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Fractional laser for acne scarring

Author: Dr Naomi / 28 Oct 2015

Before and after 3 treatments of fractional laser and 3mls dermal filler

Before and after 3 treatments of fractional laser and 3mls dermal filler

Before anda fter multiple treatments with dermal filler and fractional laser for acne scarring

Before anda fter multiple treatments with dermal filler and fractional laser for acne scarring

Why should someone have fractional laser for acne scarring?

Fractional laser is the best laser treatment for acne scarring. Because it isn’t a full field laser, it is more safe and can heal very quickly, also it can get very deep to the base of the scars.

What is fractional laser?

Fractional laser is differs from full field resurfacing. Full field resurfacing removes the whole surface area of the treatment site (eg in a Microlaser Peel). Fractional laser ablates narrow channels into the skin covering only a fraction of the surface area of the treatment site. This action activates the body’s wound healing mechanisms, but leaves the surrounding skin intact, so that rapid healing is possible.

How does fractional laser work?

The fractional laser creates clean micro ablated channels in the skin, this causes fibroblast and collagen production. This leads to increased skin turgor and thickness.

Can fractional laser be combined with other laser procedures for acne on the face?

Yes, fractional laser can be combined with full field laser resurfacing on the face.

What are the side effects/risks of Fractional Laser?

Hyperpigmentation / PIH (Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) Increased skin pigmentationThis tends to occur in patients with darker skin tones. If a patient is predisposed to PIH, then they should be on a lightening agent prior to and after treatment to reduce the likelihood of PIH occurring. Topical steroid may also be prescribed by the doctor after the treatment to reduce the likelihood of PIH

Hypopigmentation (decreased skin pigmentation) This is possible but very uncommon after fractional laser.

Scarring: Very uncommon

Infection: Cold sore (herpes virus) and bacterial infections are possible. Antivirals may be prescribed preventatively. Antibiotics may be required if a bacterial infection occurs

Acne eruption: This can occur after the procedure possibly due to the greasy ointment which is required for healing. It usually resolves quite quickly

THE PROCEDURE FOR FRACTIONAL LASER FOR ACNE

Consultation:

Consultation is required before fractional laser for acne scarring.

A history will need to be taken, including history of other treatments, complications, skin type and history of cold sores. The amount of downtime available will need to be discussed and also other treatment options

Examination of your skin and what  is required.

Photographs of your skin will be taken.

Consent form will be read and signed, with opportunity for further discussion

If the patient is predisposed to PIH, a lightening agent would be prescribed. Sometimes this is required for up to 8 weeks prior to procedure. In this case, test patching may also be required

The patient may be prescribed a retinoid to prepare the skin for resurfacing.

Appointment will be made for the procedure. Prepayment is required

Patients should buy vaseline ointment and white vinegar in preparation for the treatment

The Fractional Laser for acne

Please arrive at the clinic 1 hour before your treatment. A Valium may be given if required by the patient

A topical anaesthetic may be applied for 1 hour prior to the procedure with glad wrap.

Nerve blocks may be applied in the affected areas

The area to be treated will be cleaned twice with medical grade acetone.

The fractional  laser will be used on the face with 1-2 passes

An ointment will be applied to the face eg Vaseline

The patient will have pin dots of bleeding  and will be covered in a layer of ointment

The patient will go to a recovery room where their body face is cleaned and ointment is reapplied.

The patient will be given post treatment instructions

The patient should sleep on a clean dark towel in case of bleeding post procedure

How will I look after fractional laser for acne scarring?

The area will be very red and ointment will need to be worn for at least 3-4 days

How many treatments of fractional laser will I need?

For acne scarring,  I advise patients to have no less than 5 treatments. More would be better.

The important thing to consider when having fractional laser, is that fractional laser, by definition, is not covering the full surface area of the skin, so the results are limited by that fact, hence the fact that multiple treatments will be required. My most typical coverage when I’m using my fractional laser is 11%. Which means that I am only ablating 11% of the patient’s skin, so there is really only potential for 11% improvement at best per treatment.

Cost of fractional laser for acne scarring

Fractional laser for acne scarring $1200

Fractional laser packages 5 acne scarring treatment for $5000,

10 acne scarring treatments for $9000

Combination treatments

Fractional laser for acne scarring with microlaser peel $2000

Other procedures which would be suitable to combine with fractional laser for acne scarring:

  • Skin booster injections
  • Volumising injections of dermal filler
  • Injecting dermal filler into acne scars
  • Subcision of any scars
  • Punch grafting of scars
  • Punch biopsy of acne scars
  • Erbium laser to scarring
  • PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)

Immediately after ablative fractional laser for acne scarring

Immediately after ablative fractional laser for acne scarring

Day 1 after small area of fractional laser for acne scarring

Day 1 after small area of fractional laser for acne scarring

Day 1 after small area of fractional laser for acne scarring

Day 1 after small area of fractional laser for acne scarring



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