Laser/Light Therapy for Acne Scars

In laser/light therapy, an intense but gentle beam of light is used to treat acne scarring without damaging surrounding tissue.

Risks

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with it, though they are minimized in the hands of a qualified ASDS dermatologist. These include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Crusting

Why choose laser/light therapy for acne scarring

  • Pain and recovery time is minimal.
  • Procedure is non-invasive.
  • Works best in combination with other acne treatments.

What to expect after the procedure

  • Patients may not see any significant changes until several weeks to months after the surgery.
  • Treated area may be pink or red for four to eight hours after treatment.
  • Patients may feel a slight stinging sensation, similar to a mild sunburn, in the treated area. This sensation usually subsides within four to six hours. Cool packs or moist cloths may be applied to reduce the sensation.
  • Mild swelling in the treatment area that usually dissipates within several days.

In addition, patients should:

  • Avoid applying makeup or lotion to the treated area for either 24 hours or until all signs of redness and stinging have dissipated.
  • Apply a good moisturizing lotion to the treated area twice daily for the duration of the treatments and for at least three months after final treatment.

Preparing for the procedure

Before the procedure, an ASDS dermatologist will usually review the patient's medical history and conduct a physical exam. This is the time for the doctor and patient to discuss expectations, potential risks and outcomes of the procedure. Patients also should:

  • Avoid sunbathing, tanning beds, waxing, chemical peels or collagen injections for two weeks prior to the procedure.
  • Avoid perfumes, deodorants or any potential irritants in the treatment area before and after treatment.
  • Avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements due to increased risk of bleeding.