An additional benefit of the laser that is used to remove unwanted tattoos has been found. New research has shown that the same laser can be used in the treatment of acne and scars.
According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Acne is a common disease in US and a separate laser already exists for its treatment. But the laser tested in this new study has shown to reduce scaring and acne by average of 25 percent to 50 percent. In the short study which was conducted on 20 patients—where every session lasted for only 15-20 minutes — a special lens was used to direct the laser which had lower energy levels.
Lead researcher of the study, Dr. Jeremy Brauer, a dermatologist at Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York claimed, “We now have a safe, effective treatment option for acne scars in individuals of all skin types that requires minimal preparation before treatment and results in minimal downtime afterward,”
The research which was published online in the journal JAMA of dermatology and was partly funded by Cynosure (which wasn’t involved in the collection or analysis of data), 15 women and 5 men received six treatments with the special laser. No cooling anesthesia was used afterward or during treatment, with only one patient needing topical anesthesia. When asked to describe the level of pain between 1to 10 the patients on an average deemed it at 3. The side effects of this treatment were redness and swelling of the skin, which only lasted from 2 hours to few days.
Compared to other treatments that are presently used in dealing with scars and acne, like current lasers, surgical removal of skin and chemical peels, this laser treatment is faster and causes less pain and swelling. It is still not as effective as the fractional laser technology, which is the best treatment used on scars and acne.
Dr. Omar Ibrahimi, a dermatologist at Stamford Hospital and Connecticut Skin Institute who specializes in treating scarring added, “I still maintain that fractionated laser technology is the undisputed gold standard in treating acne scars. But this study introduces an interesting and potentially useful alternative.”
Individuals of any skin type can go for this new laser treatment which will cost between $400 and $1,000. Dr Brauer added that he intends to continue the research to make this new treatment more effective.