Each year approximately 500,000 patients are treated for burn injuries, and although a majority of them surviving (94.4 %), it is an injury that is bound to leave a lifelong scar. These marks, especially on the face and hands, can be emotionally and physically problematic, and in some cases, cause physical impairment as a result of contractures. Burns can be caused by fires, chemicals, scalding water, steam, grease, and electricity. Mature burn scars are those that were left alone, untreated for an extended period of time, and as a result, are much harder to treat than fresh and newly developed scars.
Studies have shown that treating mature burn scars with a fractional carbon dioxide laser can result in significant improvement of the collagen. Collagen is a naturally occurring protein responsible for keeping the skin tight and smooth. It is located in the dermis, Collagen is the layer located just beneath the epidermis, and is responsible for the structure of the skin. Because of its important role in the skin’s overall appearance, collagen has the ability to partially reverse the aging process. With new collagen, comes a younger and tighter appearance.
Fractional CO2 lasers, also known as erbium lasers, involve the removal of a layer of skin so that the new skin can flourish and replace the burn-damaged layer. Fractional C02 lasers work by creating tiny holes in the skin. The skin responds by rapid healing and peeling of old damaged cells to reveal new healthy skin. The C02 laser can also improve skin elasticity, texture, fine lines, and deep wrinkles, acne scars, and sunspots.
Other treatments used today are typically invasive and include scar excision, dermabrasion, chemical peels, silicone gel sheeting, compression therapy, skin grafts, cadaver skin transplants, and intralesional corticosteroids.
Dr. Rokhsar has been trained by the inventor of the CO2 laser resurfacing procedure and has extensive experience in laser resurfacing. For those individuals who do not have the 1-2 weeks downtime or who wish to resurface other skin areas, the laser of choice remains the Fraxel laser. Dr. Rokhsar is considered an international authority with laser resurfacing and has spoken on this subject all around the globe.