Acne scars can be incredibly difficult to get rid of. They can be very stubborn and take ages to improve despite doing every sort of treatment you can. While I am a huge proponent of natural methods for treating the skin, sometimes, it is inevitable to turn to medicine. Laser scar removal is a very common and effective procedure for getting rid of scars. Today, I’ll be giving some basic information about what acne scars are, how they occur, as well as the laser acne scar removal cost.
What Are Acne Scars?
Acne scars are basically scars that are left over when the acne is cleared up. They don’t occur all the time, but can occur in certain situations. Some things that can increase the likelihood of getting a scar are:
Picking, squeezing, or popping acne
This increases inflammation and causes trauma to the skin
This type of acne includes nodules and cysts which tend to penetrate deeper into the skin
If you have relatives with scars, it can be possible that you are more prone to them as well
Delaying treatment of acne
The longer you have inflammatory acne, the more damage to your skin and the greater chance of scarring
How Are Acne Scars Caused?
Basically, when acne penetrates the skin very deeply, it damages the skin and tissue beneath. The skin cells will try to repair this damage by laying down collagen which helps support the skin. The problem is that sometimes the skin lays down too much collagen leading to the formation of a scar. There are two types of scars that can occur depending on how much collagen your body forms.
Raised scars: Sometimes the body will try to secrete too much collagen forming a scar that is raised above the skin. This is mostly seen in African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.
Depressed scars: If the body produces too little collagen, small pits/depressions can form when the body heals.
Treatment Options for Acne Scars
There are a wide variety of treatment options that exist to treat acne scars. Some of these are natural treatments while others are medical treatments. You can see my article on How To Get Rid of Acne Scars to see in-depth information on the different treatment options that exist. I’ll just briefly talk about some of the medical options that exist today.
Chemical Peels: A dermatologist will apply a chemical to your skin which will cause it to peel and blister off revealing new healthy skin cells underneath.
Laser Treatment: Using a laser, a dermatologist can remove the top layer of damaged skin to reveal healthy skin underneath.
Microneedling: The process whereby small pinpoint needles are inserted into the skin to cause micro-wounds that then initiate the process of skin healing.
Dermal Filler: Some dermatologists may recommend injecting filler into the skin made of a collagen product that reduces the appearance of scars. These will only last 6-18 months.
Laser Acne Scar Treatment
Laser therapy is a very popular treatment for acne scars. It works by using highly targeted lasers to remove damaged skin and greatly diminish scars. The laser treatment works by using heat to remove the outer layer of skin which will kickstart your body to produce new skin cells to cover the damaged ones. Additionally, the heat of the laser also draws blood to the area which reduces inflammation. While this is a great method for treating acne scars, just note that it will not completely remove the scar. Unfortunately, there is no treatment that will completely get rid of acne scars. However, laser treatments can provide substantial benefits when it comes to lessening the appearance of scars.
Laser therapy is used to treat a wide variety of conditions such as hair loss, tumor growth, correcting vision, and treating pain. It is a very safe outpatient procedure. The procedure will require a topical anesthetic to numb the skin. There is no downtime with this procedure, and healing should start within 3-10 days. You may experience some redness, pain, and swelling in the area. However, this should be mild and should die down within a week.
Ablative vs. Non-Ablative
There are two types of treatments when it comes to laser acne scar removal: ablative and non-ablative. They are both different, and it is recommended to discuss with your provider which one he recommends.
AblativeSkin Surfacing: This treatment uses a carbon dioxide laser to remove the entire top layer of skin. This tends to be a little more expensive compared to non-ablative.
Non-ablative Skin Surfacing: This treatment uses infrared lasers to penetrate your skin. These lasers promote collagen production and cause new cells to replace damaged cells.
Laser Acne Scar Removal Cost
Unfortunately, laser treatment for acne scar removal is seen as a cosmetic procedure. Therefore, it won’t be covered by insurance. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons states that out-of-pocket costs for ablative laser skin treatment is $2000 and $1100 for non-ablative laser treatment. Of course, the cost is also dependent on other factors such as:
number of treatments needed
expertise of the provider
number of scars being treated
size of the area being treated
It is very important to choose a reputable provider. Since this is the appearance of your skin, you want to make sure that the provider you choose has significant experience and knowledge. Do not just go with the cheapest provider without doing your research. The acne scar removal cost is only of minor significance compared to the level of expertise and experience of your provider.
Laser treatments are a very effective method to reducing the appearance of acne scars. While they won’t be able to completely remove scars, they will significantly diminish the appearance. They are a very safe and effective method of treating scars and the laser acne scar removal cost is affordable. I hope that this article was informative and has helped give you some more information about laser acne scar removal. This is only one of the many methods available to help treat acne scars. While it is ultimately your decision, I do recommend speaking with an experienced provider and discussing the best option for you skin before proceeding!