Have you decided to invest in laser treatmetns to correct acne scars? What do you expect to get for your money- a completely new look? You should because these services aren’t cheap. No matter what your aims for laser skin corrections are, by using medical reviews of leading laser treatments for acne scarring, you can have a clearer idea of what to expect after your laser therapy.
Most appraisals of the effectiveness of laser skin enhancements are two-sided because both the patients and study-independent physicians typically access the level improvement in acne marks.
While these post-treatment assessments are not standardized, they still offer a glimpse into the potential cosmetic outcomes from using laser treatments. Besides cosmetic changes in the skin, another variable that you’ll need to add to your review of laser treatments is the overall number of treatments required to see dramatic changes in the skin.
What follows is a rundown of what to anticipate from four different laser procedures for treating acne scarring along with estimates of how many treatment you will need.
1,064-nm Nd:YAG pulsed light system Marketed names include PhotoSilk Laser
Last year, a study in Dermatologic Surgery tested the efficacy of the 1,064-nm Nd:YAG laser at removing acne scars. Nine patients underwent eight treatments for moderate to severe acne scarring. Three independent physicians assessed the overall improvement level of acne scarring severity for the group at 29.36%.
Treatments: 8 Improvement rating: 29.36%
1,320-nm Nd:YAG Marketed names include CoolTouch Laser
An investigation from the same journal featured eight patients with facial acne scars. The group received eight treatments with the 1,320-nm Nd:YAG laser. After five treatments, independent observes assessed the overall acne scarring improvement rate between 40-60 %.
Treatments: 5 Improvement rating: 40-60%
1,450-nm diode laser Marketed names include Smoothbeam Laser
In a split test comparison between the 1,450-nm laser and 1,320-nm laser at treating mild to moderate atrophic (indented, or lost skin tissue) acne scarring, the 1,450-nm laser demonstrated greater improvement in acne scarring.
1,550-nm erbium-doped fiber laser Marketed names include Fraxel Laser
Just this past March, a study in Dermatologic Surgery tested the 1,550-nm erbium-doped fiber laser on fifty-three patients with mild to moderate atrophic facial acne scars. After three treatments, two independent reviewers judged a 51-75% improvement in the scarring of 90% of the study participants.
Treatments: 3 Improvement rating: 51-75%
Remember, these ratings are based on the improvement levels patients coping with mild to severe acne scarring experienced after various laser treatments. As Dr. Rohrer pointed out that it is difficult to predict what your skin will look like after a laser treatment for acne scarring because many of the patient assessments during the studies were based on opinions of before and after photos.
To reduce the uncertainty surrounding laser correction of acne scars, ask your laser surgeon for before and after images of laser cosmetic procedures she has performed in the past months. Then judge the overall acne scarring improvement level for yourself.
Alster, Tina; Elizabeth L Tanzi & Melissa Lazarus. The Use of Fractional Laser Photothermolysis for the Treatment of Atrophic Scars. Dermatologic Surgery; March 2007, vol 33, no 3, pp 295-299.
Lipper, Graeme M & Maritza Perez. Nonablative Acne Scar Reduction after a Series of Treatments with a Short-Pulsed 1,064-nm Neodymium:YAG Laser. Dermatologic Surgery; August 2006, vol 32, no 8, pp 998-1006.
Rohrer, Thomas E. Ethics in Cosmetic Laser Treatments. Skin and Allergy News; May 2007, vol 38, no 5, pp 14-15.
Sadick NS & AK Schecter. A Preliminary Study of Utilization of the 1320-nm Nd:YAG Laser for the Treatment of Acne Scarring. Dermatologic Surgery; July 2004, vol 30, no 7, pp 995-1000.
Tanzi, Elizabeth L & Tina S Alster. Comparison of a 1450-nm Diode Laser and a 1320-nm Nd:YAG Laser in the Treatment of Atrophic Facial Scars: A Prospective Clinical and Histologic Study. Dermatologic Surgery; February 2004, vol 30, no 2, pp 152-157.