Anyone who’s ever had acne will tell you it’s really not fun.
But for some, the physical and emotion pain of having acne doesn’t end when the pimples heal, because they can leave behind acne scaring.
Acne scars typically look like little divets or dents in the skin where there’s been a loss of skin tissue, and having them on your face can dent your self confidence too.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do to reduce the appearance of acne scars, Mamamia’s executive editor and beauty journalist of 15 years Leigh Campbell said on the latest episode of the You Beauty podcast (get it in your ears below, post continues after audio).
One of those is Fraxel.
Here’s what you need to know about the laser treatment that can help get rid of acne scars.
What is Fraxel laser?
“Fractional laser, brand name Fraxel, is one of the most effective treatments for acne scaring,” Leigh said.
“Fraxel laser basically resurfaces the skin… there’s also baby Fraxel, the technical term is Clear and Brilliant, it’s not as hard core as Fraxel and the results don’t go as deep.”
How does Fraxel work?
Fraxel laser works to resurface the skin by using the laser’s energy to remove old or damaged skin cells (i.e. acne scaring or pigmentation) and stimulate new collagen and elastin production.
“Underneath, you’re left with this beautiful baby soft skin. I did Fraxel for pigmentation, I didn’t have scarring. You might need repeated sessions to treat scaring depending on how deep your scars are, but it’s really great for acne scaring.”
Does Fraxel hurt?
“It hurts like a MOFO, but it only goes for a few minutes,” Leigh, who has tried Fraxel before, said.
“They’ll put numbing cream on around 30 minutes to an hour beforehand, but it still really, bloody hurts. The treatment goes for about four minutes. I hold my arms and just squeeze. There’s no pain afterwards, it’s just a bit stingy. It doesn’t hurt for days.”
Is there down time for Fraxel?
Because Fraxel is resurfacing the skin (taking off old skin to let new skin come through), Leigh said you can expect at least four to seven days of downtime.
“If you work at a really conservative place, you might need a time off work. The next day, you’re a tiny bit swollen and red, there are certain foundations you can get to wear on top of the resurfaced layers on skin that are completely safe,” she said.
“On day three or four, I felt very dry and you could almost see tiny little dot marks where the laser had been. On day five or six, I started to flake.”
Leigh also added that you can’t exfoliate your skin to speed this process up, but most places with give you a cream to apply for hydration. Sun protection is key, too.