Laser Resurfacing for Acne Scars
Laser resurfacing can treat a variety of issues related to the tone and texture of your skin. In addition to diminishing fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots, we utilize multiple advanced laser systems for patients with acne scars. Each laser technology is designed to treat the skin differently. To determine which is most appropriate for your needs, one of our dermatologists will perform a skin evaluation to look at the details of your scarring.
Should laser resurfacing prove to be the most beneficial solution, your physician will go over what you can expect and answer any questions you may have. Each patient will receive a personalized treatment plan, and the number of sessions you require to achieve optimal results will be discussed with you during your appointment.
Pulse Dye and Diode Lasers
Pulse dye and diode lasers remodel the collagen under the skin and target red discoloration in scars. The laser systems work by sending a series of pulses to the scarred area of the skin. This laser energy penetrates deep underneath the skin to target and heat red blood vessels, which damages scar tissue and promotes new collagen growth. During this process, a cooling system sends cold bursts to the outer skin layers, protecting the surrounding healthy tissue from damage. A topical numbing cream can also be used, though this is not typically required.
Following each treatment session, your skin may immediately look pink, though this typically improves within the first few hours. Most patients can achieve an optimal outcome within three to five treatments, spaced about three to four weeks apart. The result is a more uniform appearance and even texture on the skin surface.
Fractional lasers have revolutionized the treatment of acne scarring. The laser beam emitted by our fractional laser system is actually broken up into hundreds of microscopic columns. This collection of energy is directed at the small target areas of skin, known as microthermal treatment zones, reaching to the epidermal and dermal layers. The areas between each laser perforation of the skin remain healthy and untouched, which can help speed the treatment and healing process while also causing less discomfort.
With fractional laser technology, the scar tissue is broken up which allows for new collagen to be laid down underneath the skin. Following treatment, you may notice your skin has tiny dots and appears sunburnt for about 24 hours. Approximately four sessions are typically recommended, each one month apart. Following your laser treatment, you should notice a smoother skin surface and texture.
CO2 Laser Resurfacing
CO2 laser resurfacing treatment has been used for many years to reduce the appearance of acne scars. It works by completely removing layers of skin with precise carbon dioxide (CO2) laser energy. This process removes the outer skin layers that are damaged, revealing the healthier skin underneath. In addition, by removing the damaged outer layer of skin, this stimulates the growth of new collagen in the deeper skin layers. As your skin heals, this gradually produces smoother, softer skin, eliminating the uneven texture caused by acne scars. For most applications, the newer, more conservative fractional laser is now the preferred treatment. However, complete CO2 treatment still delivers superior results in some situations.
Despite the specific laser skin resurfacing treatment you undergo, it is important that you follow your dermatologist’s care instructions as you recover. After you have completed your series of laser resurfacing treatments, you can maintain long lasting results by practicing good skin care habits and regularly using sun protection.
If you would like more information, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dermatologists, please contact us today.