Xeo Cool Glide Laser
Xeo Cool Glide Laser is our most effective treatment for acne scarring. The 1064nm NdYAG laser is used as a 5mm beam in low energies with a very short pulse with rapid repetitions to induce changes in the collagen layer. The energy absorbs into the deeper skin, the dermis, to induce collagen remodelling of the scars.
Treatments are normally three or four weeks apart. Usually about six are required. Usually around treatment four we undercut any scars that seem to be slow in responding. Normally these have deeper scar bands holding them down. By undercutting them they bounce back with a much more rapid resolution on subsequent treatments.
The sessions are very comfortable feeling more like you are lying under a heat lamp. The skin will appear a little pink for an hour or so after the session. In men’s beard areas there can be some sensation of pin-pricking as the laser catches the ends of a few beard hairs. There can be some mild and temporary reduction in beard density during the treatments due to its affect on these hairs. Usually afterwards beard density returns to normal. See more>
PR777 Gallium Arsenide Laser
The PR777 Gallium Arsenide Laser has shown dramatic improvements in scars in other areas with remodelling and softening. We are still experimenting with this machine to see if we can achieve similar effects to those with the Xeo Cool Glide laser. Gallium Arsenide produces a 904nm wavelength laser that has improved adhesions in abdominal scars and improved tightness and deeper tissue wounds and injuries.
Because it can scan larger areas quite quickly it may well prove to be a more cost-effective option for treating large areas of acne scarring. As far as sensation goes with this laser most people are not aware of any feeling as it works. At times there can be a slight tingling. The skin tends to appear quite unchanged immediately afterwards. See more>
Plasma Portrait PSR3 Resurfacing
Plasma Portrait PSR3 Resurfacing: As we have noted we have stopped using this modality. But as with wrinkle reduction this can be used in reducing acne scarring. Like ablative lasers, as described below, this can improve acne scars. A strong session is best used.
There is down time of a week usually with this as the skin is covered with Vaseline initially, then peels and reveals initially fragile fresh pink skin. The improvement from this method will be milder at first, improving for up to a year, when another treatment may be appropriate to get a greater improvement. See more>
Medical microdermabrasion allows for a gradual resurfacing of the skin by creating new surface skin and stimulating the underlying supporting collagen structure. Over a number of sessions, that can be done fortnightly or weekly, or as suits the patient, the skin appearance improves.
Apart from a transitory pinkness for an hour or more after the session, there should be no problems for people returning to work or being seen in public immediately. The pinkness can be covered by makeup immediately afterwards if so desired.
Deeper "icepick" scars may occasionally need some local "undermining" release. Generally, though, as the process is gradual, the more difficult areas can be targeted with extra passes to produce a more even result. Many, many more treatments are required than those by laser. See more>
Minor Surgical Treatments
Simple scar undermining can relieve the worst scars, by cutting free the deep base. This will obviously treat only the worst lesions (they may collapse back to an extent too).
Fat Transfer is necessary to fill scars that show damage to the fat tissue under the skin. Fat is harvested in other body areas and instilled under the affected scar areas.
Other Treatments Used Elsewhere and in the Past
Dermabrasion has been a mainstay of improvement in the past. This intense grinding treatment was aimed to leave the skin raw and bleeding to achieve a smoothed background that new skin could grow over. Being so intensive, it was painful to do and needed some form of anaesthetic while being done. Recovery was slow as with any extensive graze and there was the risk of infection slowing recovering and causing further scarring of its own. Changes can occur with the body's underlying natural pigmentation. Deep "icepick" scars would need undermining and possible suturing to elevate them too. More than one treatment was usually required.
Laser resurfacing, mainly with the carbon dioxide laser (more recently with the erbium ones) has a similar effect to the older Dermabrasion. The skin is ablated to the dermal layer and allowed to resurface. A raw weepy surface is created that is again slow to recover and susceptible to infection. Undermining the "icepick" scars may also be necessary. Neither of the above would be undertaken less than six months after a course of Roaccutane or equivalent.
Local surgical work by cutting out deeper and wider lesions, punch-lifting small ones and other combinations of techniques have been helpful in more severe problem areas. Usually this is combined with other modalities.