No matter how many preventative measures you may take, visible acne scarring is sometimes inevitable. There are a number of at-home treatment options you could try that may help to fade your scars over time, but these don’t work for everyone.

For the most effective acne scar removal method, laser treatments are what you need to look into. Here are six top tips from the experts for those looking to banish their acne scars for good.

Keep your Expectations Realistic

Let’s begin with this – no matter how accomplished your doctor may be, complete removal of acne scars is not yet possible, even with the very best of technology. However, in most cases, results can be almost as good, with scars only being noticeable under close scrutinization.

Still, results can vary, depending on the type and severity of your scars. This is something that your doctor will discuss with you when putting together your treatment plan, because, as advanced as laser technology maybe, you are likely to need multiple treatments.

Treatments are usually spaced out between 6 and 18 months, and often incorporate other modalities too. This is something always recommended by the experts since the different scar types on your face will need to be targeted in specific ways. While a vascular laser would work well on your red scars, you would need a fractionated laser for boxcar scars, and possibly dermal fillers to help with rolling scars.

So, as effective as laser treatments may be for acne scar removal, don’t expect instantaneous results.

Treat Active Acne Breakouts Before Undergoing a Laser Procedure 

Treat Active Acne Breakouts Before Undergoing a Laser Procedure 

If you are currently dealing with an active acne breakout, then you may need to hold off on the laser treatments until you have your acne under control.

Scarring is the result of a specific process that takes place within your skin. If you undergo a laser treatment while this process is still occurring, then, although your old scars may look a little better, newer and darker scars will still be appearing, making your efforts seem futile.

Active acne breakouts need to be treated before scarring can be dealt with using lasers to ensure better overall results. Fortunately, many doctors will be able to help you with this too, meaning that you won’t have a long wait before work can begin on those scars.

Be Careful If you Have Darker Skin

Laser treatments can sometimes be problematic for those with darker skin tones. Lasers rely on the contrast in color between skin and scar, meaning that dark scars on dark skin can be difficult to detect. This can lead to skin discoloration, burning, and even more scarring.

Fortunately, technological advances mean that there are now much safer laser acne scar treatment options for those with darker skin – you just need to choose a practitioner who really understands what they are doing. Some important factors to consider are: is the practitioner a Board Certified Medical Doctor, is he well versed and experienced in using a combination of minimally invasive treatments and reputable industry-leading skincare lasers like the FRAX Non Ablative laser which is the gold standard laser for acne scar treatment.

Also make sure to ask for before and after photos of acne scar removal, as well as read customer testimonials. Keep an eye out for testimonials that don’t seem genuine.

Be Prepared for a Little Discomfort

While many imagine that laser treatment for removing acne scars will be completely pain-free, this isn’t always the case. A certain level of discomfort is to be expected, with many patients agreeing that the sensation feels like a hot elastic band flicking against their skin.

Discomfort levels vary depending on the type of laser used, as well as the depth it needs to penetrate. Everyone also has a different level of pain tolerance. If your doctor anticipates that you will experience pain during your procedure, a topical anesthetic can be used beforehand to numb that part of your skin.

Another effective way that many doctors reduce discomfort during laser treatments is with a cold air jet, applying this to the skin along with the laser to minimize pain.

One thing to keep in mind if you’re a woman – experts have found that women are more sensitive to the pain from a laser acne scar removal treatment just before, or during, their menstrual cycle. Taking this into consideration when booking your appointment would be worthwhile!

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Aftercare

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Aftercare

The importance of aftercare for laser treatments cannot be stressed enough. The laser will remove the outer layer of your skin, making the fresh skin below extremely vulnerable to damage.

Immediately after your treatment, as well as for up to 48 hours afterward, your skin will be quite red and swollen. As tempting as it may be to cover this up with makeup, your doctor may advise you to avoid wearing makeup over any treated areas for a few days after your procedure. Instead, try using a cold pack, or a damp cloth, to soothe the swelling and irritation.

Your skin may also feel hot to the touch after the procedure – something that can sometimes alarm many patients. Try to minimize heat in your skin as much as possible, avoiding hot baths, steam rooms, and saunas for a couple of days.

Since your skin will be highly sensitive after your treatment, you will need to avoid direct sunlight for the following six weeks. Of course, indirect sunlight can cause damage too, making it absolutely vital to always be wearing sun protection. SPF50, or higher, is a must, and you will need to continuously reapply your sunscreen through the day.

Experts have seen many cases of severe skin damage and hyperpigmentation due to this advice being ignored, making the importance of aftercare something they always emphasize.

Be Aware of the Risks and Side Effects

Before undergoing any cosmetic procedure, it’s important to be aware of any risks and side effects, and this applies to laser acne scar removal too.

As mentioned above, those with darker skin tones may experience more side effects than others. However, in general, common side effects include discomfort, crusting, and swelling. Up to 45% of patients also experience skin discoloration too, although this is usually temporary. If this is something that you are particularly concerned about, you may want to avoid direct sun exposure for a month before your treatment, as well as six weeks after.

If you’re someone who is susceptible to cold sores, you may need to take a preventative antiviral medication as a precaution before your treatment. This is especially the case if you intend on treating scars around your mouth. Since the virus lies dormant in many people, and laser energy can reactivate it, taking the necessary steps to protect yourself from this is important.

Erasing away those visible acne scars can be life-changing for many people, giving them the confidence, they need to thrive in life. If you have already tried several topical treatments and have found that they haven’t worked for you, laser treatments may just be the way to achieve that clear and smooth complexion you’ve been dreaming of.