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There are several factors that affect how soon you can see the results of acne treatment, like severity of condition, type of skin, skill of the laser operator, and duration and depth of treatment, among others. But generally, the results should be noticeable in as little as one session.

Acne Laser Treatment

Expected Improvements

Laser treatment is very effective for treating acne scars, though deeper ones may require a number of other approaches like subcision and dermal fillers. The laser energy typically feels warm to the skin, with some patients feeling tingly during the treatment, but it should be over in about 10 to 30 minutes.

Generally, the more treatments you have for the acne, the more visible the results will be. Though changes may be subtle after the first session, with more dramatic results occurring after the second or third treatment, it is helpful to compare your pre and post treatment photos. The improvement tends to be gradual over time and many patients may not appreciate the changes until they have photos to compare the look, which may not be that noticeable when you look in the mirror every day.

Expected Results after Treatment

After the treatment, some clients notice a little redness in their skin, but this should pass fairly quickly after the procedure. No downtime is required, so you can resume daily activities right after the treatment. You can even apply makeup if you want.

With time, you should notice considerable acne reduction, as well as significantly minimized appearance of acne scars. Greater results are achieved over a series of sessions, and your doctor may also recommend follow-up appointments to monitor the results and to prolong the effects of the treatment.

Laser Settings for Effectiveness

There are three parameters that are adjusted when setting up the laser for treatment:

  • Passes: 8 passes are the standard regardless of your skin type, though patients with low pain tolerance can have 10-12 passes, which distribute the same amount of pulses over more passes so there’s less pain.
  • Joules: A higher joule count translates to deeper laser penetration into the skin, like for scars or deeper wrinkles.
  • Density: This refers to the treatment level, and defines the percentage of the skin that is treated. Higher density translates to more aggressive treatment, though patients with darker skin should only use lower treatment densities to reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation.

Final note

Though results are visible after the first session, especially when using pre and post images to track changes, it takes more than one session to achieve the optimum level of improvement. Most patients require 3-6 treatments at 4-week intervals.


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