Laser Scar Removal
Scars can ruin the aesthetic appearance of skin, particularly if they are on a visible part of the body. Scars can fade over time, but for many people, scars do not fade completely or quickly enough after the initial injury to skin tissue. This is particularly true for those who have experienced disruptions of the healing process, such as local infections or re-injury to the tissue that causes discoloration, indentation, raised scars or other deformities of the skin. Fortunately, laser scar removal treatment can help to improve unsightly scars and help restore the cosmetic appeal of healthy skin.
Scars develop as the result of the body’s natural healing process. Injury can cause skin to break; the body reacts to the injury by causing the release of collagen, which is a protein that helps close the gap in the skin. Collagen builds up in the damaged tissue to promote healing and strengthen the repaired skin.
Sometimes, though, the body produces too much collagen as the wound heals, resulting in a raised mass of tissue on the surface of the skin. This raised mass of tissue, or scar, will have a different texture and quality than the healthy skin surrounding it. Scars can develop as the result of superficial flesh wounds, acne, or surgery.
Scars can fade away on their own. The collagen then breaks down over time, leaving the scar smoother, softer, and less visible. Unfortunately, scar tissue can take years to disappear, and it does not always fade away completely. What’s worse is that new collagen continues to form for several months while blood supply to the area increases, which can cause the scar to become raised and lumpy.
Laser scar treatment can help to improve the appearance of unsightly scars to create smooth, healthy skin.
Laser Treatment for Scars
Laser treatment for acne scars works by breaking apart the scar and removing the top layer of skin where a scar has formed. As the treated tissue peels off, the skin appears smoother and the scar is less noticeable. Heat and light produced by the laser also promotes the growth of healthy new skin cells; heat from the laser also draws blood flow to the area, which helps reduce inflammation. Together, these effects make scars look less red and raised, and promote the healing of skin without excessive scarring. The precise technology targets only the damaged tissue and leaves surrounding tissue intact.
Laser scar treatment cost varies, depending on a number of factors. Treating multiple scars is more expensive than treating just one, for example. Cost may also vary depending on the size of the area requiring treatment and the number of treatments needed to reduce the appearance of scars. Insurance does not usually cover laser scar treatment cost, but the out-of-pocket expenses for laser scar treatment are affordable considering the dramatic and long-lasting effects.
Types of Laser Treatments for Scars
A number of lasers are now available. The best laser treatment for scars depends largely on the type, location, and severity of the scar. Laser treatment for acne targets the skin on the face, but laser treatments can resolve the appearance of scars on the arms, back, upper torso, and neck.
One type, known as laser resurfacing, uses non-invasive microscopic lasers to remove skin layer by layer. Ablative laser is a type of laser resurfacing tool that penetrates skin to encourage collagen growth, smooth wrinkles, reduces brown spots, and removes scars. An ablative laser may be the best laser treatment for scars from acne.
These procedures may be performed as an outpatient procedure. Laser scar treatment does not require lengthy recovery or downtime. It can cause mild side effects, such as swelling, redness and discomfort, but discomfort is usually gone after an hour or two and the other side effects typically disappear in a couple of days. Most patients can expect healing in three to ten days. The provider performing laser scar treatment will provide the patient with special skin care instructions, such as using special toners and moisturizers to help maximize the results of laser scar removal treatment. Other instructions may include avoiding excessive sun exposure for 6 to 8 weeks.
The results of laser scar treatmentare not visible right away, but most patients can begin to see how well the treatment worked within 7 to 10 days. Results of laser scar treatment are permanent.
While laser scar treatment is safe and effective, only a board-certified dermatologist should perform the procedure. Trained, experienced dermatologists can recommend a scar removal treatment and provide optimal results.
The providers at Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery use the most advanced laser equipment available to ensure the effective and safe removal of scars, and even those scars in prominent and sensitive areas. For more information about laser scar removal treatment, or to learn which laser scar removal treatment may be best for you, contact the Center for Dermatology and Laser Surgery.