Healing the Scars of War Victims

No single group deals with more debilitating scarring then victims of war; both military and civilians. The decade of wars heralding in the 21st Century has left millions of people suffering from life changing injures. Along with the emotional and tragic psychological scars are the physical scars as a reminder. There are organizations globally seeking to help people who unfortunately suffering from the life lone effects of debilitating human conflict. Share this resource with any person who can benefit.

Thanks the MEDSCAR team.

AFIRM
The Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM) is a multi-institutional, interdisciplinary network working to develop advanced treatment options for our severely wounded servicemen and women. They develop advanced treatment for severely wounded servicemen and women. This organization is designed to speed the delivery of regenerative medicine therapies to assist the most injured service members. The five major research programs include Burn Repair, Compartment Syndrome Repair, craniofacial Reconstruction, Limb and Digit Salvage, and Scarless Wound Healing.

Air Force Wounded Warrior
The Air Force Wounded Warrior ensures great care, services, and assistance before and after wounded warriors separate or retire. They have a strong emphasis on ensuring wounded airmen individualized guidance and support to help them transition out of the Air Force and back to civilian life. The Air Force Wounded Warrior, working closely with the Secretary of Defense programs, will keep these men and women on active duty.

Iraq Star, Inc.
Iraq Star is a recently founded non-profit organization. It offers surgery for disfigured veterans. Iraq Star recruits plastic surgeons across the country to provide free cosmetic surgery for soldiers who want to fix their deformities including scars.

Scars To Freedom
Scars to Freedom Foundation, provides FREE scar revision to all Military Veterans. This is our way of thanking them for their sacrifice and service for our Country.

Adult Acne Scar Revision

Acne Scar Revision

Acne is most often associated with the angst and turbulent adolescence; at least that is the common perception. In the United States alone the American Academy of Dermatology reports that 40 to 50 million peoples suffer from acne to a level of requiring medical treatment. The numbers appear to be growing and the reason for this unclear.

In a study of 1,013 people, 15% of women and 7% of men over 50 reported having acne. The negative effects on self image are as strong in adults as in teens. Often adults use over the counter treatment that aggravate the condition even further.

WATCH VIDEO of One Acne Scar Revision Technique Below



Women appear to have increased risk


A survey from the University of Alabama was published a study in 2008; significant numbers on women suffering from acne was reported. This study found that acne affects more than 50% of women between the ages of 20-29 and more than 25% between the ages of 40-49. A Massachusetts General Hospital research survey in 2011 reported similar numbers though slightly lower than the University of Alabama report. The hospital study revealed that 45% of women 20-29 and 12% of women 41-50 had acne.

Treatments


Long term acne can leave substantial levels of scarring that require medical intervention to improve the appearance of the skin to enhance the well being and safe image of patients. Myriad treatments from a range of chemical peels, to non-ablative and ablative lasers, to injections, all the way up to surgical techniques. Sometimes the best treatment for may include a combination of these modern procedures. As in other scar revision the goal is to make the scarring less noticeable.

Scar Revision Primer

The skin is the largest organ of the body covering it in its’ entirety. Serving as the body’s protective barrier it also makes the skin the most vulnerable part of the body. There is probably no human on earth whose skin does not have a mark or scarring from some incident of disorder. The process of healing from injury or surgery leaves scarring on the skin. This can be from the tiniest of insect bites or blemish to a life saving surgery.
Breast Scars Revision

The amount of scarring may be determined by the size, depth, and location of the wound; the age of the person; heredity; and skin characteristics including color (pigmentation). No scar can be removed completely. The degree of improvement will depend on variables such as the direction and size of the scar, the age of the person, skin type and color, and hereditary factors that may precondition the extent of the healing process.

Scars can be a lasting a giveaway of cosmetic surgery. Thus, one of the concerns for many patients when they consider elective surgery is the possibility of scarring. Scar revision can help to mitigate the appearance of a scar through several options. A doctor can offer a topical to help a scar to fade and, in some cases, minimally invasive procedures or even perform revision surgery to help obscure a scar.

While there is no procedure that allows for complete removal of a scar, there are several types of procedures that improve the appearance of your scar. Scar revision surgery treatment methods include injections, skin grafting, Z-plasty, laser and lightening techniques that can drastically diminish the appearance of your scar.

There are several things to consider before undergoing a procedure to help improve the appearance of a scar. If the scar is a problem, you don’t smoke and you are otherwise healthy, scar revision may be an option. Also, a doctor can help you determine if you have any acne or other problems that may impact an attempt to improve the scar. Patients need to have realistic expectations. While scar revision can help minimize the aesthetics of the scar, it usually cannot remove the scar completely.

Risk of Scar Revision

Pre & Post Operative Risk of Scar Revision

Cosmetic procedures involve the placement of scars in inconspicuous areas heal with minimal scarring. Any time an incision is made, a scar will result. Unfortunately, the thickness and the texture of the scar is only partially related to the skill of the surgeon and the procedure itself. In no case will scar revision surgery eliminate a scar completely. In nearly all cases, it will minimize the scar. In very rare cases, the scar could be made worse. This is a risk that a patient needs to accept. The doctor’s knowledge of your healing history is critical to making the most educated decision for the benefit of the patient.
In developed countries risk in surgery has greatly been diminished. However, a person considering elective scar revision surgery as with any surgery should discuss risks with their surgeon. Here is a partial list a person can ask their doctor about.

Scar Revision Surgery Risk

• Allergies (tape, suture materials,blood products, topicals, injected agents etc…
• Anesthesia Options & risks
• Changes in skin sensation post-surgery
• Excessive Bleeding (hematoma)
• Delayed or Slower healing
• Deeper Tissue damage e.g. nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lung
• Pain tolerance or changes to pain sensitivity
• Possibility of revisional surgery or staged procedures
• Post-Surgery Infection
• Skin contour irregularities
• Skin discoloration and swelling
• Temporary or permanent damage possibilities

Take the time to ask questions!. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress.

Evolution of Scars – Part 2

Why Do We Have Scars?

“Human wound healing appears to have been optimized for quick healing in dirty conditions,” Mark W. J. Ferguson, Ph.D., University of Manchester.

Part II
Before and After Facial Scar Revision of Young Woman
Anthropologists and science have yet to explain why humans develop larger and thicker scars than other animals. Our response to scars reaches back through the eons of human evolution. A physically weaker structure than most mammals; humans live longer than any other mammal it perhaps is our species wound healing that allows us to thrive. When we’re injured; cut or burned, the immune system is immediately activated to close the wound and heal it.

Surgeon N. Scott Adzick, M.D., researches and studies scarring at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at the Children’s Institute for Surgical Science in Philadelphia, he notes:

“If you’re a caveman or cave-woman running around, and you get bitten by a saber-toothed tiger, it makes sense to patch that wound together as quickly as possible in order to survive, as opposed to devoting the body’s energy and resources to healing perfectly”

The result is that our bodies’ rapid immune response to inflammation leads to the larger and thicker scabbing and scarring. Some social anthropologists theorize that scars served as sexual attractors. Heavily scarred early men would be more attractive because it indicated there bravery and strength in survival.

No matter the theory or culture scars are part of human life; if you know someone who is experiencing anxiety from scars. Today’s cosmetic medicine may have the answers.

Evolution & Psychology of Scars

Part 1

How Scars Make Us Feel

Man with extensive facial scar
There is unlikely an adult human on the planet without a scar. Most scars are not of consequence to cause severe emotional or physiological issues. Wound research has proven that the age of the person, gender and location of the scar are factors on how it will affect a person. In addition how the scar occurred can make it more of a problem. Facial scars cause more duress and scars that may be disfiguring or near around intimate areas of the body. Society premium appearance contributes to the anxiety associated with scarring. Stereotypes in moving show scarred people to be unpleasant, sadistic and mean.

However in some cultures consider scars desirable and are intentional and deliberate. Some tribes identify their clan and families by scar markings this was very common in Nigeria though the custom is no fading. Traumatic scarring is often very different. I greatly distress the person suffering from the scar and detract from their quality of life. Some anthropological studies indicate that facial symmetry seems to be innate attraction within humans; clearly facial scarring moves a person further away from what maybe a pre-programmed ideal. People who have adverse reaction to the scars can experience embarrassment and loss of self-image. Over long term this can lead to isolation, anger and self-loathing. In worse case scenarios psychological conditions that need to be treated can develop.

Today’s modern surgical techniques in the field of cosmetic surgery now provides many options in scar revision. Birth Marks, skin anomalies as well as scars can be treated with much success.

Read Part II of the Evolution of Scars

Surgery can Help Facial Scars

Surgery of Facial Scars

Facial Scar Revision

With very few exceptions most people are self-conscious about facial scars. Facial scar surgery is good choice for individuals who self worth and esteem is impacted by the scarring. Whether from acne or traumatic injury the advancements in scar revision make it worth considering.
Scarring results when the skin is in the process of recovering from an injury, whether the result of an accident, surgery, a burn, or acne, scarring will occur wherever multiple layers of the skin have been affected.

Scars are permanent; however the latest technology and advancements in cosmetic surgery yields great results. The scar can be made less visible or relocated surgically. At times scarring can have additional effect. People can experience diminished functioning of the eyes, mouth, or nose due to scarring.

Facial scar revision can improve your appearance, your self-confidence, or perhaps even improve the level of facial functioning. You can learn how scar revision works and what you can expect from this procedure by consulting a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in scar revision.

Successful facial plastic surgery is a result of good rapport between patient and surgeon. Trust, based on realistic expectations and exacting medical expertise, develops in the consulting stages before surgery is performed. Your surgeon can answer specific questions about your specific needs.