Acne scarring can be devastating for many reasons. For younger individuals, being taunted by their peers or lowered self-esteem is a reality. For adults, the scarring may also affect self-esteem and, unfortunately, have a subliminal influence on hiring and promotion decisions as well as dating and social acceptance.
Prior to the advent of laser skin resurfacing, the main option that existed was dermabrasion. CO2 laser resurfacing has all but replaced dermabrasion because it is a much more predictable and safer procedure.
The mechanism of action of laser resurfacing is to destroy all the outer layers of skin. When the skin heals, it produces new collagen and the new skin is smoother, tighter and with less pigment and scars. The new skin is red at first, then pink, then heals back to normal.
The laser procedure can lighten the color of the facial skin but this actually makes the patient look younger since the sun damage is gone. Extreme color changes are very rare.
Although laser resurfacing can be very dramatic it is important for acne scar patients to realize that severe scarring will require multiple treatments. Many patients are satisfied with a single treatment while others have repeat touch up laser treatments. The touch up treatments are generally much simpler and can frequently be performed under local anesthesia. Some people require multiple touch up appointments with progressively less area treated until in some cases we are treating single scars.
Our surgery center has 7 lasers on premises as well as other technology to treat acne and other facial scars.
This patient presented to the office with acne and a recessive chin. She was treated with the Obagi skin care products to control her acne. The acne scarring was treated with CO2 laser skin resurfacing and the facial profile was treated with liposuction and a chin implant.
CO2 laser resurfacing is usually performed in the office surgery center with IV sedation and takes about 30 minutes for a full-face treatment. Post laser, the face feels sunburned and swollen. The face is very red for at least one week and remains pink for several more weeks. Makeup may be worn at 10-12 days after laser.
Typical post laser redness at 3 days post CO2 laser resurfacing.
The illustration above shows typical laser redness about 3 days after laser surgery. This redness fades to pink during the next week and to normal after several more weeks in most patients. Most acne patients will require multiple treatments. Scars generally improve up to 50% for each treatment. Acne patients opting for laser resurfacing usually see significant improvement, but no treatment can totally correct severe acne scaring.
The patients below are shown before and after one or more CO2 laser resurfacing treatment for acne scars.
New technology in laser resurfacing has enabled advances in acne and scar treatment. Deep Fx and Active FX are examples of deep and superficial CO2 laser resurfacing. The video below shows an actual treatment with Deep and Active FX.
The patient below was treated with surgical excision of chin and cheek scars followed by several sessions of CO2 laser resurfacing.
The patients shown below were treated with Lumenis Deep FX and Active FX laser resurfacing
In addition to laser resurfacing, there are other techniques to assist with the cosmetic revision of acne scarring. Severe scars may require surgical excision with plastic closure to improve the scar. The area is then treated with CO2 laser about 5 weeks later.
This patient had deep scars surgically excised prior to laser treatment
This patient also had chin scars surgically excised prior to CO2 laser resurfacing
The key to acne is prevention. If you or someone you love has untreated acne, please see a professional and begin treatment before scarring begins.
In addition to laser, silicone injections are a permanent filler that can raise depressed scars and wrinkles caused by acne. The case below is shown before and after silicone injection to a wrinkle caused by acne scars.
Dr. Niamtu has been featured in Woman’s World Magazine and the Richmond Times Dispatch
for his laser work on acne patients.
What is Omnilux
Omnilux was developed after 12 years of extensive medical research.
Omnilux is a new technology based on narrowband Light emitting Diodes (LEDs). Our range of products includes Omnilux blue, Omnilux revive, Omnilux plus, and Omnilux PDT for the treatment of a wide range of dermatological conditions including acne, photo damage, non-melanoma skin cancers, skin rejuvenation, vitiligo and wound healing post elective surgery.
Each detachable treatment head delivers pure, optimized, narrowband light via a matrix of LEDs carefully positioned to deliver light to the treatment area.
New Omnilux Handheld Home Treatment
A new innovation is the Omnilux handheld light systems. These technologicallydevices deliver the same wavelengths as the office based system. They can be used for treating active acne, acne inflammation and have even been been shown to reduce fine lines. The home system can also be used to treat post laser redness and for surgical and traumatic scar healing.
Acne is one of the world’s most common skin conditions, affecting over 85% of adolescents by the age of 24 years and up to 50% of adults over 25 years of age. Acne is a widespread and upsetting condition. It can produce lifelong physical and emotional scarring.
Acne is NOT caused by bad diet or greasy foods. In fact, acne develops when the sebaceous glands in a person’s skin produces excess oil (sebum). This oil combines with cells that line the gland walls and clogs the skin’s pores. Normal skin bacteria colonize these pores and the body’s response causes the inflammation or reddening of the skin that we associate with acne.
How does Omnilux light therapy work?
One of the key bacteria responsible for the inflammation is Propionibacterium acnes or P.acnes. These bacteria produce natural chemicals called poryphyrins, which are sensitive to light at different wavelengths. If stimulated, these chemicals will neutralize the bacteria and with no bacteria present inflammation will subside.
Omnilux blue stimulates these chemicals and so eradicates the bacteria that cause the redness or inflammation of acne. This is combined with Omnilux revive which has anti inflammatory properties, this helps to minimize the redness of acne lesions and promotes healthier skin.
Omnilux treatments are totally non-invasive and generate no heat. The treatment does not damage normal tissue and works with the body’s own natural processes to rejuvenate the skin.
The Omnilux blue unit showing the array of light emitting diodes.
Why choose Omnilux combination light therapy for acne?
Omnilux is an essential tool as part of an acne management program. Omniluxdelivers pure light optimized to deliver the correct wavelength and dose for maximum activation of the target cells.
Combination phototherapy works through the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory activity of Omnilux blue and Omnilux revive delivered alternately. Only by delivering the right wavelength in sequence can optimum results be seen.
Activation of coproporphyrin III creates intracellular singlet oxygen – inducing complete bacterial death.
This reduces the bacterial colonization of the sebaceous gland, returning the gland’s abnormally high level of sebum to normal and reducing the production of proinflammatory cytokines.
Simultaneously, Omnilux blue induces anti-inflammatory cytokines, stimulating specific immunoregulatory pathways.
The intracellular specificity of red light therapy (Omnilux revive) is well documented and it has long been demonstrated that 633nm offers excellent reduction in inflammatory lesions and is proven to stimulate cellular mechanisms for tissue repair.
Omnilux blue for acne
In a recent study of 30 subjects, (skin types I-IV, all with mild to moderate acne vulgaris) every subject had a significantly successful treatment response. There was an optimum reduction in inflammatory lesions of 73% 4 to 8 weeks post treatment.
This patient of Dr. Niamtu was treated with many medications but her acne persisted.
She responded to 6 Omnilux treatments.
The above patient presented with acne that was resistant to common treatments. Her before picture is shown on the left and the after picture is shown after 8 Omnilux treatments.
The following patients were treated with the Omnilux system for acne. Click to enlarge images
The case below was a non healing wound from a motorcycle accident that was healed with the Omnilux
Dr. Niamtu is proud to have the first Omnilux LED treatment device in Richmond VA.
See the section on FACIAL SCARS for more information.
Another successful tool for fighting acne that has worked well in our practice is the Obagi Clenziderm skin system.
Penetrate to the root of acne to clear skin fast
Obagi CLENZIderm??? M.D. Systems are the only prescription-strength acne treatments that contain a patented, solubilized form of 5% benzoyl peroxide (BPO) to penetrate deep into the follicle and treat acne where it starts.
Available in two distinct systems, for normal to oily skin or normal to dry skin, these simple, 3-step, physician-dispensed acne therapies from Obagi Medical are clinically proven to better penetrate the follicles for effective P. acnes bacteria reduction and rapid lesion reduction.*
Other BPO-based treatments are formulated with insoluble micro- or macro-crystals which can remain on the surface of the skin. CLENZIderm M.D. Systems are the only prescription-strength acne therapies that contain a solubilized form of 5% BPO designed to penetrate deep into the follicle and clear acne fast. CLENZIderm M.D. Systems demonstrate greater penetration post treatment. Skin shows traditional topical prescription 5% BPO formulation remaining on the surface. Skin shows CLENZIderm M.D. solubilized formulation has penetrated beneath the surface.
Experience the benefits of CLENZIderm M.D. Systems
- Exclusive penetrating technology that delivers BPO to the root of acne
- Clinically significant lesion reduction in 2 weeks, compared to the leading topical prescription BPO/clindamycin combination
- Availability of two distinct, prescription-strength formulations for a broad range of skin types
Call Dr. Niamtu today 804-934-FACE (3223)for a free consult and information about CLENZIderm M.D. Systems today.