Acne is one of the most common skin pathologies that most teenagers are facing with. It extends until adulthood for certain patients as well. Once the active acne is gone, scar formation occurs and which is part of the normal healing process. It occurs when the most superficial layer, the dermis, is discolored and there is visible hyper-pigmentation. It is usually the result of inflammatory lesion that occurs after a pustule or papule forms and heals. Acne scars are usually more serious if the acne is maculopapular in nature. The skin must undergo changes to repair itself by letting the dermis to form new collagen. During the time period that the dermis is repairing, there are prominent scar marks on the patient’s face. However, the scars may never heal completely leaving the skin with multiple acne scars cumulating over time once the active acne has resided. There are different kinds of acne scars. One of the most common acne scars form when the dermal layer of the skin is raised leading to hypertrophy and keloid formation. Another type of acne scar results when there is a depression in the skin due to excessive shedding of the tissue. Consequently, the scar formation occurs and they are commonly known as boxcar and ice pick scars. Many treatment options are now available for the treatment of acne scars. One such treatment option is laser therapy which is offered in clinical settings to rid the individual of acne scars and increase their self-esteem.
Treatment option: Cutera Laser Excel V
Many different treatment modalities available for acne scar treatment. Some of them include micro-dermabrasion, dermabrasion, chemical peels, lasers, fillers, retinoic acid topical cream, and punch excisions. However, the Cutera Excel V laser treatment has been successful in reducing the extent and severity of acne scars. The laser has various wavelengths that may be altered depending on the severity of acne. It rids the skin from the topmost layer and provides the skin ample time to heal and acne scars to reduce until more skin growth occurs.
Excel V Laser can successfully treat the site of acne scar formation. The treatment is conducted by trained professionals and is especially tailored for patients with severe acne scar formation. The target population for the treatment is individuals who have had breakouts in the past and are currently suffering from acne scars. Traditionally, teenagers and young adults are most likely to be suffering from acne scar formation. They have had breakouts of acne recently and have mild to severe acne scar formation on their skin.
Other treatment modalities that can be offered to the patients include:
- Dermabrasion and Microdermabrasion gets rid of the most superficial layer of skin by applying a gel on the skin and sanding it away. This aids in rejuvenating the skin and getting rid of acne scars and other skin-related issues such as wrinkles or sun damage. However, the patients often require several visits before effects are visible. It is preferred in patients with acne scars due to better results.
- Punch excisions aim to reduce the extent of acne scars be conducting surgery. The scars are excised surgically and the hole that remains can be repaired with the help of skin grafts. This technique is especially beneficial in patients who have deeper atrophic scars in their dermal layer. The treatment does not require many follow-ups and the effects are immediately visible.
- Chemical peels are able to remove the dermal layer of the skin and helps form a newer, healthier layer from underneath. Many different options for chemical peels are available such as phenol or glycolic acid peels. The effects of treatment require regular visits and a few months before effects are visible.
Number of visits required and average length does an average visit last for laser treatment?
The number of visits is dependent on the grade and severity of the acne scars. Additionally, the surface area that is involved also influences the number of visits. An average length of a visit is between 40 minutes to 1 hour. However, this varies with the extent of skin involved and cannot be predetermined until examined by a professional.
Side effects of laser treatment
The side effects usually last for a few days until they subside and include photosensitivity leading to a rash. Additionally, it may also cause localized swelling. However, treating the skin with ice can aid in reducing the swelling and photosensitivity. Furthermore, moisturizing the skin can prevent further irritation of the skin. In rare cases, there may be more severe side effects such as burns, localized infections and scarring of the skin.
Recovery time of laser treatment
Since the laser treatment sloughs off superficial skin, it requires anywhere between 4 to 10 days to recover completely. Patients with more sensitive skin may be prescribed moisturizers such as petroleum jelly in case they feel irritation. Additionally, it is recommended that while the patient is undergoing laser treatment, they wear sunscreen at all times of the day and avoiding sun exposure as much as possible. This aids the skin to undergo less damage especially since it is prone to it and it heals quicker.