Categorized | Skin Care

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What Are the Side Effects of Laser Scar Treatment?

While laser scar treatment is usually successful, it does have some side effects, like any other medical procedure. You should be aware of them before committing to the procedure. As long as you’ve chosen a reputable and experienced doctor, your doctor should fully explain them before allowing you to undergo laser scar treatment.

Luckily, laser scar treatment has a very low risk of side effects. These are usually mild and temporary. Here are the possible side effects:

–    Redness and swelling of the treated skin is to be expected. It can be a bit uncomfortable, but the good news is that it should subside within just a few days. Cold gel packs or ice can be used to reduce swelling.

–    Sensitivity to sun is an unavoidable side effect of removing the top layer of skin. Wear SPF30 sun block if the treated area will be exposed to sunlight within a few months of the treatment, although of course sun block is always a good idea.

–    Allergic reactions cannot occur to the laser beam itself, but rarely, a patient has an allergic reaction to the medications or creams used during the procedure. If you have known allergies, ask your doctor about them; substitutions may need to be made to reduce your risk of an allergic reaction.

–    Temporary discoloration- After the procedure, the area treated may become lighter or darker. More aggressive treatment options, such as those used when a scar is particularly raised, may increase your risk of skin discoloration. There is also a higher risk when used on darker skin. After the procedure, always use sun block to prevent exacerbating the condition. Your skin color should return to normal over the course of the next few months.

–    Blisters, burns, or crusting- There is a low risk of these side effects, usually associated with an inexperienced laser operator. If it does occur, use an antibiotic ointment, and avoid picking at the affected area, or it could become infected.

Generally, laser scar treatment is very safe. Many people decide that temporary side effects are worth it to finally get rid of their unsightly scars. To lower your risk of side effects, choose a reputable and experienced doctor with training on the type of laser being used for your procedure. Follow your doctor’s post-treatment care instructions carefully. Also consider the increased risk of side effects when choosing to undergo a more aggressive laser treatment plan.

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