Gold Photothermal Therapy (PTT) Acne Laser Treatment
What causes Acne?
Skin that feels oily to the touch is the result of overactive sebaceous glands. That shiny look, and greasy feel of skin can prove quite uncomfortable. In people with oily skin, it is often noticed that pores are larger and more pronounced in appearance.
The sebaceous glands in your body produce an oily, waxy substance called sebum which moisturises and protects the skin. While sebum is required for maintaining skin health and appearance, excessive production can prove counter-productive and lead to a host of skin concerns like acne, skin inflammation, enlarged pores, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The amount of sebum produced by the body depends upon several factors such as genetics, fluctuating hormones, stress, medical conditions, and lifestyle issues.
Excessive sebum production also leads to the formation of pimples and comedones. This happens when dead skin cells and dirt get trapped with this oil and block the pores. Bacterial infections pores, cause more inflammation and swelling of the surrounding skin. When the blocked pore ruptures, the festering mass of sebum, dead skin, and bacteria within, are discharged into the surrounding tissues. Which could lead to an eruption of painful and ugly lesions, commonly known as papules, pustules, cysts or nodules.
Apart from the discomfort, acne can cause deep and permanent scarring, hyperpigmentation, and is known to adversely affect self-confidence in many people. Thanks to modern science and medical technology, today there are several treatment non-invasive modalities available for treating acne and acne-related concerns. In recent times, the Gold Photothermal Therapy (PTT) is garnering wide attention as one of the FDA-approved technology  and treatment for acne.
What is Photothermal Therapy Acne Laser Treatment (PTT Acne Laser)?
Photothermal Therapy (PTT) Acne Laser Treatment is an acne program that uses selective photothermolysis to target hyperactive sebaceous glands and the hair follicles with the help of topical application of nanoparticles and specialised lasers. The procedure relies on light therapy which uses electromagnetic energy, to convert nanoparticles in near infrared (NIR) light into heat energy. The generated thermal energy inflicts localised heat damage to the targeted problem skin area without damaging the adjoining tissue structures. PTT essentially treats acne by destroying overactive sebaceous glands and reducing sebum production .
How does PTT Acne Laser Treatment work?
Gold nanoparticles are used in PTT Acne laser treatment because of their excellent ability to absorb photo energy and improve the treatment outcome. Acting as focal points for the incoming laser energy, the nanoparticles direct the thermal energy towards specific points in the skin treatment zone (3). These properties of gold allow the doctor to directly target the hyperactive glands without harming the surrounding areas.
To begin with, an ultrasound process called sonophoresis is used to transport the nanoparticles from the skin surface to the targeted pores and glands (4). Subsequently, a combination of lasers is used to stimulate the nanoparticles lodged within the pores and sebaceous glands. The heat generated in the process neutralises the overactive sebaceous glands and renders them incapable of producing sebum. It also opens up blocked follicles and destroys the bacteria responsible for inflammation and swelling of the skin. Throughout this process, the surrounding skin structure remains safe from damage.
Acne is a complex skin condition that manifests at different depths under the skin surface. Therefore, lasers of different wavelengths are required to effectively treat the underlying causes and the visible signs of acne. Ensoul’s signature Quad laser treatment uses a combination of at least four lasers to work on the skin at two levels - epidermis and dermis. Each of these high-energy light waves works at a specific wavelength to effectively treat the causes and symptoms at the respective skin depths. Several skin conditions can also be effectively treated with our Quad Laser therapy. In combination with gold nanoparticles, there is a substantial improvement in the efficiency of the acne treatments.
PTT Acne Laser Treatment Procedure
Step 1: Deep Cleanse
The first step involves thoroughly cleansing the skin surface with ‘Dr KT Cleansing Gel’ to rid of all dirt and oil. The purified extracts of botanical ingredients in this gel are rich in antimicrobials and help to remove impurities without affecting the skin’s moisture balance.
Step 2 – Topical application of 24k Gold Nanoparticles
Now, a layer of gold nanoparticles is applied to the skin’s surface in suspension form. Using ultrasound energy, the nanoparticles are inserted firmly into the pores. These nanoparticles are key to the proper absorption of the thermal energy that will be generated during the treatment. In addition, gold helps the skin to retain moisture and respond to the high temperatures it is exposed to. Remaining gold particles that are not absorbed into the dermis will be removed before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3 – Activation of Gold PTT using a Combination of Lasers
This phase of the treatment involves stimulation of the gold nanoparticles with appropriate lasers. For this, our doctors use a long pulse Nd:YAG laser. After precisely adjusting the settings to complement the patient’s skin condition and requirements, the doctor focuses the laser beams on to the targeted skin zone.
The gold nanoparticles lodged in the pores absorb the photo-energy from the lasers and convert it to thermal energy which is then used to treat the acne-causing factors. The residual gold nanoparticles are flushed out of the body as part of the body’s natural process. The other lasers that follows as part of the Quad laser treatments will help reduce the inflammation, unclog the pores, reduce the post inflammatory hyperpigmentation(PIH) or also known as acne marks as well as smoothen the skin.
Step 4 – Optimising results with multi-vitamin skin serums and sunblock
On completion of the laser stimulation of gold nanoparticles, a multi-vitamin serum and non-comedogenic Dr KT’s sunscreen is applied to the treated skin areas. After the treatment session, patients are given information about the precautions they need to follow for the next few days. Protective measures include using sunscreen regularly every couple of hours and avoiding excessive sun exposure continues to apply.
Benefits of PTT Acne Laser Treatment
For individuals suffering from acne, our PTT Acne Laser Treatment offers a highly localised therapy that combines the advantage of using gold nanoparticles and multiple lasers of varying wavelengths. During a controlled clinical trial, gold nanoparticles were found to reduce inflammatory acne lesions effectively, with 35% improvement at 3 months and 60% improvement at 6 months . Apart from treating active acne and shrinking overactive sebum, this treatment has also shown improvements in reducing the appearance of the pores, lightening acne marks and overall skin health.
Doctor’s Advice & Recommendation
There are several options available today for people suffering from acne and acne-related conditions. These include non-invasive therapies such as chemical peels, topical medications, energy-based devices such as lasers, dual radiofrequency (RF) microneedling, fractional RF microneedling, photothermal therapy, and oral medication. Since skin is a very delicate organ, it is important to find the proper treatment solution and treat acne early and aggressively before it becomes harder and more costly to treat. Moreover, skin condition and acne treatment requirements vary from person to person. It is important to consult a medical professional who will assess your acne condition and advise on the appropriate course of action for you.