Laser Scar Treatment: All You Need to Know

Scars affect different aspects of our lives in various ways. While they are only skin deep, it does not make their impact on a person’s life any less real. Research has shown that people with scars are more prone to depression and anxiety and tend to be more self-conscious.

What exactly are scars? In simple terms, they are signs of your body’s healing process. They form when the dermis, the deepest skin layer, is damaged, and the body produces new collagen fibers to fix the damage. Typically, scar tissue has a different texture and feel than normal skin tissue. Some scars can be raised when the body produces too much collagen. Others may look pale and blend more with the surrounding skin.

What is Laser Scar Treatment?

According to a 2008 study, people with visible scars are more unhappy with their appearance and might develop unhealthy coping mechanisms such as fewer social interactions. Luckily, with technological advancements in cosmetic treatments, there are now state-of-the-art scar treatment procedures, such as laser scar treatments. This post will explain laser scar treatment, also known as laser skin resurfacing or laser scar revision.

In simple terms, laser treatment is a procedure that is designed to reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin. When performed for scarring, procedures are done once the scar has formed and fully healed. One of the most significant benefits of laser treatment is that it has no downtime, and individuals can typically resume normal activities immediately after.

Different Types of Laser Scar Revision

Different kinds of laser treatments are available, and each has a unique approach. The treatment an individual receives depends on the severity of scarring, skin type, the amount of pigment you have in your skin, and surface area size. It is important to note that these procedures do not necessarily remove the scars. They will only lessen their appearance. In addition, multiple sessions will typically be required to see optimal results.

Picosure Laser Treatment

Picosure is designed for highly visible scars that are raised. It works by removing the skin under these scars without damaging the surrounding tissue. This, in turn,  promotes collagen production, which helps minimize scars and blemishes.

Fractional Skin Resurfacing

Unlike, Picosure laser treatment, fractional skin resurfacing is designed to stimulate the renewal process at the skin’s surface. A device known as a fractional laser is used to deliver heat through the outer skin layer in micro quantities. This process triggers the body’s natural renewal response to form collagen around the problem area.

CO2 laser Resurfacing

This method uses targeted beams of light to assist in removing the outer layer of the skin. These beams penetrate the skins surface and the water in the skin cells absorbs them. Users are advised to avoid heavy sun exposure or tanning 4 weeks prior to treatment.

Pulsed dye laser treatment

The pulsed dye laser works by targeting the tiny blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface which, over time (due to scarring), can become large or clustered, creating the appearance of redness. The laser delivers a beam of concentrated pure yellow light to the targeted blood vessels. This converts into heat, causing the blood vessels to shrivel.

Recovery and Potential Side Effects of Scar Treatments

While there is no need for downtime following a scar treatment, the recovery time for mild side effects to disappear is typically 3 to 10 days. These can include swelling, itching, redness, and peeling. During this time, your doctor will give you a definitive list of guidelines to follow, such as the following:

  • You may need to avoid makeup for a few days after treating areas on the face
  • Wash the area and apply moisturizer daily
  • You may be asked to avoid direct sunlight for six weeks after the procedure
  • Your doctor may also ask you to apply a moist cloth or cold pack over the area to minimize swelling

While going for these procedures, you can expect some mild discomfort, although, in some instances, the doctor might apply a local anesthetic to numb the area.

Laser Skin Resurfacing Can Help Lessen the Appearance of Scars

Scars often affect people negatively, making them more self-conscious. Some individuals might even develop stress and anxiety due to the appearance of these marks. This is why procedures that diminish their appearance are valuable. With laser scar treatments, you do not have to live with severely visible scars all your life.