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Acne scars

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Acne Scars - Helen's Story...

As a teenager I never had an issue with my skin, it wasn’t until my early 20s that breakouts began. By my mid 20s the breakouts had escalated into uncontrollable and painful cysts and nodules. After years of trying various pills, potions and lotions, I was prescribed Roaccutane. Although this was brilliant for my skin as the cysts were gradually decreasing, I started to become depressed (one of the known side effects of Roaccutane). This depression wasn’t helped by the fact the cysts had left me with severe deep scarring on my cheeks and jawline.
My confidence plummeted and on my worst days I couldn’t bring myself to look in the mirror. I’d try to layer on make up to hide the scars, however they were still clearly visible. On a rare night out I was in a bar and a ‘man’ came up to me and asked me what had happened to my face. I was absolutely mortified and I decided that had to find something that would help my appearance.
I started researching anything that could help so I tried derma roller, derma pen, chemical peels and microdermabrasion. After being promised by the beauty therapists and a good chunk of wasted money later I was still at square one. I’d come to terms with the fact I’d tried everything that was available to me and thought I would just have to learn to live with my scarred skin.
One day whilst on Facebook I noticed an advert for a new clinic called ‘Intimate You’ and a laser treatment for acne scarring. Laser was one thing I had not tried so I decided to book a consultation.
Upon meeting Tracey and discussing the CO2 laser skin resurfacing treatment I knew this was the right path to go down. The knowledge and expertise Tracey had about what I had suffered with made me feel completely at ease.
My first laser treatment was in January. I was nervous but the team at the clinic and the professional surroundings reassured me I was in safe hands. The treatment time wasn’t long at all and Tracey led me through the process from start to finish. From the first treatment you could notice a difference in the scarring which made me even more excited to see the results once the skin had healed. The down time lasted about 4-6days and the instructions on using the aftercare creams was straight forward.
I’ve now had 5 laser treatments over a course of the year and I could not recommend it highly enough to anyone with scarring. I still can’t believe the transformation in the appearance of my skin. My confidence has rocketed and I feel like a new woman. The team at Intimate You, especially Tracey, have been amazing throughout and I can’t thank them enough for finally making me feel I look ‘normal’ again.

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.

Mr George Botros

Mr George Botros’ higher training focused on minimally invasive surgery including all types of laparoscopic hysterectomy, advanced laparoscopic treatment of…

Dr Tracey Sims

Dr Tracey is Medical Director of Intimate You. She is a practicing NHS and Private GP with over 15 years’…

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