Laser Acne Scar Removal
|Acne Scars form at the site of an injury. They are the visible reminders of injury and tissue repair. In the case of acne, the injury is caused by the body’s inflammatory response to sebum, bacteria and dead cells in the plugged sebaceous follicle. Two types of true scars exist:
(1) depressed areas such as ice-pick scars, and
(2) raised thickened tissue such as keloids.
Frequently Asked QuestionsHow does laser skin resurfacing work?
The laser light is absorbed by the water in your skin cells. The absorption in turn causes the instantaneous vaporization or destruction of the cell. As your physician passes the laser light over your skin, a mere 30 millionths of an inch of tissue is removed at a time. This incredible control allows your physician to treat only as deeply as needed, from removing wrinkles to merely refreshing your overall skin appearance. After the damaged skin is removed, new skin quickly regrows in its place.
Does it hurt?
The level of discomfort is different for every person and also varies by the location and surface area to be treated. Many patients do not request any pain medication during treatment and relate the discomfort as comparable to a sunburn. Other patients will appreciate a topical or more extensive anesthetic. Your physician will discuss your options with you based upon your own tolerance and the specific areas to be treated. Laser resurfacing may cause the skin to become raw, red or pink with mild to moderate discomfort for several days following the procedure. Although over the counter medication is usually sufficient, your physician may recommend alternative pain relief options to keep you comfortable.
How do I take care of my skin immediately after treatment?
Depending on your specific treatment, your physician will prescribe detailed skin care instruction. To avoid the risk of infection and to ensure a positive result, please follow these instruction carefully. After you have healed, you will need to continually protect your new skin. In the early weeks and months following treatment, your skin will be very susceptible to sun damage. If at all possible, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. If you must be in the sun for a short time, please use sunscreens recommended by your physician.
Remember, one of the reasons you are probably considering laser resurfacing is because of the long-term damaging effects the sun has had on your skin.
How long will the healing process take?
Of course, everyone will heal at various rates depending on the depth of treatment, the particular areas treated and your own healing rate. Noticeable results are typically seen in few weeks. Light resurfacing around the eyes and lips in general takes only a few days. Most patients can be treated before the weekend and be almost completely healed by the following Monday. A deep full facial resurfacing may take up to 2-3 weeks before you feel aesthetically comfortable to return to your normal activities. Areas further away from your face, such as hands, may take up to a month for the full treatment benefits to become apparent.
Are there any complications with laser resurfacing?
Although the Erbium laser has substantially reduced the risks associated with laser procedures, infection, temporary or permanent pigmentary changes, even scarring or other unsatisfactory results can occur. As with any medical procedure, be certain to thoroughly discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your physician.