How effective is fractional Co2 laser vs Infini RF for acne scars?Acne & Scars Aesthetic Medicine
Hi Docs, I have some mild to moderate rolling scars on my cheeks. I have done 2 sessions (Sep 2017 & Oct 2017) of subcision with some improvement (~30%). Am now in a dilemma, unsure if I should follow up with fractional Co2 or INFINI RF. What would you recommend on which treatment will be more suitable for my scars? PS: is there also an ideal length of time between subcision and infini rf treatments? Thank you!
I have been offering both these treatments in my clinic for years, and this is a question I am asked almost daily!
Both fractional CO2 lasers and Infini microneedle rf are great treatments for acne scars. I will explain how both work, and how I choose the appropriate treatment for each of my patients.
Fractional CO2 Laser
How does it work?
Fractional CO2 Laser works by ablating or burning away certain parts of the skin while leaving other parts of the skin untouched. The ablated skin will be stimulated to grow new skin and collagen. Other areas of skin is spared to reduce the downtime and allow faster healing of the skin. Overall results is smoother, younger skin with improvement of the acne scars.
Any side effects?
There will be swelling and redness of the skin after the treatment. Scabs may also be seen on the skin over the next few days. Moisturisers, Sunblock and sun avoidance are essential to prevent skin pigmentation after treatment .
Infini Microneedle Radio Frequency (RF)
How does it work?
The infini microneedle will pierce through the surface of the skin and release rf energy below the skin surface. As the needle is insulated, only the tip of the needle will release rf energy, thereby reducing damage to the skin surface. The needle can also be adjusted to reach different depths of the skin, thereby treating acne scars which may be at different depth. The rf energy will stimulate collagen and reduce the acne scars below the skin surface without damaging the skin surface.
Any side effects?
Infini sounds like a staple on your skin! Treatment is more uncomfortable compared to CO2 laser as there are microneedles used. There will be some needle marks or bruises post treatment. Scabs may be seen on the skin post treatment. Proper skincare is needed to prevent infections. Acne outbreak may occur post treatment and prophylactic treatment may be needed. However risk of post treatment pigmentation is much lower compared to CO2 Laser.
How to decide
1. Severity , type and depth of acne scars
Generally CO2 lasers are better for superficial and mid level rolling or box scars.
For deeper and scars of different depths, Infini will give better results.
Your doctor is the best person to decide on the ideal treatment after assessing your skin.
Some dislike needles and find the infini treatment painful. Rest assured that local anaesthetic cream and injections are used prior to treatment to reduce any discomfort. But with the better results from a single session of infini, the discomfort is definitely worth it!
Fractional CO2 Laser is cheaper. However , more sessions of CO2 lasers are needed compared to infini to achieve almost similar results.
Results from one session of infini is equivalent to several sessions of fractional CO2 Laser. It is best to discuss your expectations, budget and pain tolerance with your doctor before deciding on the appropriate treatment for yourself.
Hope the above info helps!
It seems from your pictures that you have some rolling and box scars. Both Fractional CO2 and Infini will help. Fractional CO2 will be a more effective option, but there can be prolonged downtime and it may also be higher risk for your skin type.
The Infini will be much safer for our Asian skin types (especially darker Asian), but results may take longer to show.
As the previous doctors have already mentioned, try not to lengthen the time between your treatments too much.
Hope this helps!
I agree with Dr Chua’s reply on the pros and cons of Fractional CO2 lasers versus Infini RF.
In addition, I would like to address your question on the ideal length of time between subcision and Infini RF treatments.
The ideal interval between treatments is 4-6 weeks. This is to allow for adequate skin recovery.
Hope that this answers your questions!