Acne scars: Picosure & Picolasers

Pico Laser for Acne Scars At A Glance

  • Best Results2-5+ sessions
  • Treatment Recovery0-3 days
  • Procedure Time10 min
  • Skin SpecialistDermal Therapist, Nurse
  • Duration of ResultsMany years to permanent
  • AnaestheticTopical
  • Back to WorkNext Day
  • Cost$ - $$

Acne scars: Picosure & Picolasers

I love pico lasers, just not for meaningful acne scars. Probably the biggest hype & BS in the context of moderate to severe acne scars. Pico lasers are, however, useful in treating pigmentation associated with acne, also known as grade 1 acne scars. 

FactsFacts on Pico Lasers For Acne Scars

  • Pico lasers are useful for pigmented scars, namely grade one scarring
  • Pico can reduce pigmentation after acne
  • In the context of atrophic scars, there are many other options that are far more effective & cost less than pic laser
  • These lasers do very little for the correction of moderate to severe acne scars
  • I employ pico lasers post ablative resurfacing to improve skin texture & reduce dark pigmentation
  • Pico lasers can also be used to treat enlarged pores & pits

Are pico lasers effective in treating acne acne scars?

It depends on the type & age of scarring. Pico lasers are effective in improving skin colour changes associated with acne- acne scarring. This is known as Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation.

 Pico laser can also be effective in treating early & mildly depressed acne scars. In fact even simple microneedling can be used to treat mild scars. Pico Lasers have very little impact on atrophic & depressed acne scars, however they can improve skin quality-texture.

How many treatments will I require?

For grade one scars, 2-5 sessions will suffice. Note, pico is good at treating pigment. If you have moderate to severe atrophic & tethered scars, you are better off with another treatment. Even simple DermRoller is more effective than Pico in this context.

How often should I get Picosure - pico laser?

For pigment reduction, every 2-4 weeks. For the management of mild & early scars, 2 to 6 weeks. Leaving a gap between treatments allows your skin to remodel scars, generate collagen, & exfoliate pigment.

What can I expect after a pico laser?

Mild bruising, redness and swelling as well as tingling sensations similar to sunburn are normal and will resolve shortly thereafter. There may be slight darkening (bronzing) of the skin that is noticeable 3-10 days post treatment which will resolve. This setting is only used for patients with mild scars in lighter skin types.

In the context of pigment reduction, I do not like higher settings, so expect mild redness to settle within a few hours.

Davin’s viewpoint on Pico Lasers for Acne Scars

Picosure was the very first Gen One pico laser. It was released 6 years ago. It was marketed heavily as a ‘do it all lasers’, including treatment of acne scars. In fact the whtie paper stated it was just as good, if not better than fractional CO2. Maybe the way I pressed the pedal was wrong, but results were dismal at the very best.

I don’t hate pico lasers, in fact I love them. This is my laser of choice for treating pigment, fine lines & even enlarged pores in ethnic skin types. This is the first laser of choice for my skin (along with CO2 fractional). In the context of acne scars, I only use them in the management of pigmented scars (grade 1), or PIH. They are my ‘finishing’ lasers after a series of treatments. They can improve the smaller details, such a pores & enlarged pits.

If you do have significant acne scarring, possibly pico should not be your first choice. There are many other options that are far better & more cost effective.

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