Which Skin Laser Treatment Is Best for Acne Scars?
Having acne is often a difficult period in many adolescents’ lives, as its appearance may cause embarrassment or shyness. In addition to going through an awkward time, it’s doubly impactful to feel as if you look uncomfortable, too. Over time, though, the acne is usually abated, and skin appearance will improve.
Unfortunately, for some individuals, the acne may be acute and damaging to the skin, possibly for the rest of their lives. This visual reminder of an embarrassing or difficult time never truly fades, leaving many clients self-conscious and suffering from negative comments or feelings much later in life.
Luckily, modern skincare technology is making giant strides in repairing the dermis of patients, including scarring related to acne. With laser treatments, clients can rejuvenate not only their skin but their outlook on their appearance.
What Is Acne?
Acne is a skin condition usually caused by the clogging of oil glands or hair follicles with dirt and oils. It is quite a common symptom, often seen in teens or younger adults.
Excessive sugars, salts, oils, or poor hygiene are sometimes the culprits, although some patients are predisposed to difficult skin conditions, no matter their diet or skincare routines.
Acne is also seen in numerous adults, although break-outs may be more centralized to some areas of the face and not as widespread. Managing acne and its dermatological effects can be a lifelong issue for many. Finding effective treatment for acne scarring and ongoing acne break-outs can be critical for overcoming the numerous associated side effects.
Types of Acne Scars
Acne scarification can present in a few different ways, somewhat determining the procedures necessary to rejuvenate the skin. When acne occurs, the skin tissue and collagen can be displaced. Over extended periods of an acne flare-up, the skin will show scars forming due to collagen loss.
Many patients will be looking to reverse the effects of atrophic acne scars. Atrophic scarring will appear as indentions or small divots in the skin. Some more severe scarring will occur in the skin’s top layer but can also be damaged in the second skin layer.
These scars are thin, narrow, and deep, usually affecting the outer dermal and secondary skin layers. Ice-pick scarring is relatively common and results from the tissue damage caused by acne and the post-acne healing process.
Ice-pick scarring can also occur from patient-inflicted damage, as a person may have attempted to remove the acne with a tool or device by scraping, picking, or squeezing the acne areas.
Suppose a client has suffered from acne inflammation, especially for extended periods. In that case, they can develop boxcar scarring—the more prolonged and profound the inflammation, the greater the potential for skin damage.
The scarring usually appears broad, shallow, and with well-defined edges. Boxcar scarring can often appear in different color gradients, from brown to red, frequently occurring during or after the healing process.
Hypertrophic and Keloid Scars
This form of post-acne scarring is usually identified as raised bumps or lumps on the skin surface. This scarring usually occurs as the result of a build-up of scar tissue. Reducing scar tissue may take more than one form of laser therapy to achieve the best results.
Darker complexions can be more prone to these types of scarring. The scarring is often prevalent along the jawline or on the cheeks. Keloid scars can sometimes last longer than the acne which initially caused them. Each patient will vary, depending on their particular skin type.
Similar in appearance to boxcar scars, but with less defined edges and even shallower scar damage. The rolling scars give an impression of the unevenness of the skin and often cover a larger area than other scarring types. This scarring may be easier to combat since it’s not as deep and defined.
The treatment schedule for each patient will be determined by a consultation with a skin specialist and will be updated as the procedure moves forward. Some patients can heal faster than others, allowing for more treatments in a shorter time or fewer treatments, all together.
Why Choose Skin Laser Treatment for Acne Scars?
For patients with acne scarring, past treatment options have been somewhat limited to applying creams or skin peels or resorting to cosmetic surgery options. But, with laser skin treatments entering the health and beauty industries, numerous new and effective treatment options have come to light.
By focusing high-frequency light waves at scarred or targeted skin rejuvenation areas, the laser beams can effectively break apart scar tissue and promote new collagen production and potential skin tissue growth.
Patients seeking laser skin treatments with Bared Monkey will be pleased to learn that our technicians and skin specialists have been using laser treatments for various skin conditions for over a decade with outstanding results.
Which Skin Laser Treatment Is Best for Acne Scar Removal?
Removal of acne scars will depend on a few factors about the texture and appearance of the patient’s skin. The severity of the acne scarring will also play a part in the recommended treatment methods.
Ablative Laser Resurfacing Treatment
Ablative laser resurfacing is an intense yet highly effective treatment option. Common versions of ablative lasers include CO2 and er: YAG models, both of which heat and shed skin layers and stimulate collagen production.
For skin rejuvenation, collagen is essential, as it helps to smooth the skin and reduce indentions, scars, or other signs of atrophic acne.
The outer skin layers are exposed to powerful wavelengths of light that strip away dead skin while heating the lower dermal layers. While the older, scarred tissue is being damaged and removed, the heating process also stimulates the production of collagen and new skin cells for the surface.
When complete, regenerated skin is left in place of the old scars. Although there is significant downtime from extra physical activity or sun exposure, usually around two weeks, the final results give patients a new lease on life.
Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing
Similar to the treatment mentioned above, the non-ablative laser treatment only focuses on heating the lower dermal layers to generate collagen production. There is still an amount of top-layer abrasion, but it is much less damaging than ablative, which results in less downtime.
Patients with darker skin tones often see the best results when using non-ablative therapy, as they encounter fewer complications with abnormal pigmentation or discoloration following treatment.
IPL/BBL Laser Treatment
IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) and BBL (BroadBand Light) are similar laser light treatments that seek to reduce blemishes and brown or red spots left on the skin after acne has healed. These lasers are not as powerful, so they don’t stimulate collagen production.
Their effectiveness is focused on reducing skin discolorations about melanin pigmentation and overall skin redness. By targeting specific skin blemishes, these laser treatments are minimally invasive and only slightly uncomfortable, often relieved with a mild pain cream or aloe.
Radio Frequency Microneedling Laser Treatment
RF Microneedling is a process of slightly agitating the skin to produce collagen, similar to the first two laser treatments mentioned above. The difference here, being a tool consisting of fine needles pierces the skin layers, then applies heat to the lower skin layers instead of being laser light frequencies.
This treatment is effective for minor scarring and skin damage associated with acne or other skin conditions. RF Microneedling is also proving to be an effective tool for reducing the signs of aging by reducing wrinkles, laugh lines, crowfeet, and other issues related to slowed collagen production.
Manage Your Skin Effectively and Safely
Dealing with acne scarring and ongoing acne breakouts is not just an issue of skin complexion but also of overall health, both physically and mentally. Learning how to reduce the signs of past acne problems may be one of the healthiest moves a person can make.
Our expert technicians have spent countless hours training for and applying our various laser-based skin and beauty treatments at Bared Monkey. We can not only work to reduce the effects of past acne scarring but also have treatments to help reduce and remove current acne.
Additionally, our technicians are capable of performing non-laser-based skin treatments. Chemical skin peels, Hydrafacial treatments, or RF Microneedling are all skincare options that offer excellent results for many clients.
In addition to being a premiere laser skin care center in NY, the Bared Monkey staff are experts in laser hair removal, CoolSculpting®, and even tattoo removal. Contact us to see how our technicians can transform your life, starting today.