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Weighing the Pros and Cons of Laser Scar Removal

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Laser scar removal is becoming an increasingly popular procedure with the advancement of laser technology.  Many dermatologists provide this service in addition to specialty skin laser clinics.  While they are most commonly used to treat acne scars, the process has evolved to be able to treat scars of various shapes and sizes or those caused by injuries.  A less invasive alternative to surgical cosmetic procedures, laser scar removal does have some pros and cons.  We will talk about the three types of laser scar removal and the benefits and drawbacks of each.  Also keep in mind that if you are considering treatment, to research in detail the considerations and risks of each type with a professional, as depending on your situation, different methods may work better than others.  Let’s dive in!

Ablative Laser Treatments

Laser scar removal can be done using the ablative method, which involves removing the top layer of the scar tissue, as well as reaching into deeper layers of the skin to tighten it and smooth the skin cells.  These treatments are often used for deep or acne scars.  A dermatologist uses a specialized wand over your skin to remove the skin cells. Many find this method to be powerful and especially useful for deep scar tissue treatments.  Unfortunately, it is an expensive option compared to others.  You will also require sedation and recovery time can last from days to weeks.

Non-Ablative Laser Treatments

Laser scar removal has another, less invasive variety known as non-ablative laser treatment.  This method does not remove any skin cells, it causes change within the cells of the scar tissues.  The laser causes damage to the affected skin cells from the inner layers of the dermis, which encourages collagen growth and creation of new cells in the skin.  The procedure takes only a fraction of the time that ablative laser treatments take, and recovery time is almost negligible.  One drawback is that it is also a painful treatment, and you may require several sessions to get the results you seek.  And since most of the effects of the lasers are within the skin, it may take weeks or months before any kind of changes are seen.

Fractionated Laser Resurfacing

Laser scar removal by fractionated laser resurfacing is done by having the laser create millions of tiny holes underneath the surface of your skin.  Like non-ablative treatments, this encourages the growth of collagen and skin cells to help fill in the empty spaces created by the laser.  Because of the increased depth of the laser penetration, there is also a waiting period to see results from this treatment.

Deciding on the right treatment could be one of the options above, or maybe a combination of them.  A dermatologist can help you decide the right treatment for your scarring, and create a treatment specific to you.

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