Fractional CO2 laser for acne scarring and open pores

Acne scarring and large open pores can be quite demoralising in a society obsessed with physical appearance, which is why we decided to see if fractional laser could actually help reduce the appearance of acne pitting and scarring.

The Fractional CO2 laser works by treating mainly atrophic scars by creating primary healing in the dermis – which in turn causes more collagen to be produced. This in effect pushes up under-filled scars to form a shallower scar depth, which makes scars look less obvious. On average, a patient would require between three to six treatments, depending on the severity of their scarring.

Fractional CO2 lasers are not limited to treating acne scarring, in fact, they can also be used for tightening pores, reducing fine lines, lightening the skin and rejuvenating the skin.

Dr. Kelvin Chua of SL Clinic began the session by assessing the state of our skin and the depth of scarring, after which his nurse applied a layer of numbing cream on our whole face. After 30 minutes the treatment commenced.

Dr. Chua paid special attention to the deeper scars around our cheeks and forehead. The sensation was akin to that of many little ant bites; quick sharp but bearable pain, especially around the eye area due to the thinness of the skin. The session minus the numbing cream took only 20-25 minutes.

After the session was over, the nurses applied a liberal amount of moisturiser to the reddened skin and the doctor advised us that we should keep the skin hydrated and protected from any sun exposure and under no circumstance were we to pick at the scabs.  We were also advised to avoid using any of our usual skincare products for the first two days and were given a complimentary moisturiser for that time, after which we were allowed to resume using our own products of choice.

When we left the clinic, our face felt very hot with a burning sensation which lasted an hour or two. Expect some discomfort on the first night, but after that, its smooth sailing.

On the first two days, our face was very red and tender, which is why we suggest that you do this procedure on a Friday, so you have the weekend to recover from the redness. By the third day, the redness has lessened and the tenderness was gone and we were able to go back to work. By the fourth day the redness had completely subsided, but we did have some scabbing. By the fifth day our skin had all but recovered, so expect a down time of around five days, depending upon your skin type and condition.

Would we do this again? The answer is yes. Being able to reduce the appearance of our acne scarring in a non-surgical and affordable way is worth the minor discomfort that we had to bear with.