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Laser Treatments in NOVA

Whether due to acne, burns, injuries, or past surgeries, scars are among the most difficult forms of skin damage to live with. These marks affect your appearance continuously, forcing you to relive the incident that caused them. Scars are particularly harmful when they appear on your face or other prominent parts of your body. While some manage to hide their scars with makeup, the larger and more prominent they are, the more difficult it is to play them down.

Many people who have scars assume that they cannot do anything about them other than to get used to them. Although there is nothing wrong with learning to love your new appearance, it is simply not true that you cannot improve the look of a scar. By using advanced laser techniques, we may be able to improve the size, color and overall appearance of the scar . These safe, simple procedures eliminate the damage at its source, giving your skin a new beginning.

Laser procedures come in a variety of different forms, each suited to healing different types of scars. The most common treatments include:

  • CO2 & YAG Treatments– CO2 and YAG lasers are ablative devices, meaning that they clear away the outer layer of skin on and around your scar. Once that skin is removed, the underlying layer can grow back unobstructed, replacing the scars with smooth, fresh skin. This method is most effective for the types of scars that do not penetrate as far into your skin, such as acne scarring. You may need several of these treatments to achieve the appearance you are desiring of the scar.
  • Pulsed Dye Laser Treatments– Rather than eliminate scarred tissue, pulsed dye lasers stimulate the growth of new tissue. In particular, they cause collagen to grow in earnest, providing more support for your skin, blood vessels, and cartilage. We typically use this method to get rid of hypertrophic and keloid scars.

Once our laser treatments are complete, we recommend that you wash the affected area carefully with a mild soap and then gently pat it dry. If we bandage the treated area, change the dressings according to our instructions. Your skin should begin to heal within a few days, and the full effects of the treatment will become apparent over a period of several weeks.

Laser scar treatments typically have few negative side effects, and it is usually possible for you to go about your daily routine immediately afterwards. There is a relatively small risk of infection, for which we will give you ointments, antibiotics, or other treatments that you can apply to the affected area. We also recommend that you avoid sun exposure in the weeks after the treatment, as this can raise the risk of hypo- and hyperpigmentation.

It is common to experience discomfort or pain in the treated area. To keep this under control, we may recommend oral pain relief medications. Let us know if you experience severe and persistent pain after treatment and we can discuss more potent relief options.

For most laser scar treatment patients, we follow you closely until the treated area has healed, typically 3 to 5 days. After that we recommend scheduling another appointment within two months of the original procedure. This will allow us to make sure that the scars are healing properly and that you have avoided infection and sun damage. If you underwent CO2 or YAG treatment, we can determine whether you need an additional procedure to fully eliminate the scars.

The Advantages of Laser Scar Treatments

Laser treatments are just one option out of many to get rid of scars. Compared to gels, cryosurgery, soft fillers, and other methods, lasers have a number of advantages, including:

  • Rapid Results– We perform laser scar treatments on an outpatient basis. They rarely take longer than an hour, and because they require few changes to your daily routine, they are unlikely to disrupt your life.
  • Astute Accuracy– Lasers are among the most accurate surgical tools at our disposal. They allows us to correct your scars in detail, restoring your skin to the exact appearance you want and minimizing the risk of mistakes. The high level of accuracy also lets us avoid causing tissue damage in the surrounding area, as we will only treat the exact areas that are scarred, at exactly the depth and level of intensity that is necessary.
  • Eliminating Invasiveness– Laser scar treatments are not invasive, and you should experience minimal pain or discomfort during the procedure. While there will be some pain and discomfort after the treatment is complete, it is usually mild and ends more quickly compared to that from other scar removal surgeries.

For all its benefits, laser scar revision is not suitable for all patients. In particular, you should be careful about pursuing it if you:

  • Have a Skin Condition– Psoriasis, dermatitis, and cystic acne increase the risk and compromise the effectiveness of laser therapy. If you have one of these disorders or something similar, we will evaluate you to see if you are still a suitable candidate, as well as to determine any special steps we may have to take for your protection.
  • Take Certain Pills– Vitamin E, ibuprofen, and aspirin all interfere with blood clotting, leading to complications from laser therapy. You should thus stop taking these substances at least 10 days prior to the procedure. If you are unable to do so due to another health condition, you should pursue other scar removal options.
  • Smoke– Smoking prevents your body from healing as effectively during and after treatment. You should thus stop smoking two weeks before the procedure, and not start again until two weeks after.
  • Have Sores or Blisters– If you suffer from cold sores or skin blisters, laser treatments can cause a breakout. Let us know ahead of time so we can minimize this risk and keep breakouts under control if they do happen.

Despite these issues, laser scar revision is a safe and effective solution for many different patients. By taking advantage of this method, you can restore your appearance from the effects of even the most serious scars.