Laser Scar Removal

Laser treatment for the removal of scars on the face and body demands the delicate and artful use of our multiple-modality protocols.

Watch the video : What is laser scar removal?

On a spectrum from successfully making a scar much less noticeable than before, to “I’ve even forgotten that I ever had a scar”, AMA’s laser scar removal protocols have the ability to transform your scars as far as is physiologically possible.

At AMA Regenerative Medicine & Skincare, we understand how traumatic scars can be, especially those on the face and other areas of your body that you don’t want to conceal. You may have tried a variety of ineffective scar removal treatments in vain that may have left you disillusioned and depressed.

Explore the photos above to see individual patient results before and after our laser scar removal treatment.

We understand the frustration that scars cause our patients. This is why we have developed a unique, multiple-modality laser protocol to delicately and artfully remodel your scar, causing it to gradually blend in with the surrounding skin, giving our patients the dramatic results they are hoping for.

Every Scar is a Unique Anomaly

Illustration of how scar tissue is different than normal tissue.

The collagen in scar tissue is different.

It is important to understand that every scar is a unique anomaly. The collagen that makes up a scar will differ in its structure depending on how the damage was inflicted, (surgical scar, burn scar, stretch mark scar, acne scar, etc.), when it was inflicted, as well as where on the body it occurred. After all, the skin on different parts of your body can be very different and therefore will scar differently.

Even within a single scar the collagen structure might be very different. For instance a scar that extends from a joint where the skin is constantly moving and stretching, to an area away from the joint where the skin stays relatively immobile.

Thus, each scar has its own unique structure that requires a unique set of energy settings and combinations necessary to “unlock its secret structural code” enabling us to effectively remodel its structure, minimizing it, smoothing it out, and blending it into the surrounding skin.

How Laser Scar Removal Works

Due to the fact that every scar is essentially an anomaly, making each scar different in composition and structure, all of our laser treatments to remove scars are customized specifically for each patient.

A typical scar removal treatment regimen consists of 5 to 7 laser treatment sessions combined with a combination of non-laser modalities such as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT), Physiological Regulating Medicine (PRM), and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT).

There are five distinct phases in scar removal treatments:

Phase 1 – Color blending

Doctor using a color blending laser on a scar.

Phase 1 involves color blending the scar to match the surrounding skin.

When scars are formed…

  • A) The scars may contain an excess of pigment making cells (melanocytes) that cause the scar to become darker than the surrounding skin;
  • B) The scars may contain an excess of vascularization that causes the scar to become purple, red or pink.
  • C) The scars may be devoid of either A) or B) and may therefore be lighter than the surrounding skin.

Depending on A, B, or C, a special series of treatments will blend the color to match the surrounding skin.

Phase 2 – Collagen Remodeling

Doctor using a CO2 laser on a scar.

Phase 2 involves remodeling the collagen in the scar.

Converts the scar collagen into healthy collagen.

Phase 3 – Scar Contraction

Shrinks the scar from side to side.

Phase 4 – Stimulation of New Collagen

Doctor using a ND Yag laser on a scar.

Phase 4 involves stimulating new collagen production in the scar.

Once the discoloration in the scar has been corrected, intense collagen treatments are carefully selected to stimulate, within the scar, the natural production of fresh, new collagen. This fills the scar with new healthy collagen.

These treatments are designed to interact with collagen fibers deep beneath your skin. This accelerates the removal old, deteriorated collagen and causes less-damaged collagen to remodel itself through your body’s own physiological processes.

Within 2 to 3 scar removal procedures the fibroblast cells that exist throughout the dermis are also stimulated to produce new, healthy, young collagen.

Phase 5 – Resurfacing

Doctor using an Erbium laser on a scar.

Phase 5 involves resurfacing the scar to smooth it out.

Smoothing out the surface of the scar to blend with the surrounding skin is the final step of the laser scar removal treatment.

This is done with a “laser peel”, also known as an epidermal resurfacing laser. The epidermal resurfacing laser removes a predetermined section of the surface of the skin (the dead skin cells that make of the upper layer).

This smooths the surface of the scar removing any roughness, imperfections, discoloration and fine wrinkles.

Watch the Video : Laser Scar Removal – How Scars are Removed

The Laser Scar Removal Process

When healing scars, here is the best way to think about it… Many different types of scars, created by many different types of events, on many different parts of the body, can be effectively treated with lasers. Usually, newer scars on a person do respond better and faster to treatment than older scars on that same person.

However, between different people that same comparison can not be made. Some people with older scars will be more responsive to treatment than other people with younger scars.

Every Patient and Every Scar is Unique

As a prerequisite, it is important for patients to understand that all scars are unique, and each is an anomaly.  Thus, not only do treatment outcomes vary from patient to patient, but even on the same patient, two scars just a few inches away from each other can be very different, and will treat differently as they go through stages of remodeling and healing. 

Dr. Pien looking at patient's face.

Dr. Pien observing the positive results on a patient’s facial scars.

The ability to physiologically remodel scars depends on several factors.

  • The cause of the scar. For instance, scars caused by burns can be significantly different the scars from other causes.
  • Where the scar is on the body
  • How old the scar is
  • How old the person is
  • Most importantly, the physiological responsiveness of the person

This is why is is so important to customize a scar removal treatment protocol for each scar and for each patient. 

A Completely Natural Regeneration

The entire process is natural, wherein we stimulate the regenerative mechanisms inherent in a patient’s skin and then allow time for the skin to heal, remodel the scar and generate new tissue. 

During this process we carefully observe how the skin responds, and continuously customize the protocol to achieve the maximal regeneration that the skin is capable of.  

The Healing and Blending Process

As you can imagine, the scars often look worse after each treatment before they heal and look better.  They are likely to be red and swollen, and in some skin types, temporary pigmentation called “post inflammatory hyperpigmentation” is common, which can be minimized with special creams and resolved after the physical scars have been treated.  

With each phase, the scars progressively blend back into the surrounding skin becoming less and less noticeable.

To make all this happen, we customize Integrative Protocols, wherein we utilize over twenty different high-tech medical lasers, PRP, ozone, micro-needling, specialized homeopathic injections, subcision, (subcutaneous incisional surgery) and even stem cells.

A Series of Treatments are Needed

While some scars resolve quickly, in as few as 3 treatments, the process may take considerably longer…. from 3 to 5 to 8 treatment sessions.  Accordingly, we charge by time necessary to complete each treatment session, and patients pay-as-they-go, because we never can tell just how fast a patient’s scars will heal!

Bell curve illustration.

Aesthetic medical procedures follow the well known “bell curve”.

In general Aesthetic medical procedures follow the well known “bell curve” graph that is typical of most biological systems.  That vast majority of patients ~80% fall into the “average” category, ~10% are “slow responders” wherein they may require more treatments than the average patient, and ~10% are “super responders”, who achieve their desired results faster and with fewer treatments than the average.

Laser Scar Removal FAQs

A. Dog bites are more common than one would think. We have treated many such scars at our clinics.

There are several different modalities that can make a huge difference in the appearance of dog bite scars. To help the body remodel the scar tissue into healthy collagen we use ozone injections combined with “subcision”.

To stimulate the regeneration of healthy skin we use various laser technologies. In cases where there is a lot of soft tissue loss, we stimulate the regeneration of healthy new tissue with the use of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells. Using this type of multiple modality scar removal protocol can produce results that are absolutely spectacular.

A. Yes they can! We have had patients with multiple cigarette burns on various parts of their body that we have successfully treated.

To clarify, the treatments do not “remove” the scars. The scars are healed and remodeled by the skin’s own regenerative capacity. Our laser scar removal protocols are designed to interact with your physiology and accelerate the natural regenerative process. That is why our scar removal protocols work so well.

A. The development of keloided or hyper-trophic scars following a surgical procedure is very common. We have many patients that come to us after they have had surgery. Yes, this procedure will work for your scar! We will develop a laser scar removal protocol that is precisely customized for your scar and skin.

A. Not only are the lips functional marvels, needed for eating, speech, expression and of course kissing, they are the central focus of beauty on a person’s face. Wow! Yes! We can treat scars on the lips. The treatment is very gradual and gentle.

A. We make sure the skin is well anesthetized (we have various ways of ensuring this depending on the patient) prior to any laser treatment. This ensures that both during and after treatment the patient is comfortable.

A. You would think so.. and typically younger/newer scars on a given person do respond better and faster than older scars on the same person.

However, you can’t make that exact comparison between different people.  Because some people with older scars will be more responsive than younger people with younger scars!

Bottom line, the ability to physiologically remodel scars depends on:

  1. What caused the scar
  2. Where on the body the scar is
  3. The age of the scar
  4. The age of the person
  5. Most importantly:  The physiological responsiveness of the patient.

Given all the above, you can probably understand better why it is so important to customize the treatment protocol for each patient and every scar.  We treat and observe, modify and observe, in order to engineer with our 25 different lasers, the most effective protocol for every scar.

Authored by Dr. Asher Milgrom | Reviewed by Dr. Alice Pien | Last updated:  

Page originally published on June 14, 2018. Last reviewed on October 20, 2022 by Alice Pien, MD and Asher Milgrom, PhD.