Can scars be removed by laser?
You cannot get rid of a scar with laser treatment. However, laser treatment can make a scar less noticeable. Laser treatment for a scar can be considered as an approach to replace one scar with a less visible scar. The treatment involves using a focused light (laser) to either remove the outer layer of skin or stimulate the production of new skin cells to cover the scarred or damaged skin cells.
The procedure has become a crucial part of scar management by dermatologists. Through laser treatment your doctor can
- Prevent raised scar or keloid formation after surgery
- Decrease pain and itching due to a scar
- Increase the range of motion if a scar limits movement
The results of laser scar treatment mainly depend on the skills of the person performing the treatment. You must consult a board-certified dermatologist to get the best results. You may need more than just the laser treatment to manage your scars. For example, if you have a deep acne scar, your doctor may perform laser therapy followed by injecting a filler.
Laser treatment can be used for
- Acne scars
- Scars due to injury or surgery
- Burn marks
- Age spots
- Scars from infections like chickenpox
- Dark spots
- Liver spots (flat tan, brown or black spots on the skin due to aging)
- Sun-damaged skin
- Striae distensae or stretch marks (scars caused by excessive skin stretching, such as after rapid weight loss/gain, pregnancy or pubertal growth spurts)
How soon can you see the results of laser scar removal?
The results of laser treatment can take months to appear. There may be little noticeable improvement at first. Your dermatologist may provide a series of laser treatments to give you the best outcome and the longest lasting improvement. This is usually needed when a nonablative laser (a laser that works by heating the targeted tissue without destroying it) is used. Nonablative lasers are not associated with downtime, but a few treatments are needed to see the desired results. To get the best results after the treatment, you must follow your dermatologist's instructions.
What are the side effects of laser scar removal?
Laser scar removal is a considerably safe procedure when performed by an expert. There may be some side effects of the procedure such as
What is the best procedure for scar removal?
The best treatment option for your scar depends on several factors, such as the type and severity of the scar. You must get a consultation from a board-certified dermatologist to know which treatment option will work best for you.
- If your scars are not severe, your doctor may suggest milder treatment options, such as a chemical peel or microdermabrasion.
- If the scars are deep or severe, your doctor may recommend
- Laser resurfacing: This cosmetic procedure acts by removing the superficial layers of the skin resulting in the formation of new collagen fibers that render healthier, firmer and tighter skin. The procedure can be done at the doctor’s office. Laser resurfacing may take a few minutes to an hour.
- Dermabrasion: This procedure involves a rotating wire brush or spinning diamond instrument to remove the superficial layer of the skin. The skin then heals in its due course to reveal healthier skin.
- Fractional laser therapy: This works at a deeper level than dermabrasion and laser resurfacing. Healing time is shorter with this procedure because it does not wound the top layer of tissue. The treated skin may just look a bit sunburned for a few days.
With certain deep scars, such as rolling scars (scars with a gradual dip or depression), your doctor may inject material under the scar (filler) to raise it to the normal skin level before going for laser therapy. In some cases of deep scars, surgery may be recommended.
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How Much Does It Cost for Laser Skin Resurfacing?Laser resurfacing is a procedure that removes layers of the skin and improves its appearance or treats minor facial flaws such as blemishes or acne scars by using lasers.
Hypertrophic Scar PictureHypertrophic scars and keloids are both characterized by excess fibrous tissue at a site of injury in the skin. Hypertrophic scars are confined to the original wound site, whereas keloids, by contrast, extend beyond the original wound site. Both are common and frequently disturb patients greatly, both as an unsightly scar as well as a reminder of previous trauma or surgery. Acne scars result from the loss of underlying collagen and elastic tissue from dermal inflammation associated with acne, particularly cystic acne. Acne scars are also very common and a source of distress to the patient, both for their obvious appearance on the face as well as a reminder of previous acne. Shown here is a dermal injection of a hypertrophic scar that resulted from a shave biopsy.
Is Laser Resurfacing Permanent?Laser resurfacing does not have permanent results. Many people notice immediate results on their skin. This may continue to get better for up to a year. With changes to the skin because of aging, new wrinkles and expression lines appear. Thus, as per your need, you may need a laser resurfacing again.
Keloid ScarA keloid is a scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is an overgrown (hypertrophic) scar or a keloid. A keloid looks shiny and is often dome-shaped, ranging in color from slightly pink to red. It feels hard and thick and is always raised above the surrounding skin.
Laser ResurfacingLaser resurfacing involves directing concentrated pulsating beams of light at irregular skin. This procedure may be used to reduce wrinkles, blemished, or acne scars. There are two types of lasers commonly used in laser resurfacing: carbon dioxide and erbium. Treated areas heal in 10-21 days. Possible complications include milia, hyperpigmentation, and swelling.
ScarsScar formation is a natural part of the healing process after injury. The depth and size of the wound incision and the location of the injury impact the scar's characteristics, but your age, heredity and even sex or ethnicity will affect how your skin reacts.