For many years there have been a variety of treatments available to patients with acne scars. Depending on the type of scars, abrasion or sanding methods may be used to sand down the scars and smooth the skin. Fillers exist as well to plump up the scars and make them more level with the surrounding skin. Subcision and excision may be used as well on the deeper scars.
Fractional laser and acne scars
However Ablative Fractional Laser Resurfacing is, nowadays, the most popular method for acne scars treatment.
This approach offers superior results compare to non-ablative laser treatment and fewer adverse effects than traditional ablative resurfacing. Traditional ablative laser resurfacing can significantly improve acne scars, but with considerable downtime and a real risk for hypopigmentation and other adverse effects.
For many acne patients, the resulting acne scars which last long after the pimples have disappeared can cause considerable distress.
Now, a new study recently published in « Lasers in Surgery and Medicine » (August 2008 issue), the peer-reviewed professional journal of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, shows that a novel laser device combining CO2 ablation with the principles of fractional photothermolysis can significantly improve the appearance of acne scarring without compromising patient safety.
Atrophic facial acne scars is one of the most common problems in patients with inflammatory acne. Ablative laser resurfacing has unpleasant complications and a long recovery period.
Nonablative therapies yield less improvement and satisfaction. The introduction of this fractional photothermolysis (FP) is an alternative treatment for atrophic acne scars.
- The 1540 laser module of the ICON platform from Cynosure.
- The CO2 Fractional Laser EXELO2 from Quantel Derma.
Depending on the nature of your scars and your phototype, the doctor will determine which solution would best fit your personal condition.
A Typical Acne Scar Laser Session
Protective eyewear is necessary for the patient as well as the doctor.
Fractional laser scars treatment usually takes less than 30 minutes for a full face, but could be longer if your condition is more advanced.
The number of sessions will depend on your individual condition and on the type of laser chosen.
Acne Scars Laser Treatment and Potential Counter-Indications
- An active infection in the area to be treated
- An outbreak of inflammatory rosacea
- Tanned skin
- A history of keloids
- Phototypes 5 and 6
- Pregnancy constitutes a counter-indication as a matter of principle
- Care must be taken in patients who get fever blister attacks on the face : an anti-herpes medication can be taken prophylactically.
After Your Acne Scar Laser Treatment Procedure…
Consequences of the treatment and the side effects :
Fractional Remodeling treatments are safe and effective. You can expect your skin to be flushed and red after the treatment, but this is completely normal and short-lived. As long as you carefully follow the post-treatment instructions, this will limit the difficulties you might experience.
How much the procedure hurts varies from person to person. In general, the procedure can feel similar to a strong sunburn. Your doctor may prescribe an over-the-counter pain medicine to make you more comfortable. The sunburn sensation is likely to continue after the treatment. These symptoms are a normal part of the healing process and should improve quickly.
Make up (and shaving for men) is usually possible the following day.
It is important to keep away from the sun and use sunblocks during the treatment to avoid complications.
Acne Scar Treatment and Cost of the Session
The cost of each session varies depending on the zones to be treated.
It usually varies varies from 160 to 380 euro.