CO2 laser treatment for acne scars is a procedure aimed at reducing the appearance of scars resulting from old acne outbreaks. Approximately 95% of people who suffer from acne have some form of residual scarring.
This treatment involves directing light onto the top layers of the skin to break up scar tissue. It also stimulates the growth of new and healthy skin cells, which replace the damaged scar tissue.
While laser treatment cannot completely remove acne scars, it can significantly reduce their appearance and minimize associated pain.
However, not everyone is a suitable candidate for this treatment. Individuals with active acne, darker skin tones, or very wrinkled skin may not be suitable candidates for this treatment. It is important to consult with a dermatologist to determine if laser facial treatment for acne scars is appropriate for your specific case.
CO2 Laser Treatment for Acne Scar Procedure
Consultation: The first step is to schedule a consultation with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon at Urban Clinic who specializes in CO2 laser treatment for acne scars. During this consultation, they will examine your skin and determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Preparation: Before the procedure, the patient will need to avoid sun exposure, tanning beds, and certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding or bruising. They may also be advised to stop using certain skincare products for a period of time before the procedure.
Anesthesia: Depending on the extent of the treatment area and the patient’s pain tolerance, the dermatologist may apply a topical numbing cream or administer local anesthesia to minimize discomfort during the procedure.
Laser Facial Treatment: Once the patient is numb, the dermatologist will use a specialized CO2 laser device to target the acne scars. The laser works by emitting short pulses of energy that remove the top layers of damaged skin, promoting collagen production and new skin growth.
Post-treatment care: After the procedure, the patient’s skin will be red and tender, similar to a sunburn. They will be given specific instructions on how to care for their skin during the healing process, including the use of moisturizers and avoiding direct sunlight.
Follow-up appointments: Patients will typically need to schedule follow-up appointments with their dermatologist to monitor their progress and ensure that their skin is healing properly. In some cases, multiple treatments may be necessary to achieve the desired results.
Pre and Post-Procedure Care
Pre-Procedure Care for CO2 Laser Treatment for Acne Scars:
- Patients may be prescribed antibiotics and antiviral medications before the procedure.
- Avoid sun exposure for at least two weeks before the treatment.
- Do not use any harsh topical treatments on the skin before the procedure.
- Inform your dermatologist if you have a history of cold sores or fever blisters, as they may prescribe antiviral medications to prevent an outbreak.
- Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking as they can delay the healing process.
Post-Procedure Care for CO2 Laser Treatment for Acne Scars:
- The treated area should be kept clean and dry to prevent infection.
- Dermatologists may prescribe an ointment to improve skin healing and reduce the risk of infection.
- Cooling the area with cooling fans can help to reduce itching or stinging.
- Strict sun protection is essential for at least 5-7 days after the laser facial treatment. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen every 3 hours and preferably 20 min before going out in the sun, even when indoors.
- Avoid picking or scratching the treated area to avoid scarring.
- It is recommended to avoid strenuous exercise, hot showers, and saunas for a few days after the treatment to allow the skin to heal.
- Follow your dermatologist’s instructions for post-procedure care and follow-up appointments.
Side Effects of CO2 Laser Treatment
The side effects of CO2 laser treatment can vary depending on the patient’s skin condition, skin type, sensitivity, and immune response. However, these side effects can be minimized with proper pre- and post-procedure care.
Some common side effects of CO2 laser treatment include:
- temporary redness for 3-5 days
- Hypopigmentation (lightening of skin color) on the treated areas
- Hyperpigmentation (darkening of skin color)
Cost of CO2 Laser Treatment in India
The cost of fractional CO2 laser treatment in India can indeed vary depending on factors such as the type and severity of the skin condition being treated, as well as whether additional treatments such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) are needed. Generally, the cost for a single session can range from Rs. 3000 to Rs. 8000, but it is important to consult with a qualified dermatologist to determine the exact cost for your specific case.
The dermatologist can assess your skin condition and recommend the best course of treatment, as well as provide information on any potential risks or side effects associated with the treatment.
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Many of the techniques for preventing pimples may also be used to cure them. Eating well, avoiding stress, and not popping pimples may help manage zits and reduce their length. If your acne continues despite your best efforts, you may need prescription acne treatment. Consult your dermatologist if you’re uncertain about treatment.
CO2 Laser Treatment FAQ
The early symptoms of Acne can be small tender bumps on the skin, which are often filled with pus. You can even develop a combination of these breakouts on your skin. Some of the most common and early symptoms of Acne are as follows
- Blackheads – It is yellowish and has small black bumps on the skin. These look black due to the presence of pigmentation produced because of the inner lining of the hair follicle. The dermatologist highly recommends treating these with retinoid instead of squeezing it out because it can leave a permanent scar
- Whiteheads are similar to blackheads in terms of appearance but firmer, and they can’t be completely squeezed out. It can be cured with the help of acne treatment, as plucking them up can be painful and infectious.
- Pimple – The dead skin cells and bacteria get trapped inside a pore and cause pimples if these are mild, then they can be treated with acne products that contain a retinoid, azelaic acid, or benzoyl peroxide.
- Acne nodule or cyst – Acne nodules are larger acne bumps that build up under the skin, which can be very painful. Cyst looks like boils and carries the highest risks of causing permanent scars. In some cases, dermatologists prefer to inject it with medication which helps them to clear it more quickly.
The common risk factors for Acne are as follows
- Age – Acne is very common in teenagers; however, it can occur to anyone at any stage of life, and people of all ages can get it.
- Changes in Hormonal balance – Androgen hormones increase in girls and boys during puberty and expand the sebaceous glands while making it more sebum. These hormonal changes can lead to breakouts, particularly in women in their midlife, which allows Acne to stay for longer than usual
- Medical History – If any of your parents or both parent has Acne, there is a higher chance for you to develop it too as genetics plays a very important role in Acne
- Uses of oily and greasy products – If you are using any oily lotions or creams on your skin, then you might develop Acne
- Friction on your skin – If your acne-prone skin is continuously in contact with cell phones, telephone, backpacks, helmets, and tight collars, then it can create friction, and then you might develop Acne
If you have mild Acne, you can speak to the pharmacy and easily get medical to cure it which is a smart move to stop the outspread of Acne, but dermatologist believes that two pimples can be alike and the dermatologist can guide you and advise you regarding the treatment options for different types of Acne. Here are the three questions which are the best indicators that you need to see a doctor for Acne
- Are the gels, creams, and cleansers you have been using have stopped working?
- Is Acne reducing your confidence, or is it taking a toll on your self-esteem?
- Are the pimples painful and leaving dark spots and scars behind?
If the answer to all these questions is yes, then you need to consult a dermatologist immediately.