Laser Treatment for Scars
If you have scars and are not finding options to remove them effectively, then fear not. Laser treatment can get rid of your scars for you, quickly and efficiently. For instance, if you have acne scars which are of a very stubborn type, then there are basically two kinds of lasers that would be used for the treatment – ablative lasers (which are used in resurfacing) and non-ablative lasers (which do not damage the surface of the skin). If you have a moderate to severe case of acne scars, then ablative laser would be used, they can totally remove keloids which are caused due to acne.
Ablative lasers basically burn off the unattractive scarred tissue, but one disadvantage of them is that they sometimes cause minimal damage to the lower layers of the skin. This does not lead to scarring, but you should note that the skin takes at least a couple of months to heal properly. Ablative lasers can be of two types – carbon dioxide lasers (which treat atrophic scars) and pulsed dye lasers (which treat thick, red nodular scars).
When you undergo laser treatment for scars, you should note that your skin will be raw and inflamed, and you would need a lot of post-operative care, only this would prevent infection. If you need multiple sessions of laser treatment, then you might have to tolerate many prolonged months of discomfort, because your skin will be extremely tender. However, non-ablative laser treatment does not hurt the skin; it reduces the production of sebum by heating the sebaceous glands. It stimulates the production of collagen, this makes the depressed scars fill out naturally and smoothen themselves out.
In fact, non-ablative laser treatment does not have nasty side effects, and unlike in the case of ablative laser treatment, there is no risk of infection. But this is only for people who have mild or moderate scarring, and multiple sessions are needed. Plus, non-ablative laser treatment is quite expensive. Sometimes, your doctor might prescribe Retin-A (retinoid) treatments and Alphahydroxy or glycolic acid (chemical peels) along with your laser treatment to get the optimum results to remove your scars.
So basically, how do lasers work, when removing scars? Well, all kinds of lasers (ablative, non-ablative, and fractional) are effective in treatment superficial and medium depth scars. They work in two ways – by removing the superficial scar tissue (this is called laser resurfacing), and the laser energy stimulates the formation of new collagen in the dermis – this results in the skin tightening and firming up – this in turn makes the depressed scars rise to the surface. In this two-fold mechanism, the laser treatment is effective in smoothening out the scars and making them much less visible.
Laser treatment for scars is quite expensive, but if you have really bad scars and can afford it, do go for laser treatment as it is definitely one of the best options that are available to treat your scarring. You could go for ablative lasers (which emit high energy at extremely short pulses, thus vaporizing the targeted scar area which little or minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue), they are a good alternative as compared to dermabrasions and chemical peels. You could also go for carbon dioxide lasers (studies have shown that they are 50-80% effective in dealing with atrophic scars), they can achieve a depth of 20-60 micrometer and a thermal damage diameter of 20-50 micrometer. Then there is also Pulsed Erbium YAG available, which produces less thermal damage than the CO2 laser, but it is not as efficient. But it is useful in treating the superficial atrophic scars.