Scarring can be truly distressing for people who have visible scars on their body. Often, these scars are the first thing others notice about them. Living with scars and dealing with the constant staring by people can negatively affect one’s life and social interactions. Many people with scarring also consciously choose to avoid leaving the comfort of their homes for fear of being judged or ridiculed.
While every scar lightens over time, some are permanently there to stay. This is usually the case with scars resulting from deep injuries. Among the many treatment options to deal with scarring, laser procedures have become quite the rage owing to their effectiveness.
However, anyone looking to get a laser treatment for scarring should know and understand certain factors about the procedure essential for an optimal outcome following the procedure.
Understanding what the procedure involves
Laser treatment has grown in popularity for more reasons than one. The procedure not only helps remove the damaged layers of the skin but also makes the skin appear more even toned by reducing the darkness of scars significantly.
Further, laser procedures are also known to stimulate new cell growth that helps in rejuvenating the skin and reducing the appearances of scarring to a great extent.
To carry out the procedure, the practitioner will first assess and identify the area to be treated. Once that has been determined and a treatment plan charted out, here’s how the treatment proceeds.
- The area surrounding the scar is cleaned and a numbing cream or local anaesthetic is applied to the area.
- Wet towels are placed around the area to be treated to ensure that no healthy skin is affected.
- The laser device is passed over the scarred tissue with the occasional application of a water solution.
- Once the treatment is accomplished, the treated area is applied with an ointment and dressed to keep it covered.
After a laser treatment for scarring, there will be some mild swelling and redness which will subside in a day or two. There may also be some stinging similar to that of a sunburn. Practitioners recommend the application of a moisturising lotion to the area. The use of makeup is also prohibited for a few days after the procedure.
Preparing for a laser treatment for scarring
There is a common misconception that all a patient has to do is show up for a laser procedure. On the contrary, clinicians recommend certain preparatory tips to make sure the patient is not vulnerable to any risks. Some of these include:
- Briefing the practitioner about the medicines and prescriptions you are on. Drugs like blood thinners or even certain herbs can put you more at risk of bleeding.
- Avoiding excessive exposure to the sun. Practitioners are wary of carrying out laser procedures on individuals who may have a sunburn or a tan. You will be recommended to avoid the sun as much as possible for a few days before the procedure.
- Avoiding cosmetic treatments such as injectables, chemical peels or even waxing. As these treatments leave your skin feeling tender and exposed, a laser procedure in close succession can do more harm than good.
- Refraining from smoking for a few weeks until the procedure. Smoking can reduce the ability of the skin to heal. After a laser procedure, this ability is essential to ensure an effective outcome.
Preparing for a treatment does involve being careful. However, the good news is that clinicians understand how out of depth patients can feel about procedures they do not know much about. Practitioners make it a point to inform the patients about all they need to know about the procedure beforehand. All you need to do is visit one and have your queries answered!