Scar Removal – Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide & Gold Coast
Scars from various source can be reduced with the latest in laser technology…
Scars brought about by acne, chicken pox, stretch marks or accidents are common. Up until recently these conditions have been very difficult to treat without the risk of long term complications. Teenage acne is a major cause for many adults being left with unsightly scaring, even after the active acne has been successfully treated.
Today’s latest laser technology is allowing us to treat most forms of scaring on the majority of different skin types with very little risk.
Quick facts about Scar Removal
- Scarring can be treated with ProFractional Laser to stimulate the formation of new collagen.
- Your skin will appear dry and red for up to 1 week after the treatment. Apply Vaseline to aid the recovery.
- Local anaesthetic is applied to minimize discomfort.
- Best results are achieved when ProFractional laser is combined with Platelet rich plasma (PRP) and Dermal Fillers.
- Complications are rare but included mild blisters and discolouration of the skin.
- Cost is $750 – $1,000.
Laser Scar Treatment using Fractional Lasers
“Fractional” Laser Resurfacing is a new technology which promises to deliver results approaching that of deep chemical peels or ablative laser resurfacing, without the discomfort and inconvenience of a lengthy healing period and with minimum risk. All traditional resurfacing methods treat the entire skin surface, to obtain a significant, “permanent” result. The entire top (epidermal) layer of skin is damaged or removed, creating a visible wound and a loss of the skins protective function. Fractional Laser Resurfacing treats a small “fraction” of the skin, leaving intact, undamaged skin around each treated area to act as a barrier and reservoir for rapid healing.
How do Fractional Lasers work?
The image below illustrates how fractional lasers work by only treating a “fraction” of the skin at a time.
Fractional Laser Resurfacing with the Profile Sciton Laser uses an invisible laser beam which is strongly absorbed by water. The beam is less than 100 millionths of an inch in diameter, about the size of a human hair. The beam passes through the dry, outer layer of skin and wounds the underlying collagen. Nearby undamaged cells immediately move into this microscopically damaged area and heal the wounded area. During each treatment, millions of these microscopic areas are created, but most of the skin remains undamaged, allowing rapid healing. Further collagen remodeling and some skin tightening takes place over the next 3-6 months.
Because fractional laser resurfacing emulates “traditional” ablative procedures, many conditions may be treated with either method. Fractional Laser Resurfacing has the advantage of ease of treatment with minimal discomfort and downtime.
How many treatments are required?
Usually 3 treatments are required about 1-3 months apart.The number of treatments necessary for a given result will vary with the power settings of the laser and the desired endpoint of treatment. Higher powers will cause larger “spots”, a greater penetration depth and more improvement per treatment, but with more redness, flaking, increased chance of blistering and a greater recovery time. Lower settings will cause the opposite effect. Likewise, the degree of desired improvement will vary from patient to patient. A typical treatment course might consist of three treatments spaced four weeks apart.
The treatment is performed in the office with topical anaesthetic, supplemented by required anaesthetic gas, especially if sensitive areas are treated and/or higher powers are used.
What happens during and after the procedure?
The laser head is evenly tracked over the treatment area. The skin is kept cool just after treatment with cold packs. The actual treatment takes approximately 30 minutes. As the anaesthetic wears off, a sensation of heat or “sunburn” may be experienced, lasting about 30 minutes. This is easily relieved by cool compresses. Elevation of the treated area on the evening of treatment will help keep any swelling to a minimum and discomfort is easily controlled with cool (not ice) compresses and pain medications such as Panadol.
In the week after treatment, the skin may become dry and red, similar to that experienced after a sunburn. This “bronzed” appearance and dryness is from the surface of each laser “spot” which will separate and slough off. During this time, potentially irritating skin products such as AHAs or Retinoids should be avoided and only moisturizers and zinc oxide sunscreens should be applied. The redness and bronzing will gradually improve over a week or so.
Some patients will experience mild to moderate swelling for a few days after treatment and in rare cases, “streaking” or mild blistering of the skin may occur.
Vaseline should be applied to the area until healing takes place, which usually occurs within a week.
What other treatments can be combined with Fractional Laser Resurfacing?
- Platelet Rich Plasma – PRP can be combined with fractional laser to obtain optimal results. PRP has growth factors which can enhance the production of new collagen to reduce the appearance of scarring.
- Dermal Fillers – Dermal Fillers can be injected under the scar tissue to further stimulate collagen and fill in the hollows created by the scarring.
Complications of Fractional Laser Resurfacing are rare. Mild blistering, especially on the chin and temples may occur at higher powers and densities, which will typically heal normally. Scarring from the procedure is virtually unknown. Hyper-pigmentation may occur in darker skinned patients, or patients prone to discoloration. Such patients can be pre-treated with bleaching agents to minimize any tendency towards discoloration. Patients with a history of lip blistering are treated with antiviral medications just before, and for a week after treatment. Fractional lasers very rarely cause an outbreak of acne, the cause of which is unknown.
Fractional laser resurfacing is a safe and effective treatment for the appearance of sun damaged and wrinkled skin and acne scarring. The procedure has an excellent safety profile, with minor blistering being very uncommon, and scarring virtually unknown.