I have acne scars that I would like resurfaced. There are a couple deeper creases but most of the scarring is diffuse and spread over my cheeks. How many laser treatments are needed to remove these scars?
It is not possible to remove diffuse acne scarring completely. No matter what modality is chosen the scars can only be improved to a certain degree. Treatment of acne scarring is a multi-step process in most cases that combines surgical excision of deeper scars, filling of atrophied tissues and resurfacing of the skin. Filling is usually performed with either Sculptra or autologous fat. Information about those procedures is available on our website. Resurfacing can be performed with laser, chemicals or mechanical dermabrasion. Fraxel re:store laser is used most frequently for darker skin types as the other treatments have a higher risk of pigmentation abnormalities. Fraxel can take anywhere from 4-6 treatments, but incremental improvement can be obtained with additional treatments. Fractionated CO2 laser, Matrix, can also be performed. It is similar to Fraxel re:store, however, has a longer recovery, but fewer treatments may be needed. Significant ablative resurfacing can be obtained with the combined use of chemical peel and dermabrasion. This is the most aggressive treatment with the longest recovery time and risk, but perhaps the best improvement as well. A consultation will be necessary to determine which treatment is best for each patient.
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Posted by Dr. Buckingham