Fraxel Lasers For Acne Scarring
Treating acne with lasers
Acne is the most common skin condition in existence. With acne, bumps form when the skin’s pores are clogged with sebum, dirt, and bacteria. In some cases, acne can become severe, causing inflammation and eventually, acne scarring. Statistics estimate that 1 in 5 people with acne will develop scarring. There are a few treatment options available, but Fraxel lasers for acne scarring are growing in popularity.
While acne scars aren’t life-threatening, they can cause near-permanent damage to the skin, reducing confidence. Treating these scars requires breaking up the underlying layers of skin disrupted by acne to form newer layers. Smoother, clearer skin can transform your appearance and help you to finally treat a long-standing issue. At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, Fraxel laser for acne scarring is one of our go-to procedures to treat your scars.
Understanding Acne Scarring
Acne scars are caused by inflammation and trauma to the skin after the formation of acne. Picking and popping pimples, hormonal changes, and genetics all contribute to acne scarring. The acne can subside but leave deep scars behind. There are several types of acne scars. These include:
- Atrophic Scars: These are characterized by sunken or depressed areas of the skin. Atrophic scars are usually the result of a loss of collagen and elastin in the skin.
- Hypertrophic Scars: These scars are raised above the skin’s surface and are the result of excessive collagen production. Hypertrophic scars are typically thicker and more noticeable than atrophic scars.
- Ice Pick Scars: These scars are deep and narrow and are often mistaken for dark spots or blackheads. Ice pick scars are created when the acne lesion penetrates deep into the skin, damaging the underlying tissue.
- Boxcar Scars: These scars are characterized by their angular shape and well-defined edges. Boxcar scars are caused by a loss of collagen in the skin and are often wider and more noticeable than ice-pick scars.
Acne scars can vary in severity and need medical attention to correct them. Once you visit your dermatologist, you’ll receive prescription medication to treat the issue. These can help speed up skin cell turnover, clearing up mild to moderate acne scarring. However, medication alone may not be enough to treat severe scars like ice pick or boxcar scars. These scars need an additional in-office procedure to achieve long-term results.
How do Fraxel lasers for acne scarring work?
Lasers are one of the best in-office treatments available for acne scarring. The goal is to break up the scars at deeper levels – the parts of the skin you can’t see. There are different options available, including RF microneedling and chemical peels. However, laser therapy is one of the most effective, long-term options available today.
Most laser treatments are ablative, meaning they destroy the layers of the skin impacted by acne scarring. After some time, new layers of skin take their place. Now, the Fraxel laser takes a unique approach to the process. It uses fractional light therapy to heat the damaged layers instead of destroying them with intense pulsed light.
Fractional light only heats a specific part of the skin while not targeting or harming the surrounding skin. This gives the patient all the advantages of laser technology while reducing the side effects. Fraxel lasers are one such brand of fractional lasers.
It has a dual-layer approach, with the 1550 nanometer wavelength targeting deep acne scars, severe hyperpigmentation, and texture issues.
This goes well past the stratum corneum to target the deeper epidermis and dermis layers. The 1927 nanometer wavelength is not as penetrating and is great for smoothing your top layer of skin, reducing early signs of hyperpigmentation and wrinkles.
At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, we provide renowned yet effective sessions using the Fraxel laser to support treating your acne.
Benefits of Fraxel Lasers for acne scarring
There are several benefits to choosing Fraxel lasers for acne scarring. For starters, you’ll see fantastic, long-term results. Lasers have been proven to be an effective treatment option for scarring. Fraxel lasers also avoid ablative procedures, meaning less pain and discomfort after the procedure. There is also fewer chances of infection, severe swelling, and discomfort.
It’s also non-surgical, meaning there are no incisions, injections, or risky procedures. This can give patients peace of mind while still treating a long-standing issue. The procedure takes roughly 1 ½ hours, with 1 hour needed to apply numbing cream to the location. The Fraxel procedure takes about 30 minutes to cover the entire face.
It also comes with an integrated cooling system that provides near-immediate relief during the procedure. While there is still some redness and discomfort, you can still proceed with work or a daily task, thanks to this added feature.
Best of all, you’ll begin to see results after one treatment. For the best results, Fraxel laser for acne scarring needs multiple sessions. However, some patients begin to see improvements immediately. After just one treatment, you’ll notice some redness but smoother, clear skin.
The Fraxel laser procedure
The procedure is popular due to its straightforward approach. At Eternal Dermatology + Aesthetics, we will first encourage a consultation to assess your acne scarring and develop a game plan to clear your skin. If you’re currently using a prescription medication, ou complete this first before trying laser treatment.
You can proceed with fractional laser therapy if you’re a good candidate. We will clean your face, then apply a topical numbing agent that can take up to 60 minutes to take effect. Once that’s done, we will place you face-up with a special eye covering. From there, the programmed laser is carefully passed along the problem areas of your face, which can take 30 or more minutes.
Once the procedure is complete, you can leave home with minimal discomfort. After a few days, your skin can begin to peel, which is normal. You can minimize the side effects by practicing healthy skincare habits. For instance, you can wash your face with a gentle cleanser about 1-2 days after the procedure.
Then, use a moisturizer with SBF (30) to lock in moisture while staying hydrated. This is an important step as the chances of hyperpigmentation and poor results after the procedure is possible.
Continue to reap the benefits by staying hydrated, avoiding smoking, and establishing a solid skincare routine.
Potential risks and side effects
With any medical procedure, there are potential risks and side effects that must be taken into consideration. What makes Fraxel lasers so popular is that they do not damage the skin. Some lasers can actually worsen conditions like hyperpigmentation.
If you’re prone to keloid scarring, Fraxel lasers can worsen this condition or cause keloid scars to form. Your dermatologist will assess your skin before performing the procedure. Customers with these conditions can benefit from laser therapy at much lower strengths over multiple sessions.
Some other potential side effects include:
- Pain and discomfort
- Swelling and inflammation
- Pigment changes in your skin (or that of you
- Possible infection
- Forming of or increasing hyperpigmentation
It’s important that you discuss any concerns about side effects in your initial consultation. We will strive to mitigate the risk while ensuring you still have a good quality outcome. We can help you weigh the benefits and risks of the treatment and determine if it is right for you.
Fraxel laser vs other treatments
A fractional laser device is not the only option for acne scars. People can benefit from the procedures like RF microneedling and chemical peels. While these can help with superficial scars, those deep scars may still remain. Laser treatment can bypass those tough layers and even help produce enough collagen to restore damaged skin.
Cost and availability of Fraxel laser
This procedure is growing in popularity, impacting both cost and availability. The cost depends on several factors, including location, expertise, and the number of sessions necessary to treat acne scars. In some spaces like New York, for instance, Fraxel laser treatments can cost in excess of $1500.
At Eternal Dermatology, we recommend a consult first to establish how many laser sessions are necessary. Then, we provide the patient with the best possible price to complete multiple sessions. We do not cover insurance, especially for skin rejuvenation purposes. Therefore, you’ll need to work with our team to facilitate an appropriate payment plan.
Achieve smoother, clearer skin, your way
Fraxel laser treatment is a minimally invasive procedure used to treat acne scars. The treatment uses laser technology to penetrate the skin’s surface and stimulate collagen production, which helps smooth and improve scarred skin’s texture. It typically involves a series of sessions, each lasting about 30 minutes.
Fraxel laser treatment is a safe and effective option for reducing the appearance of acne scars, and it often results in noticeable improvement after just a few sessions. However, as with any medical procedure, there may be some side effects and recovery time associated with Fraxel laser treatment, so it’s important to consult a licensed medical professional before the treatment.
At Eternal Dermatology +Aesthetics, we provide fantastic cosmetic treatments like Fraxel lasers. These treatments can get you back to your regular day with fewer acne scars and smoother, more improved-looking skin. Our team is located in the DMV and treats acne scarring in the Fulton, Howard, and Baltimore areas, along with many others.
For acne scarring, it’s important that our lead dermatologist, Ife Rodney, MD, FAAD, assesses your skin first before agreeing on lasers. If you’ve tried other options, like medication, without success, Fraxel laser treatment may be right for you.
Sign up online or call to speak with our team for a consultation. You’ll be fascinated by the immediate results and hopeful that you can finally stop acne scarring from living your best life.