T Nation

Laser Treatement for Acne

Anyone tried this?

I’ve had bad back acne for the last 3 years. I’m 27 now. It started after i got a kind of skin infection in thailand.

I had fairly mild back acne during my teenage years and in my early twenties. Nothing i ever minded much about. The odd pimple here and there, really. But then on a trip to Thailand i got sunburn on my back and had a terrible break out that just got worse and worse. I think a lot of it was to do with the humidity.

It was the run up to the wet season so you were sweating the minute u stepped away from any air con. I spent a further 2 months in the tropics, and it never got better until i left and went back to a non-tropical climate. I guess my skin couldn’t heal in the humidity.

Since then i’ve always had bad acne, so i think my skin is damaged. I have raised white bumps (scars?) and get really deep angry pimples. I heard that laser treatment can repair skin. So i think it might be the best way to go. My concern is that it’s expensive, and I’m not sure what to look for in terms of quality treatment. I’m sure there are some treatments and doctors that are better than others.

Anyway, any advice, tips or shared experiences are very welcome.


I’ve been to Thailand three times now for work (4 and half months total) and each time I can’t fucking stand how humid it is. The country is awesome and everything, but it’s so humid that when I leave my clothes out to dry, they get damp because of the air…

My acne gets worse when I’m out there too, but I’ve never had a prolonged problem like yourself.

When I was in high school I had bad acne that started to clear up after I started eating clean (no sugar, no shitty fats - less dairy helps with clear skin too, although dairy isn’t bad food).

I think there’s a book called “The Clear Skin Diet” which was mentioned on this site. Maybe try that before laser treatment. I don’t know anything about laser treatment though. I might be able to find out more info though.

I don’t know if that helps much.

Just out of curiosity, where were you in Thailand? I’ve been in and around Bangkok, Chang Mai, and Udon Thani, as well as in the hills in the north. I was working for this company Rustic Pathways that organizes trips to the areas. I also got to train for Muay Thai in Bangkok which was pretty cool (didn’t get to fight, but I’m not much of a fighter).

While you are on the topic of acne. Would you mind me asking you what you did for acne on the face?

This is some information on laser treatment from someone I know:

So first off, my friend had some serious acne, although it was more a result of not washing his face enough, eating poorly, and touching his face too much. The treatment is not a one time thing if you want the best results. You go in for multiple treatments and your skin gets progressively better.

It is a very expensive treatment which my friend had to pay for entirely because his insurance doesn’t cover it (it’s considered cosmetic). It’s $500 dollars a treatment for him. However this is the price for one of the best dermatologists in New York City (one of the more ridiculously expensive cities in the world).

Since you’re not from from New York, the only real information you can get from that is:

  • multiple treatments are needed
  • a high end doctor is an expensive city is $500 a treatment
  • it’s cosmetic, so I assume most insurance doesn’t cover it

You could call the doctor’s office and ask how you can make sure the doctor you are using is top quality and has a fair price:

Dr. Anne Chapas at the Laser and Skin Surgery Center of NY
(212) 686 7306

[quote]WILLDABEAST wrote:
While you are on the topic of acne. Would you mind me asking you what you did for acne on the face? [/quote]

Here are several things that have helped me. Keep in mind that I might have exited the period of adolescence when acne is worst, so that probably contributed to my skin clearing. However, I do get a break out every time I shave which is pretty annoying… Anyways, here’s some things I still do to help:

  • Cleaned up my diet. I stopped eating candy, soda, anything with high-fructose corn syrup and any kind of sugar really. I went through a period of no fruit too, but since I’ve started eating fruit again, my skin is still okay. I also stopped eating greasy foods, butter, and anything with non-healthy fats (keep the olive oil, fish oil, almonds, etc).
  • Stopped eating dairy, especially drinking milk. Dairy is definitely not bad for you the same way soda and greasy foods are, but it messes with your skin. I wish I could speak intelligently about why this is, but it would be better if you did some research yourself, instead of me giving you crappy information.
  • Stopped popping pimples. As grotesquely satisfying as it is, popping you pimples can result in a whole bunch of bad things. Scarring, further infection, pus seepage… It’s just not good. I would say don’t pop any unless its one of those white ones that doesn’t require pinching too hard.
  • Stopped touching my face. Don’t touch your face at all. If you’re itchy, use your sleeve to itch, or anything not oily. I’m pretty OCD when it comes to this… I won’t lean on my arm if I’m wearing a short sleeve shirt haha
  • Washed my face often. This is what I would do for washing:
  1. wash with face soap right when getting up to get off oil.
  2. throughout the day, I would go to the bathroom and wet my face, then take a paper towel and wipe the water off, always wiping down to kind of wipe the oil off (I get a lot of oil on my nose, so I make sure to get there especially). I might do once or twice an hour because I kind of OCD when it comes to my face not feeling oily. I would suggest once every one to two hours, but I’m obviously not an expert.
  3. before bed, wash with face soap again and apply 10% benzoyl peroxide to problem areas (areas with pimples AND areas where they usually pop up, whether or not they are there at the moment)

I have been told that washing my face to often will mess up the oil production in pores on my face, increasing the rate that it produces oil because my skin is dry. This seems like sound reasoning to me, but again, I’m sorta OCD about my face not feeling oily, so I go to wash it every hour or so. Keep in mind that I’m just washing it with water, not soap or any cream, so I don’t think that it has as great an effect. I don’t know if this is true, but the washing my face with water is what I’ve been doing for a couple years now and during that time my face has cleared.

My face has gotten pretty dry before, especially on the high parts of my cheeks and above my lips on the left and right sides. When these areas would get dry and ashy, I would apply a small amount of non-greasy moisturizer to that area only.

Make sure your hair isn’t oily either. If you have long hair, I would seriously think about getting it cut so nothing is over your face, or I guess just keeping it back in a ponytail. Once I got a short haircut (about an inch in length), the acne on my temples and forehead cleared up in a couple weeks.

I didn’t buy ProActiv or anything expensive. The 10% benzoyl peroxide is under $10 from any Rite Aid-type store I’m pretty sure.

I hope that helps a bit. I honestly believe that the diet was the biggest factor in my skin clearing up. One more thing: take your fish oil. I don’t know if it clears acne up, but fish oil is good for your skin (and the rest of you) nonetheless.

I have tried all sorts of stuff including antibiotics and two courses acutane with poor long term results. Of all treatments I have tried I found light therapy combined with alterations to my diet to be most effective.

Have a read of the links below, they offer a 12 week return period if you are unhappy with results. It is certainly far cheaper than laser treatments. Best results are achieved by a combination of 415nm & 660nm wavelengths.


[quote]WILLDABEAST wrote:
While you are on the topic of acne. Would you mind me asking you what you did for acne on the face? [/quote]

went to the doctor, got a prescription- well two. one was a topical cream one was a antibiodic pill. i noticed it starting to work withen a couple weeks. the cream was too strong though and gave my face a lot of peeling, its very harsh winter here which really attributed to that.

then i switched to a less potent cream. i still have the cream, but i never use it. i dont use the pills either and my face is fine with an occasional zit here or there. it helped clear up my back too but theres still a decent amount of scarring, nothing too too bad but considering i would like to compete and do photos etc, im alongside with the OP in an interest of how and considering ive already seen a doctor i think to get rid of the final reminents maybe something like laser treatment is in order.

hey thanks a lot for your reply. the reason it is prolonged, i think, is because of the skin infection i got. i really think my skin was damaged permanantly. hoping laser treatment can help rectify it.

i was in bangkok and chaing mai then the south to ko phi phi, rai lay, samui, ko tao, ko phagnan, krabi. great place but the humidity sucks. maybe not so bad in the dry season though…

with regards to facial acne…do not pop pimples! 9 times out of ten it just makes them worse. the bacteria spreads and u get more pimples. plus u often push the thing deeper which makes it take longer to heal. the best thing you can do is apply apple vinegar morning and night to the pimple(s) which will dry it out. if you need, use a tea tree cover stick u can get from body shop. also, if you get whitheads around your beard area, dont wet shave. this will just pop the pimples and spread the bacteria. use an electric razor and but some shaving oil to soften the whiskers, so u dont irritate the skin and cause break outs.