The laser has been in existence for more than 50 years and has been used in a variety of ways. Its effectiveness as a medical tool was revealed not long after the development of the first successful laser light. Laser scar removal is merely the latest step in the history of this amazing instrument. There are actually three basic methods of scar treatment that employ laser technology:
1. Ablative resurfacing, which involves the removal of the skin layer that is scarred
2. Nonablative resurfacing, in which the inner cell layer is removed for the purpose of naturally replacing the damaged tissue
3. Fractionated treatment, which uses a small concentration of laser energy that deeply penetrates the skin, leading to a rejuvenation of surrounding cells that will surround and eventually cover the scarred area
Every treatment method uses short pulses of laser light to repair the damaged area. However, the extent of the treatment will depend upon the area affected and the depth of the scarring. Laser treatment can normally be accomplished on an outpatient basis, with the procedure itself lasting anywhere from a few minutes to more than an hour. Certain types of treatment will require multiple sessions.
Patients will be given a local anesthetic to reduce pain and should not experience anything more than a mild stinging sensation during the procedure. Laser treatment normally results in considerably less bleeding than conventional surgery, but patients will be asked to wear goggles to protect their eyes from the intense light.
The area that has been treated may be tender for a few days and will require regular washing with soap and water to prevent the development of an infection. Cold packs and over-the-counter medications should be useful in reducing pain during the recovery process. Additionally, patients will be asked to avoid excessive exposure to sunlight, which could hamper their recovery.
Laser scar removal is today available to patients of any skin complexion and is effective almost anywhere on the body. If you suffer from scars and believe you can benefit from laser treatment, contact our office for a consultation.