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Laser Scar Treatment - Laser Treatment for Scars - Causes of Scars, Treatment of Scars, Laser Scar Treatment

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For many people, scars are minor nuisances or ways to embellish youthful exploits. For others, however, scars are embarrassing and sometimes disfiguring features. For such people, there are many options now available for scar treatment and removal.

Causes of Scars

Though most people associate scars with cuts, they can actual result from any damage to the skin. A protein called collagen aids in the skin’s natural rejuvenation. When the skin is damaged in some way, it produces extra collagen in that spot, leaving a scar. In additions to scars from injury or surgery, common skin conditions such as acne or chicken pox can also leave scars.

Treatment of Scars

When a doctor is treating a wound, it is often possible to prevent a major or noticeable scar. In cases where the scar is more prominent, it will often fade over the course of several years. But in those cases where the scar is both permanent and noticeable, many treatments are available. Some of the more common treatment options include chemical peels and creams, surgery, and microdermabrasion, which is a process that uses tiny fibers to buff the outer layer of skin. Another popular option is laser scar treatment.

Laser Scar Treatment

In short, a laser scar treatment involves moving a laser along a scar to vaporize the scarred layer, stimulate new growth in the lower layers, and reveal a new layer of undamaged skin. The process is usually done with the use of local anesthesia and can be performed at a doctor’s office or hospital. In some rare or extreme cases, general anesthesia could also be used. Depending on the severity of the scar and other factors, the process can take anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes or longer. For many scars, more than one laser treatment will be necessary to fully remove.

Several types of lasers can be used in the removal process. For acne scars, CO2 and Er:YAG lasers are used since they are better at vaporizing the scarred skin. Although these lasers can also be used for longer scars from cuts, a 585-595-nm pulsed dye laser is better suited for those kind of scars, because they target the lower layers of skin to stimulate the growth of collagen.

Barring any unforeseen complications, laser treatment for scarring is an outpatient process. For several days after the procedure, the patient will need to keep the scar area clean and dry. There may be some mild pain that can usually be treated with oral pain medication, and to keep the area from getting infected, the doctor might prescribe an antibiotic. Typically, however, the recovery from the treatment should not hinder normal activities in any significant way. Although there are very few risks associated with the procedure, discoloring of the scarred area is possible, especially if it is exposed to the sun in the first few days after the treatment.

The cost of laser treatments for scars depends on a number of issues, including the size of the scar and length of treatment, the type of anesthesia used, and where the procedure is performed. Typically, the cost of the laser treatment (apart from other costs) is about $350 per session. When other costs are added in, along with the possibility of multiple treatments and follow-up visits, the cost could easily exceed $2000. Therefore, before beginning the treatment, be sure to check with your insurance company to see what laser treatments they are willing to cover.

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