Acne scar removal has without a doubt come a long way, thanks to the immense strides that we have made in dermatological medicine. Now we have advanced laser scar treatment whose efficiency in making marks and nicks disappear is akin to a magic wand that can fade keloids at the touch of a button.
Nonetheless and far from it, medical lasers are nothing near child’s play. It’s imperative to be aware of a few critical pointers to improve your chances of getting impressive results using lasers. At the same time, this will help you steer clear of serious repercussions that could result from the incorrect or inappropriate application of this treatment method.
Here’s a collection of the ten most important things you need to know before your next laser scar treatment.
1. Laser Treatment Does Not Entirely Get Rid of a Scar
Thanks to the recent developments and advancement in high-tech medicine, lasers have become one of the most highly sought treatment methods that dermatologists rely on to work on most acne scars. And to some extent, it’s easy to see why;
- Medical lasers can prevent a keloid from forming after undergoing a major surgery
- Laser scar treatment can make a scar less itchy and painful
- It can considerably increase your limb’s range of motion if the scar was limiting its movement
That being said, the idea that laser treatment can entirely get rid of or expunge a scar is more of a myth than practicality. The treatment, however, is quite adept at making acne scars look less noticeable. And just like in acne spot treatment, laser treatment means replacing a conspicuous scar with one that is significantly less noticeable.
2. The Results You Can Expect From a Laser Treatment Depend Mostly on The Skills of the Dermatologists Performing the Treatment
If there was ever a scar treatment method whose results are greatly determined by the skills of the scar remover, then this would be it. You see, dermatologists are the trailblazers in the research and implementation of using medical lasers in aesthetics medicine.
Therefore, under the care of an experienced board-certified skin specialist, you can achieve some amazing results with laser treatment. But if the person performing the procedure lacks the requisite specialized knowledge, experience and medical expertise to oversee it, laser treatment will not only give you the results you want but it can also be dangerous.
Therefore, it pays to go for an established practise that has a blemish-free reputation and decades of experience in working with medical lasers.
3. Consultation on the Suitability of your Skin Type is Crucial in this Business
You need a comprehensive consultation and assessment session before undergoing a laser scar treatment procedure. Here, the dermatologist will conduct an exhaustive analysis to determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for this procedure.
They will take into account various factors such as the physical characteristics of the scar, your general overall health, skin type and other lifestyle factors e.g whether or not you are a smoker or have a prevailing medical condition such as diabetes.
At this stage, it is vital to let your dermatologist know if you often have cold sores or are taking any special supplements/medication.
4. Sun Protection is Necessary After and Before the Laser Skincare Routine Order
The dermatologist will not be in a position to treat you if you show up for a laser scar treatment session with a sunburn or a tan. The reason being; medical lasers can cause incredibly serious burns or skin discolouration when used on previously damaged skin.
That aside, you will also be expected to protect your skin against the harmful UV rays from the sun for at least 90 days after the session. This is mostly to avoid developing another scar, something that can easily happen if UV rays hit the epidermis post-treatment.
5. You will Have to Make Lifestyle Changes Just Before Undergoing the Procedure and Avoid Eye Creams
To get the best out of a laser scar treatment and heal well post-treatment, you have to make a couple of lifestyle changes:
- Refrain from smoking for at least a fortnight before the treatment, it’s better if you can quit the smokes altogether
- Stop taking aspirin, vitamin E and other unusual supplements or medication that inhibit fast healing and regeneration of new skin cells
- Refrain from using skincare and beauty products that contain glycolic acid or retinol for at least 3 to 5 weeks before and after the procedure.
- Take reliable medication that can stop you from getting cold sores if you are predisposed to breaking out every now and then.
- Avoid sunlamps, the sun itself and tanning beds before the procedure. You obviously cannot be treated if you have a sunburn or a tan.
6. Your Dermatologist Could Combine the Laser Treatment with Another Procedure, Possible Even the Test Acne Treatment
It is not uncommon for skin specialists to combine the laser treatment with other scar reducing techniques such as dermabrasions or micro needling to get the results that their client is expecting. You could also be scheduled to undergo a dermal filler while at it.
7. You Could Need More Than One Laser Treatment Session
For long-lasting and almost permanent results, your dermatologist may recommend more than a single extensive laser scar treatment session. It’s actually a standard practice when using some types of medical-grade lasers such as non-ablative lasers to get the desired results, although you won’t need as much downtime while using other conventional laser treatment approaches.
8. You May Have to Take a Few Days Off From Work After Undergoing a Comprehensive Laser Scar Treatment
Downtime to allow for correct healing is necessary for at least days after the procedure. Your dermatologists may also give you further instructions on other additional post-treatment practices that you have adhered to closely to make the whole treatment a success. Don’t also forget that this is necessary for the avoidance of side effects too.
9. Results Often Take Time with Laser Scar Treatment
Although you should be able to see minimal improvements in your skin tone and texture immediately after the treatment, the real changes come weeks or months after the skin has had the time to regenerate and regrow beautifully over the scars.
In fact, this is why it is imperative to follow all of the directives given by the dermatologist post-treatment to give you the best chance of seeing some sublime results after such an expensive procedure.
10. Insurance Will Rarely Cover The Costs of a Laser Scar Treatment Procedure
Laser scar treatments are considered by most health insurers as elective cosmetic procedures and not medical emergencies. This is notwithstanding the fact that a laser scar treatment can ease the itch and pain that some acne scars cause.
And considering that the cost of a laser scar treatment may be multiple hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you may want to save for it well in advance to avoid the shock of being accosted with a bill that you weren’t expecting.
In Closing – Final Thoughts
The best way to find the best laser scar treatment clinic nearest you is to consult with your physician or dermatologist on some of the places they would recommend for it. That said, if possible, go for a clinic that specialises only in scar treatment only to improve your chances of getting a world-class scar removal experience.
You should, by all means, necessarily, avoid backstreet tattoo removal parlours and other dingy joints although they may be significantly cheaper than professional board-certified establishments.