Vitamin E – Does it Reduce Scars?

While it is known that vitamin E assists in moisturizing the skin, research also shows that vitamin E oils and supplements have little to no effect on scars. Vitamin E’s extensive range of benefits includes maintaining both the health of the eyes as well as strengthening the immune system of the body. There is a common belief that vitamin E will help reduce the appearance of scars but there isn’t much evidence to prove this belief is accurate.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E consists of a group of fat-soluble compounds with antioxidant effects. Antioxidants will protect cells from the effects of free radicals as they are known to damage cells and contribute to the progression of both cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin E can exist naturally in some foods while some manufacturers are also known to add it to other foods. The most naturally-occurring sources of vitamin E include, but are not limited to, nuts, spinach, whole grains, olive oil, and sunflower oil. In other instances, the vitamin is available as an oral supplement or as oil that people can apply to the skin.

Vitamin E and Treating Scars

Scars for Vitamin EWhen treating burns and scars, vitamin E is often a very popular option. However, there have been multiple studies conducted to prove the validity of that use and unfortunately the results have been disappointing in some cases.

In a study from 1999 that looked at the effects vitamin E had on scarring, it was actually shown that one-third of those studied actually had allergic reactions to it. In fact, 90% of the people reported that they either had an allergic reaction to the vitamin E or there were no visible effects on their scarring. It was proven that vitamin E does help other skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis AKA eczema. As of today, there isn’t much information available to prove that vitamin E will help diminish scars. Plus, a 2016 review concluded that there has to be more research conducted to come to a conclusion on the matter.

Vitamin E and the Skin

While vitamin E’s assistance in reducing the appearance of scars may seem questionable, one fact out of these studies concludes that moisturizing the skin during the process where the wound is healing will definitely help. If the person isn’t allergic to vitamin E, they can use moisturizers that contain the vitamin. This still discounts the effects of vitamin E’s presence in moisturizers but the act of moisturizing the skin is still beneficial. If someone wants to use vitamin E oil or take the supplements, it is suggested that they speak to a healthcare provider.

Alternatives to Vitamin E

Hydrogel (also known as silicone gel) adhesive dressings are an option to apply over, and flatten, scars. The silicone helps to hydrate the scar and slow down the production of collagen fibers. In doing so, the scars will begin to come in flatter, softer and paler than usual.

In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service (NHS) has suggested applying the silicone sheets for 12 hours a day for three months. A treatment that many choose is a scar massage which is said to soften the scar while helping reduce pain, itching and sensitivity. Be sure and massage, for five minutes at a time, 3-4 times throughout the day. Trusting a scar specialist will ensure proper advice on the best technique to use on a particular scar.

A dermarolling procedure involves rolling tiny needles over the surface of the skin. There are people who think that by puncturing the skin and creating injuries, the skin will heal itself and improve the appearance of scars. In a clinical trial done on dermarolling, it was found, after three treatments, there was a visible improvement of the scars. There have been a few participants that reported instances of pain from the procedure so consult with a dermatologist before having the procedure.

Other procedures that may reduce the appearance of scars include:

  • Laser therapy which requires the use of light to target blood vessels that make scars appear inflamed. According to the NHS, the procedure will also boost collagen production and reduce pitting. However, there aren’t many long-term studies on the effectiveness of laser therapy.
  • Dermal fillers are placed in the body in order to plump the skin. This can reduce the appearance of pitted scars but it isn’t a long term treatment as the results are not permanent.
  • Cryotherapy freezes keloid scars in order to prevent them from growing or spreading. It also flattens the appearance of the scars. This procedure uses liquid nitrogen and can lighten the skin in the area.

The time it takes for a scar to fade on the skin can vary and depends on the initial size and depth of the injury. According to the NHS, scars from injuries such as cuts or surgical incisions usually takes up to two years to flatten before they begin to fade. Hypertrophic scars can continue to thicken for six months before they start the process of fading for the next few years.

Vitamin E and Scar Treatment – Is it Worth It?

There is not much clinical evidence that proves that vitamin E oil or supplements can help reduce the appearance of scars. However, there is good evidence to support the fact that the positive effects people notice from vitamin E can be the result of moisturizing or massaging the scar and not the vitamin E itself. Patients might be better of considering other scar treatments like silicone sheets, massages and dermarolling.

Scar Treatment Options – What You Need to Know

The appearance of scars on the body is quite common after an accident. Some of the scars might fade on their own while others might be permanent additions to the appearance of a person. While the appearance of a scar is normally not a reason for a person to be concerned, there are many people that want to lessen the appearance of them.

Here are some of the most effective, and popular, scar treatment options to reduce or eliminate the appearance of scars:

Scar Treatment Techniques to Try at Home

Scar Reduction at HomeThe use of home remedies for scars can help to reduce the appearance of the scars located on the body. In general, home remedies are ideal for treating new scars or scars that are relatively minor in their appearance. If a scar on the body is older, or considered to be extensive in its appearance, it is best to visit a doctor to discuss medical cosmetic treatment options instead of home remedies.

  • It is important to start treating a scar as soon as possible to achieve the best results in reducing its appearance. Patients should keep the scar clean by washing it daily with water and a mild soap. Petroleum jelly can be applied to the wound to keep it moist and stop scabs from forming. A wound can be covered with a bandage or, if the wound is larger, a silicone gel sheet.
  • Once the wound has healed, a regular regimen of exfoliation can help to remove any dead skin cells so the wound can enjoy a faster recovery time. Patients can exfoliate the area that surrounds the scar and then apply natural oil or moisturizer after the exfoliation is completed.
  • A gentle massage with oils on the area around the scar can help to reduce the amount of collagen that builds up in the targeted area and flatten the scar. Patients are advised to massage the skin three or four times each day for 5 minutes at a time. One of the most popular natural oils for treating scars is coconut oil. Studies have shown that coconut oil can encourage the healing of skin tissue.
  • Aloe Vera gel has been shown to improve wound healing in patients. While Aloe Vera gel might not improve the appearance of scars, it can hydrate the skin to reduce the amount of tightness in the scar.
  • Sunscreen will not get rid of scars but it can help them to fade and also reduce the amount of skin discoloration.
  • OTC medicated gels and creams are able to improve the level of wound healing as well as reduce the appearance of scars.

Scar Reduction – Medical and Cosmetic Treatments

Cosmetic Scar Reduction Medical TreatmentOlder scars that tend to be more visible might only respond to medical or cosmetic treatments of the scars. Here are some examples of the most effective medical and cosmetic scar treatments:

  • Dermal fillers can be injected into the area where the scar is located. The fillers work to plump us the area where the skin is indented to make the scar less noticeable to others.
  • Chemical peels are placed on the skin to remove its top layers and reduce scars that range from moderate to severe.
  • Botox injections reduce the visibility of the scar and smooth out the skin.
  • Cryotherapy is when a doctor uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the scars in order to flatten and reduce their overall growth
  • Corticosteroid shots work to flatten out scars that are raised as well as reduce the size of the scar.
  • Microneedling is when a small pen or roller is used to poke small holes in the top layer of the skin where the scar is located. The small pen or roller contains hundreds of tiny needles. The punctures from the holes encourage the production of collagen in the body to reduce the appearance of scars.
  • Laser therapy is when a focused beam of light is used to treat scars that are classified as severe. The laser light removes the outer layer of the skin or it stimulates the production of new skin cells to replace the damaged skin cells.
  • People that have a scar that is very tight can have scar reduction surgery to lessen the scar and also reduce any restrictions in the movement of the body where the scar is located.

Choosing how to Treat Scars

Patients should be aware that different types of scars can require different treatment options. It is important to consult with an experienced doctor about the best treatment option for a scar. Scars from a sports accident or mishap at home will need to be addressed differently than a scar that is the result of a burn.

The final result of any type of scar treatment varies depending on the age, depth and type of scar. While the scar treatment might not be able to completely reduce or eliminate the appearance of the scar, there should be some improvement in the overall appearance of the area of the skin where the scar is located.

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Discover Scar Surgery Options for Patients

The appearance of a scar on the skin can cause a person to have less confidence in their appearance as well as worry about how to remove the scar or at least revise its overall appearance. Some of the medical options available to surgeons include removing excess scar tissue or reconstructing the skin that surrounds the scar as well as other soft tissues that are located near the scar. Here are some of the most popular surgical methods used by doctors across the country to address the appearance of a scar on the skin.

Scar Revision Techniques

Techniques for scar revisionScar revision surgery is performed to minimize the look of a scar as well as help the scar better blend-in with the skin that surrounds it. Scars can be the result of a surgical procedure and they can also appear after an injury or accident occurs to a person. Once an injury or wound appears on the skin, the soft tissues that surround the wound or injury can change shape or become uneven, sunken or raised in appearance as the wound heals.

If the scar is the result of a surgical incision, the sutures or stitches used to close the incision can alter the look of the scar. Stitches need to be removed before the top layer of the skin heals around them or the entry point of the stitches might become a permanent feature on the body. This is often referred to as a “railroad scar”.

If a scar forms after an injury occurs, it might heal in an uneven manner which can cause the skin on the side of the scar to be higher in appearance as opposed to the skin on the other side of the scar. If this type of scar occurs, it is often referred to as a “trapdoor scar”.

The decision about the extent of the revision surgery, as well as the scar revision technique used, depends on the size and location of the scar as well as the type of scar that is being treated. The surgeon can reposition the scar so it is in an area that is less visible on the body, reduce the size of the scar or smooth the contour of the skin and other soft tissues to correct the look of scars that are dimpled or sunken in appearance.

When it comes to repositioning a scar on the face that was caused by the closing of an incision, the surgeon can remove and reposition the scar so that it heals along a natural fold in the skin. The surgeon can also “break up” the appearance of the scar so it is not as noticeable to others. If the scar is a large scar from burns, the surgeon can realign the scar tissue so that it follows the natural body contours.

Patients that do not want to have surgical scar revision can have fat placed in a sunken scar area to fill-in the sunken portion of the scar. The fat is typically removed from the body of the patient so there is little chance of an infection occurring after the fat is placed in the targeted area.

Scar Removal Techniques

There are times when the surgeon feels that the best option for treating a keloid or large hypertrophic scar is to remove it. There are times when keloids go beyond the margin found in the original wound. In these cases, keloids will require removal so the surgeon will be able to reconstruct the surrounding tissue and skin and also restore some of the underlying structure of the damaged area. A large hypertrophic scar can also be removed which gives the surgeon the ability to create a new scar that is thinner and much less noticeable in appearance.

Scars from a burn frequently cover a large area of the skin. The surgeon can use a technique known as skin expansion to replace the scar from the burn with normal skin. During the skin expansion process, the surgeon will implant a small balloon beneath the healthy skin of the patient (located next to the scar). In the weeks before the surgery, the balloon is filled slowly with saline water when the patient visits the office of the doctor. The purpose of filling the balloon with saline water is to expand the healthy portion of the skin. During the scar removal surgery, the surgeon will be able to use the expanded skin to replace the skin that has been burned. The new skin will then heal naturally on the body of the patient.

Scar Surgery – What to Expect after the Procedure

Once the surgery is over, the surgeon will place a bandage over the wound and the stitches (if applicable). There will be a follow-up appointment about a week after the procedure so the doctor can evaluate the healing process and remove any necessary stitches.

Over the next few months, the skin will heal and the new scar (that is smaller in appearance) will start to flatten and fade so it matches the surrounding skin. It can take up to a year for the healing process to finish.

If it looks like a keloid or a hypertrophic scar is starting to form after the surgery, the doctor can administer a corticosteroid injection to lessen its appearance. It might take several injections into the new scar tissue to prevent any recurrence of the keloid or hypertrophic scar.

Patients that have any questions about scar revision surgery or scar removal surgery should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified, experienced surgeon to examine the scar tissue and determine the best option to address the appearance of the scar. Whether it be for a mole, a hair transplant scar, or another type of surgery, consult with an experienced surgeon in person for the most accurate assessment.

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Discover the Benefits of Laser Treatments for Scars

Scars that are visible on the body can cause a person to be ashamed of their appearance and try and hide them from the view of others. In addition, these scars can cause pain and itching on the part of the patient. In order to reduce the size and appearance of a scar, patients often turn to laser treatments to address the look of the scar, Laser treatments for scars stimulate the growth of new and healthy skin while also making the scar less noticeable and not as uncomfortable for patients. Laser therapy for scars can be used on acne scars, surgical scars and scars that are the result of an injury.

Laser Treatment for Scars Explained

Laser treatment for scars penetrates the outer layers of the skin in order to stimulate the growth of new and healthy skin. The laser works to remove skin that is older and damaged so the new skin can take its place.

A scar is a natural response that the body creates when there is an injury. While they do not normally require any type of treatment, scars can be painful and also impact the self-image of a person. In addition, a scar might limit the range of motion of the skin around the scar so reducing the scar helps the area located around it.

Doctors have a number of lasers they can choose from to reduce the appearance of a scar. These laser choices have different light wavelengths. Some of the lasers are ablative which means they remove the top layer of the skin while others are non-ablative which means they go underneath the surface of the skin to make the desired changes.

Some of the most popular laser choices include:

  • IPL (Intense Pulsed Light)
  • Ablative Fractional Carbon Dioxide Laser
  • Non-ablative Fractional Laser

Before making the final decision about which type of laser to use to treats scars, the doctor will need to perform a thorough examination of the scar to determine the amount of changes and improvements that can be made to the scar.

Learn how laser treatments for scars lessen their appearance

Types of Scars that can be treated with Lasers

There are many types of common scars that can be treated using lasers including scars from an injury as well as acne scars and scars that limit the range of motion of the area around the scar. In addition, scars that are the result of a burn or scars that appeared as the result of a previous surgery can also be treated using lasers.

There are times when laser therapy is not enough to treat a scar and provide the desired final appearance. In these cases, doctors might use injectable filers to plump up the skin around the scar which can make the actual scar less noticeable.

Laser Treatments for Scars Procedure

Although different types of lasers can be used by doctors to treat scars on the skin of a patient, the laser treatment for scars procedure is often the same for patients:

  • The doctor will clean the area located around the scar
  • The doctor might use a numbing cream or local anesthetic to lessen any pain or discomfort
  • The doctor places gauze or wet towels around the area with the scar to absorb any laser pulses that might impact the otherwise healthy skin
  • The doctor moves the laser over the scar tissue with the occasional use of a cooling saline on the skin
  • Once the laser treatment is finished, the doctor applies ointment to the treated area and places a dressing on it to protect the treated area

The area that is treated by the laser might be red for several hours after the treatment. There could be some mild swelling and a stinging sensation that is similar to sunburn.

Laser Treatment for Scars Risks

Some of the most common risks of laser treatment for scars include:

  • Bleeding
  • Swelling
  • Infection
  • Skin Discoloration

Laser Treatment for Scars Cost

Patients will need to pay for their laser treatment for scars if the procedure is being performed for cosmetic reasons. If the treatment is being performed because of any health reasons, insurance might pay for some of the treatment.

In general, the cost for laser treatment for scars is in the range of $2000-$2500 for an ablative laser treatment and $1100-$1300 for non-ablative laser treatment.

Laser Treatment for Scars Consultation

Patients interested in undergoing laser treatment for scars should schedule a consultation appointment to have their scars examined by a doctor. The doctor will be able to tell the patient the best type of laser to use to achieve the desired results as well as set realistic expectations for the changes that can be achieved using the laser treatment. Once the laser treatment for scars is performed, the patient will enjoy a reduced appearance to the scars while also having new and healthy skin growing to provide the person with skin that is rejuvenated and refreshed in its appearance.

Every Type of Scar – Learn how to Treat Them

The reaction to having a scar on the skin varies per person. Some have an initial reaction of shock followed by feelings of anxiety of what the scar will look like after it completely forms. Others have feelings about the scar that are related to the event such as anger and shame.

No matter what the reaction is from a person when it comes to a scar, patients want to find a way to lessen or eliminate the appearance of the scar. Let’s take a look at different types of scars and the best methods to treat them.

Methods to treat different scars

Types of Scars and Their Treatment

  • Raised Scars – Raised scars, including keloid and hypertrophic scars, occur due to an overgrowth of tissue that is dense and fibrous after an injury to the skin heals. There are some differences between these two types of raised scars. In general, hypertrophic scars are the same size as the wound that caused them. The scar could be the result of injuries from a burn or piercing or cut. On the other hand, keloid scars extend beyond the limits of the injury and they are often found in patients with pigmented skin. They do not usually diminish or go away by themselves and often require some form of treatment to soften or flatten the impacted areas. Some of the most popular treatment options for raised scars include surgical removal, creams, medicinal corticosteroid injections, freezing, laser therapy, gels or dressings that put pressure on the scar.
  • Superficial Scars – A superficial scar is a red blotch that appears on the skin post-acne. Retinol is a good scar treatment solution for most skin types and it seems to work very well for those who suffer from this type of scarring. There are some patients that have been advised to avoid retinol because they are pregnant or they have skin that is sensitive on a regular basis. These patients can try a product with bakuchiol which is a natural alternative for exfoliating and it also increases the rate of cell turnover.
  • Ice-Pick Scars – As their name suggests, ice-pick scars are small, deep holes that are caused by acne. Their overall look makes it appear that the person with these scars has been punctured by an ice pick. Unfortunately, there is no “cure-all product” that patients can buy over the counter. Many doctors recommend against the use of lotions, creams or oils to treat ice-pick scars as they are often ineffective against these types of scars. Since many skin care products are not effective in the treatment of ice-pick scars, patients suffering from them are better off seeking out the expert help of a board-certified dermatologist.
  • Boxcar Scars – Boxcar scars are a broad depression that has sharply-defined edges that create the look of a “crater” in the skin. Some of the most popular treatments for this type of scar include dermal rolling and using a laser to stimulate collagen in order to smooth the acne depression by plumping the skin. It should be noted that most doctors recommend having any boxcar scar treatment performed as soon as possible since it can be more challenging to treat older scars.
  • Rolling Scars – This type of scar is quite similar to boxcar scars in that they have a deep “crater-like” appearance. The main difference is that rolling scars have more of a sloped edge. Rolling scars can generally be treated the same way as boxcar scars but, if the scars are extreme in nature, cosmetic treatments might need to be considered by the cosmetic doctor. One option is fillers that can be injected into the treated area in order to stimulate collagen to treat the scarring. In addition, there is a resurfacing technique that is performed by the Venus Viva system that uses NanoFractional radiofrequency to heat the tissue and encourage collagen production. If the scars are deeper in the skin, a laser treatment like the Erbium:YAG (Er:YAG) laser can be used to physically remove layers of skin. Once the layers of skin are removed, a wound forms around the removed layers which force the skin to regenerate at a more optimum level.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation of Scars

The condition known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a common side effect of acne and it can leave dark marks in patches or dots on the skin. The treatment options for this side effect can include products that are used topically to fade the dark patches such as hydroquinone that is prescribed by a board-certified doctor. Patients should also search for ingredients that suppress excess melanin pigment such as vitamin C, licorice extract, retinol, niacinamide and bakuchiol. In addition, the use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen on a daily basis helps to prevent the condition from getting any worse.

Don’t Pick at the Scars during Scar Treatment

When it comes to treating scars, it is important not to pick or squeeze a scar because the pressure can increase the inflammation and infection deep into the skin. This warning is also the same when it comes to picking at scabs because this can increase the chances of scarring. It takes time and patience to achieve the best results and patients need to relax and give the scar treatments listed above time to properly treat the scars.

Home Remedies for Mole Removal

Moles occur on the body when the cells grow in a cluster rather than being spread throughout the skin of a person. They can develop anywhere on the body in a cluster fashion. In general, most people have anywhere from 10-40 moles on their body. While a good number of the moles are harmless, there are times that they can develop into cancerous moles. Medical insurance will likely cover the cost of removing a cancerous mole from the body but medical insurance does not cover the cost of removing moles that are considered to be benign or harmless. Instead of paying a doctor for the removal of a benign mole, many patients turn to home remedies to remove moles on various areas of the body.

Here are some of the most popular home remedies that patients perform for mole removal instead of visiting the office of a doctor.

Popular Home Remedies for Mole Removal

  • Garlic – It is believed that applying garlic to a mole will make the mold become smaller or even disappear entirely. The reason this is a popular home remedy is because the garlic might dissolve the cluster of cells that can cause the mole even though the garlic can cause burns to the skin.
  • Lemon Juice – The placing of lemon juice on the mole several times each day will work to bleach the appearance of the mole and make it less obvious to others.
  • Castor Oil Mixed with Baking Soda – The mixture of castor oil and baking soda can create an ointment that causes mole removal if they are applied together on the mole for multiple weeks. Patients use this home remedy because it is believed that the baking soda dries out, and eliminates, the mole while the castor oil works to protect the skin.
  • Flaxseed Oil – There have been some studies that show flaxseed oil is filled with properties that heal cuts as well as other lacerations on the body. Patients use flaxseed oil to eliminate blemishes and other dark spots on the body and this includes moles located on the skin.
  • Potatoes – This is a rather popular method for dealing with moles on the skin. The potatoes are believed to have a natural bleaching effect on the mole which causes it to fade away over a period of time.
  • Frankincense Oil – It has been reported that frankincense oil contains properties that dry the skin by absorbing oil. Some people believe the daily application of frankincense oil will cause mole removal as the mole eventually becomes dry and then scabs before falling off.
  • Bananas – The tasty food known as bananas contains a number of acids and enzymes. There are some people that believe the rubbing of banana peels on the skin can help remove a mole.
  • Coconut Oil – Some people believe that coconut oil can perform mole removal even though no studies have proven this fact. However, it is still a popular home remedy since coconut oil has been shown to moisturize the skin and possibly help with other issues on the skin.
  • Honey – It has been said that honey contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants so many people try to perform mole removal by applying honey to the moles. They believe that the moles will start to fade after a few days.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – The use of hydrogen peroxide is considered a very effective home remedy as it contains properties that work to remove moles once it is applied to the skin three or four times per day. Patients should check with a medical professional to determine the type of hydrogen peroxide that is best for their skin.

Discover the most popular home remedies for mole removal

Use Caution before Performing a Home Remedy for Mole Removal

Before performing a home remedy for mole removal, patients should schedule a consultation appointment with a board-certified doctor. It is important to get a suspicious mole examined by a doctor since a home remedy cannot effectively treat a mole that is determined to be cancerous. If the doctor determines that the mole is cancerous, the doctor will discuss options for removing the mole.

In addition, caution should be a priority when using mole removal creams that can be bought at a pharmacy. Many creams that can be bought over the counter can remove some of the skin around the mole which can leave a pocket in the skin or a scar that might not heal properly.

People should also be aware of any signs of skin cancer such as a mole with an irregular shape or border, a mole that quickly changes shape or size or a mole that changes colors. If any of these signs are apparent with the mole on the body of a patient, a doctor needs to examine the mole before the patient tries any kind of home remedy for mole removal. Home remedies for removing moles are not a substitute for being examined by a doctor.

While home remedies cost less than visiting a doctor to remove an unwanted mole, they might not work or they can cause side effects. While the methods listed above are popular home remedy options, they are not proven methods of mole removal so patients need to be aware that they might not achieve the results they desire using the above mole removal methods.

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Benefits of Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion is a popular dermatology skin care treatment that is often overlooked since many people do not really know what it is. Microdermabrasion is a non-chemical and non-invasive exfoliating procedure, which uses a handheld device to gently remove the top layer of skin. The treatment does not require recovery or downtime on the part of the patient. The device is made up of superfine crystals, which scratch the surface of the skin. A suction process is then used to immediately remove the dead skin cells and crystals. The process minimizes facial blemishes and fine lines while causing the body to produce new cells. The end result is healthy and more youthful looking skin.

How Microdermabrasion Benefits Patients

MIcrodermabrasionMicrodermabrasion is for all skin types and can benefit a person who has:

  • Fine lines
  • Wrinkles
  • Age spots
  • Clogged pores

It can also minimize acne scars and improve oily or dull skin through the process of gentle exfoliation.

Since the skin is not wounded or abraded below the epidermis, the treatment is painless and no anesthesia is needed. Although microdermabrasion does not abrade the lower levels of skin, it can help promote healthier internal skin by enhancing the circulation. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, patients will only feel a scratching or mild stinging during microdermabrasion. There is no need to take time off work since recovery time is not necessary. Since microdermabrasion can be completed in as little as 30 minutes, it is often called a “lunchtime facial”. However, patients may need several sessions to gain the desired outcome. The skin may appear pink and slightly swollen but these side effects generally subside in one day. Nevertheless, a dermatologist will apply a moisturizer after the treatment and recommend a sun protection plan since the new layer of skin will be subject to burns.

DIY Microdermabrasion

Patients that dislike the sensation of the microdermabrasion device, or those who want to gain results at home, may benefit from a manual microdermabrasion product. Pumice Peel can be used at home or in a spa setting to buff away fine lines and dullness and to improve the condition of the pores with ultra-fine pumice crystals. Pumice crystals are known to naturally exfoliate and smooth the skin. Pumice peel contains hydrogenated polydecene, vitamin E and vitamin C for hydrating and brightening the skin. While performing the treatment at home is convenient, patients may not get sufficient results with home kits. To get optimal results, and to avoid potential complications, it is best to seek the services of a qualified medical professional for microdermabrasion.

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Scar Revision Guide

How Can I Treat Scars?

Scar revision surgery minimizes the appearance of a scar by making it blend with the surrounding skin tone and texture. Patients often seek the help of a plastic surgeon after they have exhausted non-invasive treatments such as creams, ointments and silicone sheets. Since there are several types of scars, a doctor will need to evaluate the scar to determine which surgical method is appropriate. The treatment will be determined by several factors including:

  • The anatomical location of the scar
  • Type of scar
  • Skin quality
  • Skin type
  • Availability of surrounding tissue
  • Current functional impairment
  • Possibility of decreased functionality after surgery

Scar Revision with Excision

The most common form of scar revision is excision and primary closure. In fact, scar excision is the most effective method to improve deep, wide or long scars. Excision may be necessary if the scar has healed in an unusual way. This method of scar improvement involves cutting the scar out and then rejoining the skin with layered sutures to close the wound. Although it will create another scar, the new scar will be straight and thin and have a chance to heal more discreetly.

In some cases, the closure may require some tissue arrangement. After cutting the scar away, the surgeon will realign the scar with geometric rearrangements such as a z-plasty to elongate or change the direction of the scar. If a patient does not have enough healthy tissue to suitably close the wound, the surgeon may need to use a skin graft. A pharmaceutical tissue substitution can be used to cover a large area, if needed, in cases such as a patient having large scars caused by burns. After healing from scar revision surgery, the patient generally ends up with a scar that is less noticeable than before. It can take six months before the patient sees an improvement and up to a year to see the final results.

Alternative Treatments

There are many methods for treating scars including non-invasive and natural remedies. However, not all scars will respond to minimal treatment.

Laser therapies are often restricted to treating a recent scar, scars that are persistently red in color and light skin resurfacing for scars.

During scar revision with laser treatments, the surgeon uses a laser light beam on the scar and the surrounding skin. The laser removes the outer layer of skin by burning it off and this begins the regeneration of new skin. After it has healed, the new scar will look smoother as well as lighter in color. It may take multiple sessions to gain the desired appearance. Although laser therapy can make mild improvements, it is not an effective solution for most scars. Deep laser resurfacing and dermabrasion may work well for wide, raised scars that are not appropriate for excision.

Follow Post-Op Instructions

Scar revision is about improvement and not about “erasing” a scar since scars can never be completely removed. Furthermore, the lifestyle of a patient after scar revision surgery can impact the long-term outcome. Following post-op instructions and limiting sun exposure can help the scar heal better. Patients should cover the scar or apply sunscreen SPF 30 (or higher) before going outside to maximize the healing process.

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How to Lessen and Remove Burn Scars

Getting Rid of Burn Scars

Scars form thanks to a natural reaction of the body during the healing process after trauma or an accident. One type of trauma that can cause scars is burns on the body. Shallow burns tend to result in light scars while deep burns can cause darker scars. Here are some of the steps patients can take to lessen and remove burn scars from the body:

Moisturizer Works Wonders

Get some moisturizer and massage the scar to increase the amount of circulation to the scar area. By increasing the amount of circulation, patients are also increasing the chances of collagen being distributed evenly throughout the skin at the area of the scar. Plus, increased circulation helps burn scars fade and flatten when performed on a regular basis.

Chemical Peel

Patients can also schedule a chemical peel to get rid of any damaged skin that is located on the outer layers of the skin. The chemical peel eats away at the damaged skin in order to reveal new healthy skin underneath the damaged or dead skin. The type of chemical peel depends on the severity of the burn and/or the scarring.

Eat Healthy

Protecting the skin from the sun is very important each time patients step outside. The UV rays from the sun can make the scars on the body become darker which, in turn, can make them more visible than ever to others. Using SPF 25 (or higher) sunscreen is necessary to protect the skin and prevent the sun from slowing down the healing process.

Food for the Body and Soul

Eating a healthy diet plays a big part in generating collagen for the skin. A well balanced diet also gives the skin the necessary nourishment it needs to heal and grow. Some of the foods patients should look for include those high in zinc and vitamin C such as peanuts, citrus fruits and some vegetables.

Patients unsure about how to implement the steps listed above should consult with a board-certified doctor. A medical professional can lead patients in the right direction and offer them advice and support when it comes to dealing with scars caused by burns on the body.

-MA

Effective Ways to Say Good-Bye to Scars

Get Rid of Scars

Do you have an unsightly scar you want to get rid of? Are you about to have a procedure and are concerned about how the scar will look afterwards? Scars not only look unappealing but they can also be painful, itchy and restrict natural motion. Thankfully, there are numerous scar treatments to remove or reduce the appearance of scars. However, there are several types of scars including hypertrophic, keloid, acne and atrophic and each may respond better to certain treatments. While some scars may be treated with topical ointments or natural remedies, other scars may need a little more help. The type of treatment will be based on the location of the scar, cause of the scar, its appearance and the type of scar. Let’s look at some effective treatments to say “good-bye” to scars:

Injections

Cortisone injections are one of the quickest and easiest ways to treat a raised or thick scar like a keloid or hypertrophic scar. Either injection can help reduce the production of collagen which causes scars to thicken. Over time, the scar will lighten and flatten out. Injections to treat scars can also calm itchiness, pain and redness associated with these types of scars. Depending on the scar, a series of injections may be needed to attain the desired outcome.

Pulsed Dye Laser

Although the redness in most scars will reduce as time passes, pulsed dye lasers (PDL) can remove the redness from the scar and the surrounding skin. Pulsed dye lasers help to blend the scar with the color of the surrounding skin while also flattening a raised scar. In addition, pulsed dye laser treatments can be performed in combination with injections. However, multiple treatments may be required to obtain the best results.

Non-ablative Laser

This type of laser treatment involves making microscopic injuries to the skin which allows new collagen to form in the area. Over time, non-ablative laser treatments can help raised scars become softer and flatter. This treatment can also be used to help fill-in acne scars and indented scars. Non-ablative laser treatments are safe to use on all skin types but multiple treatments will be needed and should be scheduled about a month apart. Patients can expect their skin to look a little puffy and red and it may take 5 days or more for the skin to return to its normal appearance.

Ablative Laser Treatments

Ablative laser treatments are generally used on dense scars. This method of scar removal usually involves fewer treatments than others but the healing time is lengthier. Healing from ablative laser treatments can take 7 to 14 days because small areas on the top layer of skin are removed during this treatment. Due to the nature of the treatment, this procedure carries greater risks and downtime than other laser treatments. Ablative laser treatments can also be combined with injections for the most optimal outcome.

Micro-needling

Micro-needing works to treat acne and atrophic (sunken) scars. It can also treat raised scars in conjunction with injections or topical treatments. Micro-needing treatments consist of using a small handheld device to distribute numerous fine needles into the skin to stimulate collagen formation. The doctor sets the depth of penetration per the thickness or flatness of the scar. Patients can expect pinpoint bleeding, redness and swelling which should heal within 2 to 3 days. This treatment can be repeated monthly until the desired improvement is made.

Radiofrequency Micro-needling

This treatment is like micro-needling except the device uses micro-needles to distribute heat at various depths. Small areas of coagulated collagen are formed and then progressively replaced with new collagen to fill-in the scars and improve their appearance. This treatment requires multiple sessions and the number of treatments depends on how severe the scars are being treated. Recovery time varies depending on the depth and strength of the radiofrequency treatment. However, patients can expect 2 to 5 days of redness with swelling and bruising.

-SP