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Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Laser Treatment for Acne Scars: What You Need to Know

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Laser Treatment for Acne Scars: What You Need to Know

Approximately 95% of the people in the world today have suffered from moderate to severe acne at some point of their lives. Acne is not only uncomfortable; it also leaves behind some residual scaring which is very visible in some cases. Most of us are aware of the strict rule that touching, picking or trying burst out the pimple is a very bad idea but still sometimes we do and it can lead to scars that don’t go away with time.

Most people feel depressed and the acne scars have put a dent on your self-confidence which might become difficult to deal with. Here in comes the laser treatment for acne scars to the rescue. It is one of the most searched cosmetic treatment on the internet. The light therapy irritates the scar tissue on the top layer of the skin. This encourages the skin to start producing new and healthy skin cells that replace scar tissue and reduce the appearance of scar. The scars fade away greatly and the pain is to the minimal. Laser treatment for acne scar is the best treatment to get back the smooth and supple skin that you always wanted. Laser treatments do not work on active acne or wrinkled skin but other than that if the acne scaring making you dissatisfied with your appearance, then talk to your dermatologist about laser treatments today. Although the face is the most commonly treated part, laser can also remove acne scars from back, upper torso, arms and neck.

What is acne scaring?

Acne scarring occurs when the acne does not heal properly.

There are mainly three types of acne scars

  • Atrophic acne scars: these are the worst kind of scars and take a long time to treat. The look like hollow dents on the skin and are also called pitted scars. They are caused because of loss of collagen and inflammation in the active acne. These are further classified in the three categories

Ice pick scars that look small on the surface but are deep

Boxcar scars have defined edges and broad

Rolling scars cause uneven texture on the skin.

  • Hypertrophic acne scars: These look like small bumps on the skin and are caused because of scar tissue build up. These are common in people with dark skin tones and are often caused because of white heads and cystic acne. They appear like keloid scars and in many cases are very prominent.
  • Post-inflammation hyperpigmentation: these have the appearance of dark coloured spots on the skin. all types of acne cause an inflammatory trigger in the skin that can cause excess pigment production. Since people with dark skin have excess melanin in the skin, they are more prone to this type of scaring. People who have the tendency to pop their pimples are more prone to this pigmentation.

How does laser help in scar removal?

Traditional methods of scar removal such as creams, exfoliation, spot treatment etc. take a long time to work and often do not give the desired results. Lasers work on all kinds of scars and heal them from within.

Given below is everything you need to know about laser treatment for your acne scars

There are different types of lasers for scar treatment

When it comes to skin treatments using lasers there is no one size that fits all. The type of scar you have will decide the type and duration of laser treatment for it. In a nutshell laser light converts into thermal energy to induce a natural wound healing in the skin. This causes new collagen formation which heals the skin and the scar. Another way that the lasers work is by using the light energy to break up the pigments and reducing the scar to a great extent.

Your dermatologist can even use a combination of different types of lasers along with topics and microneedling to improve the texture, colour of the skin and decrease the appearance of scars caused because of acne. Here is all the basics you need to know about laser options for acne scar treatment in Mumbai

  • Ablative lasers for acne scars: these type of lasers use a specific wavelength of light to target the skin around the scar. As the outer layer of the skin is removed the new layer starts to grow. The new skin is smoother and without scaring. The healing time is around 2 weeks and this procedure is not suitable for severe scars. CO2 and Nd:YAG are the most common type of lasers used.
  • Non ablative lasers: These work under the skin and do touch the surface. The increased collagen production triggers natural healing and cell regeneration process under the skin, thus improving the appearance of scar. This is a very suitable treatment for people with dark skin because of lower risk of hyperpigmentation. The results are not as dramatic as ablative lasers but it helps with all three i.e., atrophic and hypertrophic scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Fractional laser skin resurfacing: These are also generally a type of non-ablative laser acne treatments. Instead of a concentrated laser beam fractioned lasers hit the skin in tiny columns of light targeting only the problem area and leaving rest of the skin intact. The microthermal zones created by fractioned lasers are best for thick and bumpy scar treatment and even work for depressed scars. They also help reduce pigmentation and stimulate collagen production. The collagen helps raise the depressions in the skin and blend more evenly with surrounding skin. Fraxel and CO2 are most commonly used lasers for scar treatment. Fractioned lasers for acne scar treatment in Mumbai have shorter recovery times and less complications.
  • Pulse dye laser or the intense pulsed light laser: These lasers are mainly used for treatment of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and/or post-inflammatory erythema on the skin. The brown or red marks on the skin are targeted by the laser (both melanin and redness) and they fade away the marks by breaking up the spots. The laser light is absorbed by haemoglobin in blood and it leads to constriction in blood vessel and hence reduced redness. There is no downtime to this procedure and it is not suitable for treatment of other types of scars.
  • Picosecond Lasers for acne scars: Picosecond lasers are another great option for treatment of the hyperpigmentation caused because of acne breakouts. This is one of the most advanced form of laser for treatment of hyperpigmentation scaring. This type of laser delivers short pulses of light energy to the skin and breaks up the pigmented particles. The body absorbs the broken fragments and flushes them out of the system naturally. Since this laser does not use heat energy it is very suitable for dark skin.

Benefits for laser treatments for acne scars

  • Lasers give quick results in terms of positive changes in your skin after treatment. This improvements continues for several days and months.
  • They can treat large areas in one session.
  • Lasers reach the deep layers of the skin and heal the deeper damage. They work in areas where other treatments have fallen short.
  • The recovery is fast and less than other exfoliation methods for acne scar removal
  • You will know you have won the battle against acne for good. No matter what has cause the acne and subsequent scaring, you will get the smoothest skin possible with laser acne scar treatment in Mumbai.


How long does the procedure of acne scar removal takes?

One laser appointment will last for about 60-90 minutes. You will not see the results immediately but withing 7-10 days of the session you will see visible improve in the scaring and pigmentation.

Multiple sessions are often needed to get the complete and long-term results. This is especially important in cases where non-ablative laser ae used. Though there is no downtime with laser treatment, the number of sessions needed to completely get rid of acne scaring from your skin depend on

  • The severity and extent of the scars
  • Selection of the type of laser needed
  • Intensity of the laser (it also increases the healing time)

Ablative lasers might show the result in just one treatment but IPL lasers need 3-4 treatments spaced a month apart. Ask your dermatologist about how many sessions will be needed and about the maintenance treatment as they affect the cost of laser treatment for acne scars in Mumbai too. Your skin might look worse for a few days but as it heals you will notice a dramatic improvement.

Is laser treatment painful?

The intensity of the feel of laser on skin depends on the laser settings but it is not an intolerable pain. Your cosmetic surgeon will apply a numbing cream on the skin about 20 minutes before the procedure.

Side effect of laser treatment for acne scar

The expertise of the practitioner in working with lasers for your specific skin type is the deciding factor in reducing potential side effects after the laser treatment. expert cosmetic surgeons use different therapies to give excellent results with only few days of discomfort such as redness and temporary scabbing or discolouration.  When not done by experts the list of complications from lasers range from worsening of acne, more scarring, permanent discolouration.  Pulse dye laser can cause blistering and swelling whereas the fractional laser skin resurfacing can cause scaring if used too aggressively.

Every skin type needs different laser settings. The surgeon will take proper precautions so that the laser does not damage to the epidermal layer of the skin.



Skin care after laser treatment for acne scars?

Laser is a cosmetic produce and the results take some time to appear. Every skin has different healing time and recovery time. After every laser session you will have to take good care of your skin for week and months. Your skin will also need special protection from sunlight because the new skin that is formed is quite raw and sensitive. 6-8 weeks of sensitive skin care is needed to ensure that the healing is complete and skin texture and tone is even. The doctor might also give you special skin products to use to maximize the benefit of the treatment. avoid wearing makeup for a week or two after the treatment.

Here are five most important aftercare steps


  • Protect your skin from sun, blue light and pollution
  • Avoid using non-essential skin care products, stick to those which the doctor has recommended.
  • Avoid exercise: skip all forms of exercise a day or two after the treatment. exercise can cause swelling and slow down the healing process
  • Don’t scrub or exfoliate: Stick to gentle skin products
  • Follow the doctor’s recommendation for aftercare


Cost of laser treatment for acne scars

The cost of laser treatment for acne scars in Mumbai can vary from few thousand rupees to up to one lakh rupees depending on the treatment. Price of the acne scar treatment using lasers are depended on the severity of the acne scaring, type and intensity of laser treatment used, the number of sessions needed and the fees of the practitioner. Since it is a cosmetic procedure, your insurance might not cover the cost of acne scar laser procedures.

Also, in laser treatment for acne scar price in Mumbai includes initial and follow up consultation costs, the hospital fees etc. Enquire in details at the clinic about the cost inclusions and exclusions.




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acne scar treatment

How to remove acne scars permanently?

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Living with acne and acne scars is not easy. Scars on the face and other parts of the body can change the way you think about yourself and dent your self-esteem. For most people, acne scars are an unwanted reminder of the embarrassing acne phase. You are not alone when it comes to dealing with acne. More than 80% of people face the issue of acne in their teens or in their 30s. There are many factors that cause acne but changes in hormones remain the major cause. The good news is that you no longer have to live with acne scars as there are safe and reliable treatments available that reduce the appearance of scars permanently. Yes, all kinds of acne scars can be treated even if they are caused because of puberty or stress-induced breakouts.

What causes acne scarring?

There are different types of acne such as papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts. Acne scarring comes as a side effect of acne but is more depressing and disfiguring. To understand acne scar treatment, we first need to understand what is causing this scarring. The acne we see on our skin also causes damage underneath the skin too. When you have a breakout, there is inflammation under the skin which causes damage to the skin tissue and this is the major cause of scarring. The extent of scarring depends on the skin type and the damage.

As the acne pore swells it pushes against the wall of the pores and it breaks down.  Sometimes the blemishes are small and the scars are small but when the insides of the pores spread to the other tissues, the scars can be deep. The skin tries to repair the scar by forming new collagen fibres and when there are too many fibres, they cause a raised scar.  There are two types of acne scars

  • Discolouration scaring: This type of acne scarring causes hyperpigmentation which causes darker skin.
  • Indentation scaring: This is caused when the top layer of the skin fails to heal or regenerate itself and it causes a depression in the skin.

Some people scar easier than others and, in some hyperpigmentation, causes discolouration scaring post-acne. So, it is important to understand that acne causes scarring whether you pick or scratch it or not.  But when you pinch or squeeze a pimple or even a blackhead, you only increase the inflammation which in turn makes the scaring work. Another major factor that worsens acne scarring and spread is touching the pimple with unclean hands or towels.

Are acne scars permanent?

No, there are excellent treatments at your disposal that can reduce all types of acne scarring. The choice of treatment depends on the type of scar and the depth of the scar. Types of acne scars are

Atrophic scars appear as small dips on the skin. They occur when the skin is not able to make enough fibres.  These are further classified as

  • Ice-pick scars that look like tiny pinpricks.
  • Box car scars are larger dips with clear edges
  • Rolling scars give an undulating appearance to the skin and are not clearly defined.

Hypertrophic scars are raised scars caused because of too many fibroblasts produced in response to acne inflammation.

Keloid scars are thicker than hypertrophic scars and also have hyperpigmentation and are therefore dark in colour and often painful and itchy.

Treatment for acne scars

The first step in the treatment of acne scars is to prevent more acne. Talk to your doctor about acne control and avoid touching or scrubbing the acne. If you have recurring acne then it will cause more scarring. Acne scar removal and acne dark spot removals are safe and effective in-office treatments that are minimally invasive and do not cause damage to the skin.  They include

Subcision: This procedure is usually done before undergoing any other treatment for a scar procedure. Deep scars are dislodged from the muscle or the tissue so that they come to the surface and then it comes easier to treat them using laser treatment for acne scars or chemical peels or needling or dermabrasion.

Laser skin resurfacing: This is the gold standard for acne scar removal. Laser scar removal is safe and effective and can treat large areas of scars. It works on a simple principle of causing a small injury to the skin which triggers the healing process. This produces more collagen and stimulates the production of new skin cells which then correct the skin from the inside. A High-powered laser beam for laser treatment for scar removal gently removes the outer layer of the skin. The most commonly used laser for deep scars is fractional CO2 laser for skin resurfacing. Non-ablative laser resurfacing targets the inner layer of the skin to stimulate the production of new skin cells to replace damaged skin cells. Lasers treatments also smooth and improve the tone and appearance of the skin. Laser scar removal can cause bruising or redness and it may take the skin about 10 days to heal completely and it takes some months to see full results.

Microdermabrasion: This treatment is used for shallow and surface acne scars. Microdermabrasion as an acne scar treatment is done by exfoliating the affected layer of the skin and revealing smooth, scar-free and younger-looking skin underneath.

Dermal fillers: Dermal fillers are special gel-like compounds that are injected into the scars to fill them up and even out the skin. Dermal fillers plump out the skin and reduce the appearance of depressed acne scars. They contain ingredients like collagen and hyaluronic acid. Soft tissue fillers are often used to treat atrophic acne scars such as rolling or boxcar scars. Fillers are a good option to treat the scar.

Over-the-counter drugs and creams:  These include topicals and medications that reduce the appearance of the scar and the dark spots caused by scars. The most commonly used ones include

  • Alpha hydroxy acids which help remove dead skin and clogged pores by exfoliating the outer skin. This also clears discolouration and rough skin. They can be used on all types of acne scars.
  • Lactic acids are often used in chemical peels but are also found in serums and ointments to lighten scars. They lighten the pigmentation, texture and appearance of the scar.
  • Retinoids are vitamin A derivations and a popular treatment for skin rejuvenation and scar removal. They remove the dead skin cells and the top layer of the skin and are suitable for depressed scars.
  • Salicylic acid cleans up the pores, and reduces swelling and redness one of the best treatments for acne scars.

Microneedling: This treatment for acne scar removal involves applying a small needle-studded roller over the scars.  This causes small tiny injuries on the skin that stimulates the skin into producing collagen. This helps smooth skin and fill up the scars. It can take more than one treatment of micro-needling to correct the scars. This type of acne scar removal works well for depressed scars and not raised scars.

Scar revision treatment results

The scar removal process needs many treatment sessions and the results also take a few months to appear. A little bruising and redness on the scar removal site are common but it does not last for long. Your dermatologist will give you a list of instructions to follow for post-scar removal treatment care. Some of these include

  • Avoid direct sunlight on the treated area
  • If there is swelling then use a cool cloth or a cold pack to reduce it
  • In case of pain, you can use OTC pain medication
  • Use a regular cleansing and moisturizing routine.
  • Avoid makeup or other facias for a few weeks post-treatment.
  • Wear sunblock before going out

Your dermatologist might use more than one treatment to minimize acne scars. Acne dark spot removal treatments can use lasers as well as micro-needling. The location of the scar is also a major consideration when it comes to selecting the right treatment. Correct scar revision can reduce the appearance of the scar to as low as noticeable.

Scar removal cost

The cost of scar removal depends on various factors such as

  • Type of scar
  • Location of scar
  • Size of scar
  • Your age
  • General Health
  • Previous treatments
  • Chronic skin condition
  • Medications
  • Surgeon’s fees

Laser acne scar removal cost is a little higher than using over-the-counter medications but lasers give more long-lasting and better results. Also if your skin has a tendency to recurring acne you might need to factor in the cost of repeated scar removal and acne treatments for relief.  Laser scar removal cost is a small factor considering the benefits of flawless scar free skin.

About Dr. Rinky Kapoor

Dr. Rinky Kapoor- Best Dermatologists in Mumbai, India

Dr. Rinky Kapoor, Co-founder of The Esthetic Clinics, is one of the best dermatologists in the world & currently practices in Mumbai, India. Dr. Rinky Kapoor is a Consultant Cosmetic Dermatologist, Cosmetologist & Trichologist at S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India. Dr. Kapoor is trained at the National Skin Centre, Singapore & at Stanford University, USA. A celebrity skin doctor, Dr. Rinky Kapoor has won many honors such as “Best Dermatologist in Mumbai”, “Most Valuable & Admired Cosmetic Dermatologist in India” & “Best Dermatologist in India”, etc for her expert dermatology care, affordable & reliable skin care, hair care & nail care Read more

Expertise In

• Skin diseases
• Sexually transmitted diseases
• Hair disorders
• Nail disorders
• Cosmetic skin treatments
• Skin surgeries
• Laser skin treatments

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