Many people have scars, some come from injuries, and some come from medical or surgical procedures. Depending on the person scars can be of minor or major concern, however for any person in this day and age of cosmetic surgery most scars can be either removed or corrected.
These are multiple options for scar correction, ranging from microdermabrasion to surgical correction. The type of scar and the patients’ expectations are what dictate which option is best.
Keloid scars are scars that have outgrown or over grown their normal margins. They are usually raised and firm, at times they can be painful. Keloids can be found in any skin color however, they are more common in African-Americans. These scars can form secondary to a minor skin scrape or even an ear piercing. There are two major options for scar correction of keloids; option one is injection of the scar with a steroid type mixture, the second is surgical removal. The steroid solution is injected directly into the scar and over the course of three to four weeks the scar starts to shrink in size, for most patients it does take more than one injection, and the injections are usually spaced four weeks apart. Surgical removal of the scar is also an option for keloids. In this option the scar is actually cut out completely so that the patient is starting over with a fresh new flat line scar, with the hopes of watching the scar closely and at times applying a prescription cream to prevent it from re-forming the keloid. Recurrence of keloids is common after excision.
Scars are raised, pink, and confined to the original treatment site, where as dark red-brown black flat scars occur as acne is healing. One of the best treatment options in these cases are microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a superficial exfoliation procedure that is performed in the office setting. The procedure only takes about fifteen minutes and usually about three to four days later the patient sees superficial peeling of the skin. This peeling is the exfoliation that is needed to help make the scarring less noticeable. The advantage to microdermabrasion is, because the procedure is superficial there is virtually no downtime at all, however also because it is superficial it usually takes five to six treatments to see the full effects. These treatments can be spaced as closely as one week apart.
Ice pick scarring is scarring that is most commonly caused by years of severe acne. These scars look like “divots” or “dents” in the skin. These scars tend to typically be deeper than just the top layer of skin, so therefore a more invasive treatment is needed. The best treatment is replacing the loss of volume with a graft. Punch grafts are harvested from clean, non-sun damaged skin behind the ear. They are then sewn into place on the cheek or area of the scar and heal within two days. Punch excision of multiple small ice picked scars is another means of correction. Both procedures are done in the office, under local anesthesia, and take less than an hour.
There are many options available for scar revision on the market today, if you have one scar or multiple scars from years of acne and would like to discuss treatment options please call today to set up a consultation with Dr. John Kayal.