Laser resurfacing for acne scars

Laser resurfacing removes the top layer of skin. This is also known as laser dermabrasion or laser peel. The laser releases short pulses of energy that cause a carefully controlled burn of the skin. This promotes new skin and collagen growth. Because it can be finely controlled, laser resurfacing has largely replaced chemical peels and dermabrasion as the preferred method for treating most acne scars.

Doctors use a variety of lasers, including the CO2 laser and the YAG laser.

As in dermabrasion and chemabrasion, redness and tenderness can last from several weeks to months after the procedure. Further scarring is possible, although rare.

To prevent skin discoloration, avoid sunlight for several months after treatment by using sunscreen and hats outdoors.

For more information on this surgery, see the topic Laser Resurfacing.

Last Updated: February 27, 2009

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