How Long Does Acne Laser Treatment Take?

If you have worked with the Perfect Skin Center in Tempe or Scottsdale, AZ to treat your acne condition, then you are no doubt very pleased with the results. However, even the most successful acne treatments can leave behind scarring that can mar an otherwise perfect complexion. Thankfully, acne laser treatment are available that can reduce this scarring in short order.

A Quick and Effective Treatment to Reduce Acne Scarring

With 95% of acne sufferers experiencing some degree of scarring after their acne has been treated, it is no wonder that so many people are seeking safe and effective ways to permanently reduce acne scars. There are lasers that have been specifically designed to reduce the discoloration and uneven skin texture that can be left behind after acne heals.

How Soon to Expect Results

The number of treatments required can vary widely depending on how severe the scarring is, but patients generally begin to see results after the very first treatment. For optimum results, follow-up laser appointments should be spaced out over several months.

Since every patient’s skin is different, it is important to not compare yourself to friends or other patients who might have noticed dramatic results right away. Sometimes, achieving the maximum benefit from laser therapy can require patience, but rest assured that this treatment has proven to be very effective at reducing acne scars over time.

Comparing Laser Therapy to Other Treatments

The best thing about acne laser treatment is that the results can often be quick and dramatic. Unlike topical scar reduction creams, which can take many months to work if they work at all, the effects of a laser treatment can be seen very soon after your first session.

While multiple sessions are normally needed to achieve the best results, patients are encouraged by being able to see at least some progress right away. Knowing that the treatment is working can do so much to boost confidence and give hope that clear skin is on the horizon.

How Long is Each Session?

Each laser appointment usually takes less than an hour. After the session, the patient should be able to see results develop over the course of the week that follows. The number of follow-up appointments required will depend on how effective the first treatment is, and the amount of skin correction the patient wishes to achieve.

How Acne Laser Treatment Works

Lasers work to correct acne scarring in two distinct ways. First, the laser gently removes the surface layer of your skin where the scarring has formed. As the uppermost layer of scarring is shed, the skin underneath should appear smoother. The effects of this aspect of the treatment are usually visible right away.

Secondly, the laser is also working to penetrate the skin, breaking up scar tissue as it goes. This process encourages healthy new skin cells to grow. This is a positive effect of laser therapy that might require more time to become apparent. Ultimately, the heat and light from the laser reduce redness and inflammation, giving the scarring a smoother and less noticeable appearance.

Benefits of Laser Therapy for Scars

Once final results have been achieved, the positive outcome is permanent. A treated acne scar will not return to its previous state. While severe scarring might not disappear completely, it can at the very least be improved dramatically, with long-lasting results.

A Non-Surgical Alternative

Patients like the fact that laser therapy is a non-invasive treatment that requires very little downtime. You can return to normal activities right after your laser session. The only precaution that is recommended is to protect your treatment areas from the sun.

Types of Laser Therapy

There are several different laser options available depending on the type of acne scarring that is being treated. Your doctor will determine which laser would best address the particular type of scarring you have.

Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Ablative resurfacing uses a carbon dioxide laser that removes the entire top layer of scarred skin. This is recommended for deeper scarring that may require more intense therapy.

Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing

Using infrared lasers, this type of resurfacing is designed to stimulate collagen production and encourage cell growth, which is very helpful in replacing damaged tissue.

Fractionated Laser Treatment

Also known as “Fraxel,” these lasers stimulate the tissue underneath the scar. This treatment is particularly effective for addressing hyper-pigmented skin that can be left behind after acne heals.

Using a Combination of Treatments

Your doctor might recommend using a combination of lasers with or without other treatments to achieve the best result possible. Using multiple lasers is a safe and effective way to address different aspects of scarring, uneven skin tone, and skin discoloration.

What to Expect After Treatment

Acne laser treatment has been proven to be highly effective at reducing the appearance of acne scars, but it is important to have realistic expectations. Laser treatment will not likely erase your acne scars completely, but you can expect to see up to an 80% improvement, which is still considered dramatic.

Also remember that if you have smoother and more even skin as a result of this treatment, any remaining scar discoloration left behind should be easily covered by makeup. Untreated acne scars, on the other hand, are very difficult to disguise through any means.

Being Vigilant About Skin Care

Skin that has been treated with lasers must be protected from the sun. Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen before going outside is a must. If you plan to be out in the sun for a long time, wearing a hat is also a great idea.

For the first 6-8 weeks following therapy, extensive sun exposure should be avoided entirely. While those who take advantage of laser treatment do not need to avoid the sun forever, avoiding burns is always a good practice for ensuring long-term skin health.

What the Research Says

Many research studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of laser resurfacing for facial acne scars. The findings suggest that the procedure is effective in up to 90% of patients seeking treatment, with most patients noting anywhere from a 30-80% overall reduction in scarring. These studies also showed that lasers tend to be more effective on deep scars than other non-surgical options such as dermabrasion and chemical peels.

Is This Treatment Safe?

Laser treatments are a completely safe and non-invasive way of reducing acne scars. The treatments used in our clinic have been approved by the FDA and have been designed specifically for cosmetic purposes. The treatment itself is painless and there is very low risk for infection or other adverse side effects.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Laser Therapy?

People of all skin types and skin tones who are unhappy with the appearance of scarring left behind from acne are good candidates for this treatment. It is particularly advantageous for those patients who have tried other treatments (such as topicals or dermabrasion) but were not happy with the results.

The only patients who are not good candidates for lasers are those who still have active acne. If you are still struggling with breakouts, ask about your acne treatment options so that this issue can be fully addressed before we treat the scars.

Finding the Best Aesthetic Laser Clinic in Arizona

Doing your homework to make sure you are working with a reputable clinic is key. Study their website and ask to see some before and after pictures if they don’t already have these posted. During your consultation, ask lots of questions to make sure you feel comfortable with the treatment options that are being suggested.

A good clinic should also be able to offer you several laser options depending on the specific type of scarring you have. Ask to see their full menu of services and inquire if it might be appropriate to combine some services in order to maximize results.

Working with the Best Medical Experts in the Field

Ensure that you are working with specialists who are trained in all aspects of laser therapy. Our founder, Dr. Richard Burgmeier, is a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Our team of associates is also fully equipped to answer any questions you may have.

Ready to Improve Your Skin?

If you’re ready to make a significant improvement to your acne scarring, contact us today at the Perfect Skin Center in Tempe or Scottsdale, AZ. We can determine the best acne laser treatment for you and help you to put your best face forward.


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2177 E Warner Road, Suite #105
Tempe, AZ 85284

Phone: 480-418-8277


115 N Scottsdale Road, Suite #2
Scottsdale, AZ 85250

Phone: 480-418-8277