Whether you had severe acne as a teen or you continue to suffer with acne as an adult, one harsh reality for many people is the scarring that these unsightly blemishes can leave behind – long after zits and pimples have gone. The good news is that a dermatologist can help you address acne issues with topical treatments and even oral medication. And there are also a number of options to consider when it comes to reducing or even eliminating acne scars. And if facials, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels don’t appeal to you or they simply aren’t delivering the results you crave, there are now high-tech lasers that can get the job done.
In truth, laser skin treatment (laser resurfacing) is not new. This option has been around for decades in varying iterations. But the technology has improved dramatically since the first lasers were used to treat skin problems like acne, scarring, sun spots, age spots, redness, wrinkles, and more. Like any medical treatment, both the equipment and procedures have been honed over time, so patients can get some truly remarkable results these days. Here’s how laser treatments work on acne scars.
There are several different lasers used to treat skin issues. One of the most effective is the blue light used in a treatment called photodynamic therapy. This is often used to treat acne because it helps to kill bacteria and reduce sebum production, both of which contribute in large part to acne. And while this treatment reduces acne, a better bet to address scarring is the fractional CO2 laser. It is safe for most skin types and unlike other resurfacing treatment options, it comes with a much lower risk of complications like hyperpigmentation or further scarring. And the results after even one treatment can be dramatic. With several treatments, even deep scarring can be almost eliminated, or at least reduced by a large margin.
The treatment works by removing layers of skin, which reveals new skin underneath and forces the body to heal itself. Afterwards, patients can expect redness, like a very bad sunburn, and typically five to seven days of healing time, during which it may not be possible to work or undertake some activities due to appearance. Topical and oral medications can help healing, and gentle skin care with thick emollients and healing agents help to reduce crusting and peeling. In the end, you’ll see fresh, youthful skin that exhibits improvements to spots, wrinkles, and acne scars. Most importantly, though, this process will give you the confidence to face the world anew.