Lasers focus a beam of light on the skin, targeting bacteria, oil glands and blood vessels. This treatment can be used to treat active acne and scars from previous outbreaks. Lasers are the most expensive option of all treatments, but they can quickly eliminate active acne and reduce scarring. The treatment itself is not painful, but afterward you may experience pain or irritation when your skin begins to heal. Laser treatments also carry the risk of hyperpigmentation (darker pigmentation) and hypopigmentation (lighter pigmentation) in darker skin types.
Light therapy is also known as photodynamic therapy. During this treatment, special lights are used to kill acne-causing bacteria and reduce inflammation.
The light typically used is blue or red, which have been shown to improve skin tone. This method of treatment works best on mild to moderate acne, especially inflammatory types of acne such as pustules and nodules. It is often paired with other treatments for the most effective results.
Medications and procedures can help acne.
There are many options for acne removal, including both over-the-counter and prescription medications as well as procedures. Some of the options available to you are topical, meaning that they’re applied directly to your skin; others are oral medications that you take by mouth.
Over-the-counter topical treatments include cleansers, moisturizers, exfoliants and astringents. Prescription topical treatments may contain retinoids or antibiotics. Oral medications may be used to treat severe acne or long-term cases of moderate acne. Examples of oral medications include:
- Retinoids (such as tretinoin or isotretinoin)
- Antibiotics (tetracycline)
- Hormonal therapy (birth control pills)
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