Winter is an optimal time to take care of nagging skin concerns, as you’re less likely to be exposed to all-day sunlight. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are self-conscious about your acne scarring or aging skin, DOT therapy might be a great option for you.
Those who suffer from acne know that their oily skin is often to blame. When the skin’s sebaceous glands overproduce oil, it can become trapped (or blocked) in the gland, causing blackheads or whiteheads. When these blocked oil glands become red and inflamed, they form pustules or pimples.
Over time, these pimples can cause permanent scarring, especially if you squeeze or pick at your acne. Acne scarring appears as a series of indents (or pockmarks) on the surface of the skin. This bumpy texture can be a blow to self esteem, especially if your face is the scarred area. It can also cause difficulties in applying makeup, since the surface of the skin is no longer smooth.
DOT Therapy, or Dermal Optical Thermolysis, is a minimally invasive laser treatment used to revive and rejuvenate skin affected by a host of conditions. Whether it’s sun damage, wrinkles, or acne scarring, DOT Therapy can help tighten and treat the skin, restoring its smoothness usually within a single session. Target areas might include the face, neck, or chest.
This resurfacing treatment uses an FDA-approved laser that creates thousands of microscopic “dots,” or perforations, in the skin’s surface. The skin around these dots is left untouched, which helps the skin heal more quickly than with other laser treatments. The skin’s natural healing mechanism works to produce new collagen, growing fresh, smooth skin over the resurfaced area. This laser therapy technique is a safe and effective way to treat signs of aging like fine lines, sun damage like brown spots, and pockmarks from acne, without damaging the surrounding tissue.
DOT Therapy sessions are performed in a dermatologist’s office and typically only take about 30 minutes to an hour. A topical anesthetic is first applied to the affected area prior to the therapy, in order to minimize pain or discomfort. During the treatment, tiny CO2 laser beams penetrate the skin, causing the thousands of perforations on the skin’s surface. The skin may appear red, as if sunburned, directly following the treatment. Usually the redness lasts for a few days afterward and may peel as it begins the healing process, but the skin’s appearance should return to normal within 7-10 days.
Typically, a precautionary antibiotic or an antiviral will be prescribed post-treatment. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to receive the treatment on recently tanned skin, if you’re pregnant, or if you’ve used Accutane in the year prior. You will also need to discontinue use of exfoliators, Retinol products and prescription retinoids, and products containing hydroxy acids one week prior to the procedure.
If you’re interested in learning more about DOT Therapy and how it can help solve your biggest skincare concerns, reach out to the experts at Vanguard Dermatology. We serve patients in the greater New York City area and perform DOT Therapy in-house.