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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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Vitiligo or Leucoderma is an auto immune disease that causes the skin to lose its natural colour. As a result, the skin appears white in patches. This condition can affect men, women and children and there is no known cause of it.  The patches are formed because the disorders causes the melanocytes (pigment responsible for skin colour) to perish, leaving the skin with no pigment at all.

Vitiligo can affect any part of the body at any age. It can even be seen inside the mouth or on the scalp (changing the hair colour). White it is not a painful condition or itching or generally leads to any issues with physical functioning of the body, it can affect the mental health of the person greatly. People with vitiligo often feel self-conscious about the white patches and in some cultures it is also seen as a ‘curse’ causing a person to withdraw from the society.  Vitiligo white patches are more visible in people with darker skin because of the stark contrast with the pigmented skin. The pale and discoloured patches of vitiligo can be seen most only face, neck, hands, and the skin folds.

What causes vitiligo?

The autoimmune cells in the body see the regular melanin producing cells as their ‘enemy’ and start killing the healthy pigment cells. One theory is that that it is possible that melanocytes self-destroy themselves and cause the skin to become pale. Vitiligo can happen any time up to the age of forty. Usually, it is small spot and that increases in time but there are no other symptoms. Scientists list many probable causes of vitiligo such as

  • Genetic disposition
  • Emotional distress or trauma
  • Sun exposure and sunburn
  • Addison disease
  • Vitamin B 12 deficiency
  • Anaemia
  • Thyroid (hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism)
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Alopecia areata


Treatment for Vitiligo

Treatment for vitiligo is a purely personal choice. It is mostly done for cosmetic reasons. Laser is the most popular treatment option for re-pigmenting the skin. Vitiligo has a lot of stigma attached to it and in the Indian subcontinent where dark skin is more prevalent, people suffering from vitiligo are often made fun off because their appearance. Vitiligo patients are often treated differently because

  • Lack of education and awareness about this un contagious skin condition
  • It is often seen the same way as leprosy
  • There is no known reason or a 100% cure for vitiligo
  • Of half of the people suffering from vitiligo most develop it by the age of 20 and in rest it develops before the age of 40
  • It is sometimes genetic and therefore most portions of the society feel it is cursed
  • There is no way of determining whether vitiligo will spread as the time passes

There is a lot of uncertainty in the minds of the vitiligo patients regarding their looks and vitiligo treatment. Vitiligo patches are often looked down upon as dirty and disfiguring. In some cases, society has even gone to the extent of relating the white patches to past life dues.

Types of vitiligo

Depending on the severity of the vitiligo and the extent of body area affected by it, vitiligo is classified as

  • Focal which affects only few area body and remains centred there.
  • Segmental which affects only one side of the body
  • Generalized vitiligo is characterized by loss of skin pigment all over the body and across the body in a symmetrical fashion
  • Occupational vitiligo is a rare form of the condition and is caused because of exposure to industrial chemicals for example those used to make rubber.

Traditional temporary treatment methods for vitiligo include camouflage using makeup, dyes and tanners, topical steroid medicine and permanent ones includes surgery to replace the vitiligo patches. But each of these treatment methods has its own drawbacks and limitations. lasers have emerged as a more successful treatment for vitiligo that restores colour to the discoloured skin.

Laser treatment for vitiligo works in two ways

  • If the patient has small patches of de pigmented skin then laser can be focused on the specific areas only.
  • On the other hand if the vitiligo is wide spread then a special light chamber is used to expose the whole body to laser beam.

Laser helps by evening out the skin tone but it is also not a cure for vitiligo. There are different kinds of lasers that can be used and it depends on the individual’s condition and skin type. The most commonly used laser for vitiligo treatment is the Excimer laser.

Excimer laser

Also known as the XTRAC, the Excimer laser has some particular characteristics such as

  • It uses UVB light for treatment
  • The wavelength is 308 nanometres
  • It is used to treat localized vitiligo
  • This type of laser has been successful for patients whose vitiligo has responded well to other topical treatment methods.
  • The laser does not expose the surround areas to radiation and treats only the affected patches.
  • It even reaches the places which are difficult to reach with other treatments such as phototherapy.
  • It is safe to use on children.
  • It has been effective for more than 70% of people. However, the results are only effective for about a year.
  • The results are visible a few months after the treatment.


The UVB light from the Excimer laser enhances the immune response of the body. This in turn triggers or stimulates the product of more melanocytes and the pale patches see a rise in melanin.

Laser is a painless procedure and each session takes only about half an hour to complete. Excimer laser is usually done in twice weekly session over a period of 4-6 months.

Side effects of Excimer laser

  • It can cause blisters on skin
  • It called reddening of the skin
  • Results in hyperpigmentation or darkening
  • Can cause skin lesions

The other lasers used for vitiligo treatment in Mumbai include

  • Helium neon lasers
  • Ti: Sapphire lasers
  • UVA 1 lasers
  • Fractional ablative lasers
  • Q switched lasers

Every laser works differently and is chosen according to the disease’s specific characteristic such as location, activity, type and extent. For example

  • Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers are considered safe and rapidly action and effective in depigmentation for most patients. It does not need any maintenance sessions. It is usually used in patients who have more than 80% depigmented areas or have an universal vitiligo (90% of depigmented area). This treatment is often used along with bleaching creams and sunscreen to give most effective results.
  • Fractional ablative lasers create tiny microscopic wounds on the skin of the affected areas and trigger the immune system response to the injuries. This stimulates melanocytes cells in to production and helps cover the vitiligo affected areas. These are also used to improve the results of NB-UVB treatments.
  • Fractional CO2 lasers cause the pale areas to contract and this can temporarily reduce the size of vitiligo patches
  • Ti: Sapphire lasers are often used as an alternative to the excimer lasers.

Who is laser treatment for vitiligo suitable for?

  • Lasers work for people with all age groups and skin tones.
  • Some lasers might not work for children and children with extensive vitiligo are treated using narrowband UVB wavelength.

Aftercare after laser vitiligo treatment

Lasers do not require hospitalization and there is no need to take time off from work or a break from regular life but you will still need to take care of your skin by

  • Avoiding sun and wearing sunscreen every time you are outdoors
  • Gently cleaning the area twice daily
  • Using the creams and lotions given by the dermatologist
  • Avoid using retinols and glycolic acids on the skin till the time the laser sessions are on
  • Keeping the treated area moisturized and regularly using lightening cream to maintain skin hydration and preventing changes in pigments.
  • Staying away from treatments like bleaching, hair colouring, straightening, perming and facials.
  • Avoiding tanning treatments etc for 4 weeks before the treatment.

Vitiligo laser treatment cost in India

The cost of vitiligo laser treatment in India depends on

  • The extent of vitiligo spread
  • The areas being treated
  • The number of sessions needed to get the desired results
  • The fees of the dermatologist
  • The clinic costs

Vitiligo surgery cost in India much higher than the laser treatments. Surgery is only done for patients who have a stable vitiligo and rest of the treatments have not worked. Vitiligo surgery needs enough pigmented areas on the skin to cover the pale and white patches of the skin. Talk to the clinic about insurance coverage and payment plans regarding the laser vitiligo treatment.

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CO2 laser treatment

How long does it take to heal after CO2 laser treatment?

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CO2 laser skin rejuvenation treatments are the gold standard for treating most of the skin woes that you have. From improving skin tone to lightening scars and reducing fine lines and wrinkles to improving skin texture, CO2 laser treatment can do it all without causing any damage to the skin. It can also treat warts, moles, and other stubborn skin-based issues such as age spots and blemishes. As opposed to the standard ablative treatments, fractional CO2 laser treatments in India have lower and customizable downtime, fewer risks, and give dramatic results.

This modern skin rejuvenation treatment focuses on the problem areas of the skin and delivers high levels of energy in very short pulses. This removes the layers of the skin but does not heat or cause head damage to the surrounding areas of the skin. The effects can be seen almost immediately.

What can CO2 laser treatment do?

It can treat many skin issues, such as

  • Acne, chickenpox, or trauma scars
  • Uneven skin pigmentation
  • Birthmarks and tattoos
  • Sun damage or photoaging
  • Age spots or liver spots
  • Non-responsive skin after a facelift
  • Fine lines and wrinkles on face and neck
  • Enlarged oil glands on the nose
  • Lose and dull skin

The laser stimulates collagen and elastin production under the skin and tightens the skin over time. You can see the effects and improvement even after the treatment is long over. However, if you have active acne, dark skin, deep wrinkles, or excessively sagging skin, CO2 laser treatment might not work well for you.

Healing after CO2 laser treatments

Lasers have very low downtime, but you still need to give the skin some time to heal and return to its younger and fresher self. Redness, swelling, etc., are some common side effects of laser treatment. This is because of the dynamic nature of the treatment. The results also vary from person to person, so the question of when you can see the results is much easier to ask than to answer.

The healing time depends on the severity of the issue, the profile of the patient, and how well they follow the strictness of aftercare routines. Remember, rushed results equate to wrong results. Your skin will take time to heal, and you must let it at its own pace. Here are some simple guidelines to help you aid skin healing.

Once the treatment is over, the practitioner will give you an ice pack to put on the treated area for 15 minutes. This will bring down the light-burning sensation and reduce the swelling. Then you will be given a list of instructions to follow and what to expect during the healing process. Remember to take the cream, bandage, and petroleum jelly for the treated area before you leave the clinic. Here is a simplified list of what to expect during the healing process for CO2 laser treatment in India

  • You can take a light shower once you get home but avoid soaks and baths until the healing season is complete.
  • Use the cold compress regularly over the first 24 to 48 hours for 15 minutes every 1-2 hours.
  • Apply a thin layer of a good occlusive moisturizer or antibiotic ointment twice a day to protect the skin while it heals.
  • If you have any facial treatment appointments or make-up schedules, then cancel them till four weeks post-completion of the treatment.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking only delays and damages the healing process and adds to the signs of aging.
  • Sleep on an extra pillow so that the head is in an elevated position and swelling reduces.

Day 1-2 post CO2 laser treatment, you will experience some burning sensation, and there might be some swelling too. Stinging and itching are also this is normal, and they will go down in 24-48 hours. Keep using the ice pad every few hours and rest at home. This is the time when the old collagen and elastin fibers break down, and the skin clears the tissue debris.

Day 2-4 after the procedure: You will not need to use the ice pack so much now. The swelling will go down, and the skin will start to heal and might feel a bit tight. There can be some crust formation on the treated year, and sometimes a yellow serum-like fluid might ooze out. This is normal and shows that fresh skin has started to form under it, and everything is on time. Resisting the urge to pick and scratch the skin at it can delay the healing and even cause scarring and infection.

Day 4-10: These are the most important days of your recovery. The swelling and inflammation will be down, and you need to be sick to the advice of your practitioner and use the recommended products. Your will heal sooner by doing this, and you will be able to get back to your usual skincare routines. For the healing period, your routine should include

  • Washing your face with the recommended cleanser and letting your skin air dry.
  • Apply the cream to your skin and keep topping up when the skin feels dry and tight. Do this minimum of twice a day.
  • Wash your wash again before going to bed and moisturize. Don’t rub the moisturizer on the skin; apply it lightly.
  • If possible, use distilled water for the face and avoid using groundwater.
  • If the practitioner has asked to keep the treated area covered by a bandage, then change the dressing regularly after washing the area.


The skin will feel itchy, but at the end of 10 days, the skin will have healed, and the crusting will be minimal. You will be able to see the new pink skin, which will come to its normal color in the following weeks.

Week 2-3 after CO2 laser procedure on skin: The healing of outer skin starts, deeper healing starts, collagen formation begins, and tissues heal—about 14 days post-procedure, skin strengthening starts, which continues for years. Let natural health continue. Avoid using saunas, swimming pools, and hot tubs; don’t shave on the treated area. You still need to avoid make-up and the sun. And if you have to go out, wear sunscreen of SPF 50 or above and use a hat to protect the skin.

Anytime during the initial healing times, if you feel any of the following, call your practitioner immediately.

  • High fever
  • Unnatural discharge from the treated area
  • Pain and discomfort have increased and are not helped by pain medication.
  • Increased redness or swelling on or around the treated area
  • Bleeding on the treated area


You will continue to see improvements in your skin. Keep being gentle on the skin. The skin texture and appearance will see a visibly dramatic change after three months of the treatment. It might take up to a year to see the full effects. The sagging skin will not be visible, and the lines and wrinkles will have reduced evidently. You will be able to get back to your routine. Exercise regularly and eat skin-friendly foods such as green leafy vegetables, bright fruits, nuts, seeds, omega three rich foods, and water. A  good routine will make sure that the enhancements of CO2 laser skin resurfacing last for a long time and give your skin the natural smoothness and glow that you always desire.

CO2 laser treatment cost in Mumbai

The cost of CO2 laser treatment in Mumbai is influenced by several factors, such as the location of the clinic, the experience of the doctor, and the extent of the treatment required. It also depends on your skin type and the number of sessions required. It’s important to note that most patients require multiple sessions to achieve optimal results. The number of sessions required can vary depending on the severity of the skin condition being treated.

Before undergoing CO2 laser treatment, you must schedule a consultation with a qualified and experienced dermatologist or plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the doctor can evaluate your skin condition, discuss the treatment options available, and provide an accurate estimate of the cost of the procedure. They can also advise you on any potential treatment risks or side effects.

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

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• Skin diseases
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• Laser skin treatments

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