Acne affects about 50 million Americans a year, and the majority (about 85%) are between the ages of 12 and 24. Although acne can strike at any age, and many people suffer from it well into their 30s and 40s, it typically subsides when you reach young adulthood, and hormone levels stabilize.
Sadly, even after the active acne resolves, it continues to cause complexion problems. In many cases, acne leaves behind permanent scars that serve as constant reminders of past breakouts.
But there’s hope for scarred, marred, and pocked post-acne skin — Cynosure® Icon™, the most advanced laser skin rejuvenation system. Brenda Dexter, DNP and our team here at Premier Primary Care in Union City, Tennessee, offers this effective skin rejuvenation technology to rid your skin of acne scars and other blemishes, restoring smoother, tighter, clearer skin.
Types of acne scars
Acne is an infection. When your hair follicles, or pores, clog up with excess dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, bacteria build up and cause an infection under the surface of your skin. Acne takes on various forms, including whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, nodules, and cysts.
Picking or squeezing your pimples or zits damages the skin tissue and leads to scarring. Some mild scarring and discoloration fade away on their own over time, but severe acne can leave its mark for years to come, and it comes in several forms:
Dents and divots
Acne scars that dip below the surface of the surrounding skin are called atrophic scars. Their shape and appearance further define these shallow depressions:
- Boxcar: angular, boxy scars with well-defined edges
- Rolling: wavy sars of varying depths and sloped edges
- Ice pick: multiple narrow indentations
Lumps and bumps
If your acne scars are raised compared to the surface of your skin, they’re called hypertrophic scars, and they occur when excess tissue builds up during the healing process.
Spots and dots
Some acne scars are neither raised nor depressed, but they still leave their stamp. Dark spots and red dots called post-inflammatory pigmentation discolor skin where the acne once was.
How laser treatment reduces the look of acne scars
The Cynosure Icon laser skin rejuvenation treatment uses light energy to cause a reaction in the inner layers of your skin.
We control the light and program it to penetrate at a precise depth for a specific length of time. The energy produces heat that triggers an inflammatory response in your skin, which, in turn, stimulates the production of collagen, the fibrous protein that provides your skin’s structure and resilience.
As collagen builds up, it lifts and remodels your scarred skin, improving its tension and texture. The Icon laser can also target hyperpigmentation, breaking up the clumps of color, so you have a more even tone.
What skin rejuvenation with the Icon laser feels like
After examining your skin and determining the type and severity of your scarring, Dr. Dexter develops a treatment plan with the Icon laser.
While you sit comfortably in our treatment room, we prepare your skin by ensuring it’s clean and sterile. The Icon device is a handheld unit that we hover over the treatment area as it emits rapid pulses of intense light.
Depending on the depth of tissue we’re targeting and your tolerance level, you may feel a slight snapping sensation or even a warm, soothing sensation, but it’s not painful. The length of your session varies depending on the location and size of the treatment area, but you can expect an average of 30 minutes.
Once the treatment is complete, you’re free to get on with your day. There’s no need to schedule any downtime, although you may experience some slight redness and swelling for the first few hours.
Dr. Dexter lets you know how many treatments you’ll need to fade your unique set of scars effectively, but a typical range is 3-6 sessions.
If you’re bothered by the specter of past pimples, we encourage you to see how easy and painless skin rejuvenation can be. Schedule an appointment today to find out if you're a good candidate for the Icon laser acne scar treatment. Book online or call our friendly staff today.