Laser Scar and Stretch Mark Reduction Newport Beach
Any burn, injury, or other trauma can cause a scar. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process after an injury. Its appearance and treatment depend on multiple factors, such as the depth and size of the wound or cut and the location of the injury. Other factors the influence wound healing and scarring are age, genes, and gender. There are several different types of scars including:
- Keloid scars. These scars are the result of an overly aggressive healing process. They extend beyond the original injury.
- Hypertrophic scars. These are raised, red scars that are similar to keloids but do not go beyond the boundary of the injury.
- Contracture scars. If your skin has been burned, you may have a contracture scar. These scars tighten skin, which can impair your ability to move. Contracture scars may also go deeper, affecting muscles and nerves.
- Acne scars. If you’ve had severe acne, you probably have the scars to prove it. There are many types of acne scars, ranging from deep pits to scars that are angular or wavelike in appearance. Treatment options depend on the type of acne scars you have.
Good wound care is important in preventing excessive scarring as well as speeding the healing process. Preventing infection can help prevent unnecessary inflammation, which can increase the size of wounds resulting in larger, unsightly scars. It is important to prevent thick crusts (scabs) from forming over wounds by gently with a washcloth and soap and water at least twice a day and to keep the wound moist by keeping it covered with petroleum jelly. Silicone products such as Biocorneum can help prevent thick scars from forming in those who are prone to them and can sometimes improve the appearance of existing scars.
The truth is the scar will never completely go away. But there are some methods that can help reduce its size and change its appearance. What would work best for your specific scar will depend on where it is located and how it looks.
Some scars may be improved with laser resurfacing. Red or purple raised scars may respond well to vascular lasers by targeting blood vessels in the scar. Keloid or hypertropic scars are often treated first with injection of medications to reduce their size. If this is not satisfactory, the scars can be removed surgically, and the incisions closed with fine stitches, often resulting in less prominent scars. For other scars, surgery can also help improve the appearance by:
- changing the positioning of the scar
- changing the width or shape of the scar
- releasing a tight scar that is close to a joint, to improve movement
Acne scars may be treated with a combination of subscision (acne scar surgery), laser resurfacing, microneedling, fillers, and injections of corticosteroids. To obtain the best results, your dermatologist may recommend more than one treatment.
Stretch marks are very difficult to treat. They are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes. There seem to be genetic factors that make some people more prone to stretch marks than others. Various treatments are available for the purpose of improving the appearance of existing stretch marks, including laser treatments and prescription retinoids.
Fractional resurfacing is the treatment of microscopic columns of skin within the treatment area. It doesn’t treat all of the skin at once, which could create a large wound, rather it treats a fraction of the skin at a time. The body responds to each treatment by producing new collagen. Several treatments (5-7) are often required.
Dr. Amy Reinstadtler will see you in her office in Newport Beach.