Laser and light devices have provided life-changing breakthroughs in the treatment of acne and the scars it leaves.
Laser, IPL and LED devices work on the premise of “exciting” compounds called porphyrins, which live inside acne bacteria. The porphyrins damage the bacteria wall, effectively killing it. This should help reduce symptoms of acne.
Your level of skill will determine what devices are most appropriate for your business and client base. A reputable supplier will guide you on this matter, and whether you need more training or other qualifications.
The kinds of lasers used on acne patients include diode, pulsed dye, fractional, KTP, infrared, and pulsed light with heat energy (LHE), as well as a newer “vacuum” laser called Isolaz. Sometimes ALA (aminolevulinic acid) is applied prior to laser treatment as it makes the skin more sensitive to light, and may help produce more porphyrins within bacteria. This is called Photo Dynamic Therapy (PDT). Lasers are less effective with non-inflammatory acne (whiteheads and blackheads) and severe lesions (cysts and nodules).
The general consensus is that clients presenting with severe lesions should consult a doctor or specialist dermatologist, as treatments provided by a salon, spa or clinic could actually be detrimental.
According to Andrea Stuth, national trainer for Spectrum Science and Beauty, one of the best treatments for acne is IPL “but not many people use it. It is anti-bacterial, killing the P acnes. The light also stimulates generation of new collagen and elastin, regulates sebum production and helps refine large pores (a signature of acne).
“Also make sure when treating acne clients that they are not on a photo-sensitising medication as it could make their skin worse.”
Blue LED light can be helpful for acne by reducing colonies of P acne, particularly when used with ALA, and by exerting anti- inflammatory effects on the skin. If you’re considering making the treatment of acne a point of difference in your business explore what kind of device will best suit your business and client base.