Laser treatment for acne scars makes scars from past acne outbreaks look less severe. Ninety-five percent of people with acne end up with some scars.
Laser treatment for acne scars uses light to break up scar tissue by focusing on the top layers of your skin. At the same time, the therapy helps new, healthy skin cells grow to replace scar tissue.
Even though this treatment doesn’t completely eliminate acne scars, it can make them look less severe and reduce the pain they cause.
You might not be a good candidate for this treatment if you have active acne, darker skin, or a lot of wrinkles. Only a dermatologist can tell you if laser treatment for acne scars is a good option for you to get rid of acne scars.
What Are Acne Scars? Can Acne Scars Be Treated?
Acne doesn’t always leave scars, but sometimes it can leave marks on your skin that will never go away. There may only be a slight change in color, which should go away as the skin heals. But you can also be left with deeper scars that change how the skin feels.
These are the three main kinds of acne scars:
- Boxcar scars are small, round holes in the skin.
- Ice pick scars are deeper holes in the skin that look like little holes punched in the skin.
- Rolling scars are bands of scar tissue that have grown thicker and look like ripples under the skin.
If you have severe acne with deep spots like cysts and nodules, you are more likely to be left with scars. You could also get scars if you scratch, pop, or pick at your spots, damaging the skin and making you more likely to get an infection.
Most acne scars are permanent, so if you get them, you should see a dermatologist. Scars can be prevented by stopping more spots from coming out. But these kinds of medicines won’t help scars that are already there. Once your acne is under control, you will need to try a different method to get rid of them.
Types Of Treatments For Acne Scars
Several acne treatments can reduce the visibility of acne scars; however, because laser treatment for acne scars is an expensive option, visit a specialist before choosing it. Different methods are employed to treat various forms of acne scars. For instance, dermabrasion could improve the texture of your skin if you have minor scars. For the skin to recover more easily, deeper scars might need to be surgically removed.
Laser treatment for acne scars is one of the most widely used methods of treating acne scars. Mild to severe scarring can be treated with lasers in a variety of methods, including:
- A small area of skin around the scar will be removed using ablative laser treatment for acne scars. It should appear smoother once the skin regenerates. Although it isn’t as successful on severe scars as surgical excision, this treatment can be used on deeper scars.
- Non-ablative laser treatment for acne scars doesn’t remove any skin, but promoting collagen creation can make acne scars look better. This will aid in the skin’s natural regeneration and healing processes, enhancing its appearance.
- Another non-ablative laser procedure used to remove the substance causing the discoloration is fractionated laser resurfacing. Returning the scar’s color to the surrounding skin can be beneficial.
The benefits of any laser treatment on acne scars will vary depending on the type of scars you have and the method utilized to treat them.
The Best Laser Treatment For Acne Scars
Each of these devices has a unique mode of operation that is tailored to the particular kind of acne scarring that you have.
Fractional CO2 Laser – Aggressive but Extremely Effective
The fractionated resurfacing lasers are the most effective for treating acne scars. The most intense laser therapy for acne scars currently available achieves great results after just one session.
To effectively treat acne scars, use the fractional CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. The more recent “fractional” method merely treats a small portion of the skin, keeping the surrounding healthy skin untouched. This enables relatively safe treatments for most skin types and quick recovery.
The fractional CO2 laser penetrates the deeper skin layers through tiny microscopic holes. New, healthy collagen is produced due to this process, which helps to fade acne scars. Following fractional CO2 laser treatment for acne scars, you can notice improvements in acne scars as soon as one week later. Following the initial treatment, acne scarring improvements will last up to six months.
Fractional CO2 lasers typically require 3-6 days of recovery time following the procedure, depending on the laser. To induce collagen remodeling, the laser-produced a wound in the skin that is already mending. We frequently advise patients to use Aquaphor® ointment to hasten the healing process.
Fraxel® Laser – Reduced Recovery Time
The most well-known fractional erbium glass laser is the Fraxel® laser; as that name is more well-known, we shall use it to refer to this laser. Acne scarring is frequently treated with the non-ablative fractional laser procedure known as the Fraxel®. The “Fraxel” is named because it only treats a little portion of the skin at a time, leaving healthy skin in between the treated regions to speed up healing.
The Fraxel® laser stimulates your body’s natural healing mechanism by penetrating deeper layers of the skin with minute columns of laser light. Repairing the damaged skin encourages the body to manufacture healthy collagen. Along with addressing the red and brown stains frequently left behind after acne breakouts, the Fraxel® procedure can also be used to smooth out acne scars. Compared to the fractional CO2 laser, the Fraxel® laser has less downtime because it does not tear the skin but often needs four sessions rather than just one.
KTP Laser – Reduces Redness
Blood vessels, rosacea, and post-inflammatory erythema are just a few of the conditions that the KTP laser is used to treat when there is redness on the face (the redness left behind after acne). Although the laser is frequently referred to as the KTP laser, KTP stands for potassium titanyl-phosphate. After one to three sessions, the KTP laser can considerably reduce red acne scarring.
There is no downtime following the treatments, and it is not uncomfortable. Immediately following the treatment and in the following weeks, some improvement is noticeable. The skin’s hemoglobin (red) patches are the focus of the KTP laser. The KTP laser’s energy causes the blood vessels just below the skin’s surface to burst. The redness of the acne scars that remain after the acne has cleared up is lessened by the blood vessels contracting.
Vbeam Laser – Reduced Redness from Recent Breakouts
Yes, you can treat recent acne red spots with the Vbeam® laser. Both the Vbeam® and the KTP laser are vascular lasers and function similarly. This implies that the microscopic blood vessels that contribute to the appearance of redness are destroyed when the Vbeam® targets the hemoglobin (red cells) in the skin.
Things to Consider when Choosing Laser Acne Scar Removal
Following are some additional factors to support the acne scar removal method that best meets your demands or provides guidance for any queries you might have for your dermatologist.
Results – Laser therapy for acne scars encourages the skin to produce new collagen, smoothing the skin’s surface. The effects are long-lasting.
Alternative to Dermal Fillers: Temporarily treating acne scars with dermal fillers is an option. Direct injection of fillers into the pitted area is possible, including Restylane®, Juvederm®, and Perlane®. They often help to smooth out pitted rolling scars and enhance volume where volume has been lost due to scarring. Dermal fillers conceal scars; they do not truly alter them. Dermal fillers are a fantastic temporary solution, but the effects only last six to twelve months. Dermal fillers may be a useful alternative for treating acne scars for those who don’t mind maintenance.
FAST Procedure – Rather than treating the entire face, the F.A.S.T.® procedure for acne scars focuses on concentrated regions of acne scarring. Focal Acne Scar Treatment is also known as F.A.S.T.®. The entire face was treated with “medium” strength energy in conventional fractional CO2 laser resurfacing techniques for acne scars.
Dr. Schweiger created F.A.S.T.® as a faster-healing procedure for treating acne scars with increased energy levels. The “fraction of a fraction” concept is used in the F.A.S.T.® method; not only is the laser fractionated, but only a portion of the skin is being treated at once. The results have been fantastic, with most patients noticing a 50–70% reduction in their acne scars after only 3–4 days of downtime.
How Long Will The Effects Of Laser Acne Treatment Last?
Whether the effects of laser treatment for acne scars will last forever is one of the most often asked issues. You will want to be sure that the results will last as long as possible if you pay for private treatment to get rid of your scars.
The effects of ablative laser treatment for acne scars should be long-lasting, but they will also rely on how badly your skin scars and how effectively it heals. More treatments are infrequently required for this kind of laser therapy, but the scar can occasionally return.
Laser resurfacing (a non-ablative acne treatment) can deliver long-lasting effects when scarring is minor. As collagen is created, it may take some time before the full effects of the treatment are obvious, but once they are, they often last for a very long time. Future treatment sessions can be required in some circumstances.
You can treat some types of acne-related alterations in pigmentation with laser treatment for acne scars. Although they should be long-lasting, the results aren’t always irreversible. After several months, the discoloration may occasionally resurface. Although it can have long-lasting effects for many people, this is the least permanent laser treatment for acne scars.
To finish the laser treatment for acne scars, it typically requires several sessions. To fully experience the effects of the treatment, you might need to wait weeks or months. You’ll want to know how long the effects will continue because you’ll be spending a lot of time on the treatment.
If you are receiving laser resurfacing or ablative treatment, your skin may initially appear worse. While healing, the skin’s surface may appear red and puffy. However, the results should endure after the treatments are over and your skin has healed.
It’s crucial to seek individualized guidance from a qualified dermatologist if you’re thinking about laser therapy for acne scars. The type and extent of your scars and your skin’s innate ability to repair itself can influence how the treatment will work. You can influence how well the treatment works and how long the results last. After evaluating your skin, your doctor will be better able to tell you what to anticipate.