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Acne & Other Scars

Acne scarring takes an emotional toll on those who have successfully healed from their acne outbreaks but still see the aftermath in the form of textural and pigmentation changes on their faces. Unfortunately, the marks left by acne and other skin injuries run deep and many people find that diligent skin care, facials, and protection don’t fix the damage already done.

Laser treatments such as CO2 by CO2RE™ and Erbium by Fotona devices work beneath the surface of the skin where topical products and treatments are applied. They are a fast and effective way to improve scars and hyperpigmentation left behind by acne.

At Philosophy of Beauty, our lasers treat acne scarring using high-energy pulses of light and thermal energy to remove the damaged skin cells, tighten the mid layers, and stimulate fresh, smooth collagen. As the laser smooths your skin, the appearance of scars, uneven skin tone, and hyperpigmentation are minimized.

You can fast-forward through years of scar gel and skin brightening treatments to generate dramatic improvements in texture and tone, fast. Book your complimentary acne scar treatment consultation with our skincare specialists and learn how.

Because acne is the most common skin disease, acne scars are also an extremely common occurrence. Men and women of all ages struggle to hide the enlarged pores, red marks, and indents left in their facial skin caused by breakouts years earlier.

The most common types of scars caused by acne include:

  • Ice pick scars – These types of scars are deep, but narrow pits on the surface of the skin and are extremely common among those who have had acne.
  • Boxcar scars – Boxcar scars are round or oval depressions on the skin, which have sharp angles or steep vertical sides. They are wider than ice pick scars in size and give the skin a pitted appearance.
  • Rolling scars – Rolling scars tend to be wide and shallow and are caused by damage under the surface of the skin. This type of scarring usually causes ‘wave-like’ undulations across the skin, hence the name.
  • Macular acne scar – A flat scar, with increased or decreased pigmentation.

Fotona Erbium laser technology and CO2RE™ CO2 lasers have been staples in transformative scar treatment for many years, though CO2 has taken the lead at Philosophy of Beauty for several reasons.

Minimizing the appearance of surgical or acne scars begins with laser resurfacing. Because the collagen that scars are comprised of runs deep, effective treatment must reach deep layers of the dermis.

Our CO2RE™ CO2 laser resurfacing treatment is designed to affect deeper skin layers and target deeper cosmetic issues than other lasers. Because it’s more intense, the process requires some comfort measures and a little time off for healing. For those who want the most noticeable smoothing, repair, and rejuvenation of skin they can get without a facelift, CO2 is the go-to solution. The stunning, lasting results are considered well worth the downtime.

This ablative laser is cleared for use in 10 medical specialties, such as dermatology, plastic surgery, and gynecology. This one system can perform everything from excisions to ablation, coagulation, and resurfacing.

Let’s look at the science behind laser skin resurfacing. The fractional CO2 laser uses a carbon dioxide laser beam pixelated into thousands of micro shafts of light. The light penetrates deeper layers of the skin. In the case of fractionated ablation, the shafts are surrounded by untouched surface skin, which maintains healthy bridge s of skin for rapid healing, much faster than previous ablation methods.

The micro – holes created by the laser heal from within, strengthen the tissue, and slough off old surface skin. Multiple layers can be treated with the laser to reveal fresh and plump skin cells. We’re able to remove years of sun – damaged, aged skin and acne scarring in a single treatment. As an added benefit, deep thermal heating also helps to shrink existing collagen and to stimulate the production of more.

Gentle scar revision with Fotona’s Erbium laser wavelength is sometimes helpful for gentle scar revision. The wavelength safely provides the minimal penetration depth necessary for light re surfacing of acne – scarred skin and can be beneficial to gradually improve texture. Your Philosophy of Beauty practitioner may recommend a combination of treatments or focus on a single laser modality to deliver the most transformational results for your type of scarring.

Your Philosophy of Beauty laser technician will discuss your scar treatment with you in your private suite. People often ask us, is CO2 laser scar treatment painful?

In the past, laser resurfacing with CO2 lasers required IV sedation, in an operating room! It was very effective to remove scars but required a long recovery period and discomfort.

Our CORE CO2 laser allows treatment in just 30 minutes with only topical numbing applied. CO2RE™ requires just one session – but achieves incredible results. Before you begin, you’ll have a potent, topical numbing cream applied to your skin. Patients describe the sensation of laser energy on the skin as prickling, or pins and needles. Afterward, it tends to feel like a sunburn would with skin slightly sensitive and tight. Once your treatment is done, you’ll be able to leave right away and return home with a skincare plan for your comfort and rapid healing.

Most scar treatments take just 30 minutes. Your appointment will be customized to allow for all your areas of concern to be addressed.

In some cases, depending on a person’s skin type, we may advise conditioning the skin using ZO Obagi products to ensure that sebum and melanin production are ideally balanced. This extra skin preparation helps to reduce your risk of post – inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and ensure you heal quickly.

We also ask our clients to avoid sun exposure, (use a broad – spectrum sun screen) and stop all hydroquinone therapies for at least 4 weeks before your appointment. Some medications, such as doxycycline or minocycline should be discontinued 3 days before treatment with CO2 laser, so be sure to let your practitioner know about any medications you take.

For those with a history of herpes (cold sores and genital) or shingles, you may be advised to take antiviral medication (like Valtrex) 2 days before your treatment and 3 days after to help prevent an outbreak.

As always, it’s a good idea to eat well and stay hydrated in the days leading up to your scar treatment so your skin will be in optimal condition.

First, it will help you to have realistic expectations for your recovery after laser scar treatment and to plan on waiting 2-3 weeks before you look “camera ready.”

We will provide you with instructions for soaking, moisturizing, and covering your skin during the first few days. You can expect your skin to feel dry or itchy, and you may see crusting or minor scabbing. One of the more uncomfortable aspects of recovery is a tight, pulling sensation on the skin. That’s why you’ll have instructions to keep your skin well-moisturized.

You can shower immediately if you wish, but avoid baths, swimming, saunas and hot tubs for 1-2 weeks, until the area has healed. You should also stay away from over-the-counter skin creams or other products not recommended by your practitioner because they may slow your recovery and cause irritation.

Do not pick or rub at your skin! You’ll watch the old, thin surface layers sloughing off during the first week, and you must let this process slowly take its course. The longer treated skin is in place, it will act as a protective bandage to facilitate healing underneath.

Exposure to sunlight must also be avoided after CO2 laser treatment. Once your skin is on the mend after one week, wear sunblock and hats to protect you from the sun.

Let our helpful team ad vise you about hypoallergenic and protective makeup foundations formulated specifically for delicate, post-laser skin.

Common concerns during recovery from laser acne scar treatment are generally mild and self-resolving. They may include temporary swelling, itching, lighter-looking skin, (new skin which has been less exposed to sunlight) pink or red skin areas.

Patients who no longer have active acne are generally good candidates for laser scar treatment. We can help you to clear up active acne breakouts and prevent them in the future.

It is recommended that those who have used Accutane should wait for 12 months before scheduling laser acne scar removal. There is some evidence to suggest that Accutane may alter fibroblast activity which helps our skin to heal well.

Indefinitely! Once you have removed damaged, scarred skin cells to reveal the fresh healthy skin underneath, those scars will never return! Some patients have deep scarring related to trauma or other injuries which can benefit from repeat laser sessions, however, the results we achieve in only a single session are often remarkable. Each client will be assessed during their initial consultation with our experts.

We truly pride ourselves on utilizing the medical aesthetic industry’s most advanced, successful treatment modalities. Because of this focus, our clinic houses an extensive variety of different laser technologies and offers some of the best skin care products in the world. Our team is comprised of knowledgeable medical practitioners who keep continuing education a priority, so our extensive knowledge of dermatological concerns and the best acne scar treatments remain unparalleled in the GTA. At Philosophy of Beauty, you will receive honest feedback and guidance to choose the treatments which can help you reach your goals quickly and affordably.

Philosophy of Beauty is home to numerous, leading skin care products and programs that help our clients maintain their beautiful skin at home. Typically, products containing AHA, salicylic acid, lactic acid, and retinoid scan deliver scar-smoothing benefits and help speed up your cell regeneration.

We often recommend a system designed by Dr. ZO Obagi to maintain blemish-free, glowing skin. We also offer numerous skin-tone balancing treatments and products which are useful to reduce hyperpigmentation resulting from scars.

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