Acne scars are one of the most difficult conditions to treat as multiple sessions are required to improve scars but never really eliminate them. A newer technique used in the office of Dr. Anil Shah is the use of targeted CO2 laser treatments to individual acne scars. This treatment works by using an infrared guided C02 laser beam and directing it into each acne scar. This treatment is similar to cross TCA in that each scar can be treated as an individual and the surrounding skin is left alone. Targeted CO2 also has the benefit of being able to vary the degree of penetration and strength of the laser. CROSS TCA can only be treated for acne scars at either 50 percent or 100 percent. If there are a variety of acne scars, patients can have the entire face resurfaced plus targeted CO2 treatment.
Prior to using this treatment, a test procedure is often performed in one or two acne scars. Often times, both targeted CO2 and CROSS TCA are used at the same time in different scars during the tester process to see which procedure will have a more favorable outcome and avoid prolonged erythema. The tester process helps identify patients’ interaction with a treatment prior to treating an entire face. For patients who are traveling in for a treatment, a tester process may not be economically possible and an initial full-force treatment can take place as long as those patients are willing to accept a longer healing process and prolonged erythema and unusual reactions as possible outcomes.
With any acne scarring treatment, there are risks and benefits. The goal of acne scarring is to build collagen and elastin in a safe, effective manner while limiting downtime and risk for the patient.