What is laser scar treatment?
Using fractional laser resurfacing for scar and stretchmark removal is one of the exciting frontiers in non-invasive medicine. Scar “removal” with lasers is really a process of “remodeling” the scar tissue and surrounding skin to minimize and camouflage the scar as optimally as possible. No scar can be completely eliminated, but the goal is to replace as much of the scar tissue as possible with fresh cell growth with smoother texture, causing the scar to “blend” with the natural color of the surrounding skin.
How does Fractional Laser Resurfacing work?
Fractional laser resurfacing is the safest and most advanced treatment available for altering scar tissue. The non-invasive (non-ablative) technique passes laser energy through the scar tissue and is absorbed by water in the collagen beneath the surface, creating multiple, microscopic, thermal columns within the skin. Together these micro-treatments cause a change in the collagen below the skin’s surface, stimulating new skin cell production.
This approach alters only fractional amounts of the target tissue at one time. Think of it as digital tissue editing in phases with a series of treatments. The process stimulates new collagen growth each time, resulting in a natural process of “remodeling” the skin’s surface without the need for surgery. Because there is no bleeding, or bandaging, the natural healing process poses minimal risk.
Does laser resurfacing work on stretch marks?
Stretch marks (striae) are scars resulting from stretching of the skin during pregnancy, rapid weight gain or body building. The Palomar Lux™ system has demonstrated superior results in minimizing or eliminating stretch marks and recently received FDA approval for treatment of stretch marks. The non-invasive process is the same as for other scarring, as described above. For some patients with loose, sagging skin related to stretchmarks, the recommended approach would combine fractional laser resurfacing with IPL skin tightening.
Why is laser resurfacing a good choice?Different scar tissues respond to different kinds of laser beams. Our Palomar system allows us to customize the laser energy for optimal response from the collagen within the scar.
Laser resurfacing is safe for all skin types, poses minimal risk, and does not require down time for recovery.
Does the procedure hurt?
By delivering light as individual pulses of microbeams, the Palomar Lux™ system protects the skin from the overheating that can result from many other resurfacing treatments. The Lux™ system features built-in cooling of the skin, so you feel only minor discomfort, like momentary stinging, during treatment. Topical anesthetic is often applied prior to treatment to increase the comfort level for the patient. To view a demonstration on our 4-minute introductory video, click here.
What can I expect after treatment?Generally, you can return to work or other activities without recovery time. You may experience some initial redness (like mild sunburn), warmth, mild swelling, or tightness in the treated area. The skin may have a pinkish tone for a few days. You should use moisturizers and sunscreen for about ten days following the procedure. If you prefer to use a foundation makeup on top of the moisturizer, a mineral-based makeup is recommended.
What results can I expect?
Scar tissue varies, depending on what caused the scar and the collagen in the scar tissue itself. Skin scars differently on different parts of the body and every scar is unique, so there are no guarantees. Some improvement should be noticeable within the first week following the first treatment, with a cumulative effect following successive treatments, and continued improvement up to 6 months as new skin continues to replace the old scar tissue.