I have been haunted by acne ever since my pre-teen days. I am 25 years old, and I am still battling acne one in a while – blame it on my hormones. Though the acne is very much in control, the scars it left are really bad. In order to get rid of them, I tried a lot of creams and treatments. They all helped to lighten the scars, but now I was left with pits – the deep scars. They couldn’t be removed by creams. So my dermatologist suggested a laser treatment called fractional laser.
About fractional laser:
Fractional laser uses light energy to create thousands of microscopic channels in the skin which are surrounded by areas of healthy, untreated skin. A pattern of tiny dots of laser energy is applied to the skin. It creates an ablative and thermal effect at the target area – without disturbing the surrounding tissue. The zones of untreated skin allow for faster healing. The treated areas stimulate production of new collagen, plumping up the skin and smoothing out wrinkles, lines, scars and other irregularities. The laser targets only a fraction of the skin and hence the name.
My Experience with Fractional Laser Treatment for Acne Pits:
My scarring was concentrated on my cheeks only and that much area cost me around 3000 per sitting. The doctor said that I would need to take about 3-5 sessions placed about 1.5 months apart though slight results could be seen from the first session itself.
First, a numbing cream was applied for about 15 minutes. The doctor then applied the laser over my skin. It was like tiny needles made of hot sand burying through my skin, yes that was exactly the feeling. It’s totally bearable.
The probe is rectangular and a pulse is given every time it is placed on the skin. The whole cheek needed about 9 pulses. Both the cheeks together took about 10 minutes. Later, I was given an ice pack. I was asked to apply a light steroid cream to curb the inflammation and to sit at home for 7 days. Yes you cannot get out of your home, you cannot expose the treated part to even the slightest sunlight for 7 days which is the healing period. I returned home and I could still feel a burning sensation. My skin was all red and inflamed and on taking a closer look, I could see hundreds of tiny dots on my face.
The dots slowly started darkening on day 2. On day 3, they developed a crust. By day 7, the crust fell of and there were slight dots on my face. By day 10, it was almost back to normal.
After about 20 days, I saw slight improvement in the pits. The depth had decreased by a small percentage. For just one session, that’s pretty commendable, but this was too much for me. 10 days of embarrassment and house arrest. The pain or rather the burn caused by the laser was nothing ironically! I did not continue this because of my job, though I wish I could.
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