I would like to post about my experience with a fractional laser for acne scar treatment. I have had this procedure done three times, with the first time being in Dec. 2009. I can tell you that this procedure does not work at all for removing acne scars that have been caused by cystic acne. I am referring to deep scars, which are sometimes referred to as "rolling scars". I must also mention that I did not have extremely severe scarring. It was and is certainly noticable...but it was not as severe as some pictures I have seen of deep rolling scars.
Before doing the procedures, I had also heard people rave about how it gets rid of wrinkles. I can tell you that also did not happen for me. I was only 29 years old when I started this, so I certainly did not have deep wrinkles. I had very fine wrinkles around my eyes and forehead that you would certainly expect to improve with such an intense laser treatment.
Ultimately, I did not receive a single positive outcome from any of the Pearl Fractional Laser procedures I had done. I did not receive any improvement on the appearance of my scars what so ever, I did not receive improved appearance of wrinkles and my pores did not even go away or appear smaller. All of which were all pretty much guaranteed to at least improve.
The procedure is quite painful. At the time I had it done (2009 and 2010) I was only given a topical "numbing" cream. This really did nothing for the pain. I have also had smaller lasers to get rid of tiny vascular veins around my nose in the past. That laser is uncomfortable...fractional is quite painful. You should also expect to be in hiding for at least 7 days...I needed 10 days. You still have bleeding and just what appears to be sores or burns from the passing of the laser for at least 7 days. You definitely do not want to go out like that...it is not anything that makeup will cover up. It's not bruising..it's healing burns. Just to give you an idea of my skin type...I have naturally blond/redish hair and very fair skin. I do believe that my skin type/fairness contributes to longer healing times. You may experience shorter healing times if you do not have extremely fair/sensitive skin.
For the first two to three days, I did feel that I received improvement...but then the swelling from the procedure went away. After 4 days I could fully see all of the scars return back to normal after my skin wasn't as puffy from the procedure anymore. Please keep in mind that I did this three times. I was told after the first two times that it may take up to 3-5 times to see improvement. I think that is not true. I honestly received no results with three treatments...so I do not believe that wasting my money on two more procedures would have done anything. Please save your money and stay away from Pearl Fractional...or any fractional laser...or any laser promising to get rid of acne scarring. It truly will not work. I wish that I would have known this. I did have subcision twice after trying the laser. I will say that the subcision of course did not get rid of all of my scars, but I absolutely see a difference in the appearnce of my scars. Each subcision cost $500, the laser was $1200 each time. Subcision has much better results for far less money. I am going to get filler in some of my remaining scars in my cheeks in a couple weeks. I am starting with Restalyne, and then moving to Artefill for a permanent option if I like how the temporary filler works to fill out some of my "gap" scars in my cheeks and chin. I have had a temporary filler in my cheek scars in the past, and I did like how it filled out the gaps/dents in my cheeks that make me insecure. My only complaint from when I did it in the past was that I could definitely see a difference in the size and shape of the cheek with the filler, in comparison to my other cheek without filler. I didn't like that...but I did enjoy not having dents in my cheeks for a few months :) I apologize if I have misspelled words or used improper grammar...I am quite tired but I wanted to post this...I have been putting it off for some time. Good luck in your search for finding the best treatment for you!!