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07-25-2012, 07:48 PM

With all the hype, it may seem that lasers and other light therapies are light-years ahead of other acne treatments. Thatís not necessarily true. At least, itís not true today. The following tells you what you can expect from this type of acne treatment.

Laser treatment or light therapy might be a part of an acne treatment plan. Rarely can a laser or light treatment alone clear acne. This type of treatment works best when used along with other acne treatment such as medicine applied to the skin.

Laser or light therapy may help when other acne treatment has not worked. Some patients who did not see clearer skin with strong acne medicine have seen results when a laser or light therapy was added to their treatment plan.

Results are unpredictable. Lasers and other light treatments do not work for everyone. Right now, there is no way to know who will see clearer skin and how much the skin will clear with a laser or light therapy.

Most people see some clearing, but not 100% clearing. For example, people who receive blue light average 30% to 60% clearing after a series of treatments.

To get the best results, you need a series of treatments. For example, if blue light is an option, you may need 1 or 2 treatments per week for a month. Each treatment usually lasts about 15 minutes.

Results tend to be temporary. To maintain your results, you may need to use acne medicine that you apply to your skin.

Treatment can be expensive, and insurance may not cover the costs. Prices range greatly. You should discuss the costs with your dermatologist and find out whether insurance will cover the treatment. If insurance does not cover the cost, you may be able to use money you have set aside in a Flexible Spending Account or Medical Savings Account.

Good skin care helps deliver best results. To get the best results from acne medicine, you need to practice good skin care. This is true after laser or light treatment, too.

Side effects are possible from lasers and other light therapies. After treatment, some people have redness. Swelling also can occur. These can last for a few hours or a few days. Side effects that are more serious sometimes occur.

If you wish to get laser or light therapy for your acne, consult a board-certified dermatologist. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you discuss your options and expectations with a board-certified dermatologist before undergoing any laser or other light treatment. Experience is the best defense against serious side effects.