Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Treatment Duration

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30 Minutes

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60 Minutes

Treatment Cost

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15,000

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10,000

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Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

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Did you know popping a pimple yourself can lead to a permanent acne scar? It's a common but often overlooked habit. However, in recent years, laser treatment for acne scars has emerged as a promising solution for those dealing with such marks.

Want to know more? This article thoroughly explores this procedure, from laser treatment for acne scars side effects to the expected costs. Read on!

Procedure Name

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Alternate Name

Laser resurfacing for scars or laser peeling

Conditions Treated

Acne scarring, hyperpigmentation

Benefits of Procedure

Safe, minimally invasive

Treated By

Dermatologists, cosmetic surgeons

What is laser treatment for acne scars?

Laser treatment for acne scars is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the appearance of pimple marks on the skin. This treatment stimulates collagen production in the deeper layers of the skin, thereby improving its texture and tone.

Types of Lasers 

Laser treatment for acne scars utilises various types of lasers. Each has its unique wavelength and properties tailored to address different aspects of scarring. Among the most commonly used are:

  1. Erbium YAG Lasers: Effective for treating superficial to moderately deep acne scars. This type removes thin layers of skin with precision, stimulating collagen production and promoting smoother skin texture.

  2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Lasers: They are suitable for more severe acne scarring, penetrating deeper layers of the skin to promote collagen remodelling. CO2 laser treatment for acne scars is highly effective in resurfacing the skin and can significantly improve scar appearance.

  3. Pulsed-Dye Lasers: These help treat the redness and discolouration often associated with acne scars. By specifically targeting blood vessels and pigmentation, the lasers can help improve overall skin tone.

  4. Fractional Lasers: Delivers microthermal zones of energy to the skin, promoting collagen remodelling and treating various concerns. These may include scars, wrinkles, and uneven texture.

Who needs a laser treatment for acne scars?

The best laser treatment for acne scars can benefit individuals with persistent marks and blemishes. The key indicators include:

  1. Minimising the visibility of deep or pitted acne marks.

  2. No relief from traditional treatment methods, such as topical creams or chemical peels.

  3. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or redness following acne breakouts.

  4. Uneven skin texture or tone due to acne scarring.

  5. Scars even after receiving acne treatment.

Conditions Treated with Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Laser treatment is a versatile technique that can address several skin conditions other than acne scarring.  The different conditions effectively treated with this method are:

  1. Hyperpigmentation: By targeting excess melanin in the skin, lasers can help fade dark spots and patches caused by acne or sun damage.

  2. Redness and Inflammation: Certain types of lasers, such as pulsed-dye lasers, can effectively target and reduce redness associated with acne scars or rosacea.

  3. Uneven Skin Tone: Laser resurfacing can improve overall texture by removing damaged outer layers and stimulating collagen production.

  4. Fine Lines and Wrinkles: Some laser treatments, particularly fractional lasers, can help minimise the appearance of these imperfections. 

Note: This laser treatment might not be suitable for treating severely wrinkled skin, significant acne, or a darker complexion.

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Benefits of Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

The laser technique offers notable benefits, with fractional CO2 laser treatment for acne scars showing a significant improvement in the depths of scars (66.8%). Beyond this, the procedure has several technical advantages, including:

  1. Minimal Downtime: Patients may resume their daily activities shortly after treatment, with less disruption to their routine.

  2. Safety: Laser treatments are performed under the supervision of trained professionals, minimising the risk of complications.

  3. Less Invasive: Laser treatment for acne scars reduces discomfort and faster recovery compared to traditional surgical procedures.

  4. Precision: The technology accurately targets scarred areas, resulting in more controlled and effective outcomes.

  5. Customisable: Treatment parameters can be adjusted to suit individual skin types and scar severity, ensuring a personalised approach.

Before and on the Day of Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Patients may need to make lifestyle changes before laser treatment for acne scars, such as avoiding sun exposure. It is essential to adhere to the instructions provided by your healthcare provider.

Before Surgery 

Before surgery, individuals prone to cold sores may receive a prescription for preventive antibiotic medication. This precaution helps minimise the risk of associated outbreaks triggered by the procedure. Additionally, the doctor will take laser treatment for acne scars before and after photos for reference.  

Parameters

Pre-requisites

Pre-op Assessment

Skin assessment to evaluate the type and severity of scars, laser patch test

Risk Evaluation

  1. Allergies

  2. Surgical risks vs benefits

Anaesthesia Selection

Local

Lifestyle Changes

  1. 2-week medication restrictions (like blood-thinning drugs)

  2. No smoking for two weeks

  3. Avoid getting sunburned or tanned


On the Day of Surgery

On the day of surgery, it's essential to refrain from applying lotions, deodorants, perfumes, or products. The patients should ensure their skin is clean and free from any substances that could compromise the procedural effectiveness.

Parameters

Pre-requisites

Consent

Mandatory

Surgical Preparation

Skin cleansing, instruction to wear protective goggles

Physical Evaluation

Overall health check and final skin assessment

Anaesthesia Administration

Administered dosage is based on physical evaluation

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars Procedure

In laser treatment for acne scars, a doctor begins by examining the scarred area and marking the skin with a pen. This approach ensures targeted and effective treatment. The rest of the process includes:

  1. Skin Preparation: The site is thoroughly cleansed, and topical numbing cream or local anaesthesia is used to minimise discomfort.

  2. Laser Application: The dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon carefully applies the laser to the marked areas. They deliver controlled light pulses to stimulate collagen production and resurface the skin.

  3. Protective Measures: Throughout the procedure, protective eyewear is worn to protect the eyes from the laser light. This ensures safety for both the patient and the practitioner.

After Surgery and Recovery

The laser treatment for acne scars lasts between 30 to 60 minutes, with patients often able to return home shortly afterwards. The recovery phase includes the following:

In Hospital Recovery

During the recovery process in the hospital, the doctor applies an ointment and a clean dressing to the treated area. Patients may experience mild swelling and stinging, like a sunburn sensation, which subsides gradually. Medical staff closely monitor patients to ensure that any discomfort is effectively managed. 

Recovery Process/Expectation after Hospital Discharge 

It's important to note that the results of the procedure are permanent. Within 7 to 10 days following the laser treatment, patients begin to notice improvements in the appearance of their acne scars. The following are the guidelines and expectations for the healing process: 

  1. The discomfort or pain subsides within an hour or two post-procedure.

  2. Redness may persist for up to 10 days. Gentle skincare and avoiding harsh products can help soothe the skin.

  3. Prevent exposure of the treated area from UV rays of the sun with sunscreen and protective clothing.

  4. Avoid picking or scratching the corrected region.

First Follow-up Appointment

The doctor will assess your healing progress during the first follow-up appointment, which usually happens after a month. They may evaluate the treated area and monitor for any signs of infection or complications.

Laser and light therapies for acne scars may require anywhere from 3 to 6 sessions to significantly improve. If multiple treatment sessions are recommended, the doctor will outline the timeline and expected outcomes of each sitting. 

Risks and Complications of Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

While the treatment can yield significant improvements, there are potential laser treatment for acne scars side effects to consider. For instance, conventional CO2 resurfacing carries a 36% incidence of hyperpigmentation. The additional complications involved are:

  1. Mild bleeding may occur during or after the procedure.

  2. It is expected to experience a burning sensation for 12 to 72 hours. 

  3. Although rare, there is a risk of infection.

  4. The treated area may develop temporary crusts as the skin heals.

  5. Changes in skin pigmentation, including temporary or permanent discolouration, may occur.

When to consult a doctor?

It's important to consult a doctor if you experience any concerning symptoms or complications after laser treatment for acne scars. Seek medical attention if you notice:

  1. Excessive bleeding from the treated area

  2. Signs of infection like increasing redness, warmth, or pain

  3. Persistent pain that worsens over time

  4. Severe swelling without improvement with time

  5. Any unexpected changes in skin texture or colour, including blistering or scabbing

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars Cost

The cost of laser treatment for acne scars may differ widely depending on the type of laser used and the severity of the scars. The estimated cost is given below for a better understanding.

Treatment

Estimated Cost Range

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars (per session)

₹ 3,500 to ₹ 6,000 

Note: The values mentioned above are just an estimate. For up-to-date pricing, contact HexaHealth.

Factors that may affect the cost of laser treatment for acne scars include:

  1. Treatment Area: Larger or multiple regions may require more extensive treatment and thus incur higher costs.

  2. Severity of Scarring: The depth of the acne scars can impact the complexity of the treatment, which may affect the overall expenses.

  3. Number of Sessions: Multiple sittings are often needed to achieve optimal results. The amount may increase with each additional session required.

  4. Doctor’s Expertise: Skilled healthcare providers or dermatologists may charge higher fees for the treatment, reflecting their reputation in the field.

  5. Additional Services: Pre-treatment consultations, post-procedure care, or complementary treatments may also contribute to the total bill.

Takeaway

Laser treatment for acne scars offers an ideal solution for individuals looking to enhance the skin appearance and boost confidence. With advanced technology, this procedure can significantly reduce the visibility of scars, promoting smoother skin. 

At HexaHealth, we understand the impact acne scars can have on your self-esteem and quality of life. To provide the best laser treatment for acne scars, our team of experienced doctors is dedicated to providing personalised care throughout. Get in touch!

Suggested Reads

Laser Treatment for Pigmentation How to Remove Acne Scars Naturally
Home Remedies for Pigmentation
Different Types of Acne Scars

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Laser treatment for acne scars involves using focused light therapy to target and reduce the appearance of scars, promoting smoother texture. It helps stimulate collagen production and resurface the skin.

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Laser treatment for acne scars target the damaged areas of the skin with concentrated beams of light. It stimulates collagen production and promotes the regeneration of healthy skin cells, resulting in smoother skin texture.

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During a laser treatment session for acne scars, expect brief discomfort followed by mild redness and swelling. However, it is mostly temporary and subsides within 10 days.

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The laser treatment for acne scars cost starts from ₹ 3,500 and can go up to ₹ 6,000 per session. Please note that these figures are estimated. Contact HexaHealth for accurate information.

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Laser treatment for acne scars is generally safe, but it has potential side effects. These may include:

  1. Temporary redness, swelling, and discomfort

  2. Changes in skin pigmentation

  3. Scarring

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Fractional CO2 laser treatment is often considered as an efficient option for reducing the appearance of acne scars. It promotes collagen production and resurfaces the skin for noticeable improvements in texture and tone.

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The number of laser treatment sessions needed for acne scars varies based on the severity of the scarring and the type of laser used. For optimal results, it ranges from 3 to 6 sessions spaced several weeks apart.

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Yes, CO2 laser treatment is highly effective for improving the appearance of acne scars. The average improvement rate of the technique is approximately 66.8%.

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If you are wondering, “Where can I find laser treatment for acne scars near me?” search online for dermatology clinics in your area. Additionally, you can get in touch with HexaHealth to get access to a network of highly qualified professionals.

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Yes, laser treatment for acne scars can provide permanent results by stimulating collagen production and remodelling the skin's texture. However, multiple sessions may be required for optimal improvement.

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Laser treatment can reduce the severity of acne scars, but complete removal may not always be achievable. Multiple sessions might be required, and results vary based on the severity and type of scars.


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Laser treatment for acne scars can lead to long-term improvements in skin texture and appearance. The visibility of scars over time would be reduced. With multiple sessions, patients often experience lasting effects on skin tone and overall complexion.

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You may notice initial improvements in your acne scars within 7-10 days post-laser treatment as redness and swelling subside. However, optimal results typically become noticeable over several weeks to months as collagen production increases.

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Preparing for laser treatment for acne scars involves taking several steps to ensure the procedure's effectiveness and safety. The essential tips to help one prepare are:

  1. Avoid sun exposure by wearing sunscreen.

  2. Discontinue certain medications, such as aspirin and blood-thinning supplements.

  3. Stop smoking for at least 2 weeks.

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While laser treatment for acne scars is highly effective, there are alternative options and home remedies available. These methods may include:

  1. Home remedies, like applying aloe vera gel, honey, and lemon juice.

  2. Over-the-counter creams and gels containing ingredients like retinoids and vitamin C.

  3. Chemical peels (exfoliate the skin and improve texture).

  4. Microneedling (minimally invasive technique for stimulating collagen production).

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Laser treatment for acne scars, particularly with CO2 lasers, has shown to be approximately 66.8% effective in reducing scar depth. This makes it a promising option for scar reduction.

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Acne scar laser treatment can cause mild discomfort or stinging, similar to sunburn during the procedure. However, it's generally well-tolerated by most patients. Topical numbing creams or cooling devices may be used to minimise any pain.

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While laser treatment can reduce the appearance of acne scars, it does not prevent new acne breakouts from occurring in the future. Consistent skincare routines and lifestyle habits are essential for managing acne and preventing its recurrence.

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Yes, laser treatment for the face is generally safe when performed by a qualified dermatologist. However, potential risks and side effects must be discussed with the provider prior to the treatment.

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It's recommended to avoid popping pimples after laser treatment for acne scars. This helps to prevent potential irritation, infection, or interference with the healing process.

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References

All the articles on HexaHealth are supported by verified medically-recognized sources such as; peer-reviewed academic research papers, research institutions, and medical journals. Our medical reviewers also check references of the articles to prioritize accuracy and relevance. Refer to our detailed editorial policy for more information.


  1. Pimple popping: Why only a dermatologist should do it [Internet]. www.aad.org.link
  2. Lasers in dermatology | DermNet [Internet]. dermnetnz.org. [cited 2024 Apr 27].link
  3. Laser Treatment for Scars: Cost, Effectiveness, Face, and More [Internet]. Healthline. 2018.link
  4. Laser treatment for scars: What to consider, procedure, and safety [Internet]. www.medicalnewstoday.com. 2019.link
  5. Fractionated C02 Laser Treatment for Acne Scarring | North Bristol NHS Trust [Internet]. www.nbt.nhs.uk. [cited 2024 Apr 27].link
  6. Murah. Laser treatment for acne scars: How many sessions does it take? [Internet]. Stratum Clinics. 2022 [cited 2024 Apr 27].link
  7. 10 things to know before having laser treatment for your scar [Internet]. www.aad.org.link
  8. Petrov A, Pljakovska V. Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser in Treatment of Acne Scars. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences. 2015 Dec 21;4(1):38–42.link
  9. Treatments For Acne Scars | Options & What To Expect [Internet]. Schweiger Dermatology Group. 2018 [cited 2024 Apr 27].link
Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational and learning purposes only. It doesn't cover every medical condition and might not be relevant to your personal situation. This information isn't medical advice, isn't meant for diagnosing any condition, and shouldn't replace talking to a certified medical or healthcare professional.

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

Author

Sparshi Srivastava

Sparshi Srivastava

B.Tech Biotechnology (Bansal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Lucknow)

2 Years Experience

An ardent reader, graduated in B.Tech Biotechnology. She was previously associated with medical sciences secondary research and writing. With a keen interest and curiosity-driven approach, she has been able to cont...View More

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