If you're serious about having treatment to remove your acne scars, you may be familiar with the terms, "ablative", "Sublative" or "radiofrequency". If you have not yet discovered these treatment terms, we will help to explain what they mean, their benefits and their limitations in terms of successful acne scar removal treatment.
Before embarking on your acne scar removal journey, you first need to know what type of scars you have - raised or depressed, depth and shape of your scars all have an impact on the type of treatment. Consulting an experienced skin therapist who specialises in acne scar treatment is recommended.
Acne Scar Treatment Options
It can be like wading against the tide trying to sift through the various treatment options available and figuring out the pros and cons for each option. We discuss the most accepted treatment options available below.
For those with shallow scars, "ablative" laser treatment can be used to remove some of the epidermis, thereby encouraging the body to heal by producing new skin cells to replace the scarred tissue. This form of treatment is painful and is not recommended for deeper scars, or those who cannot afford 5-10 days of recovery. The downtime is substantial following this treatment. Additionally, the laser energy cannot treat rolling or boxcar type scars as it can only travel in a straight line. Patients with sensitive skin risk increased sensitivity following treatment and pigmentation concerns can also arise.
For deeper, icepick-type scars, surgery using a punch excision was traditionally accepted however due to the nature of the treatment, often left a thin surgical scar in place of the acne scar. Subcision is an alternative to the punch technique where needles are used to loosen the tissue fibers to free up the scar. This is mildly successful and not normally financially viable considering the results.
Any type of surgical or laser treatment for acne scar removal has its limitations on the type of acne scar they can treat.
Latest advances in scar removal technology has lead to "non-ablative" techniques, meaning that the epidermal layer remains intact. "Sublative" skin rejuvenation uses radiofrequency rather than laser energy, offering fewer side effects and much shorter recovery times.
Radiofrequency (RF) is a lower intensity energy than laser, but travels through the skin in a different way, penetrating deep into the dermis without harming the epidermis. SublativeTM treatment disrupts as little as 5% of the epidermal layer versus up to 70% with laser. Hence, the difference in recovery time. SublativeTM treatment stimulates the body to remodel scar tissue by replacing it with new collagen, effectively healing from the inside out. The delivery of the energy into the dermis with minimal impact to the epidermis makes all the difference in successful acne scar treatment.
Acne Scar Remodeling
Fractionated radiofrequency behaves like an electrical current. The sender electrode emits the RF energy and the receiver electrode receives the energy to complete the circuit. The same as an electrical current, it returns in a path of least resistance. In effect, it is creating the heat from the inside where the wound healing is required. As a result, healing is rapid with little surface damage and downtime is minimal.
When the RF energy hits the scar tissue it works its way around the hardened tissue, thereby heating the scar in a specific and controlled manner. This way, the heat delivered to the exact area of the scar tissue is unique to RF energy. It targets the hardened scar and over a few treatments, remodels the damaged collagen with new, soft collagen.
SublativeTM acne scar treatment is the only treatment proven to reduce the appearance of moderate to severe acne scars on all skin types.
To find out what results could be possible for your particular acne scars, come in for a free consultation with a qualified skin therapist at Sydney's leading skin and body clinic, Detail Smoother Skin. During your complimentary consultation, your skin will be analysed and treatment options discussed with you. We can also answer any questions that you have.