Palomar Lux 1540 Works for Acne Scars After Multiple Treatments - New York, NY
This laser does work on acne scars but you cannot...
I am 41 and have had deep ice pick, rolling and boxcar acne scars on my cheeks for 20 years (I have medium olive skin). Years ago I had 4 dermabrasions at a doctor's office which helped - but did not remove - the scars. Dermabrasion is an expensive, painful and bloody procedure, I got hyperpigmentation (which went away slowly), and I thought "never again".
Then another plastic surgeon recommended fractional laser, but after one $600 Affirm laser at his office I saw no results and gave up. A year later I found a medical spa in New York that offered a great price for 6 Palomar treatments, so I gave it a try. I went every 5 weeks for several months and saw no change. Then after the 5th treatment I saw that my scars were slowly "filling up", and so were my forehead and mouth wrinkles!
At the end of the 6th treatment the results were subtle but definitely there. I signed up for another package of 6 and now, after 11 treatments, I can tell you that this laser does work. My deep scars and wrinkles are softer and shallower. I look younger, my skin looks better and better each month and at last I have hope that my scars might be gone one day.
So this is what I recommend:
- Be realistic. If you expect quick miracles and perfect skin you will be disappointed. But if you are willing to be patient and persistent, fractional laser can really help your scars over time.
- Take at least 5 weeks break in between treatments. My redness and swelling were much less on the months when I allowed time for my skin to heal.
- Wider scars respond better than icepick scars. It think it is because there is more surface area for the laser to hit. I had a big depressed scar on one cheek and it is almost gone, but a couple of little deep scars are still there.
- Use sunblock!!!! I can't say it enough - this laser makes you skin sensitive to the sun. I started to get brown patches and now I'm using SPF 80.
- Everyone's skin is different and you might need more or fewer treatments than I did.
- It's a bit painful, nothing I couldn't stand. I did swell badly on a couple of treatments and I did get the dot pattern, but it usually went away after several days.
- Progress is gradual. Sometimes I look at my scars and get frustrated, but then I remind myself that they look so much better than before.
- I have a great aesthetician who goes over every inch of my whole face. If he/she is not thorough you will get dime-sized circles where the laser hit. That's what happened with the first doctor - he was in a hurry and did not do a good job.
The bottom line is that acne scars are hard to remove, but not impossible. Fractional laser is not perfect, but it does help a lot if you have realistic expectations. People like me who have acne scars would do anything to remove them. I have a busy schedule and dark skin so invasive procedures are out of the question. So I'm taking the long view: this procedure is not very invasive and over time I know it will improve my skin. It is a lifelong commitment. So why not?