Phototherapy
Reviews
2.9
232 Reviews
Phototherapy
Efficacy
67%
Based on All Available Studies
Strength of Evidence
1
2
3
4
5
Phototherapy
Side Effects
Medium-High
Phototherapy
Acne.org’s Real World Take
Laser therapy works by harming skin oil glands. That can lead to some improvement in acne, and perhaps even long-term relief of some acne symptoms. However, evolution gave us skin oil glands for a reason and what happens long term when you permanently disable them is still unknown. Proceed with caution.
Phototherapy
How to Get It
Have a dermatologist? Make an appointment to get this procedure done.

Don't have a dermatologist? See The American Academy of Dermatology Physician Database to find one.
Read All About Lasers
5
14.7%
4
22.4%
3
19.4%
2
21.6%
1
22%

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September 11, 2018
Phototherapy
Temporary moderate results
I suffer from cystic acne and have sensitive, but oily skin. After receiving 4 smoothbeam treatments, I didn't notice any results at first. However, after a month or so after my final treatment, once the acne I had started to clear, I experienced a noticeable reduction in new cysts, specifically on my forehead (where I am oiliest). I also suffer from pretty severe hormonal acne along my jawline, which I don't believe the treatments helped much. It has been ~5-6 months since my last laser and I was getting quite oily again in my t-zone and suddenly got a cystic breakout on my forehead (about 2-3 cysts, which is still much less than I would experience prior to laser treatments). I knew that my aesthetician mentioned maintenance treatment after about 6 months, so last week I went in for another smoothbeam treatment. Already, my skin is much less oily and my forehead breakout has cleared up. I want to emphasize that I do not think smoothbeam is a cure-all but it may be a solution for a very specific skin-type and type of acne.
February 11, 2017
Phototherapy
Never do it
Do not do this! My skin was ruined and now i can get out of my house because i have whiteheads over my whole face and pimples. My acne was pretty cleared up before i did this, Im so sad and dissapointed. I hope it Will cleared up over time, but it Will leave me scars
November 24, 2016
Phototherapy
Why is this fantastic treatment overlooked? It works.
I've waited for several months after starting Nlite before posting this review, as I wanted to make absolutely sure the fact my skin is currently perfect (apart from a couple of old scars from cysts) was not due to anything else but the Nlite. I'm not even going to mention what clinic I went to as I was put off myself when reading reviews by the idea that they were bogus reviews written by clinics advertising. I've suffered for about 30 years with acne, with the odd few years of relief when I didn't due to benzl peroxide cream (in my teens when skin was tougher), Dianette contraceptive pill, but then couldn't have that when pregnant or breastfeeding and am reluctant to accept the risks of that nowadays. I even had 9 days on roaccutane which I wrote a review on here about. Firstly, I'm not sure about the other laser names I'm reading in this thread - the treatment I had was "Nlite" laser, and I wasn't sold any other products to go with it nor was it even suggested I'd need them. It involves just the laser and it takes a few minutes. It is quite expensive and top up treatments are needed. I don't know how long between treatments is required yet as I've topped up rather than wait longer than 2 months as I can't bear to wait as I don't want to risk my acne coming back and leaving more scars, but I plan to top up about every two or three months. I've paid £225 in one place and £130 in another place. In one place they even did a "test patch" for £50 so I could see if it worked from the first go, so no having to pay out a fortune just to see!! The nurse in one place told me it seems to work in about 80% of clients (and it hurt slightly so I think she used a higher setting). The doctor in the other said it works in about 70% of his patients (I barely felt anything when treated here - it still worked but there was the odd pimple now and then, whereas I am completely clear after the higher power treatment in the other place that hurt slightly). I could see improvement from the first treatment. Worth a try I think.
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August 1, 2015
Phototherapy
Waste of money!
Before the procedure, I was told that many patients see noticeable results even after the first treatment, but of course, "everyone responds differently." Tried first treatment of Smoothbeam. Absolutely NO improvement whatsoever. Nurse practitioner then says it usually takes 2-3 treatments to see results. Being at the point of being close to desperate about finding a treatment that works, I gave it another shot. After second treatment, still nothing. No visible improvement. I still broke out, old and new scars were still there. Nurse says well, usually it takes 6 treatment to get the results. Well, I wasn't about to roll the dice and pay an additional $250 a pop for something that did absolutely nothing. At least I didn't get any discoloration as some people have unfortunately reported. But it was a total waste of $500 for me. Sadly most dermatologists just try to push treatments to patients. Still searching but I'm now trigger-shy because like most people, I hate wasting money. And I have stopped going to this dermatologist.
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July 21, 2015
Phototherapy
Laser resurfacing
I just had laser resurfacing done 5 days ago and had high hopes. They told me to use Cetaphil and aquaphor while my face healed, unfortunately my face severly broke out more than it ever has my entire life. I'm pretty sure it's from using the aquaphor, I wish my Dr had advised me to use something more acne friendly. He put me on antibiotics now which I'm hoping will help but the damage is already done. I just want to warn anyone interested in doing this, wait until your acne is cleared up!!! And don't use aquaphor, do your research!
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May 10, 2015
Phototherapy
Pleased with results
I have had 2 of my 3 Nlite laser treatments and am rea and pleased with the results!! I had awful cystic acne and have suffered with adult acne for a long time so my skin was in a right state when I had my first appointment. I would say week 1 was less active then my acne continued to be fairly active until week 4-5 when new ones slowed and it started to heal. I am now 4 weeks after my second treatment and although I still have a couple of active pimples my skin has improved remarkably! I have not suffered any big cystic ones since the first couple of weeks after treatment. I still have a way to go in terms of the marks fading and some scaring but I finally feel like my acne is under control and is healing faster than new ones are coming. I would definitely reccomend this. Even though this is expensive I wish I had done it years ago abd naybe could have prevented some of the damage caused by cystic acne. I have had the Nlite in combination with a 40% glycolic acid peel before each Nlite lasted treatment. And using a milder glycolic acid face wash twice daily.
October 16, 2014
Phototherapy
waste of money
I tried this treatment in West London, I found it expensive and completely useless.
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January 9, 2014
Phototherapy
Waste of hope

Pros:

slight difference after forth session

Cons:

only temporary
very expensive

I had mine done at Manchester Private Clinic. I first got acne at 9 years of age, and I am now 20. I started my treatment when I was 19. I have tried everything to cure my acne, antibiotics, herbal medications, special make ups, special machines, different contraceptives etc and nothing has ever been successful. I have combination skin both dry and oily. I mainly suffer from large, reg angry boil type spots and large whiteheads. Firstly the Jan Mari products they sell you with your treatment really stings, and are almost unsuable because of this plus they are really expensive and made my skin sore, red and dry so I wouldn't bother with these. They suggested I use mineral make up to get maximum benefits from the treatment so I did so, although I didn't buy theres as it was really expensive, I started with Bareminerals instead and that has helped slightly, also I started only using 'simple' brand products which they also suggested, and this also seemed to help. The treatment itself seemed to gradually work after each session although not dramatically. After my 3rd & final session I went back for a review a few weeks after, I wasn't happy that there was enough change and asked for the free session they had promised me during consultation. They were extremely reluctant to give me the free session especially considering the crazy amount of money I had spent, so I was extremely unpleased with this. It was only after my forth session that I noticed any real difference, my scarring had faded slighltly and I had less active acne although it was still awful but I was greatful for some improvement. A couple of months later and the spots have completely returned as angry as ever. I wont bother with anymore sessions, its not worth the hassle and expense for such temporary difference. Also during consultation it was suggested that I may have 'acne roascea' the lady finally decided it wasn't and that the n-lite would therefore be suitable however when i turned up for my sessions the lady performing the treatment said she was user it was acne rocasea and that therefore it wans't the right treatment to me (telling me this whilst performing the treatment) so I didn't know who to belive and this was extremely disheartening.
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May 28, 2013
Phototherapy

Pros:

no side effects

Cons:

did not work

did 6 treatments hoping it was going to cure my acne. just waisted my money . I did not had any side effects like some of the people have commented on. it just didn't work never made my acne better stayed the same . the only thing it did was made my face less oily . but for $300.00 a treatment I expected more than just giving me a less oily face ..
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Philip
January 20, 2013
Phototherapy

Pros:

Amazing results not just from prevention of cystic acne but general appearance of skin i.e scarring and pore size and texture over time even reduces redness and tone.

Cons:

cost is a bit pricey especially if your having a minimum of six. Not available on NHS with is a joke !!! and can take a few months to notice a difference but patients is a virtue.

Having suffered severe cystic acne and been on every prescription drug available I thought id try N-lite you get fab results but does take a little while to start seeing any signs of improvement, however you do notice skin looking more plump and fuller after first zap (due to collagen reproduction). I go to the chester wellness centre and from what i can gather its quite a lot cheaper than other places amazing staff, excellent service highly recommend this treatment but remember you must persevere!!!!
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Finding a Doctor

The right dermatologist can make a big difference to your patient experience and the success of your acne treatment plan. Here are the steps to find a dermatologist who is a good fit:

  1. Use the search feature on the American Academy of Dermatology website to look for board-certified dermatologists in your area, and filter the search results for doctors with a special interest in treating acne.
  2. Read online patient reviews of any dermatologists you are considering and ask people you know whether they have any experience with these dermatologists.
  3. Do your research and go to your first appointment with questions prepared.
  4. Listen to what your gut feeling tells you once you see a dermatologist in person. If you are not completely comfortable, try a different dermatologist.

Finding a Doctor

Only a select few plastic surgeons specialize in acne scar revision surgery. Be certain to find a provider who specializes in acne scar repair and who is passionate and experienced in this area.

Be sure to:

  • Look at before and after photos, the more the better, especially patients with similar scarring to your own.
  • Be realistic about results. Look for improvement, not a cure.

Questions to ask a potential scar revision specialist:

  • Are you board certified? Be certain that they are board certified.
  • How long have you been performing these procedures? Normally, the more experience the better, however, some younger surgeons may be more on top of the latest procedures.
  • Can I speak to some of your other patients? Ask for references for several patients who had similar scarring and speak to them about the process and their satisfaction with results.

Red flags:

  • Their story changes: As you discuss different treatment options, if they tend to change their mind easily, or agree with whatever you say, consider this a red flag. A confident, experienced surgeon will possess strong, unwavering opinions.
  • Your gut tells you "no": Trust your gut. If you just don't feel that the doctor is the right fit, trust that and move on. On the other hand, if you feel they are the perfect specialist for you, trust that feeling.