Acne scars can be a frustrating reminder of your past battles with breakouts. They can leave you feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your skin and longing for a clearer complexion. Fortunately, treating acne scars with laser and light procedures can be an excellent solution.
If you’re ready to bid farewell to your unsightly acne scars and say hello to glowing skin, you’ll want to keep reading. We’re sharing the latest resources, including the best laser for acne scars, how laser scar removal works, and what you can expect from each treatment. Let’s dive in!
Identifying Acne Scars
Following a bout with acne, blemishes typically fade, and your skin clears up. But sometimes, inflamed pores and damaged skin tissues can linger. This results in acne scarring. The four common types of acne scars are:
- Ice pick scars: narrow, deep holes that can form from an infected pimple
- Rolling scars: wavy-looking depressions that make the skin look uneven
- Boxcar scars: round, pitted scars with defined edges
- Keloid scars: raised, bumpy scars giving skin a rough look and feel
The best acne scar removal solution will usually depend on the type of acne scar you have and your skin type and condition. The success of your treatment may depend on how many layers of skin are impacted by your acne scarring.
Deeper acne scars may be more challenging to remove, and patients with severe scarring may not be ideal candidates for laser acne scar removal. During your consultation, we will thoroughly assess your skin, examine your scarring, and determine the best course of treatment, including non-laser skin resurfacing options, including microneedling, microdermabrasion, or chemical peels.
PicoSure® and PicoWay® Resolve Laser Treatment for Acne
It just takes a picosecond (a trillionth of a second!) for PicoSure or Picoway laser energy to penetrate the skin and break apart the excess pigment in acne scars. At the same time, the quick pulses of laser energy trigger collagen production to help damaged skin naturally revitalize, rebuild, and appear smoother over time.
PicoSure and PicoWay are FDA-cleared lasers that use fractionated non-ablative laser energy to penetrate the skin without harming its surface or the surrounding area. While both laser treatments are effective for acne scar removal, PicoWay is newer, packs more power, and is generally safer for all skin types. PicoSure and PicoWay are also popular solutions for tattoo removal.
Laser Genesis: A Gentler Approach To Treating Acne Scars
This non-invasive, non-ablative laser treatment works by heating the upper dermis and stimulating collagen production to smooth out acne scars. Laser Genesis for acne scars is typically gentler than other treatments, making it an excellent option for patients with sensitive skin.
It is suitable for all skin types and requires little to no downtime. However, many patients need a series of treatments to achieve their desired results.
SmartSkin CO2™ Laser for Acne Scars
Patients looking for a more powerful approach to treating acne scars opt for Smart Skin CO2, an ablative laser treatment that uses fractional technology. During treatment, the laser creates tiny micro-injuries in the skin, stimulating collagen production and triggering the body’s natural healing response. Scarred, damaged skin is then replaced with fresh, healthy skin.
This treatment is more aggressive than other laser treatments for acne scars and requires more downtime. However, it can produce optimal results for patients with deep acne scars. Intrigued? This related blog post contains helpful FAQs about CO2 laser rejuvenation for acne scarring and other skin concerns.
What About Active Acne?
If you are struggling with active acne breakouts, you may still be able to enjoy the benefits of a laser treatment. PicoWay and Laser Genesis can both combat the bacteria that causes acne, leading to reduced breakouts and scarring.
SmartSkin CO2 laser treatments, however, may overly sensitize acne-prone skin, making it an unsuitable option for those with current acne lesions.
If you are currently taking isotretinoin (Accutane) for your acne, studies have shown that the majority of individuals can safely undergo laser procedures without needing to wait 6 months after discontinuing the medication.
Choosing the Best Laser Treatment for Acne Scars
During your consultation, our team will guide you toward the specific laser treatment that best addresses your needs and goals. We generally focus on the following factors:
- Type of acne scarring: your “category” of acne scar will help direct us toward the right laser treatment.
- Skin type: your skin tone, type, and sensitivity will factor into which treatment is the safest and most effective approach as lasers can inadvertently lighten the skin of dark-skinned individuals.
- Downtime: We’ll discuss how much downtime you may need to set aside following your procedure. Some treatments, such as SmartSkin CO2, require a longer recovery window as the skin peels and heals.
Laser Skin Treatment For Acne Scars: The Takeaway
Every patient is unique when it comes to acne scar removal. While laser treatment for acne can successfully treat a range of acne scars and types, in some cases, severe acne scarring may be more challenging to treat.