Surgical Scar Revisions
A scar is the body’s natural way of healing and replacing lost or damaged skin. A scar is usually composed of fibrous tissue. Scars may be formed for many different reasons, including as a result of infections, surgery, injuries, or inflammation of tissue. Scars may appear anywhere on the body, and the composition of a scar may vary – appearing flat, lumpy, sunken, colored, painful, or itchy. The final look of a scar depends of many factors, including the skin type and location on the body, the direction of the wound, the type of injury, age of the person with the scar, and his/her nutritional status.
A scar revision is a procedure performed on a scar to alter the appearance of the scar. The revision may improve the appearance of the scar or restore function to a part of the body that may have been restricted by the scar. It is important to remember that scars cannot be completely removed.
Laser Scar Removal
Refined since the introduction of lasers in the 1980s, the laser scar removal technique today can reduce the appearance of keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, and atrophic scars, which have the following characteristics:
- Keloid Scarring: Firm, raised, and reddish-purple scars that extend beyond the initial wound area and builds over time.
- Hypertrophic Scarring: Firm, raised, and pink scars that remain within the initial wound area and possibly naturally regress over time.
- Atrophic Scarring: Depressed pin-like pockets in the skin that can result from skin conditions or diseases such as acne.
Today, several new laser techniques are available to treat a wide variety of scars and stretch marks.
The laser’s energy stimulates the skin under the scar and causes the fibroblasts in the skin to begin to divide again. It also stimulates the production of collagen. This thickens the skin under the scar until it closely resembles the surrounding normal skin.
Most patients do not require anesthetic. Some patients have indicated that they feel a slight tingling when the laser pulses, or that the laser pulse feels like the snap of a rubber band against the skin.
Until laser therapy, there have been few treatments that effectively diminish the appearance and accompanying symptoms of scars. Not only does laser treatment significantly reduce the height and redness of scars, it actually improves the pliability of the scar and alleviates painful symptoms.
Dr. Rokhsar is a pioneer in the science of Fraxel laser treatments and presented the first report on correcting scars with the Fraxel laser.