St. Petersburg Skin and Laser center

Laser Treatment for Scars


Reclaim Your Skin's Story with a Transformative Laser Scar Treatment

Embrace the transformational power of laser scar treatment. At St. Petersburg Skin and Laser, we understand the physical and emotional toll that visible scars can have on your everyday life. Scars can diminish your self-confidence, interfere with your professional image, and hinder your social interactions. The good news is, it does not have to be that way. We believe that your past should not define you, and with our advanced laser treatment for scars, you can regain your former confidence and celebrate your skin again.

Dr. Kesty and staff were very professional, respectful and friendly. Explained everything well. Look forward to being under her care from now on.

—Ana H.

Benefits of Laser Treatment For Scars

Addressing the unwelcome changes that sun damage, aging, and other factors bring to your skin.
Dramatically reduce lines and wrinkles
Long-lasting, proven results
Rejuvenated and healthier skin
Minimally invasive procedure
Fully customizable to your needs
Turn back the clock 10-20 years
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Why Choose Us for Your Skin?

Unlock age-defying transformations with the tailored expertise of Dr. Kat Kesty, a pioneer in laser cosmetic dermatology

Double Board-Certified Dermatologist
Broadest selection of lasers in Florida (25+)
One of a handful of fellowship trained laser surgeons in the nation
Customized treatments merge science & artistry

Your Best Skin Awaits

Take the first step toward the clear, confident you.

Why Opt for Laser Treatment for Scars?

Unveiling the Advantages of Laser Treatment for Scars

Significant Reduction in Scar Visibility

Laser treatment for scars provides a significant reduction in the visibility of all types of scars, including those stubborn acne and keloid scars. With every session, you’ll witness your scars gently fade into the background, leaving behind smoother, clearer skin.

Improved Skin Texture

Laser scar treatment goes beyond mere aesthetics. It meticulously breaks down coarse scar tissue, replenishing it with fresh, soft skin. With each treatment, your skin’s texture improves, providing you with the confidence to touch and feel the difference.

Lowered Infection Risks

Our state-of-the-art laser technology not only diminishes the appearance of scars but also reduces the risk of infection, a common concern associated with other invasive procedures. Our lasers promote faster wound healing, setting you on the quickest path to recovery.

Reduced Chances of Edema or Secondary Infection

Unlike invasive procedures like plastic surgery, laser scar treatment presents a minimal chance of edema (swelling), bleeding, or secondary infection. The laser’s precision allows for effective treatment without the common post-procedure discomforts.

Alleviation of Itch and Pain

Our carbon-dioxide and erbium laser treatments do more than just treat the scar’s appearance. These therapies can alleviate the often overlooked discomforts associated with scars – itch and pain. Not only does laser therapy jump-start the body’s natural healing process, but it also brings relief to the everyday annoyances of living with scars.

Identifying the Right Laser Scar Treatment Provider

Credentials and Proficiency

When it comes to addressing your skin condition and choosing a provider, it is paramount to consider their qualifications and experience. Our practice, led by Dr. Kesty, prides itself on its commitment to providing state-of-the-art care. Dr. Kesty, a seasoned practitioner in Dermatologic Surgery, specializes in ablative laser resurfacing and scar treatments, among other advanced dermatological procedures. She has published many research papers in the field of Lasers, including for the American Academy of Dermatology, Lasers Surg Med, and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons.

Tailored Treatment Approach

Every scar has its story, and so does every patient. Therefore, we believe in creating personalized treatment plans for laser scar removal or laser scar revision. Understanding your unique skin type, scar history, and aesthetic goals enables us to provide the most effective and customized care.

Who Will You Trust: A Fellowship-Trained Physician or a Medical Spa Laser Tech

Indeed, while many medical spas offer treatments for scars, it is crucial to remember that laser treatments are complex medical procedures. These should ideally be administered by a certified medical professional who possesses extensive knowledge of the skin’s physiology and the intricacies of laser medicine as well as the capability to understand your full medical history.

While aesthetic practitioners at medical spas may be able to legally perform various treatments, a procedure such as laser scar treatment requires a deeper understanding of the numerous types of lasers and the skin’s reaction to laser, potential risks, and appropriate aftercare. This level of comprehension is typically acquired through rigorous medical training and clinical experience.

Dr. Kesty is not only a medical doctor but also an experienced laser medicine practitioner. She is one of only a handful of Laser Fellowship Trained Dermatologists in the world. She is also Double Board Certified in Dermatology and Mohs Surgery. Her credentials in the field of Dermatology and Laser treatments are exemplary, having undertaken comprehensive training in these areas. Her extensive experience, combined with her dedication to the highest standards of care, ensures that patients receive safe, effective treatments designed to produce the best possible results. Trusting your skin to a medical doctor like Dr. Kesty ensures that your health and well-being are at the forefront of your treatment plan. Request an appointment with Dr. Kesty today and see how she can help you achieve your cosmetic goals!

Exploring Your Laser Treatment Options for Scars

Innovative Laser Treatment Technologies for Scar Treatment

As the field of laser medicine continues to evolve, a range of advanced technologies have been developed, each with its unique benefits and applications. Understanding these distinct laser types can provide a clearer picture of how your individual scar treatment plan may look.

Nd:YAG Lasers

Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet) lasers penetrate deep into the skin, making them an ideal choice for treating scars that extend beyond the skin’s superficial layers. These ndyag laser treatments work by generating heat in the targeted tissue, promoting collagen production and wound healing process, crucial for reducing the appearance of deep scars. The Nd:YAG laser can effectively reduce the red appearance of a scar. Brands utilizing Nd:YAG technology include Fotona and Cutera. These are similar to the pulsed dye laser treatments and intense pulsed light, and Dr. Kesty can determine which laser or combination of lasers would be best for your unique skin.

Carbon Dioxide Lasers

Carbon dioxide lasers, often abbreviated as CO2 lasers, are widely used in the treatment of superficial scars. These lasers perform skin ablation using a specific wavelength of light (10,600 nm) that targets water in the lesion, removing the outer layers of the skin, stimulating skin cell regeneration, the proliferative phase of wound healing, and collagen production. The result is a smoother skin surface with reduced scar visibility and less age spots. Brand names in this category include Accupulse, Pixel, Coolpeel, SmartXide and UltraPulse.

Pulsed Dye Lasers

Pulsed dye lasers, known for their gentle approach, are especially effective in treating hypertrophic and keloid scars and reducing the signs and symptoms of a scar. These lasers target blood vessels within the scar tissue and dermis, reducing redness and itch, while promoting wound healing. Renowned brands of this fractionated laser include Vbeam and Cynergy.

Erbium Lasers

Erbium lasers are an option for laser resurfacing of scars. Erbium lasers are targeted towards specific skin structures, minimizing heat damage to surrounding tissues of the treated skin. This laser treatment is a medical procedure and can be used for superficial to moderately deep scars, offering shorter recovery times compared to other types of treatments. Erbium laser reduces the appearance of scars and be used by a board certified dermatologist in combination with nonablative fractionated lasers, ndyag lasers, skin surgery, pulse dye, carbon dioxide laser, and other laser procedures to treat scars, including atrophic facial scars. Brands offering erbium lasers include Sciton and Alma.

Fractional Lasers

Fractional lasers create micro-damage in the skin, stimulating the body’s natural healing process and promoting new, healthy tissue growth in the treatment area. These lasers can target both the outer and deeper layers of the skin, making them versatile for treating various scar types and to stimulate collagen production to help a scar disappear. Brands of note in the fractional laser field include Fraxel and Palomar.

Each laser type offers a unique approach to scar laser revision treatment to minimize a scar’s appearance and achieve your desired results with mild discomfort and minimal recovery time. During your consultation at our clinic, Dr. Kesty will assess your scars and skin condition to determine the most effective laser technology to utilize in your personalized treatment plan.

Selecting the Right Laser Types for Scar Treatment

Each laser type serves a unique purpose, and we carefully select the most appropriate technology based on your individual skin condition. For instance, Nd:YAG lasers may be used for scars that appear more red, while carbon dioxide lasers can be effective for itchy or painful scars. Typically, a combination approach to cutaneous scarring involving multiple nonablative fractional laser and ablative fractional laser therapy for scars leads to the best treatment for your scar and the desired result. Dr. Kesty will select the lasers best for your unique needs.

Charting Your Treatment Course for Scar Treatment

Treatment Duration and Session Count

Multiple treatments are typically required for the best scar results. Expect anywhere from 2 to 6 sessions, tailored to your scar severity and personal goals. For recovery time of the lasered skin, plan for about 2-7 days, though this may vary based on the specific laser treatment utilized and the type of scars. Dr. Kesty will always choose the appropriate treatment option and strive to minimize your downtime in balance with your desired outcomes.

Funding Your Laser Treatment

Pricing Factors

Laser scar treatment costs vary depending on the size and location of the scar, the type of laser(s) used, and the number of sessions required.

Health Insurance Considerations

Insurance coverage for laser scar treatment varies. We encourage you to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered under your plan.

Payment Schedules and Financial Solutions

We understand that paying for your treatment might be a concern. That is why we offer flexible payment schedules and various financial solutions to accommodate your budget and ensure that you receive the care you need. We also offer financing for laser procedures through CareCredit.

Give Your Skin the Best

Don't settle. Choose confident, natural beauty.

Delving Deeper: Laser Treatment for Scarred Skin

Ideal Candidates for Laser Scar Treatments

Laser treatment of scars can benefit individuals with various types of scars, including atrophic scars, hypertrophic and keloidal scars, and acne scars. However, the treatment’s effectiveness may depend on factors such as your skin type, the age of the scar, and your overall lifestyle and health. Dr. Kesty’s clinic is a state-of-the-art laser surgery center that can treat all types of hypertrophic scars and keloids and is staffed by only boardcertified dermatologists that specialize in all skin conditions, including keloids and hypertrophic scars.

Prepping for Treatment

Sun Exposure Limitations

Limiting sun exposure before your treatment is crucial to minimize the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and to ensure optimal laser efficacy. Limiting sun exposure also decreases your chance of getting skin cancer. SPF 30 or higher should be applied daily to all areas to be treated with lasers. Wide-brimmed hats and sun-protective clothing is also recommended to decrease sun exposure.

Stopping Use of Retinol Products

Retinol and other potent topical medications should be discontinued several days before your treatment to minimize the risk of adverse reactions.

Care Post-Treatment

Regular Application of Gentle Moisturizer

Moisturizing the treated area with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer aids in wound healing and prevents excessive dryness. Mild swelling, erythema, and inflammation due to the normal dermal tissue repair of the treated scar is normal and will typically reduce over a few days after the cosmetic treatments. Dr. Kesty and her team will go over specific post-laser instructions, including making recommendations for an appropriate moisturizer.

Usage of Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen with SPF 30 or Above

After laser scar treatment, your skin will be sensitive to sunlight. Protect it with broad-spectrum sunscreen to prevent sunburn and further skin damage. Avoid the use of cosmetics, retinoid, corticosteroid, herbal medicine, local anesthetic, light therapy, acne treatments, herbal supplements, etc while healing from ablative lasers and fractional resurfacing for scars and keloids.

Refraining from Strenuous Activities and Heat Exposure for 48 hours

Avoid strenuous physical activities that may cause sweating and avoid direct heat exposure to ensure smooth recovery.

Potential Side Effects and Risks of Laser Treatments for Scars

While laser treatments for scars are generally safe, they can lead to side effects such as redness, swelling, or discomfort, which usually subside within a few days. Rarely, risks may include infection, bleeding, or changes in skin pigmentation. Choosing an experienced laser surgeon like Dr. Kesty significantly minimizes these potential side effects. Dr. Kesty and her team will follow you closely after your laser procedure in order to ensure optimal wound healing.

Understanding Scarred Skin

Recognizing Types of Scars

Understanding the various types of scars can provide valuable insight into the most effective treatment strategies. Each type of scar possesses unique characteristics and may respond differently to laser treatment.

Keloid Scars

Keloid scars are a result of aggressive wound healing, often extending beyond the original injury site. They are raised scars, typically larger than the original wound, and may appear red or darker than surrounding skin. Keloids can cause discomfort or itchiness and may continue to grow over time without treatment.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars, similar to keloids, are thick and raised, but they do not extend beyond the boundaries of the original wound. These scars are typically red, and while they may decrease in size over time, they often remain thick and visually noticeable. Infected scars can often lead to hypertrophy of the scar.

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars form when the skin is unable to regenerate tissue effectively, resulting in a sunken or pitted appearance. This type of scar is common with conditions like acne or chickenpox. The indented nature of atrophic scars can make them particularly challenging to treat. The most common type of this scar is atrophic facial acne scars, which occur as the wounds heal after an acne bump forms. These tend to be deeper scars and the scar appearance can often affect the self-confidence of the patient. Subcision is often combined with fractional ablative and nonablative laser and improves the appearance of these types of scars when used in combination. A procedure called TCA Cross is also performed by Dr. Kesty, often in combination with laser therapies, for optimal scar outcomes.

Contracture Scars

Contracture scars occur following skin loss due to burns. These scars tighten the skin, potentially impairing the ability to move and may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves. CO2 laser and fractional laser photothermolysis can cause microscopic skin injury which can improve the appearance of these scars.

Hypopigmented Scars

Hypopigmented scars are a specific type of scarring that results in loss or reduction of skin pigment. This occurs when the skin’s melanocytes, cells responsible for skin color, are damaged or destroyed during the wound healing process. The result is a patch of skin lighter than the surrounding tissue, often starkly contrasting with one’s natural complexion.

Acne Scars

Acne scars are often a mixture of atrophic scars and hyperpigmentation. They result from severe acne cases and vary in shape and size. Some acne scars may be shallow, while others can be deep and narrow.

Each of these types of scars can potentially be treated with laser treatments, though the approach and efficacy may vary based on the scar’s nature. Dr. Kesty will discuss the most effective treatment plan for your specific scar condition during the consultation. Most scars need multiple different lasers at each session for an optimal outcome. Dr. Kesty has access to every type of laser at St. Petersburg Skin and Laser, so she is able to deliver superior results for scar treatment.

Uncovering Causes of Scars

Traumatic Injury

Injuries can disrupt the skin’s structure, leading to scar formation during the healing process.


Surgical incisions often result in scars, the appearance of which can be improved with laser treatment.

Conditions such as Acne

Persistent or severe acne can lead to lasting scars. Early treatment of acne can help prevent or reduce scarring. Acne scars typically require multiple different lasers for an optimal outcome.

Prevention Strategies for Scars

Adequate Wound Care

Proper wound care following an injury or surgery can minimize the likelihood of visible scarring.

Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy diet, avoiding smoking, and practicing sun safety can promote better wound healing and prevent scar formation.

Consulting with a Medical Professional

Early consultation with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon can help guide scar prevention strategies and set the stage for optimal healing.

Evaluating Alternative Scar Treatments

While laser treatment stands as a front-line solution for scar mitigation, it’s essential to understand the range of options available. Let’s explore these alternatives and how they compare to laser treatment, culminating in why Dr. Kesty firmly advocates laser treatments as a superior option.

Topical Scar Treatment Solutions

These creams are a non-invasive option, suitable for treating minor scars or as supplementary support alongside other treatments for more severe scarring. While useful, they do not deliver the level of improvement attainable with laser treatment.

Surgical Intervention for Scars

In some cases, surgical scar revision could be a practical alternative, especially for pronounced, raised, or indented scars. However, surgery often carries higher risks and longer recovery periods compared to laser treatments.

Dermabrasion for Scar Smoothening

Dermabrasion is a technique that can help reduce the visibility of superficial scars, commonly those resulting from acne. However, it may not effectively address deeper or more complex scars as laser treatment can. Dermabrasion is also not as precise as Lasers, so there is a higher risk of worsening a scar with dermabrasion.

Chemical Peels: Revealing a New Skin Layer

By applying a chemical substance that peels off the top layers of skin, this treatment uncovers smoother skin underneath. Although chemical peels can make a difference, they may not deliver the precision or depth of treatment afforded by laser technology.

Microneedling: Stimulating Collagen Production

Microneedling promotes collagen production, improving skin texture and the appearance of scars. While beneficial, the results are not be as dramatic or rapid as those achieved with laser treatments.

Ultimately, while each alternative approach carries potential benefits, laser treatments offer a balanced blend of efficacy, precision, and safety. As a trained physician, Dr. Kesty firmly believes that laser treatments deliver the most comprehensive and impressive results for a variety of scar types and severities, restoring patients’ confidence in their skin.

Revitalize Your Skin with Our Scar Laser Treatment

Your journey towards smoother, revitalized skin begins here. At St. Petersburg Skin and Laser, we utilize cutting-edge technology, personalized treatment plans, and a deep understanding of skin physiology to offer you the best possible outcome. If you’re troubled by a scar that affects your confidence or daily life, consider laser scar treatment with Dr. Kesty. Contact us today to book your consultation and start your journey to renewed skin confidence.

Give Your Skin the Best

Don't settle. Choose confident, natural beauty.

FAQs about Laser Treatment for Scars

Can laser treatment completely remove scars?

Laser treatment can significantly improve the appearance of scars, making them less noticeable. However, it is important to note that individual results may vary, and complete scar removal is not always possible. The most important aspect of Laser Surgery for scar removal is the experience of the Physician operating the laser.

How effective is laser treatment for scars?

Laser treatment is highly effective for scar reduction. It works by stimulating the body’s natural wound healing process, promoting the growth of new, healthy skin cells to replace scar tissue. Laser treatment can target the redness of the scar, and improve the tone and texture of the scar.

What areas of the body with scarring can be treated by lasers?

Laser treatment for scars is versatile and can be applied to various parts of the body. The face, often the most noticeable area for scarring, responds particularly well to laser treatments due to the refined techniques that can be used. Facial scars, including those caused by acne, surgery, or traumatic accidents, can be significantly reduced or even eliminated, restoring the smooth texture and even tone of your skin.

Apart from the face, laser treatment can also effectively address scars on the neck, chest, arms, legs, and other body parts. Whether you are dealing with stretch marks on the abdomen or surgical scars on the knee, laser treatment can help minimize their appearance.

Are there any risks associated with laser scar treatment?

While generally safe, potential risks include temporary redness, swelling, and discomfort. Less common are changes in skin pigmentation, infection, and bleeding. With Dr. Kesty’s extensive experience and careful approach, these risks are minimized.

Is laser treatment for scars dangerous?

Laser treatment for scars, when performed by a board-certified and experienced professional, is generally considered safe and effective. The technology works by directing concentrated beams of light energy to the scarred area, stimulating the body’s natural healing process and collagen production without causing substantial harm to the surrounding skin.

Is there any medications I should avoid after laser scar treatment?

Do not take aspirin, ibuprofen, or similar medications. These medications can thin the blood, increasing bruising and bleeding after laser.

What types of scars can be treated with laser therapy?

Laser therapy can effectively treat various types of scars, including acne scars, surgical scars, keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, and atrophic scars.

How long does it take to see results from laser scar treatment?

Results can be seen as early as a few weeks after the treatment, but optimal results often require multiple sessions and may take several months to fully manifest.

Does laser treatment for scars hurt?

While pain discomfort levels can vary depending on the individual and the specific laser treatment being used, most patients describe the sensation during treatment as a slight tingling or a rubber band snap against the skin. To ensure patient comfort, a topical anesthetic is often applied to numb the area before the procedure. Additionally, advanced cooling technologies may be utilized during the treatment to further mitigate any discomfort.

Dr. Kesty always prioritizes patient comfort and will discuss pain management options during your consultation.

Do laser treatments for scars only affect the skin?

When a laser is used in scar treatment, it can also stimulate the formation of new blood vessels in the treated area. This is a crucial step in the healing process. New blood vessels supply the necessary oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells that are working to repair and rebuild the scarred area. This not only accelerates the healing process but also helps in creating healthier and more resilient skin.

Will laser treatment for scars affect my range of motion?

Laser treatment for scars is not typically associated with affecting a person’s range of motion. The goal of the treatment is to reduce the appearance and texture of scars on the skin, not the underlying muscle or joint function. However, in cases where a scar is contracture (tightening of the skin that can limit movement) often resulting from burns or other injuries that cover a large area of skin, laser treatment can sometimes help improve flexibility. This happens as the laser treatment works to break down the scar tissue, thereby potentially freeing up more movement.

How effective is photorejuvenation for scar treatment?

Photorejuvenation has proven to be highly effective in treating various types of scars. It works by stimulating the body’s natural healing process, encouraging the production of new skin cells, and promoting collagen production. This results in a smoother, more even skin texture, reducing the appearance of scars. Photorejuvenation can also remove the dark spots and redness associated with scars.

Can laser treatment reduce the appearance of acne scars?

Yes, laser treatment can significantly improve the appearance of acne scars by reducing their depth and improving the skin’s texture and tone.

Do the skincare products I use, like those with salicylic acid or glycolic acid, affect laser scar treatment?

Yes, the skincare products you use can indeed impact the efficacy of laser scar treatment. Products that contain active ingredients like salicylic acid or glycolic acid can cause skin sensitivity or peeling, which can interfere with the laser treatment process. It is essential to discuss your skincare regimen with your healthcare provider during your consultation. Any medications or herbal supplements, for example an anticoagulant, should also be disclosed to your laser surgeon.

How do you care for your skin after laser scar treatment?

Laser surgery post-treatment care involves keeping the area clean, applying a gentle moisturizer, and protecting the skin from sun exposure with a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher. Specific information about your post-laser care will be provided for you on the day of your laser.

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