Having acne is scary and when it leaves behind ugly and visible scars on the face, it becomes a nightmare. Acne scars might be difficult to get rid of with home-made remedies and creams, but with laser treatment, you can have an all-clear face and restore your beauty and confidence.
If you thought that acne affects only teenagers, then think again. Acne vulgaris can happen to anyone, anytime. It’s a chronic disease that occurs when our oil glands are frequently coagulated with oil, dirt and dead cells resulting in inflammation of the skin, a cluster of pimples, whiteheads, and blackheads. The main causes are bad skin hygiene and hormonal imbalance that can be triggered by stress, depression, dietary issues, etc. Escaping acne attack may be impossible but attacking acne scars is surely possible with laser treatment in a safe and effective manner.
7 types of acne scar laser treatments
Just like there are types of acne scars and skin types, there are different types of laser treatments to deal with them. Here are the most commonly used laser treatments:
- Carbon dioxide lasers: This is an ablative resurfacing treatment. It involves melting or vaporizing the damaged tissues layer by layer by poking very tiny holes into the skin. Since the holes are minute and made swiftly with laser light energy and not a needle, there is hardly any pain. The idea is to stimulate healing so that the body can produce collagen naturally. Collagen is the protein that helps in the growth of fresh, healthy and new skin especially after an injury. The recovery period might take 5 to 7 days but the procedure itself can be done in just one seating.
- Fraxel: This is a non-ablative treatment and is one of the most modern options. It does not destroy the outer layers of the skin by vaporizing it. Instead, it heats the skin tissues in such a manner that it clears out or burns out the old skin cells that are pigmented due to scarring. As compared to the carbon dioxide lasers, Fraxel is comparatively milder and is thus better for people with sensitive skin. The recovery time is 3-4 days which is less as compared to the CO2 treatment but the number of sessions required is more.
- Fractional laser treatment: This is considered as one of the best as it affects only a small portion of the skin. It is designed in such a manner that it impacts only the scarred areas of the face while keeping the parts having normal skin, intact. The laser penetrates deep into the skin and hence is ideal for big, wide and deep scars. Since the area affected by the laser beams is less, the recovery time is also quicker.
- V-Beam or Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL): This is a highly accurate technology that is perfect for removing the redness of acne scars and rosacea. The concentrated light beams attack enlarged red blood cells (the cause of redness) with heat. The intense heating of the blood vessels makes the outermost layer of the skin almost dead by eroding all its nutrients and oxygen. Once it is shed, the skin gets a chance to grow back normally.
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): This is apt for dark or brown acne scars. This treatment doesn’t attack the skin/acne texture much but works on the colour of the acne scars or acne-prone skin. It turns the colour back to the normal colour of the skin. The added benefit is that it also wipes out the bacteria that cause acne. The principle behind this treatment is that since darker objects absorb more light, the laser light is so intense that before it penetrates the normal skin, it is already absorbed in the area of skin which is darker due to scars. The heat thus absorbed, breaks down the pigmented cells.
- Fractionated Eribum or Pixel laser: This is the most effective for Indian skin. It is completed in 4 to 6 sessions spread across a month. The light beam creates pixel size tiny dots or holes on the skin encouraging the body to heal these harmless and nearly invisible dots. In the process of healing the skin gets a chance to grow afresh, resulting in the appearance of a smooth and even skin in the previously scarred area.
- Active FX and Deep FX: While active FX is recommended for smaller and shallow scars, deep FX is suitable for eradicating bigger and deeper acne scars. The first advantage of this is that it does not harm the epidermis (topmost and most sensitive layer of the skin) and affects only the dermis (the thicker layer of skin beneath the epidermis that contains the damaged glands and blood vessels). The second advantage is that after the treatment, you are not only scar-free but you also end up with a more youthful skin that’s firmer.
Benefits of laser treatments
Owing to their sophistication and powerful impact, you might be skeptical about laser treatments. The common benefits given below of the laser treatments discussed will clear all your doubts and fears.
- They are non-invasive i.e. there is no surgery required at all
- Unlike dermabrasion, it is painless as it does not ruthlessly strip off the top layer of the skin using a rapidly moving tool.
- Unlike punch excision (method in which circles are cut around the damaged skin), the risk of infections is almost zero as there is no cutting and hardly any bleeding involved in laser treatments.
- Unlike chemical peeling (acids are used to shed the first layer of the skin), there is no risk of harmful reactions of chemicals on the skin as laser treatments are chemical free.
- The recovery time is minimal. Since there are no cuts and scars as such, the face gets back to normal within a week.
Laser treatments might have guaranteed results with minimal side-effects but they may not suit everybody. If your complexion is dark or if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, or have sensitive skin, then your condition may worsen with laser treatments. That is why it’s essential to consult an expert cosmetic surgeon before going in for any of these treatments. For an expert skin analysis and authentic laser treatments, only refer to the best doctors in the country at Apollo Cosmetic Clinic. Book an appointment here.