Many of us struggle with acne throughout our lives. Acne commonly starts in adolescence, but can extend or even develop in adulthood. Acne can leave us feeling self-conscious, frustrated, and if not properly treated, result in permanent acne scars. There are many different types of acne scarring, and Dr. Green is a cosmetic specialist in the treatment of acne scars. With over 25 years of experience in treating acne patients and acne scars in her boutique, private NYC, dermatology office, Dr. Green will help remove the hyperpigmentation and depressions caused by acne breakouts.
With cutting edge technology, like the Fraxel laser, you can eliminate your acne scars with almost no downtime. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michele Green is an expert in cosmetic and anti-aging dermatology, and has been healing patients with acne scars with Fraxel laser treatments for over 10 years. Fraxel laser skin resurfacing is a fractional laser that is FDA-approved to revitalize skin, even skin tone and texture, and reduce the appearance of acne scars on the face, neck, chest, back, arms and legs. It uses fractional laser technology to boost collagen in the skin, which in turn can reduce the appearance of acne scarring, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Dr. Green is at the forefront of skin care and technology, and considers the Fraxel laser to be a “magic eraser” due to the incredible results that she has had with Fraxel laser skin resurfacing.
What is Fraxel Laser Treatment?
The Fraxel laser is the first fractionated laser of its kind. Fraxel laser treatment uses unique technology to treat thousands of microscopic treatment areas with absolute precision. Due to the Fraxel’s precise microscopic laser treatment, it is able to rapidly create new collagen, which then streamlines the natural healing process of the body and leads to expedited rejuvenation.
Fraxel Laser treatment relies on the microscopic beams that are able to both treat deep within the dermis and leave surrounding tissue completely unaffected. For this reason, the Fraxel laser was the first ever fractionated laser that was FDA-approved for non ablative laser skin resurfacing that is safe and effective for a variety of skin types. The Fraxel® Dual laser uses two different beams that are able to remove or reduce hyperpigmentation, brown spots, age spots, sun damage, and other skin discoloration, as well as improve skin texture and the appearance of fine lines and acne scars. Combined, the fraxel restores rejuvenated, healthy skin.
Fraxel combined with Juvederm
Fraxel Laser 1927 Wavelength
One of the two laser beams in the Fraxel Dual laser is known as the 1927 wavelength. It’s a Thulium laser that is able to remove issues relating to pigment, including brown spots, age spots, and sun spots. It is the gold standard in pigmentation removal and sun damage. The 1927 targets the skin’s surface, which is why it’s so useful in reducing the appearance of discolored pigment on the skin. Depending on the amount of pigmentation and age spots, it typically takes two to three sessions, spaced one month apart, to remove facial discoloration from sun damage.
Fraxel Laser 1550 for Acne Scars
The second beam in the Fraxel Dual laser, the 1550 wavelength, uses Erbium technology to reach deeper into the layers of the dermis. By focusing energy deeper into the dermal layers, the 1550 wavelength is able to jumpstart new collagen production. This in turn is able to tighten skin, improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, stretch marks, acne scars, and surgical scars. Typically acne scars require three to five treatments of the Fraxel laser, approximately one month apart. There is minimal downtime with some redness after treatment for 48 hours.
Which conditions does Fraxel Laser Treat?
The Fraxel Laser is able to treat a variety of skin conditions. It’s able to remove a variety of atrophic scars, which includes ice pick and boxcar acne scars, surgical scars, and scars from injury. It’s also excellent at creating a more youthful appearance through reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, shrinking enlarged pores, improving skin tone and texture, and reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Lastly, it is able to reduce issues related to pigment, such as sun damage, age spots, brown spots, freckles, hyperpigmentation, and skin discoloration. It is not advised to treat melasma with the Fraxel laser, as this can make the existing hyperpigmentation worse and ultimately more difficult to remove.
When it comes to acne scars, Dr. Green will use the Erbium laser to remove the appearance of acne scarring on the face. This in turn will also improve the evenness of your skin texture, as well as the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. However, if you also are dealing with the appearance of sun damage, dark spots, or discoloration, a hybrid treatment between the Erbium and Thulium lasers can be custom made. Dr. Green often uses a combined treatment between both beams for comprehensive results, and curates the specific laser concentrations to best serve your needs.
Fractional CO2 Laser for Acne Scars
The Fraxel laser for acne scares is a highly effective way to reduce the appearance of acne scars on a variety of treatment areas on the body. A standard CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) laser is an ablative laser that creates thermal injury in the skin, and thus requires a significant amount of recovery time. A Fractional CO2 laser is less invasive than a traditional CO2 laser, and is sometimes referred to as a “CO2 Fraxel laser”. The official term for the CO2 Fraxel is the Fraxel Repair, which is an ablative laser with significant downtime that uses CO2 and is reserved for more severe cases. However, the Fraxel Dual laser uses fractionated Thulium and Erbium laser technology to treat the skin, stimulate collagen production, and restore the skin without downtime.
Fraxel Laser for Back Acne Scars
The Fraxel laser is able to treat a variety of treatment areas, including the face, neck, décolletage, hands, back, arms and legs. For this reason, it’s one of the best treatments for reducing the appearance of back acne scars, often removing the scars entirely. The Fraxel laser is an effective treatment for atrophic acne scars, which includes boxcar, ice pick, and rolling scars.
How do I prepare for Fraxel laser acne scar treatment?
The Fraxel laser acne scar treatment is simple and effective. Before your treatment, the treatment area will be cleaned and prepared, typically with a topical numbing cream in order to minimize any potential discomfort. You’ll wear protective goggles, and Dr. Green will deliver the designated laser energy in passes. You will feel bursts of heat during your treatment, and may experience slight stinging. Most appointments last around 15 minutes, but this varies depending on the size of the treatment area and depth of the skin condition being treated.
What is the after care for Fraxel laser?
After your Fraxel laser treatment, you’ll be able resume normal activity shortly after. For those who are treated exclusively for acne scars under the 1550 setting, you will likely experience mild redness or swelling for two days post-treatment. The most important after care for Fraxel laser treatment is a strict skin care routine, which relies on daily moisturizer and a high SPF sunscreen to prevent any intense sun exposure on the skin.
If you are treated with both the 1550 and 1927 wavelength beams, you’ll experience about 5-7 days of sensitive skin. Within the first 48 hours post-treatment, your skin will appear as if there’s a sunburn, and then the top layer of skin will peel, revealing a healthy new layer of skin. During this time, daily moisturizer and sunscreen are vital to protect this new skin.
After your Fraxel laser treatment, it’s important to avoid certain skin care products that might aggravate the skin. These include exfoliants, hydroquinones, and retinoids. For those who experience an active acne after treatment, Dr. Green can prescribe an oral antibiotic to control the acne breakouts.
What are the potential side effects of Fraxel laser?
When it comes to fractional CO2 laser for acne scars side effects, thankfully the risks are quite low. Most patients experience redness or swelling after the treatment, but a daily regimen of moisturizer and sunscreen can prevent any further discomfort. MGSKINLABS, Dr. Green’s highly coveted skincare line, offers a Recovery Cream that can help to prevent any skin damage from occurring post-treatment.
Dr. Green does not recommend Fraxel laser skin resurfacing for those with melasma, as it can worsen the pigmentation from facial melasma. For melasma, Dr. Green recommends Cosmelan treatment. In rare cases, side effects of Fraxel laser include scarring, hyperpigmentation, and infection. Additionally, the Fraxel laser is only safe for those with skin types I, II and III; those with darker skin types should avoid using the Fraxel laser due to increased risk for hyperpigmentation and discoloration. For those with darker skin types, Dr. Green can recommend a variety of alternative treatment options that will better treat your acne scars such as the eMatrix laser.
Does Fraxel laser work for acne scars?
The Fraxel laser is an effective treatment to remove atrophic acne scars, improve discoloration and fine lines, and create overall skin rejuvenation. It’s a popular and competitive treatment option for those who suffer with acne scarring, as it’s proven to reduce atrophic acne scars and, in most cases, remove the scarring completely from the skin’s surface.
How much does acne scar Fraxel treatment cost?
The cost of Fraxel treatment for acne scars varies depending on the size of the treatment area, as well as the severity of the condition being treated. Additionally, the price will vary depending on whether you have an expert performing your laser treatment, or you have an unqualified technician at a clinic or a medspa oversee the procedure. On average, a Fraxel laser treatment session for facial rejuvenation is around $1500. It is vital that you ensure your treatment is completed by a board certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon, as most medspa technicians are uncertified, meaning they are not trained by Solta (the makers of Fraxel), to perform this laser treatment.
How does Fraxel laser treatment for acne scars compare to other acne scar laser treatments?
Fraxel is an exciting, innovative cosmetic treatment for patients who have lighter skin types and who suffer from acne scars. It is proven to improve the appearance of atrophic acne scars, age spots, sun damage, stretch marks, fine lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation, among others. Over the course of four to five treatments, the majority of patients see a total transformation of their skin.
There are a variety of other acne scar laser treatments that are considered highly effective in treating atrophic acne scars. The VBeam laser is a common option for those dealing with red spots and red acne scars, as it uses a gentle beam that can treat sensitive skin. It’s been shown to reduce inflammatory acne by around 85%, and non-inflammatory acne by about 70%. The VBeam laser is safe to use on all skin types, though it tends to be most effective for those with pale skin, and is commonly used to treat rosacea and redness.
Additionally, the eMatrix laser is a competitive choice for acne scar treatment. The eMatrix laser uses radiofrequency technology to stimulate new collagen and elastin in the body. This boost in collagen is able to safely and easily reduce the appearance of hypertrophic scars, and is known for its effectiveness on every skin type. Dr. Green frequently relies on the eMatrix laser to reduce the appearance of acne scars for her patients with darker skin types.
Can Fraxel laser treatment be combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures?
Fraxel can successfully be combined with other facial rejuvenation treatments, though typically Dr. Green will stagger the procedures in order to optimize results. Laser skin resurfacing treatment can be combined with dermal fillers to further reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as Botox to lessen the appearance of dynamic wrinkles on the face. When you work with Dr. Green, you can create a custom treatment plan that fulfills all of your goals, from reducing acne scarring to reversing the appearance of aging to maintaining a healthy glow.
If you’re frustrated or self-conscious about acne scars, Dr. Green is the expert you have been waiting for. Contact our New York office today at 212 535 3088 or contact her online to develop your custom treatment plan, or schedule a virtual visit.