Do you have a scar that troubles you so much that you always use some form of cream or foundation to conceal it? Scars can be detrimental not only to physical health but also mental health. If you plan on getting rid of or reducing the appearance of your scars, then Dr. Laura Riehm of skin laser MD has got you covered.
Scars are a result of your body’s response to injury. Some people are usually not bothered by their scars to a point where they perceive them as a badge of honor. Other people experience discomfort, especially if the scar is painful or itchy. Additionally, a scar could make you feel less confident about your beauty if it’s located in visible areas.
Note that each scar requires a different technique of removal or reduction. There are two main types of scarring, namely regular and abnormal scarring.
A regular scar appears at the end of an undisrupted healing process of a wound. Proper closure techniques help to accelerate normal wounds. The size of the scar will depend on the location and depth of injury and overall healing conditions.
Abnormal scarring happens when healthy wound healing is disrupted or when complications occur after surgery, and a wound increase in size or develops an enclosing tissue growth. If this happens, the scar moves from being a hypertrophic scar to a keloid.
Keloids are scar tissues that overgrow the original injury either spontaneously or after several years. They may grow on shoulders and cheeks and can, at times, be painful. Keloids are associated with people of color, ranging between 10 and 30 years.
Prevention of Scars and Keloids
Now that you know about the population prone to getting keloids, you could take a few preventive measures. You could start by taking excellent care of your wound by covering it with hypoallergenic paper or silicone gel sheets to ensure proper healing.
The most basic prevention measure is to avoid any injuries whenever possible. In case of injuries and you need surgery, make sure you inform the surgeon that you are prone to keloids. This will ensure he takes precaution on the precision as well suturing by using a polypropylene suture.
Additionally, your surgeon will start you on postoperative treatments such as pressure dressings and corticosteroid injections as soon as possible.
Treatment of Keloid and Scars
This treatment approach, although useful, has been subject to many controversies due to the fear of harmful radiation waves that are linked to cancer. Radiation is more effective when done immediately after surgery. Studies have shown that this therapy prevents recurrence in 75% of keloid cases. Possible side effects include malignant tumors, ulcers, and hyperpigmentation. As a result, doctors warn against using this treatment on children as well as pregnant women.
Your surgeon may choose to freeze the lesions of the keloid, making it easier to administer the intralesional medication. Cryotherapy can be very painful, so one has to receive local anesthesia. The good thing with this treatment is that it does not cause depigmentation.
Traditionally, surgeons used CO2 or Erbium YAG laser for ablating the keloid lesions, but they proved to be ineffective. This prompted the shift to the pulsed dye laser (PDL), which has proven to be successful in reducing the height, color as well as symptoms of keloid scars.
Finally, Keloids and scars are no longer a life sentence due to the innovations in the surgical world. So, if you have a scar that makes you feel uncomfortable, plan your visit to an experienced specialist that will provide the right treatment for you.