For many of us there’s a sense of relief that we made it through our teens without severe acne and then there it is, we’re presented with the gift of adult acne. It’s said that 95% of people suffer from sort of breakouts throughout their lives. It’s one thing to first win the war and clear away persistent, recurring zits and it’s another thing dealing with the aftermath. When I say aftermath, I mean those sexy red and pink marks leaving their everlasting reminder of what you went through. Maybe in previous generations people would put up with covering their scars with clothing, scarfs or caked on concealer, but nowadays we don’t need to do that. We can permanently erase the evidence of those haunting volcanoes in a heartbeat with IPL.
Understanding IPL Laser Treatments for Acne Scars
IPL stands for intense pulsed light, or I prefer, “I praise laser.” If you’ve got vascular acne scars, or those red or pink marks commonly found on fairer skin tones, IPL is the treatment for you. It’s very effective at targeting the pigmented cells left behind after acne lesions disappear. When we perform our Vancouver laser treatments for acne scars, we chose a specific wavelength to destroy them.
A pore swells due to an infection, which we call a pimple or a zit, or if you wish to be politically correct, a blemish. Immune cells appear at the site and start fighting this infection. The immune system will win eventually and the pimple goes away. Unfortunately, dead skin cells and other debris, including trapped and dried up blood, are left behind. Those red and pink scars are basically a scab underneath the skin.
Getting rid of acne scars can actually be pretty simple if the scar is fresh and you start using a facial scrub to exfoliate the area within a few days to a few weeks. It’ll be a thing of the past. If you don’t do this, the blood lingers and becomes permanent. In the worst cases, it gets a tan and starts to turn slightly brown and then it’s there for good. That doesn’t mean it has to stay that way though. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade or, in this case, turn to lasers.
So why are lasers among the most effective of the acne scars treatments? It warms up the dried blood and reawakens your skin’s immune system to help drain it away through your lymphatic system. Our internal healing response is a powerful tool and it loves light and heat, making IPL the most natural way to effectively stimulate the skin to perform at its best.
Acne scars laser treatment certainly does work. We’ve been very successful in treating acne scars, even ones that have dropped their anchor for 10+ years. The body tends to hold a long grudge and that’s mostly because the cell renewal on the body is two times slower than on the face, which is why scars tend to linger. Lasers and IPL come to the rescue by stimulating new collagen formation and speeding up the process both on the face and all areas of the body, which is why laser technology wins each and every war.
Of course people want to know about acne scars laser treatment side effects but for the most part, there aren’t any. To avoid any possible reactions make sure you’re not on photosynthesizing medication and avoid resurfacing products like Retin-A or anything with retinol or glycolic acid and enzymes for two weeks before a treatment. These products thin the skin making any and all light and heat, including from the sun, overheat the skin.
Skin Tones and Laser Treatments
Unfortunately, IPL is slightly uneducated and can’t treat skin tones 5 and 6 (see the table below). There’s a screening, which identifies whether or not you’re a good candidate for treatment, though tanned skin can be an exception, since the IPL can confuse your natural tan as sun damage. Acne scars treatments with IPL are ideal for skin tones 1-4.
So what’s a person with skin types 5, 6 or a darker 4 to do? We’d suggest the newest form of technology called microneedling or skin rejuvenation with Laser Genesis. Kendall Jenner relies on Laser Genesis as an overall laser acne treatment to get rid of the actual acne, acne scars and redness while also giving her complexion a dewy glow. Laser Genesis is most famously known as a collagen facial. It does exactly that by stimulating new and healthy collagen. Like we said, it clears away acne and acne scars and also treats rosacea, shrinks enlarged pores, remove dead skin cell buildup and makes the skin healthy overall with zero pain or downtime.
Microneedling is another superhero for people with natural tan skin tones, including darker 4s and types 5 and 6 and those with textured acne scars such as raised or deep-pitted ones. In the past, the only option was to resurface the skin with laser skin resurfacing, also known as fraxel, fractional or CO2 laser. This was painful, expensive and there was downtime. Skin needling, or microneedling therapy, is sometimes called collagen induction therapy (CIT) or percutaneous collagen induction (PCI). It’s a minimally invasive skin rejuvenation procedure that involves the use of a device that contains fine needles. The needles puncture the skin and create a controlled injury. This triggers the body to fix these microscopic wounds by producing new collagen and elastin. Through this process of neovascularization and neocollagenesis, there’s improvement in skin texture and firmness, as well as a reduction in scars, pore size and even stretch marks. We’re super excited to be adding microneedling to our menu at NuAGE Laser.
IPL Results and Cost
Now back to IPL and what to expect in terms of results:
- For red and pink acne scars that have been present for five or more years, a series of one to six IPL treatments is usually sufficient to erase the damage. Treatments are done every four weeks.
- For red and pink acne scars that have been present for about a year, one to three IPL treatments spaced four weeks apart should give you the desired results.
The cost of IPL treatments for acnes scars is directly reflective of the size of the area. The larger the area, the more it will cost. For example, in most cases, a small patch is around $69 and treating the full face, chest or shoulders will be about $200 per treatment. My advice for our Vancouver laser clinic guests is to start with a little area. We promise, the results will sway you and you’ll want to put the past firmly in the past with IPL.