Acne scars can have a negative impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. While there are many topical products available to help fade scars, many of them fail to deliver on their promises, leaving people more disappointed than ever.
But, as laser technology advances, acne scar treatments are quick becoming the scar removal method of choice for many. If this is something you’ve been thinking about, here are six things you should know before committing to a treatment plan.
1. LASERS ARE MORE EFFECTIVE THAN OTHER TREATMENTS FOR FADING ACNE SCARS.
Why have lasers become so popular in the treatment of acne scars?
Simple because they work so well. Yes, there are other alternative treatments available, but they do not have the same noticeable and long-lasting effect.
For example, chemical peels. These are only effective on a surface level. Those that have the potential to penetrate deep enough to reach scar tissue are extremely dangerous. Another popular treatment is dermabrasion, but it can cause prolonged redness. When used alone, it also has no discernible effect on acne scars.
Although lasers do not completely remove acne scars, there is no other treatment available that does. Laser treatments are the next best thing. Scars can be permanently faded to the point where they are visible.
2. THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LASERS FOR THE TREATMENT OF ACNE SCARS.
There are several different lasers used in acne scar treatment, and each works in its own unique way.
The most powerful are ablative lasers, with results visible six months after treatment. There are several types of ablative lasers used for acne scars, including CO2 and Erbium.
Non-ablative are less harsh. While results take longer to appear and more treatments are usually required, this is the best option for those with darker skin tones. The downtime for these treatments is usually minimal, and the procedure is almost painless.
Another option is a Fractional laser, which falls somewhere between ablative and non-ablative.
How do you know which laser to choose?
It is dependent on the type of scars you have. Each laser is best suited to a specific scar type, which your doctor will discuss with you when developing your treatment plan.
3. THE MOST EFFECTIVE APPROACH IS A MULTI MODAL ONE
Because most people have more than one type of acne scar, combining many treatments is usually the quickest way to clear and bright skin. This implies that, in addition to laser treatments, other types of treatments should be used.
Again, your doctor will tell you about this, and good practice will be able to provide all these treatments under one roof. For severe scarring, for example, a Fraxel laser, a chemical peel, and fillers will most likely be required.
In combination with micro-needling and microdermabrasion, a more gentle scar would be best treated with a non-ablative resurfacing laser.
Those with darker skin tones may not be ideal candidates for some forms of laser treatment as well as a multi-modal approach. Dark skin tones have an increased risk of hyperpigmentation following laser therapy, so a doctor with a variety of skin tones must be picked.
All this is why tailored treatment plans are a must for the removal of laser acne scars. Here’s no solution for “one size fits all.” Your doctor should talk to you from the very beginning.
4. LASER ACNE SCAR TREATMENTS ARE EASY TO USE.
Many people expect laser treatments to be painful, and they used to be. But, with so many technological advancements, laser treatments today, particularly those involved in acne scar removal, are pain-free.
Most patients describe the procedure as pleasant, making many treatments a breeze.
If you’re having laser treatment on a larger area of skin and are concern about pain, ask your doctor to apply a topical numbing solution before each treatment. This means you won’t feel the laser at all, which is always appealing to people with low pain tolerance.
5. ANTI-AGING SKIN BENEFITS FROM LASER TREATMENTS
There are a variety of laser treatments available to help the skin look younger. While anti-ageing effects aren’t the main focus of acne scar treatments, they are a welcome bonus for patients!
A laser stimulates the natural healing process by inflicting a controlled amount of damage in the deeper layers of the skin. Collagen, one of the key proteins that give your skin firmness and fullness, is involved in this process.
In the areas where laser treatments have been performed, the skin is smoother and tighter as a result. When combined with topical collagen-stimulating ingredients, this effect can be amplified even more.
Retinal products, as well as those containing glycol acid, vitamin C, and peptides, are excellent for this. But, any new topical ingredients should be introduced. After laser treatment, your skin will be extremely sensitive for a while, and anything too harsh could irritate it. To avoid a serious reaction, a patch test is always recommended first.
6. IN THE WRONG HANDS, A LASER CAN BE DANGEROUS.
Laser treatments are not covered by the law. The procedure can be performed by estheticians who have never studied laser treatments before. And this is where the lack of experience comes into play. A patient could experience hyperpigmentation and even a severe burn if the laser’s heat or light output varies even slightly.
While each state has its own set of rules for performing laser acne scar treatments, patients should be cautious about where they get their laser treatments. Look for a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who is board-certified. Check to see if they have a lot of experience treating acne scars with lasers. Particularly when it comes to the scars you have.
The majority of complications that occur after laser acne scar treatments are caused by inexperienced practitioners making mistakes.
Although there are many options for treating and preventing acne scars, laser treatments are still the most effective. Whatever type or severity of scars you have, there is a laser treatment that can help you get rid of them and reclaim the clear, healthy skin of your youth.