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Laser therapy for acne scars

A few sessions of a new type of laser treatment can remove acne scars with a relatively short recovery time.

Laser therapy for acne scars

A few sessions of a new type of laser treatment can remove acne scars with a relatively short recovery time. Acne scars are typically the result of damage to the protein (collagen) in the skin. During treatment, a series of 'nonablative' lasers work beneath the surface skin layer to stimulate collagen growth, which helps improve scarring as well as minimise fine lines. By stimulating collagen production, nonablative lasers also give the skin a healthy glow and smoother texture. The improvement with this is long lasting. Ablative lasers, in contrast, work by heating and removing the skin. After this treatment, patients typically take longer to recover, and are at risk of skin colour changes and post-operative redness. People are able to go right to work after nonablative laser treatment. In contrast, people need 7 to 10 days to recover after treatment with ablative lasers.The researchers from the DermSurgery Laser Center in Houston, USA, administered multiple sessions of the laser treatment to 11 people with mild-to-moderate acne scars. After three sessions, it was found that the participants' skin improved by an average of nearly 10 percent. Also, one month after the fifth treatment, improvement rates rose to 23 percent. And at six months, the researchers recorded a nearly 40-percent decrease in skin roughness. The skin continues to improve following treatment because the skin collagen continues to remodel.

The use of nonablative laser systems is a good treatment alternative for patients with acne scarring who are unable or unwilling to endure the prolonged postoperative recovery process associated with ablative laser skin resurfacing procedures.
Archives of Dermatology,
November 2004
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