If you’ve suffered with acne, once you have it under control, it is possible you will be left with acne scarring. It seems incredibly unfair to struggle to get skin problems under control, but to not finally have smooth, even skin. However, there are several ways to get rid of acne scarring, so you can still finally have the skin you’ve dreamed of. One of the ways to erase acne scarring, that is growing in popularity, is Laser Resurfacing.
What Does it Do?
Laser resurfacing can dramatically reduce the appearance of acne scars, but it is not guaranteed to completely erase them. Side effects, especially if you have more damaged skin, can be an issue, and full recovery can take several weeks or even a few months. However, there is no question, if done correctly, laser resurfacing can have a dramatic effect on acne scars, making them vastly less noticeable. The most important thing is to make sure you take care of yourself, and your skin if you chose this procedure.
How it Works
Acne scarring is something that occurs when skin becomes inflamed for extended periods of time, due to an intense reaction to bacteria. A Fractional CO2 Laser resurfaces only a fraction of skin at a time (ergo the name fractional laser), and leaves skin unscarred skin alone; this promotes faster healing, and is less invasive. The fractional approach also lessens side effects, and makes the laser one of the safest forms of treatment. The fractional laser creates microscopic holes under the top layers of skin. These holes spur healing into action, and the body generates new collagen. This new collagen fills in the holes, this gives the acne scars a smoother and diminished appearance.
When you go in for treatment, the areas to be treated will be marked off. Then the doctor will usually administer a nerve block and a local anesthetic, which will numb the area that is being treated. If the area being treated is larger, or several parts of your face, more aggressive sedation may be used. The laser takes several passes, how many depending on how deep the and intense acne scarring is. Little to no bleeding occurs, and the laser may cause a stinging, or burning feeling. After the treatment has finished, an ointment or medication is applied to the areas worked on.
Recovery time and severity usually is based on the intensity of the laser treatment. Treated areas will usually be sore and swollen for several days. Redness for a few weeks is normal as skin regrows and repairs itself. How you care for your skin after treatment is very important. You will need to avoid infection and keep dressings and your skin clean. You will also need to avoid the sun and wear strong sunscreen; newer skin is more prone to being damaged by sunlight.
What Are Side Affects?
There are several side effects associated with laser resurfacing. Most can be greatly reduced by taking care of skin properly after treatment. Swelling of treated skin and tenderness are normal, and usually temporary. Additionally, redness of skin usually lasts for one to three months, but can last up to a year for some people. People with darker skin tones may notice that the experience changes in the color of their skin. This is something that can go away; if it does not, bleaching or peeling the skin to lighten it can help return skin to an even tone. In some cases infection can set in, this is usually prevented by proper care after treatment.
The most important part of having a successful Laser Resurfacing treatment seems to be doing your homework. Make sure that you understand healing time, and the amount of work required to keep your skin taken care of. Additionally, go online and look up reviews for the doctor you are considering using. Ask if you can speak with other patients. The people who had the most success with laser resurfacing acne scar removal usually spoke to several doctors, and looked at several different methods before choosing fractional laser therapy.