Acne is a very common disorder of the skin that affects individuals of all ages. Acne is characterized by comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), red papules and pustules, and sometimes cysts and nodules. These lesions may be painful and often affect the face, jawline, neck, chest, back and shoulders.
In addition to being cosmetically disfiguring, occasionally painful, and associated with emotional distress, acne lesions may lead to permanent scarring making early intervention of paramount importance. While many topical and oral medications can effectively control acne, for more severe cases or patients desiring more rapid or complete resolution, a variety of laser and light sources can be used. In our practice, we utilize blue light therapy and a long-pulse pulsed dye laser. Both devices can be used either alone or in combination with a topical photosensitizer (ALA, photodynamic therapy) to suppress inflammation, destroy the bacteria that is causative in acne and reduce the redness that characterizes active lesions, as well as residual marks left on the skin, known as post-inflammatory erythema.
Once your acne has subsided, depending upon the extent of scarring, you may be a candidate for fractional resurfacing in order to stimulate new collagen and blend in the appearance of acne scars.