The cost of laser acne scar removal is enormous. It can cost between $4000 and $12,000 for a full course, a serious investment for anyone. But is it cost effective? Are there better treatments out there that cost much less? What about CBD?
Acne scars can have serious psychological impacts on a person, especially during adolescence and early adulthood. It can be so severe that acne scar removal can be prescribed by the British National Health Service because of its psychological harm. Thankfully, treatments and prevention are improving.
Ablative Laser Resurfacing
This is the technique that employs lasers to burn away damaged skin and promote healthy skin growth in its place. It can be painful and the swelling and oozing from the skin can last up to two weeks, but most patients report satisfaction with their treatment. It requires antiviral medication to be taken alongside the treatment to reduce the risk of infection.
Skin can be pink and swollen for months after the treatment, but after a couple of weeks the skin is usually recovered. This treatment is reportedly between 26% and 83% effective for mild to moderate scarring for most skin types, but less effective for deeper scars.
Non-Ablative Laser Resurfacing
A less painful and intrusive method of laser treatment for acne scars, non-ablative laser treatment stimulates the growth of collagen in the skin, improving the appearance of scars and helping them to repair.
Compared to ablative laser resurfacing, it is less effective, requiring more treatments but has a much quicker recovery time. It is also substantially less painful.
Considering the Cost
For $12,000, a 26% improvement could be very bad value for the acne scarred person. On the other hand, if the treatment goes well there could be up to an 86% improvement. The difference between a visibly acne scarred face and barely visible scars that are easily covered up could mean the difference between social confidence and social isolation for some people. It is hard to put a monetary value on social interaction, but many people would, if given the choice, take the pain and discomfort of laser treatment for acne scars for the peace of mind it could give them.
One particularly interesting alternative is CBD. Cannabidiol (CBD) has a tarnished reputation because it is found in the cannabis plant. This is unfair. Cannabidiol does not have psychoactive effects and in fact appears to be a very effective and safe medicine for a number of conditions, one of which is acne.
As an anti-inflammatory, CBD works against the swelling, itching and pain that come with acne when outbreaks occur. There are also neuroprotective and mood stabilizing effects from CBD, reducing the stress that can cause acne outbreaks. Its use for treating acne scars is only just being explored, however, so the evidence is lacking for proven effects.
One of the major problems with acne scarring is the inflammation that occurs. If the scars are fresh, they are usually pink and swollen. If this inflammation can be reduced, the chances of the scars being as visible as they might have been is also reduced. Therefore CBD could be an effective way of preventing acne scars from being as visible as they would have been otherwise.
CBD is thought to have anti-aging affects, helping as an antioxidant, tumour suppressant and a promoter of cell health. These effects could be an effective way of reducing the appearance of acne scars.
Unfortunately, at the moment there is no hard scientific evidence for CBD working against acne scars. As something to experiment with, however, it is a real candidate and shows a lot of promise.
Using CBD for Acne Scarring
Mixed in with a regular cream or ointment, CBD will help reduce the inflammation and possibility of infection that comes with wearing makeup to hide acne scars.
Applied directly to the scars themselves, it is recommended that pure CBD oil is used, preferably organic and independently tested. Put a drop on each scar and leave to dry naturally, you should notice the effects within a few days, if they do emerge.
CBD can cost as little as $40 a bottle and for the possible benefits, presents real value. Compared to the thousands of dollars laser acne scar removal costs, it is potentially worth trying first.