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Skin is scarred by many causes. These include acne, burns, surgery, accidents or chicken pox. Scars often make people more self-conscious.

As soon as the deeper layers of the skin (dermis) are damaged, the body immediately begins repairing the wounded area. Numerous cells migrate to the damaged area, macrophages remove dead cells and debris and fibroblasts produce collagen that ‘bridges the gap’ over the wounded area to heal the breach in the skin.

Before treatment

After treatment

As injured skin may take up to 12 months to reach cosmetically acceptable healing, it is important to have scars assessed by a doctor who may recommend a “wait and see” approach, or decide if early intervention is indicated.

Scars can be classified according to colour or texture.

Scar classification according to colour

  • Red Scars – Most scars will be red during the initial healing process and in most cases this will fade spontaneously. Persistent redness in scars may arise due to increased vascularity or transparency. Unwanted redness may respond to 585nm Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL) treatment.
  • Brown scars – May form if too much melanin pigment accumulates within the scar. It is usually transient but if persists beyond nine months, treatment with the Nd Yag 1064nm Q switched laser or Ruby 694nm Q switched laser may help fade the unwanted pigmentation.
  • White scars – form due to the absence of melanin producing cells within the scar tissue. Treatment with the Er Yag 2940nm and CO2 10,600nm fractional lasers may help reduce the surface area of the scar
    Scar classification according to surface texture

Atrophic Scars

An atrophic scar takes the form of a sunken recess in the skin, which has a pitted appearance. The cause is probably secondary to collagen destruction during the inflammatory phase of the injury, resulting in insufficient collagen at the base of the scar.

  • Ice Pick Scars – These are deep narrow scars that make the skin appear as if it has been punctured with an ice pick
  • Boxcar Scars – These scars are round (similar to chickenpox scars)
  • Rolling Scars – These scars occur as a result of tethering of otherwise normal looking skin giving the skin’s surface an undulating appearance.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scarring occurs when the body overproduces collagen at the wound site, causing the scar to be raised above the surrounding skin.

Shallow scars can often be successfully treated using non-ablative lasers that produce collagen and stimulate a wound healing response beneath the scar. This acts as a new foundation supporting the scar and smoothing out surface furrows. Because non-ablative lasers do not damage the outer layer of the skin, normal activities can be resumed immediately. Depending on severity of the scarring, non-ablative laser options include the Nd Yag 1320nm LPlaser, the Nd Yag 1064nm LP laser or the 585nm Pulsed Dye Laser (PDL)

Moderate to deeply etched scars can often be effectively treated with laser skin resurfacing using either traditional or fractional Er YAG 2940nm or CO2 10,600nm lasers.

Fractional Er Yag 2940nm and CO2 10,600nm lasers use a matrix of microscopic laser beams each the size of a human hair to drill into the skin leaving much of the surrounding skin undisturbed. Because nearby cells are not damaged they are able to move into the microscopic injured area promoting rapid healing and fast recovery.

Traditional Er Yag 2940nm and CO2 10,600nm lasers treat the entire skin’s surface removing the upper layers of skin to reveal the fresher more youthful skin beneath. Due to the need to commit to 7–10 days of intensive wound care, weeks of post-operative redness and risks of pigment change, fractional laser resurfacing is becoming a more popular choice.

Raised (hypertrophic) scars and keloid scars can be improved with silicone gel sheets or similar long chain polymers available in a tube. These products flatten, soften and smooth scars. They can also be beneficial in reducing the discoloration associated with scars.

Because we offer the entire range of scar treatments, we can truly recommend the option that is best suited to you. Whatever we recommend, you can be assured that we are not using it because it is all we have to offer but because it is the best choice for you.

Our expert medical team has in excess of 20 years laser experience and have completed more than 100,000 successful treatments. Rest assured you are in safe hands. All procedures at Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic are performed by fully qualified doctors, nurses and practitioners. To ensure the highest ethical standards are maintained at all times, staff at Cambridge Skin & Laser Clinic are never offered bonus incentives to sell treatments.

We are a CQC (Care Quality Commission) registered clinic that is regularly inspected and assessed by government. This is the best indicator available that the clinic is trustworthy.

Pricing Information

Cambridge Skin and laser Clinic can advise you on the correct treatment for your skin. Prices start from £85 per session. Call now to arrange a free consultation with our experts

Please Note: Prices quoted are per session and are an approximate guide only. If you require a more accurate pricing prior to consultation, please contact us directly.

Although laser treatment may seem expensive, one must bear in mind the enormous acquisition and maintenance costs of the laser devices.

I have had acne all my life, leaving my skin uneven and pitted. At 56 I have noticed that my skin hasn’t wrinkled the way I expected due to the oiliness but never looked good because make-up couldn’t cover the scarring.

I saw the Cambridge Skin & Laser website and decided that I deserved to have one last try at getting a better complexion.

After years of trying every product on the market, it was good to talk to an expert; a scientist, who tells you the truth and facts that you may not have heard before. The treatment is not painful. The laser is like tiny flicks across the skin and cold air is blown on straight away to reduce the heat in the skin. Afterwards the skin heats up like sun burn, I use the car air con blowing on my face on the way home to ease the burning feeling.

Within 3 hours the heat reduces and the skin is tender for 48 hours and mine looked red. I believe everyone reacts differently. I could face the world the next day but usually clear my diary for a few days. Then for the first time in my life, I could actually see the difference. I recommend it.

Linda From Suffolk

I am of south Asian origin and I had have suffered from varying degrees of acne for about 20 years. Although the acne had largely subsided over the last year or so, I had been left with a great many scars. I had read a great deal about the use of laser treatment for the reduction of acne scarring but I had many reservations about the effectiveness of the treatment as well as the possible side effects. Particularly worrying was the potential of changes in pigmentation after the treatment.

CSL offer a free consultation and assessment service which I found very helpful. I found the clinic to be clean and modern. All the staff I met were friendly, courteous and professional. During the assessment, my treatment options were explained to me very clearly and I was given the opportunity to ask as many questions as I wished. I was given a realistic appraisal of the benefits of the treatment as well as the level of improvement that I could expect to achieve. We also discussed the potential risks of changes to the pigmentation of my skin. In order to mitigate that risk, Dr Holt suggested a strategy of incremental increases in laser power. I should stress that at no point did I feel under any pressure or obligation to start the course of treatment.

After the first three sessions of treatment, I began to notice improvements to my scarring. Friends (who did not know I was having treatment) began to comment on how fresher faced I was looking. By the end of the treatment (6 sessions) I found a definite improvement. Even those who knew I was undergoing this treatment and were initially sceptical agreed that there had been a significant improvement. I should mention that the treatment did not completely eliminate all the scarring as some of it was very deep. However, this was made clear to me during the initial consultation and helped manage my expectations.

It is now almost 8 months since my course of treatment was completed. The results are a significant and tangible improvement to my acne scarring. Furthermore, I have not suffered from any pigmentation changes at all, which I am sure is due to the level of care and attention shown by Dr Holt. I am very pleased with the results of the course of treatment I received at CSL. Many thanks.

Karim From London

I had bad acne around my chin area all through my teens and early 20’s which resulted in bad acne scarring and made me very self conscious. Before coming to CSL I tried two alternative and expensive methods of treatment which were both painful and had absolutely no effect. I was left with a smaller bank balance and my horrible acne scarring. I searched the internet for acne scarring treatment in Cambridge and found the CSL website. I read the information on treatment for scarring and phoned to make an appointment. This was the best thing I ever did. All the staff were very professional and made me feel at ease after my past horrible experiences. I have just completed my sixth laser treatment for my scarring and I am so thrilled with the results. My skin is now smooth and I cannot see any of the scarring. The treatment was not painful and the cost was very reasonable compared to the other rubbish treatments I had. Six courses were all I needed to sort my scarring out.

I would recommend anyone with acne scarring to come here as it has given me my confidence back and I now don’t feel like a freak! A very professional, friendly and worthwhile service.

Lucy from Cambridge

I had a serious car accident in January 2005. Sustained injuries compound fracture knee, fracture to collar bone and facial lacerations (under lower lip). I decided to enquiry about laser treatment 4 months ago when I had all my physical operations. What was left, however, was not just the physical but the mental scar. Looking at the scars is a constant reminder. I feel that having these treated is like the last step in my recovery psychologically, helping me to move on. I can say I started to see an improvement after 2 months, by the 3rd month the scars had faded, become finer, tighter and less visible and they had smoothed out. My mum said that she felt it had done years of fading in months. I am really pleased with the results. I have 2 treatments left with Dr Holt who has a professional and friendly approach that puts you at ease with everything explained. The treatment is not painful you just feel warmth. I may well have to come back after 6 treatments in a year just to tighten up the area. It has already surpassed my expectations. I would recommend it to anyone who has scares and is struggling with their appearance, through trauma etc. There is not much information for treatment for certain areas especially knee/legs and I did no know that it would be possible. One thing I would say about scar treatment is that they can be improved, dramatically even, but not removed. If you come with that realistic attitude I’m sure you will be very pleased with the result.


I injured my leg a few inches above my knee which resulted in a six inch scar. I have had 5 laser treatments with Nathan which has resulted in a significant improvement in the appearance of the scar, very much to my relief as I was feeling very self conscious about the appearance of my leg.

I have always been reassured and been made to feel very much at ease when having a treatment done and very encouraged at the outcome of treatment.

I would thoroughly recommend anyone to have laser treatment for scars.

All consultations are free of charge so why not call our team of experts today?