Which lasers and in what order for acne scarring & redness??
Thanks for writing Elin – these are good questions! We are all individuals so your treatments need to be customized to you but here are some ideas and things to talk to your doctor about:
- Redness. Generally, the Fraxel or fractionated CO2 lasers or subscision will aggravate redness slightly for 2-8 weeks. If the IPL treatments are done after, it’s helpful for reducing the baseline redness and also any redness that remains from the Fraxel or fractionated CO2 laser treatments.
- Intervals. The interval between treatments should be recommended by your doctor. In our office we usually wait a full 6-12 weeks between Fraxel treatments and 3-6 months between fractionated CO2 treatments. I prefer the longer time intervals because collagen builds slowly and sometimes just being patient reduces the total number of treatments needed (saves time and money) and also it allows more time to make sure there won’t be temporary problems like hyperpigmentation. Remember to adjust treatment dates for your climate, vacations, and outdoor exposure in general. About a month out of the sun is a common restriction.
- Will the Fraxel be enough? This depends on your skin type, depth of the scars and whether all over tighening or volume support is needed to get the best results. Fraxel is best for mild to moderate rolling scars in people who are 20-45ish and don’t have much skin laxity.
- Subscision. There is usually 7-10 days of down time due to bruising. There ‘s about 5-7 days also with the Fraxel. Sometimes, in our office, we will do the subscision right before the Fraxel treatment to minimize the downtime. You may want to ask your doctor if this would be possible.
Hope this helps, Dr. I