Laser Acne Removal – Types Of LaserTreatmentsLaser Acne Scar Removal – Scarring TypesFor this article about laser acne scar removal, let us first take a quick look at acne scarring, in termsof their appearance and how they are formed.Formation and types of scars.Acne scars occur as a result of inflamed tissue under the surface of the skin (the dermis layer) withthe origin resulting from the acne condition itself, and the scarring that may remain is made by thebody’s own repair mechanism attempting to heal itself by the formation of an excess of collagenaround the affected areas, thus forming the scars, which because they are formed under the surfacelayer of skin, are unlike normal scars and can be more difficult to treat.Collagen is a body protein and is the primary component of connective tissue in the body.Acne scars take several different forms and are commonly classified according to their shape and/orappearance.Icepick scars: These are generally the most often seen on the face, are pits in the skin’s surface thatmay be quite deepBox car scars: Decidedly angular in appearance, this type of scarring may be fairly shallow or fairlydeep, often occurring on the side of the face or head.Rolling scars: These form a ripple effect across the skin rather like a wave.Hypertrophic scars: These have a thick appearance and are also known as keloid scars.Pigmented scars: This term is a bit of a misnomer, as these are neither scars nor do they have anypermanent effect on the pigment of the skin.This type of scar is generally what results from nodular or cystic acne, that may leave behind marksjust under the surface of the skin.Pigmentation scars usually clear on their own, but may take from three to 24 months to do so,although it is possible the marks can become permanent if left untreated.The above then lists the most commonly seen types of scarring, and what are most commonlynoticed on older generations of people who had bad acne when they young and before the conditionwas properly understood or any procedures like laser acne removal was available.Laser Acne Removal – OverviewFortunately advances is technology and medical procedures have brought about many newtechniques to the field of medical science, and dermatology (skin) is no exception, laser acneremoval is fast becoming a widely accepted, if expensive technique to treat the scarring left by acne.It is a sad fact that for the most part, this type of treatment will only be affordable by those whohave a fairly decent income and are able to quickly accumulate the necessary funds for thesetreatments.On a cautionary note treatments mentioned here require great professional knowledge and skill to
perform, only dermatologists, surgeons or other professionally qualified people should be entrustedto carry out these procedures, under no circumstances should you use anyone who is notprofessionally qualified.Likely CostsAny kind of laser surgery such as this is extremely expensive, with prices generally starting ataround one thousand dollars up to maybe six thousand dollars per treatment, and in a lot of casesmore than one session of treatment will be required.Due to the expense of laser removal getting your acne treated this way will probably be out of reachfor many people, who can do little except live with their condition.For this reason there seem to be a myriad of new anti-scarring products that have appeared on themarket to take advantage of the situation as usual, it is unlikely if your scarring is anything otherthan superficial that any acne scar products will help you that much, despite some of the claims thatare made by some of the purveyors of such products.At best they may help to make the scarring less obvious by covering minor imperfections in theskin, and of course this may give a helpful psychological boost to people who are very conscious oftheir condition which can only be a good thing, so if you lacking the funds for laser surgery, theseproducts, and the careful application of certain cosmetics is just about your only option, and if theyhelp you to look and feel better then they are probably worth the cost.Laser Acne Scar Removal – CO2 LaserThis treatment which generally is the most aggressive uses a Carbon Dioxide laserand medically the process is referred to as Ablative laser surgery.For this type of treatment, that is usually performed under a local anesthetic, on medium or severescarring, the laser is used to precisely burn off layers of skin including the scar-damaged areas,therefore allowing new skin cells to grow at the normal rate in their place.The outcome of the surgery cannot be guaranteed or predicted until healing has taken place, and asthis is such a new technique the results obtained can vary, but reported success rates are quite high,your chances of success will be further explained to by your dermatologist, as he or she will have agreater understanding of your particular condition.Ablative laser surgery may also have a stimulating effect on the tissue collagen, causing it tocontract a little, this is good as it assists to make the scars outwardly less visible.Laser surgery of this type, can be very expensive typically $3-6k dollars per treatment, and morethan one may be required. and it does not come without a few side effects, some of which you willundoubtedly experience.However, do not worry unduly apart from some initial discomfort and soreness, the main thing youneed to be aware of and prevent is any infection, so it is very important to keep the wounds properlycovered with sterile dressings until they have had time to heal, you will undoubtedly receive thebest advice and method to do this for your own particular circumstances from your consultant.Proper healing will normally take around three weeks, but your skin may be slightly discoloredwhere the surgery was applied for several months afterward.
CO2 Laser – Side Effects Extract of article from PubMed U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health The short and long-term side effects of carbon dioxide laser resurfacing. “The incidence of side effects are generally very low for CO2 laser resurfacing, including scarring, post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation, and infection. However, there is a significant and previously unreported risk of hypo-pigmentation in an area of the population who often seek improvement in the appearance”. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9236869Complications of Dermatological Laser SurgeryIt is important to be aware of any complications from this type of operation as surgery of any kindhas an associated risk, but do not get overly worried as there should be few problems if you are anormal healthy adult, this subject is beyond the scope of this site but there is a resource below if youwould like to read more into this topic.Complications of Dermatological Laser Surgeryhttp://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1120837-overview#a30Laser Acne Scar Removal Using Erbium YAG LasersErbium YAG Laser resurfacing is very similar to the CO2 laser in its operation, the wholepremise being the removal of the troublesome areas of skin so that fresh layers may grownormally in their place thus making the effected areas much more normal in appearance.This particular type of laser surgery was developed in an attempt to lessen the side effects that arecaused by the more aggressive types, and to some extent this has been successful, the after effectsof the Erbium YAG are very similar to that of the CO2 laser but are a lot milder.This treatment is usually carried out with a local anesthetic and can take anything from a fewminutes to an hour or so, this is one of the more expensive therapies and more than one session maybe required for optimum results, this will generally be some time after your first appointment, butyou will get the best information on this from your own Dermatologist.As with any kind of new treatment, because the technology is still in its infancy there can bevariations in the results obtained as no two people are alike, so far the results are excellent and it aslikely they will get even better with time as more testing has been carried out on this relatively newbranch of surgery.With this treatment once again the laser is used to remove skin so new skin can form in its place.This is a relatively new procedure and results can vary.The recipient will probably have a few after effects of the treatment to deal with, apart from somesoreness which is unavoidable, the skin may also become reddened and also swollen to some extent,this will usually disappear as quickly as it would for other skin trauma.
There is also likely to be some discoloration of the skin surface too, the treated area may darken,and it can also become several shades lighter although this is a lot less common with this particulartype of laser treatment.After healing has taken place and things have settled down you may notice that the skin has becomenoticeably more pink, this is not permanent but it may take a very long time before it returns to it’snatural color.Fractional LasersThe fractional laser used in acne skin therapy, as its name might suggest is only used in very smallareas, it is a lot less severe treatment than other forms of laser therapy and consequently the aftereffects are also much reduced, however the results will usually not be as good as that obtained fromthe more aggressive forms of laser.Multiple treatments will also be required and at upwards of $1k a time, it is also a fairly costlyprocedure.Resources.Manstein D, Herron GS, Sink RK, Tanner H, Anderson RR.Fractional photothermolysis: a new concept for cutaneous remodeling using microscopic patterns ofthermal injury. Lasers Surg Med., 2004; 34(5):426-38.Karsai S, Czarnecka A, Junger M, Raulin C.Ablative fractional lasers (CO2 and Er:YAG): a randomized controlled double-blind split-face trialof the treatment of peri-orbital rhytides. Lasers Surg Med., 2010; 42(2):160-7.Manuskiatti W, Triwongwaranat D, Varothai S, Eimpunth S, Wanitphakdeedecha R.Efficacy and safety of a carbon-dioxide ablative fractional resurfacing device for treatment ofatrophic acne scars in Asians. J Am Acad Dermatol., 2010; 63(2):274-83Hopefully this article has been of some help to if you were contemplating this type of treatment, ithas been kept deliberately brief for what is a very complex subject, your Dermatologist will explainmore fully any questions or concerns you may have about laser acne removal.