser treatment? Is there any recovery period?

After the laser procedure your skin may be slightly red and tender. The redness usually subsides in only a few hours. Following your laser treatment, you may return to normal activities.

How should I care for my skin after treatment?

After laser treatment, you should avoid rigorous scrubbing of the treated area. Cleanse the treated area gently. Be sure to avoid sun exposure and use sunscreens during the course of your treatment.

Should I continue using my other acne creams and pills during the laser treatment?

You should discuss this directly with your physician. Only your physician can determine if the combination of other procedures is warranted.

How many times do I have to return for treatment?

In most cases, three to four treatments may be required for best results. Practitioners usually like to separate treatments by three to five weeks.

How much does the treatment cost? Is it covered by my insurance?

Prices for the treatment will vary in each practice. Similar to braces to align your teeth, treatment for your acne is usually not covered by insurance. You may wish to discuss the treatment with your physician and insurance carrier.

Do I have to have "severe" acne to be a candidate for Smoothbeam acne treatment?

No, in a simple outpatient procedure, this treatment can be performed on acne patients of all ages. Only you can determine how your acne affects you and what steps you are going to take to improve the appearance of your skin.