People of all ages can suffer from the burden of acne. Approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 24 experience at least minor acne. At Intimate You, we know that even when the acne finally subsides, for many people, this is not the end of their concern. Atrophic and/or hypertrophic scars can last into adulthood. These scars, much like the acne itself, can cause deep psychological distress, making the scarring just as important to treat as the acne.
Any type of acne spot can lead to scarring, but it’s more common when the most serious types of spots (nodules and cysts) burst and damage nearby skin.
Scarring can also occur if spots are picked or squeezed, so it’s important not to do this.
There are three main types of acne scars:
- ice pick scars – small, deep holes in the surface of the skin that look like the skin has been punctured with a sharp object
- rolling scars – caused by bands of scar tissue that form under the skin, giving the surface of the skin a rolling and uneven appearance
- boxcar scars – round or oval depressions, or craters, in the skin
How are acne scars treated by the Fractional CO2 laser at Intimate You?
Out of all acne scarring treatments, fractional ablative CO2 lasers give the best results. Ablative lasers generate beams of light that are absorbed by the skin as energy, which is delivered through a range of wavelengths. The CO2 device emits light in the infrared range at a wavelength of 10,600 nanometres and it aims to act on the superficial layers of the skin. It works by using water as a chromophore, which sits in the skin so it is possible to generate an injury in the deeper layers to stimulate collagen and try and improve scarring from within. The “fractional” technology treats only a portion of the skin, leaving healthy intact skin surrounding the dots of the treated areas. This allows for fast healing and very safe treatments for all skin types.
The fractional CO2 laser makes small microscopic holes in the deeper layers of the skin. This process leads to the generation of new, healthy collagen to smooth out the acne scars. Improvement in acne scars can be seen in as early as one week following the Fractional CO2 laser treatment and will continue for up to 6 months following the initial treatment. Approximately 30-70% improvement of acne scarring is seen after one treatment, though results vary by the individual.
What is the downtime for the Fractional CO2 laser treatment of acne scarring?
The fractional CO2 laser requires approximately 4 days of downtime after the procedure. During this time, the skin is healing from the wound that the laser causes to the skin in order to stimulate new collagen production and remodelling. The doctors at intimate You provide an especially formulated aftercare regimen of ointments applied to the skin which helps to stimulate faster healing. Detailed written aftercare advice is given and includes a 24h helpline directly to our doctors.
Is the fractional CO2 laser painful?
The fractional CO2 laser procedure for acne scarring is performing using only topical anaesthesia. On the day of treatment, a topical numbing cream will be applied for 30 minutes prior to the procedure. During the treatment, patients are awake and experience only very mild discomfort.
Is the fractional CO2 laser treatment for acne scarring safe for darker skin types?
Fractional CO2 laser treatments are safe for the treatment of acne scarring in darker skin types. All skin types, including Asian, Indian and African-American skin, can be safely treated with the fractional CO2 laser in the skilled hands of the Intimate You clinicians.