Scars can be caused by scores of different factors such as chickenpox, ice picks, acne, injuries or surgeries. Although these conditions heal in their own time, they leave an ugly scar behind. The scar is actually the natural part of the skin's healing process, however, some of them can really hurt and cause inconvenience. Even after the wound heals completely, the large, raised scar gives the person a complex and makes him or her conscious of his or her appearance, especially if the scar is on the face, neck or hand. The best part about these scars is that they can be treated and erased. Laser technology has made it possible to erase scars and free you of those ugly, hideous scars. Laser scar removal is seen to reduce the appearance of scars by 50-80% and even prevents them from recurring in the future.
The procedure is a safe process and does not conduce to further open wounds. In this treatment beams of lasers are targeted on the scarred tissues of the skin, which get burnt of by the powerful laser beams. The new tissue formed is unlike the scarred tissue and the blemishes are reduced to a great extent. Laser scar removal heals quickly and the reduction of visibility of scars helps hoist the person's self-confidence and self-esteem.
The entire procedure takes only 1-3 hours, however, this procedure has to be repeated several times before the objective is achieved. The amount of actual time taken for the procedure depends mainly on the type of scar being dealt with. The laser procedure can either be carried out in a surgeon's office, hospital or outpatient surgery center.
Determination of Scar Type
On consulting a surgeon regarding laser scar removal, the surgeon will first check for the type of scar indenting one's face or body. Moreover, he or she will also check for the depth of the scar. Large and deep scars will take longer to treat, with several rounds of the laser treatment being required. Minor scars will take hardly any time to erase. The dermatologist will check if the scar is a keloid scar (caused by injury), contracture scar (caused by burns), hypertrophic scars (caused by surgeries) and acne scars (severe acne causing ice picks).
Selection of Laser Treatment Type
There are four types of laser popularly used to treat scars. The carbon dioxide laser treatment, involving the use of ultra-pulsed beams on the scarred tissue works well for reducing scars. Then there's the YAG laser treatment, involving the use of short pulsed laser beams for treating acne scars. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is used to treat scars caused by sun damage, wherein intense pulsed light is used. In the pulsed dye laser treatment, a flash lamp is used to flash beams of specific wavelengths to vaporize scarred tissue.
For minor scars, anesthesia is often not given. The person will only feel a prickly sensation or slight burning sensation while the laser works into the scar. However, for larger scars, local anesthesia will be given. Even desensitizing ointments are available which will help numb the part in question.
Vaporizing the Skin
Once the anesthesia is given, the laser beam is targeted exactly at the scarred tissue and is moved along the scar's length. The initial layer of scarred tissue get vaporized, revealing a fresh layer of skin from beneath. When this underlying layer of skin heals, it will have a minimized version of the scar. Larger scars will have to be vaporized several times before the final reduced appearance outcome is achieved. The skin appears smoother, lighter with 50% of the scar erased out.
The laser treatment cost will depend on the number of hours undertaken for the laser treatment. Moreover, the more the repetitions required, the higher the cost goes. The cost also depends on the type of laser used and the facility where the treatment is being carried out. The price ranges from $500 to $5,000 or more. One important point to be noted is that not everybody is eligible for laser scar removal. Your dermatologist will guide you in this matter. It is also essential to know that these procedures do not magically erase the scar completely. They can reduce its appearance but may not be able to erase large scars completely.