When an injury affects only the outer layer of skin or the epidermis, the body is able to rebuild the tissue with minimal scarring. However, when an injury affects the deeper layers of the skin or the dermis, rebuilding is more complicated due to the fact that the body has to first lay down a protein called collagen. It is this process that usually results in a scar.
As the injury continues to heal, new blood vessels form and the collagen fibers even out. This ultimately leads to the scar fading as time progresses. The reasons why evidence of a previous injury sometimes persists is because hair follicles and sweat glands under the skin may have been permanently damaged or destroyed at the time of injury. A wound is not classified as a scar until it is completely healed.
From a medical standpoint, there is no need to pay any attention to a scar. Once properly healed, a former wound that is now a scar has no potential of becoming infected or causing any further medical complications. Cosmetically unappealing scars may cause psychological stress, in which case one may opt to have it removed.
What can I do to get rid of a scar?
Conventional treatments for scar removal ranged from surgery and dermabrasion to cryotherapy and liposuction as well as several other therapies. The results from these procedures, however, were often less than satisfactory.
At Advanced Dermatology PC we pride ourselves on continuously updating our technology and training our doctors so that we can provide our patients with the latest and most affective forms of treatment. In the realm of scar removal, we employ several different lasers depending on amongst other things the size, shape, depth, and location of the scar, amongst other things. Call to schedule a consultation with one of our cosmetic surgeons who will be glad to advise you about different treatment options.
How does laser scar removal work?
At our offices we use a variety of lasers with predetermined frequencies and wavelengths based on each individual person and scar. The CO2 laser for example, has the ability to reduce the thickness of elevation of a “think” or hypertrophic scar. For a scar that is depressed, the CO2 laser can alter and even out the scar relative to the surrounding tissue. What this laser offers our patients is a more specific and direct treatment. Our doctors are able to control the depth of penetration and thus, minimize bleeding and bruising. For scars that are inflamed, the Nd:Yag laser and/or the Laser Genesis can be utilized to diminish the blood vessels that are causing the inflammation, yielding a scar that is less noticeable.
Is laser scar removal time consuming and painful?
Laser procedures have been described by our patients as “a rubber-band snapping on the wrist.” Laser scar removal requires no anesthesia. Patients with low pain tolerance may opt to have a topical anesthetic applied before the procedure to minimize any pain whatsoever.
Following a laser treatment, one may experience some swelling and red coloring. However, these side effects are minimal and do not inhibit ones ability to carry out their everyday chores. There is no “down time” or recovery time necessary following laser scar removal.
What can be done for acne scarring?
Acne scars can remain a nuisance for many years after the actual acne condition has subsided. Acne scars can occur as the skin heals from pimples, whiteheads and blackheads that form when oil, bacteria and dead cells get stuck below the skin’s surface. When dealing with acne scars, two factors have to be taken into consideration. The first is the removal of damaged skin followed by the production of new collagen which will improve the skins texture. Conventional treatments for acne scarring have been chemical peels, topical agents and abrasion therapies. While these therapies may still be used in combination with lasers in order to achieve the best possible results, lasers have more or less taken over as they are minimally-invasive and have no recovery time. The way the Fraxel laser operates is by removing damaged skin on the surface while stimulating new collagen deeper in the skin. These two modes operate together to improve the elasticity, texture and tone of the skin all while protecting the surrounding.
BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS
Advanced Dermatology P.C. and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery would like to thank respective laser companies & contributors for the above supplied web content and photos.
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