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.

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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.

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Scar Treatment Options

Types of Scar Treatments

Almost everyone has had a scar on their body at one time or another. Scar tissue appears on areas of the body that have been injured and protects the injured section. While it does protect the injured area, many patients consider scar tissue to be less than pleasing to the eye. Some scars heal naturally with few issues in fading and becoming less noticeable. Two of the most common types of scars include:

  • Hypertrophic scars which are scars that are larger than normal that tend to have a lumpy appearance.
  • Keloid scars are scars that become raised and spread beyond the wound due to the overgrowth of collagen.

While some scars fade and are hard to notice on the skin, other scars are not able to be completely removed after they form on the body. However, there are various forms of treatment for all types of scars to make them less noticeable in appearance. Depending on the extent of the scarring, the method of treatment might take weeks, or even months, to make a difference in the appearance of the scar. The following are some of the more common methods used for treating scars:

  • Applying pressure to a scar or placing silicone sheets over it can often improve the appearance of the scar. These treatment options tend to flatten any raised scars and also make them paler.
  • Surgery can be performed on some scars to remove them. It should be noted that the surgery might leave a new scar. However, the new scar might look better in appearance than the older scar.
  • Laser surgery can remove the raised surfaces of keloid or hypertrophic scars.
  • Skin grafts can cover scars created by burns.
  • A doctor may choose to inject corticosteroids, which is a cortisone-like medicine, into the area of a raised scar. The medicine serves to reduce inflammation as well as limit the synthesis of collagen that may have been the cause of the raised scarring in the first place.

Before deciding to undergo any kind of treatment for scars on the body, patients should consult with a doctor. Some scars can be easily treated while others might be considered permanent because they are too hard to remove. Meeting with a board-certified doctor will help a person determine the proper scar treatment to undergo in order to achieve the desired results.

Why Scars Heal Differently on the Body

Have you ever noticed that you can have scars on different parts of your body and they look dissimilar? When an injury breaches the layer of the skin, the skin cells and blood vessels become damaged and the body sends excess collagen to quickly repair the region. This is the body’s way of forming a barrier to protect it from bacteria and germs. Depending on the amount of collagen sent, it can cause the wound to heal differently and result in scar tissue that looks and feels unlike the rest of the skin. Other factors that impact how a scar heals include:

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Size and depth of the wound
  • Treatment methods
  • Location of the wound

Abdomen Scar healing process

Here is a rundown of different areas of the body and how scars normally heal in these regions:

  • Knees and Elbows

The knees and elbows are prone to heavy scarring since they are constantly being stretched. Therefore, the skin cannot properly regenerate and heal. The scar tissue may constrict mobility over the joints since the tissue becomes tight and less pliable. Severely limited mobility or pain may require scar revision surgery to improve functionality.

  • Chest and Shoulders

Per the National Institutes of Health, the chest and shoulder regions have the poorest results when it comes to extensive scarring because areas of tension produce thicker scars which appear more noticeable.

  • Legs

Scars tend to be thicker and more prominent on the legs since the skin is normally tighter and tougher than other parts of the body. Scars on the legs are inclined to be hypertrophic scars. Hypertrophic scars can be red in appearance and are raised above the surface of the skin.

  • Abdomen and Stomach

Scars on the abdomen and stomach generally heal well leaving a thinner, flatter scar. Surgical scars can usually be placed below the waistline or bikini line and are rarely seen while wearing everyday clothing. Additionally, this placement keeps the scar protected from the sun for optimal healing and to avoid hyperpigmentation.

  • The Mouth

When it comes to scars, the inside of your mouth is the best at healing. The intraoral tissue stays moist and can regenerate quickly. However, it is critical to keep the area clean to avoid infection. An infection will slow down scar formation and may generate a larger, denser scar.

  • Ears

A scar on the ear is generally thick and more prominent than others. This type of scar is generally a keloid scar. Keloids can be found on any part of the body but are common after an ear piercing. Like hypertrophic scars, keloids are red and raised. Unlike hypertrophic scars, keloids extend beyond the edges of the wound. Keloid scars can be minimized with pressure and topical scar treatments.

Preventing and Treating Scars

To keep scars at bay, you should keep the wound clean and moist until it has healed. Serious burns or deep cuts should be evaluated and treated by a doctor. Post-op instructions should be followed as directed to help minimize scarring. Silicone scar treatments can minimize scarring or reduce scars that have already formed. There are many different types of scar treatments available and each type of scar may respond differently to certain treatments. Consult with your doctor about which treatment might be right for your scar.

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