Acne Scars

Types of scars

Ice pick scars

APPEARANCE: ICE PICK SCARS ARE DEEP, VERY NARROW SCARS THAT EXTEND INTO THE DERMIS. THE SKIN LOOKS AS IF IT HAS BEEN PIERCED BY AN ICE PICK OR SHARP INSTRUMENT. ICE PICK SCARS SEEM TO MAKE A SMALL, DEEP "HOLE" IN THE SKIN. SOME MAY LOOK LIKE A LARGE, OPEN PORE.

Box scars

APPEARANCE: BOXCAR SCARS ARE ROUND OR OVAL DEPRESSIONS WITH STEEP VERTICAL SIDES. WIDER THAN ICE PICKS, BOXCAR SCARS GIVE THE SKIN A PITTED APPEARANCE.

Rolling scars

APPEARANCE: THIS TYPE OF SCARRING CAUSES ROLLING OR "WAVE-LIKE" UNDULATIONS ACROSS OTHERWISE NORMAL APPEARING SKIN.

Hypertrophic scars/keloids

APPEARANCE: A HYPERTROPHIC SCAR LOOKS LIKE A RAISED, FIRM MASS OF TISSUE. THESE TYPES OF SCARS OFTEN GROW LARGER THAN THE ORIGINAL WOUND. HYPERTROPHIC SCARS CAUSED BY ACNE ARE MOST OFTEN FOUND ON THE TORSO, ESPECIALLY IN MEN.

What is laser treatment?

Laser resurfacing is a method used to treat a plethora of concerns and conditions. Because there are different intensities that the machine is capable of delivering, it can be used for both skin rejuvenation, and more dramatic changes to scars and burns.
The aim of scar treatment is to give the skin a more acceptable physical appearance.
Using a CO2, fractional laser, we can deliver pulses to the skin, which help remove dead skin cells and promote cell renewal. Due to the heat energy caused during treatment, the device also stimulates collagen production, to help firm up the skin, but also break down scar tissue and improve movement for those having a higher-setting treatment.

There are three different settings on the CO2 laser:

ACTIVE FX

The ACTIVE FX hand-piece targets surface imperfections and pigmentation on the skin. It is much broader than the other hand-pieces, working more superficially when removing fragments of the skin. By targeting the top layer of the skin it can reduce fine lines, wrinkles and pore size. Treatment with ACTIVE FX can also achieve skin tightening.

DEEP FX

When set to DEEP FX The hand-piece produces a pulse that penetrates deeper into the lower part of the skin. This stimulates collagen production to help improve the appearance of damaged or scarred skin.

SCAAR FX

Considerably more powerful than other Laser treatments CO2 settings, SCAAR FX utilises a much stronger laser energy that targets significantly deeper into the skin tissue. It improves the range of motion whilst also improving the appearance of scarring.

TOTAL FX

TOTAL FX treatment combines both ACTIVE and DEEP FX in the same session. It is the ultimate treatment for severe scarring or damaged skin, which completely resurfaces the skin.

How many session will I need, and how far apart can I have them?

For more superficial treatments, patient may have resurfacing treatment 3 months apart, and will on average need 2-4 sessions of treatment. If a higher setting is used, patients usually have just the one session. For scars skin and burns, the patient may need several sessions, depending on the desired result. If the skin scars are raised or red in colour, other treatments may be advised in combination with the CO2.

When does the effect appear and how long does it last?

Most patients notice an improvement in skin quality already a few days after the treatment. To a large extent, this is likely to be caused by certain swelling, which conceals the wrinkles and scars. This is not the final effect of the treatment - the skin takes little time to damage, but the processing of collagen needs time, from 2 to 4 weeks. Then, lasting renewal effects are visible. Skin reconstruction will be visible perfectly 4-5 weeks after the end of the series of 3-5 treatments. However, collagen reconstruction will continue, causing the smoothing and firming of skin for 6-12 more months after the treatment.

Changes in the epidermis and in the collagen contained in the dermis, caused by the treatments, are permanent. Objective tests have demonstrated that positive changes caused by the treatments do not disappear 6 months after the treatments. However, sunlight, gravity and the time do their job and no device can stop the passage of time, even though the laser can take it back, in fact many seasons back.

Am I a suitable candidate?

As mentioned, the CO2 can be used for many different indications. A suitable candidate will be someone who is looking for fresher, younger-looking skin, or someone who has burns or scars and wishes to reduce their appearance and regain movement. All skin types can be treated with the CO2.

Is there any downtime?

Because of the ablative nature of the laser treatment, patients should expect a downtime of 3-14 days after treatment. Patients are required to arrive at least 120 minutes before their treatment time so that topical anaesthetic can be applied. It is crucial that patients do not have exposure to the sun for few weeks after treatment, without using sun protection.