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How Lasers Work to Reduce Acne Scarring

Medical Spa in San Diego, CAThrough the years, the broad conversation about laser treatments has focused on the ways in which lasers can rejuvenate aging skin. Next to this, people also know that laser treatments can be sought to remove unwanted hair. As a leading laser clinic in San Diego, our facility is equipped with devices that achieve these goals and many more, including the treatment of acne and acne scarring.

Laser treatments are generally referred to as laser skin resurfacing. Resurfacing means that the uppermost layer of the epidermis is targeting by wavelengths of light. Depending on these wavelengths, the laser may be ablative or non-ablative.

  • Ablative laser resurfacing removes the damaged cells that form the outer layer of skin.
  • Non-ablative laser therapy heats dermal tissue beneath the surface to stimulate collagen production and remodeling.

Although lasers have evolved dramatically over time, many people still have the idea that laser treatment will vaporize the entire surface of their face or other treatment area. Early laser resurfacing did this, and required several weeks of healing to fully recover. Few people have the time for this, nor the inclination to endure a mildly uncomfortable process. Fortunately, it isn’t necessary anymore. Many of the laser treatments that are conducted today, even for acne scarring, are fractional.

Fractional lasers can still be ablative or non-ablative. However, instead of contacting the entire surface of the skin, fractional lasers heat or ablate pinpoint areas of about 300 microns each. This leaves bridges of untouched tissue in between to decrease side effects and shorten the time needed to recover from treatment.

As an acne scar treatment, lasers have a lot to offer. By stimulating collagen, laser treatment floods the skin with healing protein. New cells that form on the skin’s surface are brighter, smoother, and healthier due to their collagen content. Multiple treatments may be needed to significantly fade depressed scars left behind after a bout with acne, but improvement may begin immediately.

What if acne is still active?

Having acne and acne scars at the same time can be distressing. It may be possible to both reduce active acne and scarring at the same time. A thorough skin evaluation is necessary but takes only a few minutes. If you would like to know more about laser treatment for acne or its scars, call La Jolla Cosmetic Laser Clinic at 866.676.3242.