Scar Treatment

Facial scars can be one of the most sensitive cosmetic concern in the world. Scars due to acne, injury, surgery or burn may be very traumatic psychologically and the worst factor to lead to low self-esteem and depression. In some cases facial or neck scarring can limit functioning of the mouth, nose and eyes and may restrict basic acts of speaking, eating or even breathing. Scars appear more prominent on the skin as scar tissue is made up of collagen cells and not ordinary skin cells. The severity of a scar depends on many factors. The size and depth of the wound, the blood supply to the area, and the thickness and colour of the skin determine the intensity of the scar extent to which it can be treated.

The different types of scars include:

1. Atrophic Scars – these are thin or flat scars
2. Hypertrophic Scars – scars that are thick, raised, red and occur within the edges of the wound
3. Keloid Scars – look like hypertrophic scars but are firm and extend beyond the edge of the wound. They are often swollen and itch or hurt.
4. Contracture Scars – occur when large patches of skin are affected or damaged. The remaining skin is pulled tightly together and restricts movement of the muscle or tendon.

How can scars be treated?

This procedure involves removing the topmost layers of the skin. This is achieved by sanding the skin carefully with a rotating wire brush after spraying it with a numbing chemical. This process takes anywhere between a few minutes to an hour depending on the extent of the area to be treated and the depth of the scar. As the procedure is performed under local anesthesia there is minimal pain in this treatment.

What can I expect after the treatment?

The treated area may feel as if it is sunburnt. The skin is usually swollen for about 2 days and simple actions of smiling or eating may be uncomfortable or difficult. Usually a scab form over the treated around the second day. The entire healing from this procedure may take 1 to 2 weeks. The new skin will have a red tone which takes one month to fade.

Vascular Laser:
What is the actual procedure?

Laser beams shrink the blood vessels that feed the scar thereby reducing the appearance of the scar gradually. Performed without anesthetic, the sensation in this procedure is very much like that of a rubber band snapping on the skin. The entire procedure can be quite uncomfortable and a cold compress may be used for pain-sensitive skins. Vascular laser involves a series of three to five sessions with a month’s interval between each session.

What can I expect after the treatment?

The treated area may turn purple after the procedure which will turn normal in 5 to 10 days. After this initial period, the scar will slowly become less red and raised.

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Laser Skin resurfacing:
What is the actual procedure?

Brief, high intensity emissions of light from the CO2 laser remove layers of damaged or wrinkled skin at precisely controlled levels of penetration.
The surgery will follow these steps. First, the doctor, or an assistant, will cleanse your face to remove oils from the skin. Antibiotic is then applied to kill bacteria. A beam of light from a microphone-shaped instrument is passed over the skin to vaporize the outer layers of damaged skin. The laser can be programmed for varied levels of penetration. The doctor may choose to penetrate more deeply in some areas, in order to remove deep scars, stubborn spots, and wrinkles. As the laser works, you may hear it zapping, and smell smoke. Finally, your doctor, or his medical assistant, may apply a protective ointment or bandage to the treated area.

What can I expect after the treatment?

After the procedure, you may experience some swelling and discomfort. Cold packs are usually recommended to reduce the swelling. If a bandage was applied after the surgery, it may be changed in a few days, but it will be completely removed after approximately one week, at which time an ointment is applied. A tape that retains moisture is usually used to bandage the treated area. Because this bandage must remain dry, you will not be able to shower normally until the bandages are removed.
If the treated area is not bandaged, you will need to wash your face several times daily. You will need to be careful in caring for the treated area. After each washing, you will need to apply an ointment, such as petroleum jelly, to the treated area. Scabs may form, and last for about 10 days. You must not pick at the scabs.
The amount of time needed for recovery depends on the depth of the resurfacing and the individual’s capacity to heal. Redness may persist for several weeks, or longer. The redness gradually lightens to pink, and then to a lighter, more natural color.