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Effects of Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

Effects of Laser Treatment for Acne Scars Effects of Laser Treatment for Acne Scars

For many, acne is no more than a few blackheads or whiteheads. Unfortunately, for others, mild acne can quickly progress into more serious inflammatory cases, and with inflammation often comes acne scar tissue. Several methods for remedying acne scars exist, including the newer addition of laser scar removal. Laser scar removal uses ablative lasers to vaporize the outer layer of skin from the scar affected area. Although the procedure is generally considered safe, there are some effects to be aware of.

Pink Skin

After your laser treatment has been completed, your skin may remain pink or red in the treatment area. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this skin coloration can remain anywhere from several weeks to several months.


Inflammation may also be an effect of laser scar removal. Inflammation is part of your body's natural healing response that is activated by the white blood cells of your body. As the treated skin begins to heal, the presence of white blood cells will decrease, and over time the inflammation will decrease.


Redness and inflammation may also be accompanied by a burning sensation, similar to a sunburn. In general this burning sensation may be mild; however, in rare cases, actual burns may result from the laser procedure, according to Einstein Medical Industries. The burning sensation may be increased by direct exposure to sunlight.

Pigmentation Changes

Laser scar removal may also cause pigmentation changes on the surface of the skin, such as hyperpigmentation. Laser treatments cause inflammation, which can affect the production of melanin, the substance that gives your skin its color. Also known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), the resulting inflammation from the procedure can over-activate your melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin. According to author and dermatologist Dr. Susan Taylor, this hyperpigmentation can remain after swelling has dissipated.

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