Prospective patients considering laser scar removal will see varying results according to the size and type of scarring they want to have treated. Laser treatments can be quite effective at flattening and smoothing various kinds of scarring from acne, injuries or past surgeries. Dr. Shah uses some of the latest lasering technologies, such as Fraxel, to smooth and resurface damage on the skin’s surface. During your initial consultation, one of our practitioners will examine the condition of your existing scars and make educated predictions about how well laser treatments will improve the overall appearance.
Raised versus Depressed Scarring
Different skin conditions or injuries result in scars of various sizes and shapes. Two of the most common scars from injuries are known as hypertrophic and atrophic. Hypertrophic scars are raised above the normal skin’s surface and are usually firmer to the touch. They can range in color from white to deeper reddish-pink. Atrophic scars resemble pits below the skin’s surface and are often the same color as the surrounding skin. A third type known as keloid scarring resembles hypertrophic scarring, except it consists of deeper-colored and firmer raised scars that may become more pronounced over time.
Existing Skin and Scar Condition
A cosmetic surgeon will recommend a specific type of laser treatment for scars that fall into one of the three main categories. Atrophic scarring is frequently treated with an ablative laser known as a CO2 that stimulates new, healthy collagen to grow and fill the depressed pockets of skin. A cosmetic surgeon may use this laser scar removal option alone or with dermal filler injections if deemed appropriate.
Hypertrophic and mild-to-moderate keloid scars respond the best to pulse-dye lasering known as Candela or Cynosure lasering. This treatment does not sand off the top scar layers. It instead uses concentrated beams of heat to soften and flatten the excess collagen that makes up these scars.
Preparing for Laser Scar Treatment
If you are considering laser scar removal, the scars to be treated should be completely healed and free of any signs of infection. Certain skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis might render you ineligible for skin lasering, so these need to be cleared up first. Taking some medications for acne treatment will also interfere with your skin’s response to laser treatments. Most dermatologists recommend stopping these medications at least six months prior to laser scar removal.
The better your initial scar condition, the better the results you will see from any kind of laser treatment. If you have habitually dry skin, including in the scarred area, skin specialists recommend applying a concentrated moisturizer to the scars for at least a few weeks prior to treatment. Recommended moisturizers include vitamin E oil or cocoa butter in these cases. To set up your consultation about laser scar removal, contact us today.