Laser treatment can help to reduce the appearance of acne scars, but the results can depend on a lot of different factors. The treatment can’t make a scar disappear completely, but it can make it much less visible. Read on to learn more about how this treatment works and how effective it can be for acne scars.
How Does Laser Treatment Work?
Laser treatment can tackle acne scars by re-surfacing the skin or removing the affected part of the skin. The treatment can be used on mild to moderate acne scars that have caused pitting or an uneven skin surface. Laser treatment can also help with pigment changes caused by acne. Once the skin heals, the surface should be smoother and more even than it was before, even if the scar is not completely gone.
The laser treatment works by using light energy to remove skin cells from the surface and/or to stimulate the production of new skin cells and of more collagen in the skin. The effects can be targeted to the affected areas, making this a more precise treatment than dermabrasion or chemical peels.
When you have the treatment, your skin will first be numbed with an anaesthetic cream. The laser is a beam of light that will be focused on the scars. You won’t feel much during the treatment, but your skin can feel sore afterwards because of the way the laser works. It will remove the outer layer of the skin in the scars so that new skin can grow back. The laser can also break down some kinds of discolouration and stimulate the natural healing processes in the skin cells.
It is usually best to wait until your acne has cleared up before you try laser treatment to get rid of any scars. You will also need to be prepared to have multiple treatment sessions and to look after your skin carefully while it is healing. Keeping out of the sun and ensuring that your skin is clean will prevent complications such as infections and help you to get the best results from the treatment.
How Effective is Laser Treatment for Acne Scars?
Laser treatment can be very effective for acne scars, but the results can vary for different people. The treatment is most effective for mild to moderate scars, so if you have very deep or extensive scarring it may be necessary to look at other options like surgical excision instead.
- Laser treatment can be up to 90% effective when it is used on mild to moderate acne scars
- Most patients should expect at least a 50% improvement in the appearance of their scars
- Additional treatments can be performed before or after the laser treatment to enhance the effects on deeper scars
The effects of laser treatment can vary a lot and there is no guarantee that the scars will be completely gone. In fact, it is impossible to eliminate an acne scar completely using this method. A certain amount of damage will remain, but when the treatment works well the scars will be much less visible. Other people might not be able to tell where your acne scars are and you should also find them much less visible.
Most people will see a noticeable improvement in their skin after laser treatment, so the scars should look smoother and be less obvious. In the best cases, the scars can almost completely disappear. However, you won’t see immediate results when you have laser treatment. It’s important to have realistic expectations about how your skin will look during treatment and what kind of results you can expect in the long term.
Results of Laser Treatment
The results of laser treatment will take some time to appear. Since the treatment works by re-surfacing your skin, you should expect your skin to look rough and red after each treatment session.
Some of the common side effects after laser treatment include:
- The surface of the skin will appear rough and damaged after each treatment session, but it should heal within 3-10 days
- Some redness can persist for up to a couple of months after the skin has healed
- The skin colour can look a little different after laser treatment, but this is usually only temporary
- There is a risk of skin infections, but serious infections are rare, and the risk can be minimised by following your dermatologist’s skincare instructions
Once the treatment is complete and the side effects have faded, you should be able to see some changes in your skin. However, it can take up to 18 months for the full effects to become apparent. Your skin will need time to heal and produce new collagen in order to create a new, smoother surface where the scars have been treated.
How well your skin heals will depend on the depth of the scar, but it can also vary from person to person. The best results are expected when the scars are shallow and there is plenty of elasticity in the skin. If the scar can be stretched by gently pulling on the surrounding skin, this is a sign that it is likely to heal well after laser treatment.
Since the results can be different for everyone, it is important to discuss laser treatment with a trustworthy and experienced dermatologist before deciding if it is right for you.
Will Laser Treatment Work for Your Acne Scars?
Laser treatment can be very effective for acne scars, but it isn’t possible to give a simple answer to the question of whether it will work for you. The results can depend on many different factors, from the type and severity of the scar to individual differences in the way that skin heals. The best way to find out if laser treatment can help with your acne scars is to arrange a consultation with an experienced dermatologist. The doctor will be able to provide personalised advice on which treatment is right for you and what kind of results you can expect to see.