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Laser Acne Scar Removal Cost and Treatment Options

Updated on April 19, 2010

Acne Scar Repair Is Possible

While acne is not a life-threatening disease in itself, it can have a devastating effect on one's quality of life. No matter how great is your personality or how nice clothes you wear, an automatic judgement is made about anyone with blemishes.

You may be judged simply because your skin is not clear or because you have scars on your face. No wonder people with acne or acne scar suffer from numerous emotional problems: impaired self-image, lowered self-esteem and self-confidence.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to get rid of acne and many acne scar repair treatments are available that can be very effective in removing scars from your face, body, and soul.

Laser Acne Scar Removal

One of the most effective treatment for mild and severe scarring is laser resurfacing treatment. The largest benefit of using lasers over dermabrasion and other mechanical treatments is that the extent of destruction can be precisely controlled; and bleeding is minimal.

Laser treatments can be divided into the ablative and non-ablative types. Ablative laser treatments destroy skin tissue to stimulate growth of new cells; non-ablative lasers are used on specific target cells and are not damaging the surrounding tissue.

-- Ablative laser treatments involve the use of laser beam to burn off skin layers in a process similar to dermabrasion, but much more precise. As with dermabrasion, skin is usually removed to the level of the papillary dermis. Laser beam creates lots of heat and that heat stimulates tightening of the collagen and increased collagen production. This, along with regeneration of the epidermis, which is damaged during laser ablation procedure, results in improvement in skin appearance, making scars disappear or become less visible.

The three most common types of ablative lasers are:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) laser
  • Erbium YAG (ErYAG) laser
  • Long pulsed Erbium (YAG) laser

Laser acne skin removal is most often done using a carbon dioxide laser (CO2 laser). It is called so because the laser beam passes through a chamber with carbon dioxide gas. The CO2 laser has revolutionized the field of skin resurfacing in 1980s when it was first introduced, because of its precision and ease of use. The treatment is highly effective, but it takes a long time for the skin to recover. Patients can feel pain and look as if they have a bad sunburn.

A common side effect is increased pigmentation in the treated area following the procedure, but it usually goes away, and the discoloration becomes invisible after nine months to a year. Although each patient responds differently, dark colored skin is usually affected most severely. That is why dark-skinned patients of Asian, African American, and Hispanic descent should choose a specialist that is experienced with treating dark skin.

The Erbium laser provides much gentler treatment alternative to CO2 laser because it produces less heat. The Erbium:YAG laser is called after the crystal through which the beam passes. As a result the treated area recovers faster and without so much redness or discoloration. Unfortunately, this also means less dramatic effect of the treatment, because there is less collagen remodeling.

---Non-ablative skin resurfacing is a gentler alternative to ablative lasers, with little or no recovery time and a low risk of complications. They are less commonly offered as an option for scar resurfacing because they results are less effective. Usually 4-8 sessions are needed to see maximal improvement. Sessions are scheduled at four- to six-week intervals. Everyone's skin responds differently to the treatment, so the degree of improvement is difficult to predict. Maximal improvement usually means 20 to 50 percent improvement at best.

Laser Acne Skin Removal

To maximize benefit while limiting the pain and redness, some laser specialists use both procedures on the same patient. This minimizes the adverse side effects of CO2 laser resurfacing, while taking advantage of superior collagen remodeling capacity.

The type of treatment you choose should be the one that is best for you in terms of your type of skin, the price, what you want the treatment to accomplish, and the possibility that some types of treatment may result in more scarring if you are very susceptible to scar formation.

Before committing to treatment of acne scars, you should carefully select an experienced dermatologist and ask him/her any questions that you have about your treatment options, possible side-effects, and kind of results you can expect after the treatment.

Laser Acne Scar Removal Cost

The cost of the acne scar laser treatment depends on many factors, including the size of the scars, their severity, credentials of physicians and the geographic location. For a small scar expect to pay around $600 to $1500. More severe scar may require $3000 up to $6000.

Approximate Cost Range (Per Treatment)

Laser Treatment (nonablative): $300 to $1,500

Erbium Laser Therapies: $1,500 to $4,000

CO2 Laser Resurfacing: $2,000 to $5,000

Natural Remedies for Acne

The best remedy for acne scars is prevention. Getting rid of acne permanently is not an easy task. You must treat the entire body and address the true causes of the problem. This includes proper diet, avoiding foods that cause acne, exercise, sleep, stress management, and other factors; which will have a positive effect on your total health and other areas of your life!


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      navya 4 years ago

      I m suffering frm sevear acne nd scars .. really vry much depressd frm it.. i m still 21.. i tried cold laser bt waste of money..nw taking chemical peel in vibes hav to wait nd c