CO2 Laser Targeted Specifically On Acne Scars?

Hi, I was just wondering if is there any reason doctors can't target the fractional co2 (or even the old school co2) specifically on the scar(s) rather than the full area where the scars? Does it decrease the results? Basically pointing the laser on the actual scar then firing it off instead of running it all over the cheek for example (shooting it 20 times vs 200 times) Wouldn't doing this allow for higher settings and less treated areas of healthy skin - thereby reducing a bit of risk?

Doctor Answers 2

Individual Acne Scar Laser Treatment

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 Certainly if you have only scattered discrete scars from acne, chicken pox, or anything else you can laser them individually. Depending on the nature of your skin and laser treatment parameters, this might result in lines of demarcation which are usually temporary with fractional CO2 lasers. With old style CO2 lasers, there was a 19% chance of pigment loss that could leave permanent lines of demarcation.

  Some scars respond well to stretching of the skin. Look into a mirror and stretch your skin. Do your scars improve? If so, treating your whole face to create a tightening effect makes sense.

Austin Dermatologic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

FAST Treatment for Acne Scars

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This is a great question and you are absolutely correct about some of the advantages of treating only the specific scars (allowing for higher settings and fewer side effects.)  I routinely perform a new technique known as the FAST technique for acne scar treatment.  FAST stands for Focal Acne Scar Treatment - which allows me to target only the focal acne scars, utilizing higher energy levels, with faster healing times and fewer adverse effects.  We have patients who fly in from all over the country for this treatment; it may be something worth exploring for you.  

Eric Schweiger, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon

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