Acne And Keloid ScarsThe wound-healing process begins with inflammation, moves on to tissue formation, and ends with modifying specific factors in the anatomy such as collagen. Scars occur when the wound-healing process is disrupted by biological factors such as too much collagen or depleted collagen.
Refined since the introduction of lasers in the 1980s, the laser scar removal technique today can reduce the appearance of keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, and atrophic scars, which have the following characteristics:
- Keloid Scarring: Firm, raised, and reddish-purple scars that extend beyond the initial wound area and builds over time.
- Hypertrophic Scarring: Firm, raised, and pink scars that remain within the initial wound area and possibly naturally regress over time.
- Atrophic Scarring: Depressed pin-like pockets in the skin that can result from skin conditions or diseases such as acne.
Numerous types of lasers are available, each of which has unique benefits:
- The CO2 and Fraxel laser is best suited for acne scarring
- The Er:YAG laser system is best for treating scar edges and mild acne
- The 585-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) is often used to treat hypertrophic and keloid scars especially post-surgical scars.
Acne is one of the most common skin diseases in the world. Around three-quarters of all teenagers and young adults suffer from acne. However, men and women in their 30s and 40s can also suffer from it. Some individuals have acne that are severe enough to cause scarring. Acne scarring is the result of inflammation in the lower layer of the skin called the dermis which causes the collagen to become deformed or scarred resulting in depressions in the skin.
Acne scars are typically classified into boxcar, ice pick and rolling scars. Lasers are a commonly used modality in the treatment of acne scars. Laser resurfacing has long been used in the treatment of acne scars. Traditional resurfacing lasers like CO2 or erbium can cause improvement in acne scars but require 1-2 weeks down time. Non ablative lasers such as IPL, SmoothBeam and CoolTouch, do not remove skin but at best are minimally effective in the treatment of acne scars.
A new resurfacing procedure, named fractional resurfacing or Fraxel is currently the most effective laser in the treatment of acne scars. This laser resurfaces the skin gradually, 20-30% at a time, which allows for rapid healing while eliminating the risk of rawness associated with traditional laser resurfacing procedures. The zones of thermal laser damage serve as a stimulus for collagen production filling in the pitted appearance of acne scars with your own collagen.
The doctors at the Sloane Clinic will tailor the procedure for to your skin depending on the type of acne scars which you may have. They may recommend subcision in addition for rolling scars as well as combining the Fraxel resurfacing procedure with punch excisions for ice pick scars.
Treatments are typically done every 4-8 weeks. Scars on any body surface area can be treated with the Fraxel laser, although scars on the face respond the best. Patients have to be aware that there is no cure for (acne) scars but that the Fraxel Laser in the hands of the trained doctors at The Sloane Clinic can result in significant improvement in the appearance of acne scars, far superior to any other procedures.
The Sloane Clinic pioneered the use of the Fraxel laser in 2005. Dr. Kenneth Lee is a regional trainer for Fraxel and helps to teach Fraxel laser treatments to other doctors in the region.
If you need more information or would like to schedule an appointment for a consultation, please contact us at any branch of The Sloane Clinic. We will be pleased to assist you further.