Skin imperfections or scars left by acne can detract from your physical appearance and lead to psychological and emotional problems, long after the acne has disappeared. Whether this scarring is the result of teenage acne or adult acne, advances in aesthetic medicine now makes it possible to clear your skin of acne scars with little or no down time, helping you to regain your skins natural beauty and texture.
Through the use of laser resurfacing techniques along with other techniques such as injectibles and chemical peels or CROSS technique, it is possible to induce the skin to create a new smoother layer of skin. Acne scar therapy offers none to minimal downtime if only injectibles are used. It may require up to several days of mild to moderate downtime if a Fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing is used. Acne scar therapy using injectibles requires 1-2 treatments usually 2-3 weeks apart. Fractionated CO2 resurfacing typically requires just 1 treatment to get excellent results but may need to repeat 2-3 times 6-8 weeks apart depending on the type of severity of the scars. The additional benefits of acne scar therapy are reduced pore size, and softer more even skin tone leaving you with skin you’ll be proud of.
Is it painful?
By cooling the skin prior, during, and after treatment most patients do not find this procedure painful, although in some cases there might be a minimum amount of discomfort. The feeling has often been described as being snapped by a rubber band on your skin. For patients that are extra sensitive to pain we can prescribe a topical anesthetic cream to be applied 45 minutes before coming in for the procedure. Patients with more severe acne scars who require deeper laser treatments may also be given prescription medication to use prior to the procedure to minimize the pain.
How long after the treatment will it take for me to see results?
Since acne scar therapy can employ a number of different procedures the time it takes for a patient to see results will vary. Generally, patients will see minimal improvement after the first treatment; however, they will notice gradual improvement with each subsequent treatment and even up to 6 months after the last treatment. Most patients will see a significant improvement after 3-4 treatments spanning about a 4 month period.
Am I allowed to use makeup to cover the treated areas?
Since most acne scar therapies are non-ablative, there is no problem using makeup to cover the treated area immediately after having a procedure performed. However, most patients find no need to use makeup after a treatment since the treatments generally are not noticeable.
Is there any special skin care regimen I must follow after receiving acne scar therapy?
We recommend the use of a sunscreen lotion with an SPF of at least 25 and either a copper peptide topical cream or L-ascorbic acid cream twice a day for the treated area. Specific copper peptide creams have been proven effective at accelerating the healing process and aiding in the generation of collagen. Additionally, we advocate adopting a good skin care regimen which includes the use of at least a moisturizer that contains a UVA and UVB sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Any glycolic or retin A products should be discontinued several days pre and post laser procedures. LaserMed Dermatology & Vein Specialists also stocks a complete line of physician based skin care products that can speed up and enhance the healing process of laser based procedures.
How long do I have to wait between procedures?
In most cases patients may schedule treatment sessions as close as 2 weeks apart. Depending on the acne scar therapy the doctor chooses patients may find they need to wait up to 4 weeks between treatments.
How long will the effects of acne scar therapy last?
Since acne scar treatments involve remodeling the collagen network deep in your skin to remove unwanted skin imperfections, the effects are long lasting and permanent.
Do I stop the any acne medications I am currently on?
No, you don’t have to stop oral antibiotics or topical agents if you still have acne lesions on top of previous scars. However, for most procedures for the semi-ablative procedures for severe acne scars you will need to stop the use of any retinA or glycolic products during the entire healing process.
How much does it cost?
Charges are based upon the various treatments that the doctor may decide to use as well as the size of the area treated. Most acne scar patients undergo a series of 3-6 treatments ranging from $250-$350 per treatment. The Thermage RF procedure is also very effective, often requiring only a few treatments. LaserMed Skin & Vein Clinic also offers Care Credit Patient Payment plans.