Surgical Options

This form or treatments involves removing the top layer of skin either chemically or with some sort of abrasive. Chemical peels are usually done with salicylic acid or glycolic acid. These work by destroying a microscopic layer of skin cells to unclog pores and remove the build-up of dead cells. The same effect can be achieved by using an abrasive cloth or liquid scrub.

Comedo Extraction
In this procedure, an anesthetic cream is applied to the immediate area of breakout. Then the comedones (blackheads and white heads) are extracted using a pen-like instrument which opens the top to allow the removal of dead skin cells and sebum from the follicle. The procedure is usually followed by an application of antibiotic cream.

With many forms of severe acne, cysts can form under the skin and become very painful–even disfiguring. Often, the smaller cysts can be treated with cortisone injections which will flatten the lesion in a few days. But for larger cysts the only alternative available might be to have them drained and then surgically removed. Drainage can help relieve the pain associated with cysts and also reduce the chance of scarring. It is important not to try to drain cysts by yourself because of the risk of infection, which could lead to permanent scarring.

Using A Laser to Treat Acne

Laser treatments involve the use of varying wavelengths that are aimed directly at the affected area of the skin. These wavelengths pulsate against the skin and destroy overly-large sebaceous glands and acne lesions. Laser treatments remove the damaged outer layers of skin so that new cell growth can be initiated. The laser technician varies the intensity of the laser as necessary to effectively treat the area.

Despite all of the benefits, there is still considerable debate surrounding the effectiveness of laser therapy. Yes, it has been shown to be effective in improving the skin’s appearance, but as with most of the other available acne treatments, there are some side effects. For example, patients can experience red, burned skin after treatment that can last for weeks. Individuals with dark-colored skin can end up with skin discoloration after laser treatments. Finally, the skin’s appearance can be uneven if the laser is applied inconsistently.