It is common for most people to have to deal with acne at some point in their lives. Unfortunately after an acne breakout some people are left with some residual scarring even after the acne has cleared up. The good news is that there is a wide range of treatments for both acne and acne scarring that are highly effective.
The Focal Acne Scar Treatment (FAST) technique is an effective procedure for improving the appearance of atrophic acne scars. Atrophic scarring is a type of acne that is visible on the skin in the form of depressions or craters. Two types of acne scarring that are atrophic in nature are boxcar scars and ice pick scars. Boxcar scars have the appearance of wide angular pits in the skin, whereas ice pick scars, as the name suggests are deep, narrow scars that form pits in the skin. The good news is that both these forms of acne, and in fact any form of acne where there is a loss of tissue involved, react well to the FAST treatment technique.
The way that the technique works is that instead of using a mild to medium strength laser targeting the entire face to treat the acne condition, a stronger fractional CO2 laser is used to just target the affected areas. This targeted laser uses higher energy levels but the main difference is that un-scarred areas of the face are not treated or touched by the laser.
*Disclaimer: Results may vary with each patient.
Laser treatment is an effective way to treat acne scarring as this procedure stimulates the production of new collagen in the areas that the laser has treated. This new collagen that is produced in turn helps to fill in the acne scars, giving the face a much smoother appearance. It should be noted that generally it can take a few months (up to six months after the treatment date) for the patient to see the full benefits from this treatment.
Recovery from the laser acne treatment is relatively fast with minor downtime and generally it can take around a week in total to recover from the process fully. Over this period of time the patient may experience some redness and scabbing over the treated area. Occasionally redness on the treated area can last longer but if persistent this can be effectively treated with some additional treatment such as using a VBeam laser to target the residual redness.
Acne is a potentially recurring disorder so it is important to work on clearing up any acne that you are currently experiencing in advance prior to having the laser treatment. Dr. Michele Green will discuss and recommend therapy for your acne to cure it and then target any scarring that might have occurred. This combined process is the best way to ensure that your face will continue to appear fresh and healthy.
If you’re frustrated by the appearance of scarring on your face caused by acne, there are a number of treatments that can help. Contact us online today or call our NYC based office at 212-535-3088 to learn more about whether the FAST technique may be right for you.