As incredible as it sounds, laser therapy is a pretty common treatment for acne. The results are permanent, and one session is usually all that's required. Lasers can also be used to get rid of most types of scarring, unless the scarring is particularly deep (known as "ice pick scars").
There are different types of lasers and pulsed lights, such as continuous wave carbon dioxide lasers, diode lasers and low-intensity blue light. Some treatments, like blue light therapy, are minor, painless procedures that destroy P. acnes without destroying skin. Diode lasers eradicate troublesome sebaceous glands from the skin, while high-intensity lasers remove a layer of the skin itself.
Laser treatment can promote new growth of collagen and elastin fiber, giving the skin a more youthful and firm appearance.
The lasers transmit energy in waves that are absorbed by water in the skin. To minimize "collateral damage" to the skin surrounding the treatment area, pulses are delivered quickly -- by speeding up the pulses so that the second pulse hits while most of the energy from the first pulse is still concentrated in the target zone, the heat stays where it's needed.
While laser treatment is effective, it's not right for everybody -- some skin conditions or characteristics may make you a less-than-ideal candidate. Also, laser treatment can cause redness or discoloration that persists for several months, or may even be permanent. If you're considering laser treatment, remember that it can potentially cause more damage than it resolves.
Next, turn up the heat to turn down the acne.