What are Acne Scars?
What are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are depressions and raised areas on the skin left behind after an inflamed pimple breaks the barriers of a pore. There are two common types of acne scars: hypertrophic or keloid scars and atrophic or depressed scars. Hypertrophic scars are raised tissue and atrophic scars are depressions.
How do Acne Scars Occur?
When a blemish becomes inflamed, excess oil and dead skin cells can cause the barriers of the pore to break. When the body attempts to heal, it may produce too much collagen, which leads to hypertrophic scars. If there is a loss of tissue instead, a depression is left behind where the acne wound was.
How can Acne Scars be treated?
Various treatment options exist for acne scars. Excision, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and several types of laser treatments are available. Currently, laser treatments are considered the best option. Several different types of treatment approaches can be considered which are ablative or non-ablative. A quick improvement of acne scars comes which some healing time or down time that is considered an aggressive approach would be Co2 resurfacing. Co2 resurfacing can be used in combination treatment with microneedling. One co2 resfsuracing treatment every 6 months with a microneedling session after co2 resurfacing has healed. If the aggressive approach is not preferred then laser toning, genesis toning, or laser carbon peeling is an option to provide improvement over a series of treatments. Lasers that provide a non-aggressive approach for acne scar reduction are the 1064 nm long pulsed nd:Yag laser which is the Dual Accento laser or the Lucid Q PTP laser which is a Q Switched Nd:Yag.
What are the benefits of acne scar laser treatment?
Laser treatments are non-invasive and painless. They also offer the quickest and most permanent treatment. Lasers will not damage the skin but instead work with the body’s natural healing processes to lessen or eliminate scars.
Who is a good candidate for acne laser treatment?
Most patients who suffer from acne scars can receive laser therapy. Patients who are generally healthy and who do not have excessively oily skin are the best candidates. The treatments also work better on light-skinned patients, but it is still an option for dark-skinned patients.
What is the average cost of treatment?
The cost of treatment depends upon the type of laser used and the amount of sessions needed. Most sessions will cost between $300 and $500, and multiple sessions are usually required. Insurance does not cover the cost of this treatment as it is a cosmetic procedure.
How many treatments will I need?
The amount of sessions will vary based on the type of treatment selected and the severity of the scars. Most patients need four to six sessions to completely treat all acne scars. For severe cases, eight to ten sessions may be required.
How long will each treatment take?
Each treatment takes roughly forty minutes. There may be some variation in session length depending upon the type of laser used. Most sessions are quick and easy.
How far apart are treatments?
Treatment sessions are usually carried out over the course of a few months, depending upon the number of sessions needed. Most patients, who require four to six treatments, will have a treatment every other week or so.
What should I expect before the treatment?
Expect to spend a decent amount of time researching doctors in your area and attending consultations. In order to see the best results, you should choose an experienced doctor with positive testimonials. You may also need to see your general practitioner or a dermatologist before seeing a specialist.
What should I expect after the treatment?
After the treatment, expect to take special, routine care of the treated areas. Follow any instructions given to you by your doctor and avoid the sun. Always use sunscreen when going outside. You may seem some immediate results, but it will take time for the permanent results to show up.
How can I prepare for treatment?
Always avoid sun exposure before a laser therapy session. Some doctors may recommend patients take an antiviral medication prior to treatment to prevent any potential bacterial infections. Be prepared to experience some minor discomfort during the procedure such as redness or sensitivity.
How permanent is the treatment?
Laser treatment gives permanent results. Once the scars are corrected, they should not return. However, new scars can always form due to new inflamed breakouts.
Where can I go to find a treatment?
Cosmetic clinics and some dermatology offices offer various laser therapies for acne scars.