Scar Removal With Laser Technology

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scar removalScar removal and treatment with lasers can be very effective. Laser treatment of scars can reduce their appearance by as much as 80 percent. It can also help prevent a recurrence of the scar. Scars are caused when a healing injury becomes inflamed.

This can result in tissue forming around the site of the injury and creating a scar. Scars result when the amounts of collage are disturbed during the healing process. Scars are really just a mass of collagen.

Laser Scar Removal Treatment

Treating scars with laser scar removal techniques can help improve the appearance of several types of scars.

  • Keloid scars – these are firm, reddish-purple scars which are raised above the skin. These scars also extend beyond the original wound or injury area and can build up over time.
  • Hypertrophic scars – these scars are pinkish and are also firm and raised above the skin. These scars remain within the original wound or injury area and can fade with time.
  • Atrophic scars – these are the types of scars which occur with acne. These scars are depressed pockets with wavelike or pin like marks.

Laser scar treatment is not an option for everyone. If you have certain types of skin disorders such as dermatitis, psoriasis or cystic acne you may not be able to receive laser scar treatment.

The Procedure

dermatologist A dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon will use a laser to move along the scar, vaporizing a layer of skin and exposing the fresh, new layer. This newly revealed skin will heal over time and will minimize the appearance of the scar. There are different types of lasers. Some focus on the lower layers of the skin and can stimulate the growth of new collagen.

Laser scar treatment also corrects scars from the inside. Your laser scar treatment will typically be performed under local anesthesia. This treatment is also usually performed at an outpatient clinic, but may also occur at a hospital or the surgeon’s office.

Depending upon the extent of your scarring, your physician may decide to use general anesthesia during the procedure. Laser scar removal treatment can take from a few minutes up to an hour or more.

Laser Types

There are several types of lasers used in scar removal. Each is unique and provides different benefits in laser scar removal.

  • Er:YAG and CO2 – these are referred to as YAG lasers and are typically used to treat scarring from acne. The Er:YAG laser is an ablative laser which is used to sandblast away a layer of skin. This type of laser is not as damaging as the CO2 laser. The CO2 laser is also an ablative laser used to sandblast away a layer of skin. With the CO2 laser, there may be substantial downtime while the skin is healing.
  • injectionFractionated CO2 and Er:YAG – these types of lasers include fractionated radiofrequency and Fraxel treatments.
  • These types of laser treatments are effective in treating acne scarring, however it usually takes several treatments.  A fractionated laser treats a small part, or fraction of the skin’s surface. The laser forms small wounds within the deeper layers of the skin. Untreated skin surrounds each of these wounds and help to repair the wounded area.
  • 585-595-nm Laser with pulsed dye technology – these types of lasers include both the Candela and Cynosure laser which are used to treat keloid and hypertrophic scarring. These types of lasers can be used either with or without steroids. They may also be used with 5-FU injections of five percent. These types of lasers are used to flatten scars.

These types of lasers are not considered ablative because they do not burn off the surface of the skin. Instead, these lasers work on the skin beneath the surface and stimulate the growth of new collagen. You will experience little downtime with this type of laser scar removal treatment.

Following Laser Scar Removal Treatment

Laser Scar RemovalFollowing laser scar removal treatment, your physician should provide you an aftercare regimen.

This typically includes washing the treated area with a mild soap, then patting it dry and applying an antibiotic cream with a nonstick bandage. Your doctor may also prescribe a medicated cream which can help scars fade.

They may also add a cool mask to help with the healing. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help with any discomfort following laser treatment.  Treating scars with laser technology can be a very effective way of improving their appearance. Scars will not disappear completely, but with the right treatment, they may fade and become less noticeable.

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