So you have scars that are bothering you? Maybe as a result of acne, surgery, a traumatic injury or a burn? Scars can be an extremely upsetting skin concern for millions of people, so if you have scars that are causing you embarrassment or are affecting your self-confidence on a daily basis, you’re not alone. A scar is the body’s natural way of healing and replacing damaged or lost skin after trauma. It’s primarily composed of fibrous tissue, usually comprising of collagen. However, a scar rarely mimics the naturally smooth skin tissue that preceded it, and too much collagen can cause a raised scar, too little or too lax collagen and an inverted scar can form.
Scars are extremely common, and in London alone, many people live each day with scars from a previous skin trauma. However, some severe scars can cause a lot of emotional upset and a need to hide them from sight.
At The London Keloid Scar Clinic in Harley Street, world-famous for cosmetic surgery, we don’t believe that scars should be put up with for life and offer some of the world’s leading treatments and procedures to reduce or even eradicate scars. One such non-surgical option we offer here at the clinic is laser (ND Yag and factional) and intense pulse light (IPL) treatments.
IPL and laser treatments work in very similar ways but are not one-size-fits-all treatments. Therefore, in a no-obligation, initial consultation, we will assess your scars and check your medical history to decide which treatment will be right for you.
IPL – A highly-effective treatment for improving the appearance of hypertrophic or keloid scars and reducing the pronunciation, redness, and hardness of many types of scars. IPL uses light energy to target damaged or pigmented skin cells accurately. Using a hand-held device, your skin professional here at our London clinic will flash multiple wavelengths of light into the skin. This light energy heats the skin cells, breaking them down. The brilliant part is that your body will then remove the damaged tissues, naturally.
Laser treatments work in a very similar way and use specially-selected wavelengths of laser light energy. However, for pitted, crevice scars, laser surgery (laser resurfacing) uses the laser light energy to remove the top layers of skin, stimulating new collagen production in the deeper layers and smoothing the top layers of skin. At our London clinic, we offer a range of different lasers to suit your specific skin concerns.
ND Yag laser treatment works by reaching more deeply than IPL or some other laser treatments, to treat hypertrophic and keloid scars. It is thought to act by suppressing neovascularization in these pathological scars, which form as a result of vessel overgrowth, resulting in excess nerve fibres and collagen in the reticular layer of the dermis.
Fractional laser uses a CO2 laser to treat parts of the skin’s surface at a time and remove the outer layers of damaged skin. This treatment allows for healing in-between treatments and is less ablative than some laser techniques, which means it is non-invasive and with less downtime than some non-fractional lasers – Something our patients here in London who have busy lives appreciate.
When you have laser treatment for the first time, here at The London Keloid Scar Clinic, we will ensure that you are fully aware of what to expect and will make you feel at ease in one of our treatment rooms. During the treatment and depending on the device and cooling technology used, you may feel a slight prickling or heating sensation on the skin, as it is treated. After your treatment, there is no need to take time off work or undergo any recovery time at home, but you might experience some redness, swelling and stinging in the areas treated. We recommend avoiding sun exposure and harsh chemicals (such as chlorine when swimming) for a few days to a week after your laser treatment.
In most cases, your clinician will recommend a course of treatment; each session usually being taken around a month apart. When we see you for your initial consultation, we will estimate how many treatments you are likely to need. However, we cannot always be 100% accurate on this estimation and monitor your progress as your course continues. The number of treatments you will need will depend on your scar’s type, shape, size, colour, and projection.
Laser is a non-surgical option and therefore requires no incisions or stitching. This is why laser and IPL for scars are becoming one of the preferred treatments that our patients undergo. It’s fast, convenient and virtually pain-free, leaving you to get on with your day and to watch your scars fade in a matter of a few weeks to a few months. Once the scars have been faded or eradicated, they will not return, leaving you will smoother, more evenly-toned skin that you will be proud to show off!