We use a special type of vascular laser called the V Beam Candela laser to target blood vessels.

Acne scars most frequently occur on the face and neck areas, however patients who have a tendency to scar can present with acne scars on the back, shoulders and chest areas. These scars are usually different compared to the scars on facial areas, and are usually raised, lumpy and red.

This type of scarring is called hypertrophic or keloid scars, and are more difficult to treat compared to scars on the face.

Very early scars can be softened with Vascular laser, however steroid injections work best. Most patients will notice improvement with a series of steroid injections.

FACTS ON LASER TREATMENT FOR RED ACNE SCARS:

  • Red acne scars usually occur as acne is resolving
  • Red scars are secondary to inflammation in the skin, and formation of blood vessels
  • Macular erythema refers to flat red scars
  • Hypertrophic scars refers to raised acne scars
  • Atrophic acne scars refers to depressed or divet scars
  • Vascular laser treatment using V Beam Candela or 1064 Nd-Yag can target blood vessels, reducing redness over a few sessions
  • Treating active acne can reduce further red scars
  • If scars are raised or atrophic, other methods of scar revision can help correct the contours of the skin

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

The Specialist Acne Clinic at Westside Laser uses 3 methods of laser-light treatment to reduce red scars. The most frequent laser is the V Beam Vascular laser.

V Beam vascular laser

Made by Candela and used by leading hospitals and Specialists. Very comfortable for the patient as skin cooling delivered prior to the pulse of laser. Safe in all skin types, and can markedly reduce red acne scars. Most patients will need several treatments for optimal results.

1064 Nd Yag Clearscan

Made by Scition. We occasionally use this laser for deeper red acne scars, or for acne scars that occur in darker skin patients. Best for birth-marks and deep blood vessels.

IPL

Can be used as an all round treatment for skin rejuvenation, but the very last choice in treating red acne scars. Why? Because other lasers are more powerful, more focused, and have a higher safety profile. IPL uses broad-band light, with multiple filtered wavelengths, rather than a focused beam of laser light. Light energy is not as powerful (or focused) as lasers.

Vascular lasers target the redness of acne scars, whilst Fractional lasers target the collagen and scars itself. In fact Fraxel, ProFractional and other fractional laser devices often makes scars redder, as these lasers target collagen remodelling but at the same time increase the number of blood vessels.

Vascular lasers such as V-Beam primarily target the blood vessels (which we perceive as red scars) whist preserving the outer layers of the skin. Vascular lasers has a modest impact on collagen remodelling. Because vascular lasers do not break the skin’s surface, recovery is very quick following vascular laser treatment.

The most commonly used laser for treating red acne scars is the V Beam Vascular laser. This procedure is conducted in our Vascular Laser Suite and takes only a few minutes to perform. The procedure is very well tolerated by patients. No anaesthetic cream is needed.

The most commonly used laser for treating red acne scars is the V Beam Vascular laser. This procedure is conducted in our Vascular Laser Suite and takes only a few minutes to perform. The procedure is very well tolerated by patients. No anaesthetic cream is needed.

  1. First step. Removing make up and sunscreen. Eye protection is then worn by both patient and Specialist.
  2. Laser pulses are then delivered to each scar. Depending on the scar type, you will have one or two pulses of laser delivered to the area. Before the laser beam is fired, a cold ice spray is delivered just before the laser beam. This ‘cooling spray’ protects your skin and reduces the heat of the laser.
  3. Each red scar is treated in one sitting, and the process is over in a few minutes
  4. Patients then will need to use ice on the areas treated and will sit in our laser recovery room for 10 minutes after the procedure.
  5. Most patients will have localised redness, and swelling for 8-16 hours depending on the settings used. If a higher setting is used, our Specialists will warn you prior to the treatment.
  6. Make up and sunscreen can be worn the next day.
  7. This laser procedure can be repeated in 3-6 weeks.

This laser treatment is not associated with any significant down time. The laser beam targets the blood vessels (and redness) under your skin’s surface and does not break the outer layer of your skin (the epidermis). A cool spray protects the outer layer of your skin, before the laser beam is delivered.

Bottom line - redness and swelling usually settles within 8-16 hours, make up can be worn the next day. Worse case situation is that bruising may occur (we will warn you if we use ‘high settings’), and this settles within a few days.

The use of ice and sunscreen following laser is paramount to recovery. Patients will also need to abstain from physical activity for 24 hours following laser, as this will help reduce the incidence of swelling.

The average pain reported with vascular laser treatment of acne scars is 2.5 / 10. Pain is minimal and the procedure is well tolerated. The procedure itself takes 2-3 minutes.

We use the most comfortable, but also one of the most powerful vascular lasers to treat red scars. The V BEAM laser is made by Candela and remains as the Gold Standard laser for the treatment of red / vascular lesions. The unique feature of this laser is that it uses Dynamic Cooling to cool down the upper layers of the skin, before the laser beam is delivered. This Dynamic Cooling increases the safety profile of this laser, but also markedly decreases the pain of laser treatment. Of note, vascular laser is much less painful than IPL treatment.

In specialist hands, laser treatments are very safe- most patients will have redness and swelling for a few hours, ice applied straight after laser can reduce the duration of swelling. If high settings are used, patients can expect to have bruising that last several days. Rest assured you will be warned of this effect before treatment.

Post inflammatory changes including darkening of the skin can be seen in darker skin types, and hence the use of a high factor SPF used twice a day is vitally important before and after laser treatment.

We generally advise a series of treatments to your scars to see results. A minimum of 3 treatments, spaced 3-4 weeks apart is recommended. It is vitally important that your acne is also under optimal control- otherwise new scars can form in between laser treatments.

Yes.Skin type 3-4 can be safely treated with vascular laser without significant risk. Our Specialists use special precautions such as extra cooling and a long pulse duration on the laser to ensure safety.

Most importantly patients are required to sun protect with a high factor SPF for 2 weeks pre and 2 weeks post laser treatment. This can reduce the chance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkening).

Yes it can! Using special filters, IPL can help reduce the redness of acne scars. Because IPL is light treatment and not laser, it is not as specific or as powerful as laser treatment. In summary IPL can be used, however we don’t usually employ this method as primary scar treatment as Vascular lasers work a lot better and is less painful compared to IPL!

Vascular laser, as the name implies is best employed to treat red scars - including flat red scars (macular erythema), raised or hypertrophic scars, as well as red divets, and red atrophic scars.

The sooner we treat red scars, the greater and quicker the improvement of scarring.

Our Specialists also use this laser to treat the redness after laser resurfacing as part of the Synergy Program for acne scars.

Absolutely! Thru out the website you will see a term called Synergy Program for acne scar treatment. This technique is a description by Dr Davin Lim, Laser Dermatologist, and refers to the fact that in many cases of acne scarring, multiple treatment methods will be need as most patients present with more than just one type of scar. The basis behind Synergy is that we incorporate different methods to treat your acne scars.

Most patients will have multiple scar types including atrophic, macular, ice-pick, rolling scars and box car scarring. Some of these scars maybe red (and hence Vascular laser can help), whilst other scars may require different treatment modalities. Vascular laser is compatible with most other scar treatments.

Most patients who undergo Full laser resurfacing for acne scars or CO2 Core laser will usually undertake 2-3 treatments of vascular laser. This progression is part of the synergy method, and is designed to reduce post laser redness and speed up your recovery as quickly and as safely as possible.

Vascular lasers for red acne scars cost between $590- $790 depending on the areas treated. This includes 3 sessions of V Beam laser. Acne scars are treated every 4 weeks.

Note that IPL is also offered as a treatment for red acne scars, however it is not as effective as V Beam laser, and costs $370 per session.

V -Beam Vascular laser is part of the Synergy Method of scar revision. Patients undertaking the Synergy Acne Scar Program may undergo 2-3 treatments at no extra charge.

Most cases of vascular laser for acne scarring can not be claimed via Medicare. Hypertrophic or lumpy acne scar can be injected with steroid injections. This treatment is partially claimable by Medicare.

Dr Davin S. Lim
Laser Dermatologist
Westside Laser Dermatology

Red scars following acne is a common occurrence, and the medical term of macular erythema or post inflammatory pigmentation can be interchangeably used to describe this process. The truth is that the majority of cases settle within 12 -18 months with the use of sunscreen. Vascular lasers such as V-Beam can be employed early in the course of scar management for two reasons. Firstly, vascular laser can resolve the redness over weeks to months, dramatically speeding the process of recovery. Secondly, it early laser treatment with vascular lasers can remodel collagen to a modest degree. This collagen remodelling can improve mild to moderate scarring often associated with redness.

Vascular lasers such as the V Beam are well tolerated and take 5 minutes to perform, and in most cases patients will receive a downtime of less than 24 hours. I frequently use this laser after full resurfacing procedures, or after CO2 Fractional lasers and it dramatically reduces the redness following these procedures. V Beam Vascular laser forms an integral part of the Synergy program of acne scar revision.

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