What is the Best Laser Treatment for Acne Scars?

List Of Laser Treatments For Acne Scars Feature Image

Laser treatment for acne scars is perhaps one of the most searched terms on the internet today. This holds true with the fact that acne is common among people of all ages, especially women and teenagers. Most of the acne, especially when picked, can leave scars behind damaging the skin and bringing confidence down. In this write-up, find out what laser treatment for acne scars is, how it is done, possible side effects, and its success rate.

How Do Acne Scars Occur?

When sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria accumulate the pores, acne results; leaving behind lesions and inflammation.  Your body then works to fix the damage by forming higher amounts of collagen, a mechanism that changes the texture of your skin. It is a process that results in raised areas or indentations on the surface of the skin leading to scars. It means that the healing process of acne can lead to the formation of scars. These scars are classed into 3 categories depending on the amount of collagen formed or lost.

  1. Hypertrophic Scars: Upon the formation of an excessive amount of collagen, these scars form, leaving bumps on your skin. Hypertrophic are thick and raised, and usually, form during the healing process. These are common in people with dark skins.
  2. Keloidal Scars: These look like papules, often spreading beyond the affected area. They also form when too much collagen is formed.
  3. Atrophic Scars: As the acne heals, some tissue may be lost. When this happens, atrophic acne occurs, causing skin

How Does Laser Treatment Work?

Acne scars are different, and each has its unique internal structure making them difficult to treat. Your dermatologist will need to assess each individually, meaning that customized treatment will be required for each patient. Lasers are monochromatic beams of light limited within a narrow band of wavelength. They are used to stimulate the dermal fibroblasts to facilitate healing. It is a treatment method that can also be used to treat pain, enhance vision, prevent hair loss, and remove tumors and growths. The following can be treated using laser therapy:

  • Burn marks
  • Injury scars
  • Dark Spots
  • Acne Scars

It is a procedure that involves light therapy [1], meaning that if you have light sensitivity, your doctor may discourage it. People who take blood-thinning medications may also not be candidates due to the risk of bleeding. If you have the following, you may also be discouraged from this form of treatment:

  • Sores
  • Darker skin
  • Active acne

Alternatively, people with the above symptoms may also consider checking out the benefits of at home microdermabrasion, dermaplaning or chemical peel by visiting the dermatologist for further assessment. 

Types of Laser Therapy Treatments

There are two main categories of scar removal, including ablative and non-ablative.

  • Ablative: This therapy removes the damaged tissue through vaporization. Carbon dioxide(Co2) and Erbium YAG are the two most commonly used ablative lasers. They tighten the collagen fibers and erode the surface of the scar.
  • Non-ablative: Unlike the ablative lasers, these have a shorter recovery time. Here, no tissue is extracted from your skin. The development of collagen is, however, boosted leaving tighter skin. NdYAG and diode are the most common laser types.

Other types of laser treatments for acne scars include the following.

  1. Intense Pulsed Light (IPL): This is a common form of light therapy in dermatological applications for the treatment of acne. It uses specific wavelengths of light targeting p. Acne bacteria in the skin and sebaceous glands that contribute to breakouts. IPL has controlled pulsing, which prevents thermal damage.
  1. Fractional Laser Treatment: This technology treats a fraction of the skin, leaving the surrounding area intact. It enhances a faster healing turnaround time and speeds up the regeneration of collagen. This form treats acne scars, and the brown marks left after a breakout. Because it does not treat melanin, it is a safe method for dark skins, including African American, Asian, and Indian.
  1. Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) and Microneedling: This is a traditional laser treatment used to treat wrinkles, age spots, scarring, and acne scars. PRP injection enhances faster outcomes. A combination of the two tightens the skin and quickens the healing process.
  1. Profractional Laser Treatment: This is a method used to resurface the skin by minimizing wrinkles and improving the overall skin tone and texture. It is used during the laser resurfacing procedure. Although there are multiple laser resurfacing procedures, profractional is the most commonly used because it focuses on specific areas of your body for precise results.
  1. V-Beam Laser: This is a pulsed dye laser that treats and removes acne scars. It is a procedure that uses dye to produce certain colors which are then delivered in pulses. After the start of the treatment, the light energy beamed out is converted into heat in the skin. The energy then moves through the epidermis to clear the scars. If the heat applied is too high; however, you might get some bruises, but that one treatment will be enough. A lower heat does not present any bruises, but it means you might require several treatments for the scars to clear.
  1. Smoothbeam Laser treatment: This is a revolutionary skincare tool known to improve sebaceous hyperplasia [2] among other skin conditions. It treats active acne by targeting its causes. This procedure also treats fine lines, wrinkles, and acne scars. Smoothbeam stimulates the production of natural collagen in the skin. It stimulates the production of collagen in the underlying layers of the skin. Because the tool has a built-in cooling system, the surface of the skin is not exposed to heat.

How Much Does Laser Treatment Cost

Given that laser treatment for acne scars is a cosmetic procedure; your insurance may not cover it. The cost will depend on certain factors, including:

  • The existing number of scars
  • The size of the scar
  • The number of treatments needed

A typical treatment may include between 3 and 5 different lasers per session depending on the severity of the skin condition. Each time you are treated, a certain amount will be paid.  You may experience peeling and crusting on the skin for a few days after the treatment.

Laser treatment can help in improving the appearance of your scars. However, it is crucial that you only get these service from a board certified dermatologist for successful results.

Side note: Do you know how many microdermabrasion treatments for acne scars are needed to reduce the appearance of it? If for any reason you’re not supportive of the above treatment, microdermabrasion can be a very good alternative as it is known to be a milder treatment.

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