12. How Much Does Scar Removal Cost1

How Much Does Scar Removal Cost – Laser Treatment

Laser scar removal has been shown in studies to reduce scar thickness and appearance. The potential advantages, drawbacks, costs, and other information about laser scar removal are covered in the following paragraphs.

  • The price of scar treatments can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. While a laser skin resurfacing procedure could cost more than $1,400, a chemical facial peel for acne scars can be $400.
  • The price of scar removal is determined by the size and quantity of scars. The procedure you select, where you live, and whether you receive care from a doctor or an esthetician are additional factors that affect price.
  • Cosmetic scar treatments are not covered by insurance. However, it might at least partially cover the cost of removing injury scars, especially rigid ones that restrict your range of motion.

What is Laser Scar Removal?

Simply put, laser therapy uses concentrated light beams to treat damaged body parts during laser scar removal procedures. This kind of laser procedure, also known as laser skin resurfacing, is intended to lessen the appearance of scars, but it can also tighten the skin, minimize the appearance of wrinkles, and even out skin tone.

Not only are there aesthetic advantages. Additionally, laser scar removal treatments can increase your range of motion if a scar has been impairing it, as well as lessen the pain and itching that scars cause.

A scar cannot be completely removed by laser resurfacing, but it can be made to appear less noticeable. Instead, you’re replacing one scar with another, albeit a less noticeable one.

How Much Does Scar Treatment Typically Cost?

If you want to lessen or cover up a scar, there are numerous treatments available, and their prices range greatly.

Factors that affect the cost of a scar treatment include:

  • The scars themselves: type, size, severity, and number
  • The procedure(s) used
  • The number of treatment sessions
  • The type of provider: doctor or esthetician
  • The market prices in your local area

Types of scars

There are several different kinds of scars:

  • Keloid: Tough, fibrous scars that can be thick, red, and itchy and tend to get larger
  • Hypertrophic: Red, raised scars that don’t go away
  • Atrophic: Sunken spots that are often the result of acne
  • Contractures: Puckered tissue — sometimes from burns — that may restrict the movement of muscles and tendons

Based on the types of scars and their severity, your doctor or esthetician might recommend one or more of these procedures:

  • Chemical peels: The damaged skin is lifted away by applying these medication solutions over a scar’s surface.
  • Cryotherapy: This involves using liquid nitrogen to freeze scar tissue, a procedure frequently used for keloids. Like freezing off a wart, that is how it works.
  • Dermal fillers: These injections of what looks like gel give atrophic scars more volume.
  • Laser resurfacing: To eliminate acne scars, concentrated light pulses precisely remove a thin layer of skin while promoting collagen growth.
  • Pressure therapy: If you’ve had keloid surgery, wearing compression bandages constantly can make the scar less likely to come back.
  • Skin grafts/flap surgery: Contractures and other complex scars may require skin grafts from another area of the body (such as the thigh) or flap surgery — transplanting skin, fat, and blood vessels from a healthy part of the body to the injured part.
  • Steroid treatments: Keloid or hypertrophic scars may become smaller after these injections.
  • Surgical excision: In order to improve the skin’s appearance, a plastic surgeon can remove extra scar tissue.

Laser Treatment for Scars

Body damage can be treated with laser therapy by using concentrated light beams. It can treat pain, stop hair loss, enhance vision, and remove tumors and other growths. Additionally, scars can look better after laser therapy.

Scars can be treated with laser therapy without an overnight stay. To remove damaged skin cells and lighten scars, your doctor will repeatedly sweep a laser wand over your skin. These include:

  • injury scars
  • burn marks
  • acne scars
  • dark spots, age spots, and other types of hyperpigmentation

If you are sensitive to light, your doctor might not advise this procedure because it involves heat and light. This kind of sensitivity may be brought on by specific medications. To find out if you’re a good candidate, make sure to talk to your doctor.

Due to the possibility of bleeding, your doctor may also advise against laser treatments if you take blood-thinning medication.

They may also discourage laser treatments if you have:

  • active acne
  • skin sores
  • darker skin

How Does Laser Scar Removal Work?

Laser Treatment

A board-certified dermatologist can remove scars with laser therapy in an outpatient setting.3 Below, we’ve outlined common steps your doctor may perform for scar removal:13

  • Apply numbing cream, inject a local anesthetic, or give a sedative.
  • To prevent laser pulses from harming healthy skin, place wet gauze around the area.
  • A cooling saline or water solution may be applied from time to time as the laser is repeatedly passed over the scar tissue.
  • Apply ointment and a fresh dressing to cover the area once the treatment is finished.

Procedure Length

The duration of procedures varies, and you should anticipate some mild discomfort while receiving treatment.3 Depending on the technique used and the size of the area treated, ablative laser resurfacing typically lasts between 30 minutes and two hours.7 Depending on the size of the area treated, a topical anesthetic may be applied for 45 to 60 minutes to numb the skin prior to the non-ablative fractional treatment for acne scars.14

Results Timeline

Your dermatologist may suggest a series of laser treatments to get the best and most long-lasting results. Remember that it may take weeks or even months before you see any changes, and that they may not seem significant at first.4 But even after treatment, your skin may continue to get better for up to a year, and this improvement might even last for several years.

12. How Much Does Scar Removal Cost2

What’s Included in Scar Treatment Costs?

Among plastic surgeons in 2020, the average fee for laser skin resurfacing was $2,509 for ablative procedures (which remove the top layer of skin) and $1,445 for nonablative ones. For surgical scar revision after breast procedures, the Aesthetic Society reports an average plastic surgeon fee of $1,209.

The cost of surgical scar treatments does not entirely include the doctor’s fee. Other charges may include:

  • Hospital or surgical facility costs:Aside from severe cases, outpatient care is the norm.
  • Anesthesia fees: You might receive topical or general anesthesia, depending on your procedure.
  • Prescription drugs: could contain drugs to treat pain or wounds.

Ask up front about all additional costs to prevent unpleasant surprises.

Smaller scars or scars that don’t require surgical correction come at much lower prices. You’d probably visit a dermatologist for facial scarring caused by acne. Using a chemical peel, filler injections, or laser therapy, the doctor could treat those scars.

  • The average cost of a cosmetic chemical peel is $400.
  • The cost of injectable fillers (like Juvederm or Restylane) for indented scars ranges from $600 to $2,000 per syringe.
  • Each laser treatment session can cost between $400 and $2,500.

For a chemical peel, the average cost is $519 among plastic surgeons, while an esthetician at a spa or salon might charge $100 to $200.

Is Scar Revision Worth It?

Scar-revision treatments can have a variety of benefits, such as:

  • Restoring flexibility and function to scarred skin, muscles, or joints
  • Relieving an itchy scar
  • Filling in pitted or indented scars
  • Reducing the size of large, uncomfortable, or unsightly scars

At the same time, scar-revision surgery has its risks, including:

  • Discoloration or swelling of the skin
  • Fat necrosis (death of fatty tissue deep in the skin)
  • Further scarring
  • Need for additional surgical revisions
  • Numbness or changes in skin sensation
  • Persistent pain
  • Poor healing of incisions
  • Recurrent looseness of skin
  • Skin loss

A major choice is whether or not to undergo surgery for scar revision. Any kind of surgery comes with its own set of dangers, including those related to anesthesia, bleeding, clotting, and infection.

Nonsurgical scar treatments have risks as well, including:

  • Incomplete results, requiring repeat treatments
  • Peeling
  • Redness
  • Skin irritation
  • Unsatisfying results

What to Ask before Treatment

Make a list of inquiries you want to make to your doctor about your scar treatment options. The objective is to determine whether scar-revision treatments are likely to be beneficial for you.

Here are some queries to start with:

  • Will treatment help my scar get better?
  • What are the best nonsurgical remedies for my scar?
  • Would surgical procedures be suitable for my scar?
  • Will I require a single treatment or several?
  • Can I expect to see my scar after treatment?
  • How much healing can I reasonably anticipate for my scar?
  • How long will my scar need to heal after treatment?

Does Insurance Cover Scar Treatments?

Usually not. If your scar revision is cosmetic, be ready to pay the entire cost out of pocket. However, insurance may cover some or all of the costs of treatment if your scar or scars are the result of an injury or currently limit your ability to function.

Medicare doesn’t cover cosmetic surgery but does cover plastic surgery that’s needed to recover from an accidental injury. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (You can determine your options by contacting the SHIP) office in your area.

Medicaid may pay for scar treatments if they are deemed medically necessary. To take one example, in North Carolina, If your doctor certifies that the scars significantly impair your physical function in ways that can be improved with treatment, Medicaid will pay for keloid excision or scar revisions.

According to North Carolina’s Medicaid policy, scar-related issues that could qualify for medically necessary treatment include:

  • A rapid increase in scar’s size
  • Breathing problems
  • Communication problems
  • Distortion of nearby body parts
  • Eating or swallowing problems
  • No response to steroids or pressure treatment
  • Pain, infection, or fluid drainage
  • Visual impairment

To find out if you qualify for coverage, contact the Medicaid office in your state.

Through your plastic surgeon’s payment plan, a medical credit card like CareCredit, or a healthcare loan like Prosper, you might be able to pay for scar removal. Compare interest rates from different lenders. A personal loan or credit card may offer a better interest rate than a medical loan. If at all possible, it’s usually best to pay for cosmetic scar treatments out of savings rather than incurring debt.

How Effective is Laser Scar Removal?

The devices that were available just a decade or two ago pale in comparison to the laser technology of today. Dermatologists can now perform procedures with greater safety and efficacy than in the past, and with less downtime (the anticipated time to return to a normal lifestyle).

For instance, as technology has advanced and become safer to use on a wider range of skin types, fewer cases of hyperpigmentation have been reported. Additionally, we can anticipate even better management of a variety of scars as laser technology advances and medical professionals gain more knowledge about wound healing.

How Long Do the Benefits of Scar Treatments Last?

Whether the effects of scar revision last indefinitely depends on the kind of scar, how your body heals, whether you receive post-operative treatments (like pressure bandages or steroids), and other elements. You might require additional care. Or your scar might disappear completely and become virtually invisible.

The Bottom Line

A dermatologist or plastic surgeon can help with unsightly or bothersome scars. Acne scars on the face and other superficial facial scars can be treated by estheticians.

Costs will vary depending on the available treatments, which range from laser therapy to plastic surgery to steroid injections. The cost of treatment is likely to increase as the scar severity increases.

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