Aspen – At this summer’s Cosmetic Bootcamp (CBC), dermatologist Paul M. Friedman, M.D., shared tips for treating acne scars with a 1927 nm thulium laser. He is director of Dermatology & Laser Surgery Center in Houston.
“The Solta device uses a unique mode of delivery in terms of the continuous motion handpiece, versus the stamping delivery mode with the other devices. It allows a little greater depth of penetration. That’s important when we talk about treating acne scars and deeper rhytids.”
For acne scarring, he offered these pearls:
- “We will prophylax with a low dose of antibiotics starting the day before treatment, for one week total.” He suggested low-dose antibiotics such as Oracea or Solodyn to combat the reported 5% incidence of acne following nonablative fractional resurfacing.
- For patient comfort, “We use topical anesthetics for one hour prior to the procedure. We tell patients to expect to be in the office about 2 to 3 hours.” He finds that giving a booster dose 10 to 15 minutes pre-procedure helps reduce discomfort. If patients are very anxious, “We’ll give Ativan in the office if they have a chaperone to drive them home.” For additional comfort during the procedure, he has patients hold a Zimmer chiller or a bag of frozen peas on the untreated side of the face.
- For postoperative recovery, “Give patients a diary so they know what to expect on day one after treatment. Also, we give our patients postoperative care sheets. That will eliminate phone calls the day after. It’s also important to set realistic expectations – underpromise and overdeliver.”
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