Acne scarring is a difficult condition to treat as the scars can never be fully removed. In the past, the only option was surgery and/or deep chemical peels, laser resurfacing or dermabrasion. While we still perform these procedures in the correct patients, we now are able to offer less recovery time and risk through the use of fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing. There are many different brands of fractionated lasers including Fraxel, Dot, and Total FX. Our system is called the Matrix and a fully tunable fractionated CO2 laser. Treatments can be tailored from 35% coverage up to 90%. Multiple passes can be performed even increasing the coverage further. Recovery following Matrix Fractional CO2 laser resurfacing generally lasts anywhere from five to fourteen days depending on the depth and concentration of the treatment.
For more severe acne scarring, Dr. Buckingham will still combine chemical peeling with dermabrasion. The combination of techniques allows blending of the acne scarred area with the surrounding skin, recontouring of the acne scarred area, and collagen tightening. This procedure is performed in an outpatient surgery center, takes approximately one hour, and has a recovery period of about 10 to 14 days.
In addition to resurfacing, acne scarring is what is referred to as an atrophic scar. This means that the underlying subcutaneous tissue and the skin itself have lost volume. While the resurfacing will allow the collagen of the skin to rebuild the underlying subcutaneous loss is still an issue. This can be corrected with the addition of the patient’s own fat utilizing a fat transfer. There is more information about this procedure in the fat transfer section of this website.
Dr. Buckingham feels that successful facial plastic surgery results from the development and maintenance of good rapport between the patient, the surgeon, and his staff during the consultation and future appointments. The consultation will include a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure to bring about the desired results, and all questions relating to the patient’s specific concerns will be addressed.
Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience.
Frequently Asked Acne Scarring Questions
Q – What treatments are available for acne scarring?
Traditional treatments for acne scarring have included surgery, deep chemical peels, laser resurfacing and dermabrasion. While Dr. Buckingham may still combine chemical peeling and dermabrasion for more severe acne scarring, he achieves excellent results with less recovery time and fewer risks with fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing. At the Buckingham Center, we utilize the Matrix Fractional CO2 laser.
Q – Who is the best candidate for an acne scar treatment?
Candidates for acne scar treatment are in good physical health and have realistic expectations for the improvement of acne scarring. Many patients benefit from fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing using the Matrix system. For acne scarring that is more severe, a combination of chemical peeling and dermabrasion may be appropriate. A private patient consultation with Dr. Buckingham is the best way to determine which acne scar treatment is right for you.
Q – What is Matrix Fractionated CO2 laser resurfacing?
The Matrix Fractionated CO2 laser system is used to resurface the skin to improve acne scars as well as fine to moderate wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, uneven pigmentation, and texture irregularities. Pulsing and pixelating lasers are used to damage the skin beneath the surface, thereby triggering the production of collagen. Compared to other traditional CO2 lasers, the Matrix Fractionated laser system allows for a much gentler treatment with less pain, less downtime, and fewer side effects.
Q – What is a chemical peel?
A chemical peel is a procedure which uses a chemical solution to peel away the top layer of damaged skin. Different strengths of chemicals may be used depending on the condition being treated. Dr. Buckingham will combine the chemical peel with dermabrasion for the treatment of more severe acne scarring.