Laser Treatment For Acne Scars: The problem that arises after solving a problem can be more complex. Did it spin your head? Well, we all know that acne is a universal problem, but thanks to medicine, we have so many effective treatments for acne. However, there is still something that keeps haunting us is those acne scars. We may get rid of acne, but what about acne scars?
Yeah, acne scars can be more frustrating and “hurt” your looks pretty bad. But, again, thanks to science and technology, we have different treatments for acne scars. Talking about some of the best treatments for acne scars, laser treatment stands at the top. In fact, laser treatment is also very useful for other types of scars such as wound scars, injury scars, burn marks, etc.
In this article, we will guide you about various things related to laser treatment for acne scars. Let’s get started.
Laser Treatment For Scars
Laser treatment has proved to be a miraculous invention that is very effective in removing tumors, vision improvement, pain treatment, and reducing hair loss. Most importantly, laser therapy is equally effective for treating different types of scars.
Laser treatment for acne scars or other types of scars is an outpatient procedure. The licensed medical practitioner moves the laser wand over the affected areas repeatedly to remove the damaged skin cells and minimize the appearance of the scar. Laser treatment is effective for the following types of scars;
- Acne scars
- Injury scars
- Wound scars
- Dark spots
- Burn marks
- Age spots and other types of hyperpigmentation
Laser Treatment Is Not A Recommendation For These People
Laser therapy is not a good option for following people.
- People having light sensitivity issues.
- Those who use blood-thinning medicine regularly.
- People with active acne, darker skin, or acne sores.
How Do Laser Treatments For Acne Scars Work?
Laser treatment for acne scars works in two steps.
- In the first step, the laser heat removes the top layer of the skin from the scar. Once it peels off the upper layer, the scar turns out to be less noticeable, and the skin looks smoother.
- As the laser has already broken apart the scar tissue, the laser light and heat encourage the growth of fresh skin cells. The heat from the laser also draws the blood flow towards the scar area and reduces the inflammation as blood vessels in the scars are targeted.
This procedure promotes the growth of healthy skin cells and makes the scar less red and raised. Not to mention, the scar becomes hardly noticeable.
The same is the procedure of laser treatment for scars. Some scars remain of the same color even after the scab is naturally peeled off. Laser therapy reduces the redness and prominence of the scar and boosts the production and growth of new skin cells.
Procedures For Laser Treatment For Acne Scars And Other Scars
Generally, there are three main procedures for the treatment of scars.
1- Ablative Laser Resurfacing
Ablative resurfacing uses two types of lasers.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser
- Erbium laser
Ablative resurfacing basically removes the entire top layer of the skin from the concerned area. Erbium laser is useful for removing surface scars, while carbon dioxide (CO2) laser is effective for deeper scars.
2- Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing
Non-ablative resurfacing uses the infrared laser for treating scars. Technically, the heat from the infrared laser penetrates the skin’s inner layer and triggers collagen production. Ultimately, the skin cells regrowth replaces the damaged skin cells.
3- Fractioned Laser Resurfacing
it is arguably the best laser treatment for acne scars. In this process, the laser removes the dark pigmented scars by penetrating the deeper layer of the surface of the skin. Then, it triggers collagen production and helps in skin cells growth. Fractional laser resurfacing is generally recommended for different types of acne scars, such as boxcar and icepick scars.
Side Effects And Risks Of Laser Treatment
Well, to be honest, laser therapy can have various side effects depending on your skin type, the procedure you choose, and the number of treatments needed. Here are some common side effects of laser treatment for scars.
- Redness (may take 10 days to fade or subside)
- Pain in the concerned area. (it usually lasts for 2-3 hours)
Preparation For Laser Treatment For Scars
Laser treatment for scars is not an option you should rush at. It is better to consult from multiple sources before going for it. Once you decide to do it, your doctor will give you a detailed preparation guide. Here are some important things you should do before laser therapy.
- Don’t use any medication that weakens the healing process.
- Avoid using supplements, aspirin, and any other blood-thinning medicines.
- Do not smoke for at least two weeks before the procedure.
- Use sunblock and avoid excessive exposure to the sun.
- Avoid using skincare products containing glycolic acid or retinol at least two weeks before the treatment.
- If you are prone to getting cold sores on lips and about to get a laser treatment on the face, your doctor should give you an antibiotic treatment to prevent an outbreak after the procedure.
What Should You Expect After The Laser Treatment For Acne Scars or other scars?
One of the most important things you should know is, the scars just fade; they don’t vanish completely. Second, it may take weeks or even months for you to notice a clear difference after the treatment. Moreover, the recovery time also varies for different people and may take 3-10 days.
Apart from that, Your doctor will give you complete aftercare instructions; here are some of the most common.
- Don’t expose your skin to direct sunlight for at least four weeks after the procedure takes place.
- Use a moist cloth or cold pack to reduce the swelling
- You can use painkillers occasionally if needed.
- Avoid using makeup for few days.
- Wash your face daily and apply the moisturizer as well.
Cost Of The Laser Treatment For Scars
Before we get into the cost of the laser treatment for scars, here are few factors that can affect the overall cost.
- Number of scars
- Scar size
- Experience and skill level of your doctor
- The number of treatments needed
Sometimes, only a single laser therapy session is enough for the scar, while some may need multiple sessions. Apart from that, there will be consultation fees and maybe some other charges as well. Most importantly, most of the insurance packages don’t cover the costs of laser treatments.
As per the Department of Dermatology at the University of Michigan, a single laser treatment, on average, may cost you between $200-$3400. Similarly, the average cost of skin resurfacing is $1100 for non-ablative and $2000 for ablative laser treatments.
How Can You Find A Provider?
Alright, the first thing you should do is to speak with a dermatologist (board-certified) and inquire whether laser treatment is suitable for you or not. You can also consult multiple providers and choose the most suitable one for you. Apart from that, if you are from the United States, here are some links that can help you find a certified provider in your area.
- HealthGrades Directory (https://www.healthgrades.com/dermatology-directory)
- American Academy of Dermatology ( https://find-a-derm.aad.org/)
Laser treatment for acne scars is one of the most effective and trendy options. Yes, it may not eradicate the problem, but it surely reduces the prominence of the scar. All you have to do is find the right certified dermatologist and follow his/her instructions. However, don’t rush for the procedure; consult with multiple specialists and then make a decision.
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