The appearance of scarring can often be significantly reduced through laser therapy. Focused light therapy is used to either stimulate new skin cell production to effectively cover the skin cells that were damaged or to remove the top layer on the surface of the skin. This type of treatment can reduce the look of scars, warts, keloid tissue, age spots and wrinkles in the skin. In most cases, the skin is numbed using a topical anesthetic. In some instances, sedation is required. The scar removal treatment is performed on an outpatient basis by a skilled and experienced dermatologist. The technique used to resurface the skin does not require surgery. The result is an improvement in the appearance of the scar.
The procedure sends concentrated light beams directly into the area requiring scar removal. This process is effective for significantly reducing scar tissue and helping to eliminate age spots, wrinkles and fine lines. The main reason the procedure is so effective is because the layers of the skin are all heated. The first two layers heated are the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin and the dermis, or the layer right underneath. As soon as the body perceives damage to the skin, the healing process is triggered to begin repairs. The body releases several different healing agents including collagen. The majority of the severe damage is to the epidermis. The healing agents released by the body are absorbed by the dermis layer. This means once the damaged layer has fallen away, the fresher, newer skin beneath is revealed.
The purpose of the procedure is to encourage new cells to grow. This means the treatment helps to rejuvenate the skin. In most cases, scar tissue is located on the skin’s surface. Once the dermis layer of the skin has been revealed, the appearance of the scar tissue is diminished in appearance. More than one procedure is often reacquired once the skin has had enough time to heal. When the scar tissue is present in more than one layer of the skin, additional treatments often result in a significant improvement. The multiple treatments enable different layers of the scar tissue to be effectively targeted. The procedure is also convenient since you do not need to go to the hospital. This is an outpatient procedure performed at our office. The procedure does not require a large portion of time.
The typical treatment requires a maximum of one to two hours. The device used for the procedure resembles a handheld wand. The devices is passed over the area of the skin with the scar tissue. Damaged skin cells are removed with every pass of the device. The type of laser recommended is usually based on the severity of the scarred tissue. The available choices and their individual purposes are discussed with the patient. Less noticeable and more minor scarring located on the skin’s surface are generally treated using a more gentle laser. This laser requires a lot less sedation because it is almost completely painless. The period of recovery is much shorter. Most individuals only require a few days for a full recovery.
We offer other, more powerful lasers as well to treat deeper scar tissue. These lasers are capable of penetrating to the deeper layers of the skin. This effectively treats the scar tissue located far beneath the surface of the skin. A sedative and an anesthetic may be used for this treatment to help ensure the person remains relaxed and comfortable throughout the procedure. The period of recovery is a little longer, but most people feel the results were well worth the additional downtime. There are several other types of lasers available for scar removal. The laser selection begins with the initial consultation with the physician. Once the scar has been examined, the best laser for the procedure will be recommended. Damaged skin is treated using a high energy light to achieve the best results.
Each laser was created to treat a specific skin condition or type of scar. At Lazur La Vie Laser Centre and Day Spa, we offer Alma Harmony AFT, i-Pixel, and Micro-Ablative RF Needling as options for scar removal. Laser therapy skin resurfacing is often recommended for scars, lines, wrinkles and blotches resulting from excessive sun exposure, acne and aging. The result is healthier and more youthful looking skin. The skin is removed in layers during this procedure using extreme precision.
It is not difficult to care for the area after the treatment. The individual should wait approximately one day prior to cleansing the skin daily. Anointment like petroleum jelly is applied regularly to ensure a scab is unable to form. The downtime associated with this procedure can be very short. The actual cost of the treatment is dependent on the severity and size of the scar and the number of treatments necessary. According to the latest studies it may not be possible to remove the scar completely. This being said, the thickness and appearance of the scar can be minimized effectively.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis making it easy and convenient. The wand used in the procedure is capable of treating numerous issues including:
• Scars received from injuries or surgery
• Acne scars
• Age spots
• Burn marks
• Dark Spots
• Different types of hyperpigmentation
Since this treatment uses both light and heat, it is not recommended for individuals with an extreme sensitivity to light. This sensitivity often results from specific medications. It is important to talk to the physician about any medications you are currently taking. The physician will be able to determine if you are a good candidate for laser therapy. This procedure is not recommended if you are taking any medications to thin your blood due to the bleeding risks involved. The downtime for this procedure is not extended so the individual will not have to take a lot of time off work. In some instances the person was able to go back to work the day after the treatment. It is important to note that although the treatment cannot completely eliminate the scar, the appearance will be a lot less noticeable.
Once the body sustains an injury to the skin, the process of repair will begin. The injury is protected from an infection or germs by the formation of a scab. Once the scab has fallen off, the skin may be the same color as the surrounding area. When the injury is deeper, there is usually some type of scarring once the scab has fallen off. As time passes, the scar may become lighter or fade away. If the scar is permanent, this procedure is often used to remove the damaged layer on the surface of the skin. The appearance and tone of the scar tissue is improved by smoothing out the skin. The procedure can also decrease redness caused by the blood vessels located in the scar tissue. The surface of the skin is penetrated to encourage new skin cell production.
The Different Types of Laser Therapy Procedures for Scar Removal
There are a fairly wide variety of lasers used to treat scar tissue. The best procedure is determined by the medical professional after an examination of the scar tissue. One option is the ablative procedure. This procedure was designed to improve the look of wrinkles, warts and scars. The outer skin layer is removed by the resurfacing to eliminate skin cells on the surface layer that have been damaged. Surface scarring is usually addressed with the erbium laser. Deeper scars usually require a more effective laser. The non-ablative resurfacing penetrates the skin’s inner layer using infrared heat. Damaged skin cells are replaced through a combination of cell renewal and the production of new collagen.
The fractionated resurfacing procedure removes cells with a darker pigmentation by penetrating to a deeper level. This treatment makes scar tissue less apparent through a combination of skin cell renewal and the production of new collagen. All of the available procedures are performed in the physician’s office as an outpatient procedure. The length of time required for the procedure depends on the severity of the scar and the type of treatment being used. A topical anesthetic may be applied to ensure the area is numb and help prevent the individual from feeling any pain. If the scar is large, sedation is often used. In most cases the person will need three to ten days for their skin to fully heal. It is important to follow the aftercare instructions provided by the physician after the procedure. This may include:
• Using a moist cloth or cold pack on the treated area
• Staying out of direct sunlight for approximately four to six weeks after treatment
• Cosmetics should be avoided for several days after a facial treatment
• Applying moisturizer and washing the area every day
The results of the treatment are not always immediate. The difference may not be apparent for several weeks or as long as a few months. Once the individual makes the decision to have laser therapy, they will be given the information necessary to properly prepare for the treatment. The following changes are often recommended prior to the procedure.
• The individual should quit smoking a minimum of two weeks prior to the procedure
• Two to four weeks prior to treatment the individual should stop using any skin care products with glycolic acid or retinol
• Any medications slowing down the healing process should be stopped two weeks prior to the procedure including supplements and aspirin
• Direct exposure to the sun should be avoided and sunblock applied prior to the treatment
Laser Therapy Specifically for Acne Scar Removal
One of the best treatments for acne scarring is laser therapy. The treatment is non-invasive, has minimal downtime and works well with a fairly wide selection of other acne treatments. It is important to be properly prepared for the procedure. This usually starts with a physical examination and a review of the medical history of the individual. During this time, the individual and the physician talk about the potential results of the treatment and the expectations of the individual. It is important to keep all expectations reasonable. The person should additionally:
• Avoid collagen injections, tanning beds, chemical peels, waxing and sunbathing for two weeks prior to the treatment
• Avoid any potential irritants in the area being treated such as deodorants and perfumes both before and after the procedure
• Avoid herbal supplements, anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin because they can increase the risk of the patient bleeding
It is important not to expect any dramatic changes in the acne scarring for a minimum of several weeks after completing the treatment. The area treated may have a red or pink appearance for up to eight hours after the procedure. Lotions, perfumes and cosmetics should not be used on the area treated for a minimum of 24 hours.
If you are interested in learning more or would like to have laser therapy for scar removal, feel free to reach out to us at Lazur La Vie Laser Centre and Day Spa in Nyack, NY. We will find the right treatment for your needs. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!