The good thing about human development is that man, through technological advancement, has always striven to find solutions to his numerous problems. The prevalence of some diseases that have defied all forms of treatment has always being a major concern for medical science. Acne can be said to be one of such conditions. Though, acne is obviously not a terminal disease (i.e. it does not lead to death), but the social implications of the condition have accorded it a place in the list of diseases that require continuous research to unravel the best and most effective treatment.
It would not be surprising, therefore, that new technological measures are constantly being invented to deal with a condition like acne. Some of the treatment options that will be discussed in this article fall within the ranks of latest technological remedies. Although, some of these remedies were not specifically invented to deal with acne, they have been shown to be effective in treating acne and scars or other blemishes caused by acne.
Radio Frequency Treatment: This treatment alternative has been described as the non-surgical approach to ‘facelift.’ It aims to achieve the same goal as a surgical facelift without the surgery. It was specifically intended to treat winkles but has been shown to be effective in treating acne scars. This procedure employs the use of radio frequency energy to strengthen and reorganize the collagen fibers of the skin.
The major advantage of this procedure is that there is a very minimal recovery time. The mild swelling that results from the treatment only lasts for about 3-7 days. Amazingly, you can expect to start seeing results from the first month and the proponents of this treatment claim that the benefits of this procedure can last for as long as five to ten years after treatment.
Laser Resurfacing: This is another new technological alternative and is believed to be effective in getting rid of acne, blemishes or scars in the face that have resulted from acne. As the name implies, this procedure ‘burnout’ or ‘vaporizes’ the outer skin layer enabling the skin to grow another layer/surface without those ‘scary’ scars. This procedure is also employed in treating winkles. There are two types of laser used in this procedure and they are CO2 and N-Lite. The former (CO2) is the stronger of the two.
The CO2 laser burns out the outer skin and also cause the collagen fibers of skin to become thicker. Apparently, this procedure can cause a lot of discomfort and it takes the skin about 5-14 days to heal from the injury caused. Local anesthesia is often administered to reduce the discomfort. However, as would be expected, this method promises better improvement and results compared to the other laser method.
The N-lite laser, unlike the CO2 does not ‘burnout’ or ‘vaporize’ the outer skin, so there is no injury to the skin. It works by stimulating the production of the collagen fibers in the skin. However, as would be expected, the results from this procedure would not be as dramatic as with the CO2 laser.
Light Therapy: This approach may not be as effective as the other two discussed above, because the underlying principle is different. Light therapy is based on the assumption that the bacteria responsible for acne breakout are sensitive to light in the blue wavelength of light spectrum. So, the treatment consists of shining blue light on the patient’s skin for about fifteen minutes twice a week for a couple of weeks. Although, not all patients have seen positive improvements with this treatment option, its major plus is that there is virtually no side effect with this procedure, since blue light has no effect on the skin.
Chemical Peeling: This procedure follows the same principle of removal or ‘burning-out’ the outer skin layer and thus can be used to treat acne and the scars or blemishes that result from acne. But unlike the laser approach, this option involves the use of chemicals to peel or remove the outer skin. However, this approach may not be as effective and several peels may be needed to achieve any considerable success. TCA and phenol are the main chemicals usually employed in this regard. The major minus of this option is that most people are sensitive to phenol. This chemical can also cause fatal heart irregularities or kidney damage, if large amount gets to the bloodstream.
On a final note, it is important to state that most of these treatment alternatives are new technologies; enough studies have not been carried out on their effectiveness and the presence or lack of severe adverse effects. The price of most of the procedures is another thing to be considered. It is therefore, very important to seek expert medical advice before opting for any of these alternatives.
Your Independent guide to Acne
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