Acne is not just displeasing but a painful skin disease. If left untreated, it can aggravate into cysts and scars. With the advancement in dermatology, it is easier than ever, to get rid of these acne scars with desired efficacy. One such advancement is the development of laser treatments. A controlled laser beam is focused on acne and acne scars, to remove the deformed skin ‘layer by layer’ and bring out better healing with newer skin cells from beneath.
What Is Laser Acne Scar Treatment?
Laser is a non-invasive treatment for acne and acne scars. Over the past few years, more and more people are opting for laser treatments to remove acne scars. In this method, the lasers produce an intense monochromatic light, which is aimed on the scars. When the laser is focused continuously on a particular part of your skin, it leads to breaking down of the tissues as they get heated. This will stimulate the production of collagen and pave way for new cell growth. This also helps in skin tightening and dead skin removal also allowing healthy skin layers to emerge from below. Thus minimizing the appearance of scars.
Why Should You Go For Laser Scar Treatment?
- It is one of the best ways to reduce the appearance of the acne scars. Though they may not get rid of deeper acne scars completely.
- Laser treatment is extremely safe, as it is performed by certified dermatologists in good skin clinics.
- Laser treatment helps in getting rid of acne scars very effectively. However, there are chances of re-occurrence of the acne scars since laser treatment does not entail permanent removal.
- Many people are skeptical about having laser beams focused on their face and other body parts. However, there is nothing to worry. While undergoing the treatment, you will feel a slight burning and prickly sensation.
- There are different types of laser treatments that you can choose, for acne scar removal. Your dermatologist can determine the best laser treatment only after they conduct a thorough analysis of your skin type, depth of scar, root cause of acne, etc.
- Though laser treatments are painless, some people might experience little discomfort depending upon their tolerance level. Your dermatologist can apply numbing creams. Also follow all the aftercare instructions properly, to prevent any unease.
- Once the treatment is complete, you will start noticing positive results almost a week after the treatment. Depending upon the extent of your acne scars, it can take almost a year for your skin to heal completely.
- Additionally, avoid any kind of tanning on your skin, both natural and artificial, using a sunscreen with SPF 50 on a regular basis, cleansing your skin so that all the oil, dirt and grime is removed. If you have a darker skin tone, then it is advisable to use Hydroquinone and Retin A for about two weeks prior to your laser treatment.
Brief History Of Laser For Scar Removal
Laser treatments for acne scar removal began in the 1980’s with the introduction of the neodymium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG) laser. Later on in the 1990’s the vascular-specific 585-nm pulsed dye laser (PDL) were introduced wherein the target was on the hemoglobin. Later on, the carbon dioxide laser ablation was introduced which could remove the extra growth of skin present on the acne scars.
Also Read: Most Common Myths And Facts About Acne Scars
What Are The Types Of Laser Treatments For Acne Scars?
- Pixel Laser – It is the most effective way of treating acne scars. It creates many small laser holes on the skin thus removing parts of the top layer of the skin, keeping the surrounding cells unaffected. This helps in quick healing and new collagen production, thus smoothing and tightening the skin.
- Laser Resurfacing – In this type of laser treatment, the skin layers are removed one by one, with precision, so that new skin cells can form. Laser helps in dissolving the molecular bonds of damaged skin, layer by layer. This procedure makes your skin look younger and tighter on the surface. A dermatologist can use either the CO2 laser or the Erbium: YAG laser for skin resurfacing. CO2 laser is preferred for removing deeper acne scars while Erbium: YAG laser is used for superficial acne scars.
- Fractionated Laser Resurfacing – In this procedure, the laser beams penetrate deep into the skin, causing multiple microscopic holes, which help in breaking down the old skin cells as well as stimulate the production of collagen in the skin. Here only small part of the skin is treated with laser, thus it helps in quicker healing.
- Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing – In this procedure, the surface of the skin is left untouched and the laser beams heat up the inner layers of the skin. This results in collagen production and formation of new skin cells.
Popularity Of Lasers In Acne Scar Treatment
One of the main reasons why laser treatments for acne scar removal have become popular is the fact that unlike other treatments such as surgery, it is not very painful and very quick, with effective results. They are quite hassle-free and require very little post-care routine. In addition, when compared to dermabrasion, laser treatments are less prone to infections or any bloody wounds.
Availability Of Laser Treatment For Acne And Scars
Because of its popularity, laser treatments are now widely available. They not just treat facial flaws like acne scars but also enhance the skin’s overall appearance. They help in removing damaged skin cells, layer by layer and also stimulating new collagen production to give better appearance to your skin and tightening the internal skin layers. Laser procedures is undertaken even at a beauty parlor by aestheticians, but keeping the efficacy and safety aspects in mind, you must never compromise on the quality of laser treatment. Check at a good skin clinic and consult an expert dermatologist, as at the end, it is your skin.
Risk Factors Associated With Laser Treatments
- Temporary hyper-pigmentation is the most common side effect of laser treatments.
- After the treatment, you will notice that the treated area has become red and slightly swollen. Both of these will subside after a couple of days.
- Your skin becomes quite sensitive post laser, which is why you should avoid sun exposure. Lack of doing so will result in sunburn.
- Very rarely some may develop blistering and scarring.
- Bacterial infection may also occur for some.
- Depending upon the type of laser used, one can expect a slight bruising, which will again heal on its own within a couple of days.
- Minor breakouts can be expected, though not everyone will experience this side effect.
- The most common risk is definitely the possibility of the re-occurrence of the acne scars.
Laser treatments are the most advanced procedures to get rid of acne and acne scars effectively. Being quick, effective and almost painless, these procedures are good for all skin types especially for the Indian skin. It is important to reach out to a good skin clinic, which has stringent protocols and does not compromise on equipment quality. Also, refer an expert dermatologist for efficacy of your laser treatment.