Want To Minimize Scars? Try Laser Treatments!
Have you seen a recent photo of Raquel Welch? Who would think she was almost 80 years old! Sometimes life just isn’t fair, and some people just look like they never had teenage acne or a sunburn in their life.
I mean, it’s not surprising that we mere mortals fight the aging affects from scars and sunburns. Until recently, effective acne treatments or the importance of sunscreen weren’t widely known. As a result, some of us experience discoloring and premature wrinkling from overexposure to the sun.
And while we may never have Raquel’s flawless 80-year-old skin, we can do a few things to polish up the appearance of our skin. One of the most effective ways is through laser treatment therapy!
How Laser Treatment Minimizes Scars
Laser treatment for scars uses light therapy to remove outer layers of damaged skin and stimulate the growth of new skin cells. And, while laser treatment won’t remove a scar altogether, it can provide a dramatic improvement!
Laser treatment for scars can help by:
- Reducing pain
- Reducing itchiness
- Improve the motion around the scar
- Minimizing the scar’s appearance
The types of scars typically seen in these outpatient office visits include skin damaged from injuries, burn marks, acne scars, and pigmentation spots due to age and sun damage as well as other types of hyperpigmentation.
Laser therapy minimizes a scar’s appearance by treating the blood vessels, and thereby reducing redness. Laser therapy also encourages collagen production by stimulating cells directly underneath the skin’s surface. Finally, surface layers of the skin are smoothed by removing damaged skin, causing the overall skin texture to improve.
Who Should Get Laser Treatment For Scars?
You should get laser treatment for scars if you want clearer, softer, and brighter skin! Laser treatments not only minimize scars, they also reduce wrinkles and lines, uneven pigmentation from sun damage, and more.
You might want to avoid laser treatment for scars if you suffer from light and heat sensitivity. Your practitioner may also discourage a laser treatment if you’re taking blood-thinners as bleeding may occur. Active acne and skin sores may also be a sign to stay away from laser treatments, at least until your skin clears. You should also be aware that if you have a darker complexion, the laser therapy may disrupt natural skin pigmentation.
We definitely recommend setting up a free consultation to discuss whether laser treatment for scars is right for you.
How The Laser Treatment Works
Laser treatment for scars should be performed by a board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon. It’s an outpatient procedure with mild side-effects.
During your treatment, you may be given a mild numbing agent or oral sedative depending on the area being treated. The practitioner will cover your eyes with goggles, and then begin! You can expect the treatment to take about an hour to complete. Afterwards, an ointment will be applied to your skin to help protect it.
Side-effects from your laser treatment may include some temporary swelling, redness and oozing for a day or two. But recovery is quick: complete healing takes place in a few days to a week and a half. Most clients, depending in the depth of their treatment, are able to return to work after 2-3 weeks.
Recovering From Your Laser Treatment
There may be mild discomfort during the treatment and some mild side effects shortly afterward, including redness, swelling, itching, and bleeding for cases where the area treated was on the broader or deeper side of the spectrum. Clients can expect to resume regular activity after treatment with little to no time off work. It may take a few months before you see the full effect of your treatment.
It’s best to avoid direct sunlight for up to two months following laser treatment on areas of the skin that are exposed. Swelling may be reduced with cold compresses. If you experience discomfort, you may take over-the-counter pain medication. Follow your doctor’s washing, moisturizing instructions and for the facial area, avoid makeup as directed.
Types of Laser Treatments
Aesthetica offers different options for laser treatments. Your doctor will determine which type of resurfacing is needed to address your situation. Be sure to discuss all options when you meet for a consultation. Your options may include the following:
Ablative laser resurfacing works on thin skin layers, similar to a deep chemical peel. It offers the technician a high level of control, which reduces skin damage. It works best for firming the skin as well as treating acne scars and wrinkles.
Non-ablative lasers don’t actually remove skin cells. They micro-damage skin cells, stimulating the growth of collagen beneath the surface layers of the skin. This laser best addresses fine lines and wrinkles, and can take up to 3 months to reveal full results.
Fractionated laser resurfacing combines both ablative and non-ablative treatments. It removes uneven pigmentation by reaching deep layers of the skin. This also promotes collagen growth, making the skin appear younger. This treatment works most effectively on fine lines, sun damage, acne scars, and pigmentation issues.
Micro Laser Peel
Micro laser peels remove the most surface layer of the skin, which you body will replace with fresher, more youthful skin cells. The laser allows the technician to control the depth of treatment so it functions like a deep microdermabrasion or a deep skin resurfacing. This treatment may not be best for scars though as it’s most effective for fine lines and wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, and sunspots.
What Is The Best Laser Package For Me?
Costs Of Laser Treatments
Costs for this procedure vary according to the size and age of the scar (studies have revealed that older scars respond particularly well) and the extent of the treatment required. Since scar treatments are considered cosmetic and therefore “elective,” most insurance plans won’t cover a laser treatment.
Patients can pay anywhere from $200 to $4,000 to minimize the appearance and thickness of scar tissue effectively.
The total cost can be determined at your free consultation when your cosmetic surgeon or nurse will work with you to determine the type and extent of treatment that will work best for you.
For those wondering whether laser treatments might be the best cosmetic solution for your scar, we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.
Let Us Help You!
Our office can provide you with helpful information, schedule a free consultation, and walk you through the many options for scar treatment and skin resurfacing at Aesthetica.