Can I Have Laser Skin Resurfacing for my Acne Scars?

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There are several factors that determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for laser skin resurfacing. These factors can relate to your lifestyle, your medical background, your current skin condition and your expectations of the treatment. It is important that your practitioner is rigorous when asking you about all of these things, if your practitioner is not thorough enough it could point to them not being particularly well qualified in the procedure or not concerned enough with the outcome of your treatment. Make sure that you choose a practitioner who quizzes you thoroughly about all of these things and who makes you feel secure and comfortable.

First a practitioner must determine whether or not your expectations of the treatment are reasonable and achievable. If they are not, you may be refused treatment on the grounds that the procedure will not deliver the results you want. Whether or not the treatment is feasible will be decided after careful discussion with you about your hopes and feelings about the procedure along with an examination of your skin. This examination will ensure that you do not have any current skin conditions, such as acne, which could complicate the treatment and that you show no sign of developing unusual scarring. If you are prone to keloid scarring, for example, laser resurfacing could worsen your skin.

Next, the health risks and probability of side effects will be considered. You will be asked a number of questions about your lifestyle and medical background in order to determine whether it is safe to perform the resurfacing on your acne scars. Some medications, like the common acne treatment, Accutane (Isotretinoin), can cause complications such as further scarring if taken within 18 months of laser resurfacing treatment. Also, smokers are not considered ideal candidates as smoking has been shown to seriously impair the healing process. Your practitioner must also ensure that you are physically and mentally stable before accepting you as a patient.

Laser Skin Resurfacing During Pregnancy

There is no evidence that laser skin resurfacing is dangerous to an unborn child during pregnancy. The laser is designed to penetrate just millimetres into the skin and cannot therefore ‘reach’ your baby. That said, there is little or no research into the area so it may be advisable to err on the side of caution just in case. Either way, if you have any concerns or queries, please consult your doctor.

Whether or not lasers can damage unborn foetuses, pregnancy can cause other complications with laser skin resurfacing. During pregnancy your hormones behave differently and become more active. This can cause you to develop acne. This means it is not possible to treat your acne scars. Equally during pregnancy, laser skin resurfacing has a higher chance of altering your skin pigmentation.

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Guide to Laser Skin Resurfacing for Acne