Acne Scar Treatment
Acne scars are permanent reminders of past acne eruptions on your face. These scars have little or no normal skin and has been replaced by hard fibrous tissue. Let me start by stating without doubt that microdermabrasion and IPL will not have significant effect on scar tissue regardless of how wonderful the pictures look on common newspaper ads.
What do we need to do:
- Transform the damaged scar surface to more normal skin,
- Unattach the surface from its fibrotic roots
- Encourage new collagen growth to fill up the space.
Currently, acne scar treatment methods include:
- Resurfacing the skin to transform the surface – either with Ablative laser ( CO2 or erbium laser) or chemical peels (TCA / AHA)
- Unattaching the scar using subcision. A needle is used to cut beneath the scar. New collagen growth from laser treatment -Ablative lasers (CO2 or Erbium) or non-ablative lasers (NdYAG, Er-Glass, N-Lite). If you think about it, ablative lasers with subcision should do the job best. However, ablative lasers like CO2 laser resurfacing is limited by a v long down-time (6mths) and more complications. Non-ablative lasers have shown results but with less efficacy (10-20%) even after 5-6 treatments. Subablative lasers have been invented to circumvent this problem. E.g. Fraxel fractional resurfacing and long pulse erbium lasers. We use a long pulse erbium laser with a special triple mode that resurfaces the skin and encourages collagen growth with a shorter downtime ( 3 days – 1 week). When used with subcision, we can achieve a 60-70% improvement after a series of treatments. That’s pretty rewarding for me and encouraging for you out there living with the scars of youth. Short of a total skin graft, that’s about the best results anyone can achieve.
Dr Donald Ng