By: Rene Sacchitella
I am one of the unfortunate souls that suffer from cystic acne. In my teenage years I had quarter sized pustules covering my face that left me feeling so embarrassed I wouldn't leave the house. As I enter my early adulthood, my acne is almost completely non-existent, except for the occasional pimple. My concern now is the lingering caverns called pitted acne scars. I felt like these acne scars linked me to the past because they were so prominent on my face, I really thought I would have them on me forever.
When I came into Denver Laser Solutions downtown medical spa for my first fractional laser treatment, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I had received plenty of successful facials, extractions, and TCA chemical peels with the help of Colleen my esthetician at Denver Laser, so at this time I had completely trusted her recommendation of fractional laser treatment for acne scar reduction on my face. I somehow became hopeful. I applied the tingling numbing cream before the drive into downtown Denver for my appointment. Arriving both excited and nervous, I went back into the treatment room. As experienced as I was in receiving medical skin care treatment, I still felt nervous and almost terrified for a brief moment.
Maybe it was because in my mind I had correlated lasers to light sabers, and irrationally a light saber on my face sounded brutal. Or maybe it was because I became so accustomed to the down-time from a TCA peel that if this was going to be more effective then it had to mean I was going to look like a horror villain. I was utterly and completely relived during my consultation before receiving my service that it would be significantly less social down time and that the pain is just a different sensation compared to my TCA peel, not more intense. As an added bonus my esthetician even applied more numbing cream and gave me an ice roller to make sure I was comfortable.
From this point on I melted into the table with anticipation. While she was prepping the laser, all I could think about was hope. Hope, that finally soon I wouldn't be constantly reminded of my painful past, but rather finally transition into adulthood with the skin I have always dreamed about.
The service was even quicker than I imagined. We did about 3 passes on each area and the sensation felt like a minor bee sting without lingering pain. Just like a chemical peel it felt more irritating rather than painful. I was grateful for the extra steps Colleen took to ensure my comfort and because of this my treatment turned out to be much less painful than I originally conquered up in my head. Since my esthetician and I had great communication during session, I never felt pressured to "breathe through the pain" or to "suck it up" but rather, comfortable enough to stay when or if I needed a break, which made a great bonus to the session. Afterwards I was little flushed, significantly less red compared to my TCA chemical peel and still numb from the cream for about another 45 min after the service.
I iced every couple of hours for the first day to ensure my healing process would be efficient during the summer months, drank plenty of water and hydrated my skin with a very soothing moisturizer and neutral hydrating mask. I saw significant improvement in the depth of my scars after 4 weeks and I saw a vast improvement in my acne scars after 3 months. Now my scars are lighter, shallower and less visible after one treatment. For the best result Colleen recommended 3 fractional laser treatments alternating with three TCA chemical peels. I can't wait for another treatment as I haven't been this excited about my face in a longtime. I would recommend fractional laser treatments for acne scar deduction to anyone that wants to be able to be confident in their skin again.