What is the Best Laser Treatment for Acne Scars?
Severe acne can result in unsightly scars. When the skin’s pores become congested with excess oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria, it can sometimes lead to whiteheads, blackheads, or pimples. Unfortunately, the latter can sometimes leave scars on the skin long after it has healed.
There are two common types of acne scars: atrophic and hypertrophic. Atrophic, or indented acne scars, usually appear on the face as a result of low collagen production during the healing process. This type of acne scar can be further sub-categorized into boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars.
Hypertrophic or raised acne scars, on the other hand, are typically found on the back and chest. High collagen production during the healing process can lead to the appearance of these scars.
Patients usually seek treatment for acne scarring to improve their appearance and boost their self-esteem. Thus, a wide range of procedures that aim to remove acne scars has become available. One popular acne scar removal procedure is laser resurfacing. But what exactly is laser resurfacing, and how does it help in acne scar removal?
What is Laser Resurfacing and How Does it Work?
As the “laser” in the name suggests, laser resurfacing can improve your skin’s appearance or treat minor facial blemishes with the help of a laser. This procedure can:
- Minimize fine lines, age spots, and wrinkles
- Treat skin tone loss
- Correct irregular skin texture
- Improve the complexion if there is scarring or sun damage
Laser resurfacing removes skin layers by targeting small, concentrated light beams at problem skin with the aim of stimulating the dermal fibroblasts. Dermal fibroblasts are cells in your skin that create connective tissues and facilitate wound healing. Dermatologists and other skincare professionals can utilize either an ablative or non-ablative laser to carry out this type of skin treatment.
What Types of Lasers are Used for Acne Scar Removal?
Ablative lasers deliver an intense wavelength of light onto the skin, clearing away the outer layers of acne-scarred skin and inducing controlled damage. The laser stimulates the underlying skin, resulting in collagen formation. As the treated area heals, smoother and tighter skin will slowly start to form.
Ablative lasers can be utilized on the entire face and are more effective than other laser treatments. However, this procedure entails a longer recovery period and patients may experience permanent changes in their skin pigmentation.
Non-ablative lasers are non-invasive and can be targeted at specific body parts. During the procedure, heat is delivered to the dermis to remove old pigmented cells, promote collagen remodeling, and encourage the growth of new skin. While the recovery period is shorter, non-ablative lasers are considered to be less effective than ablative lasers. This is because the former takes a less aggressive approach to treating patients’ skin issues.
Laser treatments such as CO2 (carbon dioxide) and erbium lasers fall under ablative lasers, while intense pulsed light (IPL) lasers, pulsed dye lasers (PDL), and several other laser treatments are categorized as non-ablative lasers.
Other systems combine lasers with micro-needle fractional radiofrequency (RF) technology to deliver treatment flexibility and superior results. The Fraxis Duo Fractional CO2 Laser combines CO2 fractional laser with micro-needle RF fractional technology for the optimal treatment of acne scars, skin tone and texture issues, and other concerns.
What Skin Issues Can the Fraxis Duo Treat?
By utilizing both the CO2 laser and micro-needle RF fractional technology, the Fraxis Duo can treat a wide variety of patient concerns. The CO2 fractional laser allows for greater amounts of superficial heating stimulation, while the micro-needle fractional RF provides higher volumetric heating and deeper heat diffusion.
The Fraxis Duo promotes the reduction of the following:
- Acne scars
- Age spots
- Surgical scars
- Uneven texture
- Pore size
- Stretch marks
- Other skin issues
How Does the Fraxis Duo Treat Acne Scars?
Due to the combined modalities of the Fraxis Duo laser, the system can deliver powerful results by targeting the top layer of the skin and the deeper layers simultaneously.
The Fraxis Fractional CO2 laser steadily generates numerous microscopic breaks (or micro-injuries) on the skin by utilizing pixelated laser shots. The skin’s natural reaction to wound treatment is generated by these injuries, causing enhanced circulation and creating new collagen tissue. The latter helps renew the youthful density and suppleness of the skin.
In addition to creating micro-injuries for improved circulation and fresh collagen production, the Fraxis Fractional CO2 laser provides skin tightening and lifting. The laser does this through the creation of adequate tissue heat, which can lead to the existing collagen’s reduction and reshaping. Thus, it is able to remove acne scars and keep brand-new ones from appearing on your skin.
Meanwhile, the micro-needle fractional RF technology promotes a firmer and more consistent skin surface by applying precisely controlled radio frequency energy directly into the various depths of the skin. This is done through the use of minimally invasive micro-needles.
The micro-needles are non-insulated, which leads to less trauma in the surrounding skin, as well as reduced downtime and minimal discomfort. The treatment triggers a wound healing response deep within the skin layers, stimulating collagen and elastin regeneration in the process.
How Long is the Recovery Period?
This procedure typically entails several days of downtime, with the treated areas immediately following the operation being warm to the touch. Ice packs or a cold compress may be applied for five to 10 minutes per hour during the first five to six hours post-treatment. Your physician may also prescribe a thick topical gel to protect the treated areas and speed up the healing process.
For approximately four to six weeks following the treatment, the treated areas will remain pinkish and will be slightly blotchy. While your skin will begin to show noticeable improvements after the initial recovery period, the final results will only become apparent in about three to six months.