Laser Therapy for Acne - Dangers, Risks & Side Effects


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In order to decide whether or not laser treatment for active acne is right for you it is recommended that you fully understand the side effects and possible risks of the treatment. Little research has been done into this kind of laser treatment so there is a slight possibility that there are long term side effects we do not yet know about. However, these lasers have been authorised for use on humans by medical boards so it is extremely unlikely that they are unsafe.

Your practitioner should explain the possible side effects and risks of the procedure thoroughly before you have it done. They should also instruct you about dealing with the side effects and caring for your skin as it recovers. If you experience any unusual side or are concerned about your recovery in any way, please consult your practitioner.

Immediate Side Effects

During laser treatment some patients report that thy experience some discomfort during the treatment, however a local anaesthetic or numbing cream can be applied to deal this thing. As your skin regains feeling you should not feel any lasting pain though you may start to see swelling or reddening of the skin.

Short Term Side Effects

The swelling and redness that you may begin to experience immediately after your treatment could last for a few days afterwards. In some, rare cases you may experience discolouration of the skin after treatment. A very small minority of patients also report blistering and bruising.

Your skin is also likely to be sensitive to sunlight so you will be advised to avoid direct sunlight for at least 24 hours after treatments. Exposure to sunlight could, in the short term, cause irritation, increased redness and swelling and discomfort. One of the positives of laser therapy is that the side effects of the treatment are very few and short-lived. If you experience any more severe side effects or side effects that last longer than a week or so, please consult your doctor or dermatologist.

Long Term Side Effects

Unfortunately, as laser therapy is a relatively new treatment that has not been thoroughly researched, the long-term side effects of the procedure are not fully known. Current scientific and medical understanding suggests that, in the long term, laser therapy is not harmful. This is why the use of it as a treatment for acne has been approved. On the other hand, without thorough investigation, it is possible that there are potential unknown health risks. In all likelihood, however, laser therapy is safe in the long-term.

Is Laser Therapy Dangerous?

The answer to this question is a somewhat unsatisfying ‘probably not’. No current scientific understanding points to laser treatment being any kind of health risk. However, this does not necessarily mean that is completely safe. With very few studies into the area it is not possible to understand the treatment thoroughly, though all current studies point to it being safe. Ask your practitioner for more detailed information on this topic.

Is Laser Therapy Safe During Pregnancy?

It is recommended that pregnant women do not undergo laser therapy. There is no definite risk to your foetus but, given the nature of the procedure and the lack of research into it, there is a risk that the treatment could harm your unborn child.


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