Many of us remember what it was like to battle acne in our teen years or early adulthood. Adding insult to injury, many people who experience acne are left with visible scarring. Dr. Biesman has been treating acne scarring for more than 25 years, often using advanced laser therapies. We asked Dr. Biesman to share some insights into the best laser treatments for acne scarring.
How do laser treatments correct the appearance of acne scarring on the face?
Lasers can play a very important role in thetreatment of acne scarring. There are many different kinds of acne scars, and there are many different kinds of lasers. In order to determine which treatment is best for an individual patient, we need to examine the patient to see which type of scarring they have, then select the laser or device that is best suited to correct those acne scars.
We can correct acne scars that are depressed. We can correct acne scars that are elevated. We can correct acne scars that are discolored, either red or brown. We can correct acne scars that have irregular surface textures, such as a tissue paper-type surface texture. There are all types of acne scars we can treat, and we use an array of lasers. In some patients, we use several lasers, all in the same setting.
How do you determine laser treatments are right for someone struggling with acne scarring?
For patients who struggle with acne scarring, there can be lots of options available.
It’s important that the acne must be under control before we try to correct scarring. We look for the appearance of the scars, and the depth of the scars. Some acne scars need to be treated surgically. Other acne scars need to be treated with lasers for discoloration. Some acne scars that are treated with lasers will have a very short recovery time, and other types of acne scarring require a more aggressive type of treatment with lasers that have up to a week of recovery time.
What can a patient expect during laser treatment for acne scars?
Laser skin treatments themselves usually are done in the office. Typically they are performed with either topical anesthesia, which is just numbing cream, or for some of the deeper acne scars, we might inject a numbing agent, like when you go to the dentist or have something removed by the dermatologist
Once the area is numb, we’ll do the treatment. Depending on which treatment we do, there may or may not be some discomfort, but usually not very much.
After the treatment is done we’ll put some type of dressing on the skin. We’re big fans of using things like Aquaphor right afterward. Sometimes we’ll use PRP, which is platelet-rich plasma. We’ll take some of your blood, spin it in the centrifuge, and separate the platelet-rich area, which we apply onto the freshly-lasered skin to help it heal and to enhance the results.
Describe the pre and post-laser treatment procedure.
Doing a laser treatment is a team procedure. We need our patients to work with us, and we need to work with our patients.
What do I mean? It’s extremely important that our patients follow their instructions carefully, and that we do our treatments according to plan. With that lockstep cooperation, usually, we can get nice results.
For example, patients need to avoid the sun before most laser treatments. After laser treatments, it’s super important to follow instructions on how to take care of the skin. We’ll go over it with you in great detail, but the devil’s in the details when it comes to getting the best results. You want the skin to heal as quickly as possible following treatment with a laser. That will assure you of the best possible outcomes. We’ll tell you everything you need to know, and someone is available 24/7 if you ever have questions.
Are there any risks or side effects?
There are risks to every treatment. As we use such a wide variety of lasers, we will go over carefully with you, before your treatment, all the things you need to be aware of that could go wrong. We’ll tell you what to look out for so we can catch something early in the event it’s not going the way that we want.
What is recovery like after laser treatments?
Recovery after laser treatment will vary depending on the type of laser that was used. In some cases, people may have just a little bit of redness or swelling. In other cases, it may take up to a week to heal. Again, there tends to be very little discomfort after a laser treatment, but it’s super important to follow instructions.
Schedule a Consultation for Laser Treatment and Acne Scarrin
Are you ready to learn more about laser treatment for acne scars? Contact our practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Biesman.