Not only are acne scars physically unappealing, evidence indicates that adults with acne scarring encounter prejudice at both work and play. So, it’s understandable that many people wish to minimize (if not eliminate) them.
Treatment of acne scars varies depending on the type of scar (often referred to as icepick, boxcar, or rolling). Therefore, advice from a qualified dermatologist is essential as you consider the effectiveness and tolerability of treatment, as well as downtime following therapy.
Today, there are two types of fractional lasers. The focus of this post is the gentler non ablative, erbium-type fractional lasers, like the Fraxel® Restore. The results of the study summarized here relate to important concerns among people with acne scars: effectiveness, tolerability, and overall satisfaction with treatment.
Here’s what they did.
Fifty-three patients with skin phototypes ranging from pale white skin to brown skin (Fitzpatrick I-V) were studied. Each had mild-to-moderate atrophic [depressed] facial acne scars. Treatment was given monthly with the gentler laser described above. Two assessors who were not involved with treatment rated the response at each treatment visit and 6 months after the final treatment session, while the patients assessed their side effects and satisfaction with treatment.
Here’s what they found.
After three-monthly treatments, nearly 90% of patents had an average improvement of 51% to 75%. And, improvement increased proportionately with each successive laser session. Age, gender, or skin color did not influence the response in this study.
Side effects included short-lived superficial reddening of the skin and swelling. There was no change in skin color; and nobody reported ulceration or scarring.
The bottom line.
It’s important to consider that the results reported in this study were dependent on the experience and the expertise of the aesthetic dermatology professional. Also, each participating patient was screened to ensure they were candidates for this treatment.
There many options for treating facial acne scars. Each has its own relative strength and weakness. Start your treatment search by seeking the advice of a board-certified aesthetic dermatologist who has experience using the treatment options that best meet your needs.
For a consultation and more information, contact Aesthetic Dermatology and Skin Cancer: Jeffrey H. Binstock, M.D. Drs. Binstock, Layton, and Physician Assistant Cullinane will answer your questions. Call our San Francisco office at (415) 956-8686, or in Mill Valley call (415) 383-5475.