Even with 21st century instruments and techniques, scar removal can be difficult. Doctors who practice laser scar removal must be very skilled to achieve good results. And while traditional cold steel techniques are still used, scar removal now involves lasers. It’s important to understand that while the term “scar removal” is often used, laser treatment does not completely remove a scar. Rather, the treatment makes the scar much less noticeable.
Why Laser Treatment?
Laser treatments for scar removal have significant advantages over other scar removal techniques. They are non-invasive, tolerated well, and can be used for a variety of scars coming from different causes. Laser scar removal can also help with conditions associated with scarring, and not just the scar itself. For example, lasers are used to improve skin texture, and even promote new tissue growth.
Laser treatment of scarring can be used at all ages for conditions that manifest at different times in a person’s life. Acne scarring, which can be a disfiguring condition, can be greatly ameliorated by laser treatments. Where skin is discolored, by conditions like birthmarks (Port Wine Stain), or disease, like acne rosacea, laser treatment can decrease discoloration. Even sun damage can be treated by laser techniques.
Understand the skill of the physician using the laser is at least as important as the quality of the laser itself. Also, the doctor performing the laser technique should be a specialist not only in laser treatment, but also a specialist in treating skin and tissue. Thus, the practitioner should be a dermatologist. Ideally, your doctor should be a board-certified; that means the doctor is not just competent, but very experienced and skilled.
How To Prepare For Scar Removal
Before laser treatment for scars or stretch marks, certain preparations must be made. Obviously, choose a good doctor. Then get a consultation. The doctor will likely recommend that certain lifestyle changes be made. For example, one change you may be asked to make is to stop smoking. You may also have to stop taking certain medications prescribed by other doctors. If you like to tan in warm weather, you’ll need to stop before the treatment. If you’re using products with a retinoid, you’ll need to stop taking them.
How Does Laser Treatment Work?
Overall, a laser treatment heats the underlying surface of the tissue, encouraging new cellular growth and collagen production. New tissue forms, replacing some of the damaged tissue. Thus, the scar, which is the damaged portion, will be replaced, in part, with each laser treatment. The process is much the same with plastic surgery for stretch marks. So, laser treatments for conditions usually require multiple visits. You may not notice a significant improvement in the laser-treated area for several weeks.
Recovery time is modest, perhaps 3-10 days. You will need to avoid strong sunlight for at least 3-4 weeks. Your skin may stay red and may scab. Using moisturizer and petroleum jelly can help with blistering.
Laser treatments can be a wonderful investment for your skin as well as your confidence. Our goal is to help you feel like the best version of yourself. If you want more information, or a consultation, contact us at O’Neill Plastic Surgery