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Surgical vs. Laser Scar Removal

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Laser scar treatment is a modern technique for improving all types of scars.  This also can be accomplished by time tested techniques such as dermabrasion as well. Whether your blemishes were caused by acne, a wound or a medical condition, laser treatments or dermabrasion can help reduce the appearance of the scar. Even if your scar has extended beyond where the initial injury occurred, the built up collagen that has caused this to happen can be removed with laser procedures. For more severe scars or those that are “against the grain” of facial lines see the last section below on z-plasty and w-plasty.

Of course, not everyone should get laser treatments for scar removal. If you have skin already struggling with the pressure of a condition such as psoriasis, it isn’t a good idea to use lasers to reduce scarring. In fact, scar removal on sensitive skin can just make things look and feel worse. There are also some medications that shouldn’t be mixed with laser scar removal.

The basics of how lasers remove scars is by removing layers of skin. Exposing fresh, healthy and ultimately unmarked skin below, you leave each treatment with your scar less and less visible. The laser also activates collagen cells in your skin, the very things that help your skin heal and stay firm. This means that getting laser treatments for scar removal can actually help your skin look, feel and actually be healthier and firmer.

The biggest risk you will be taking in getting laser scar removal is a change in color around the area treated. The sun often makes the color difference more obvious, too. In the case of infections post laser scar removal, antibiotics can keep you healthy and healing.

The most common type of scar removal these days is done with lasers or dermabrasion. This is a simple, low risk procedure that takes less than two hours to complete. Depending on the strength of the scar, more treatments may be needed.

For very severe scars, your doctor may recommend getting it surgically removed or re-arranged instead. Techniques such as z-plasty or W-plasty can improve the appearance of facial scars by re-orienting the scars into what are called resting skin tension lines. Youw own wrinkles and facial muscles then help the re-aligned scars to heal better. This type of scar removal takes a lot longer to heal and is usually only done in severe cases. However, it is the more traditional method as laser scar removal is still a relatively new technology. What type of procedure is best for obliterating your blemish is a decision to be made with your cosmetic surgeon.

 

Copyright 2012. As licensed to Pearlman Aesthetic Surgery. All rights reserved

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