Laser Treatment for Acne Scars: Is It The Answer?
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Seventh and eighth grade — Can you Remember it?
All I remember, is that it was the lowest point of my life. I experienced painful acne and terrible clothes. My self esteem was at its lowest.
Why was that?
Because of my terrible bout with acne.
I hated it. My face was full of ugly puss filled welts and nothing I tried solved the problem.
But no one has to suffer like I did has a teenager in this modern world full of technological breakthroughs. Today, technology has reached all areas of modern medicine including the world of acne relief. So if you can’t get rid of the acne, you can certainly get rid of the scars that follow. You can choose to get laser treatment for those horrible acne scars with one of several treatment methods. And today I want to talk about one of these methods, laser treatment for acne scars. So if you have problems with blotches, scars left by the after effects of acne, then laser skin treatment could just be the answer.
What Does Laser Treatment Do?
Essentially, laser skin therapy removes thin layers of skin with exact precision, and promotes the growth of new skin cells, giving your skin a smoother look and removing the scars left from acne.
Where Do You Go For Laser Treatment?
Start by going to your dermatologist, or sometimes, a local plastic surgeon. This specialist will inform you as to whether laser treatment for your acne scars is the right course of action. Just be aware that laser skin treatment can trigger a cold sore breakout if you are prone to them.
What to Expect from Laser Treatment for Acne Scars
This type of treatment whether performed by a plastic surgeon or dermatologist is an outpatient procedure, which means you do not need to stay overnight in the hospital. The process can take about two hours for a full face treatment and you may need facial bandages for the following 24 hours.
It’s normal to feel some itching or stinging and even experience some swelling for about 24 hours. After a few days the outer layers of your skin will start to dry and peel. But in the end, all of this discomfort will disappear in a couple of weeks.
Swelling after laser skin resurfacing is normal. Your doctor may prescribe steroids to manage swelling around your eyes. Sleeping on an extra pillow at night can also ease swelling.
This is when you start to see and feel the benefits. Your skin will feel lighter and look smoother. Be sure to wear a good sunscreen after laser treatment, and you should even choose a broad spectrum sunscreen to block out the ultraviolet B and A rays. Look for something that has an SPF of 30 or higher and one that contains zinc oxide.
Moisturizing is Important
Be sure to keep your skin moisturized, especially when your skin is in the healing process.
Benefits and Risks
Ok, now that we have outlined the after care procedures you should take and fully discussed what is involved in laser treatment, let’s consider the benefits and risks of undergoing laser treatment for acne scars.
Some of the potential health risks could include:
- Injury or burns from laser heat
- Change in skin color
- Activation of cold sores
- Bacterial skin infections
Cost is Another Disadvantage
The average cost for one session of laser skin treatment is about $2,000. However, this cost can vary depending on where you get it done. Even so, most insurance policies will not cover this type of treatment because it is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Alternatives to Laser Treatment for Acne
So laser treatments are just one route you can take, and as you can see the primary drawback is the cost factor, especially if you need more than one treatment.
Another treatment option is to go with reliable topical skin care products. Modern-day over the counter products often promise to reduce the scaring caused by acne and inflammation. And the truth is that there are many skin creams and scrubs that can really do it. These products usually have salicylic and glycolic acid which work as good exfoliants. There are also good fade creams that can lighten the redness of severe scars. However, these options may not work well on severe scarring.
When you have severe pitting you might consider filler injections. In this process, a very thin needle is used to inject a filler in the pits. There is no pain, but this type of treatment only works on certain pitting and needs to be reapplied every few months.
This is another treatment conducted in the dermatologist’s office. He applies a concentrated acid solution that dissolves the upper layer of skin and allows for new skin growth. This procedure can cause some blistering and redness for a few days after the procedure.
Essentially this sands away the outer layer of skin using a small wand. Despite the process it is not uncomfortable and will not require you to take sick leave, however, you will need to repeat the procedure every so often.
Like a liposuction process, a doctor will take fat from another part of your body and then inject it into areas of your skin. This is a process that is safer than synthetic fillers, as it does not cause an allergic reaction.
At The End of The Day…
Every procedure has its advantages and disadvantages, and of course, you need to decide for yourself on the best course of action. Even so, the easiest solution is to get good over the counter products first as these can help clear acne and prevent pitting.
But if you already have scars, and have tried everything under the sun, then any of the above medical procedures could work. You need to consult with your dermatologist to find the treatment that works best for you.
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