Acne Solutions


Acne Scars Don't Have to Last Forever

- Acne can be tough to treat, but even more difficult can be the scars that remain after the acne's long gone. Now there's a new treatment that seems to help erase those scars and holes. Recovery is also easier than most laser treatments.

Although we associate acne with our teen years, acne can happen at almost any age.

Sue Upton, acne patient: "I'm in my forties now and I still break out and I still have a concern about it." And although they're barely visible, she's self-conscious about her acne scars.

Sue Upton: "Around the mouth, there's a couple spots here that I noticed sort of like a little divet."

Victor Narurkar, M.D., CPMC Dermatologist: "There's a range of types of acne scars. They can produce flat scars, raised scars, indented scars and because of that depending on the severity of acne, the severity of scarring is generally a direct correlation."

But acne scarring has been a challenge. It's been difficult to treat. Even strong acid peels or dermabrasion usually cannot smooth those deep pits and scars. Now, something else may help.

Sue has come to Dr. Narukar for a new, gentler acne scar treatment using the Fraxel laser. First, a gel is applied to Sue's face to protect it from the laser's heat. Most lasers strip the top layer of skin which requires a long recovery time. The Fraxel works by zapping tiny holes across the skin's surface.

Dr. Narurkar: "The laser is introduced through those holes and you're remodeling the collagen from the inside out. And the laser beam is sculpting the skin, and as a result new collagen is laid down, so your scars become less conspicuous. That's how it works."

Ultimately, the Fraxel laser zaps less than a third of the top layer.

Dr. Narurkar: "Seventy percent of the skin is left intact, and as a result, instead of taking a month to heal, you're healed in a couple of days and you don't have open, gaping, weeping wounds."

The FDA recently approved the Fraxel laser for acne scarring. Looking at the before and after photos you can see why.

Sue will require three treatments to retexture her entire face.

Sue Upton: "I just want to have the best skin that I can have."

Now she's well on her way to achieving that.

Like Sue, most patients will need at least three or four Fraxel treatments. However, recovery is quick and barely noticeable a couple days after treatment.

To learn more about Fraxel lasers and for a link to the doctor, click here.