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Laser Scar Revision
Lasers have seen an increase in popularity and safe applications throughout the medical world. One recent application that was discovered was the use of lasers in scar revision surgery. Since scars are often difficult to shrink or cosmetically modify through traditional surgical means, the laser is a welcome addition to medical advancements.
The scar is the result of some injury to the skin. The body reacts to scarring by producing scar tissue, known as collagen, in order to “patch” up the resulting hole. Sometimes the scar tissue continues to grow, however. Other times scars can be extremely deep, long, or otherwise unsightly. Sometimes scars can cause further damage to the skin or surrounding tissue.
Properties of laser light make it an effective choice in skin related surgeries like scar revision. Early laser treatments were tested in their effectiveness in reducing the growth of some hypertrophic and keloid scars. These types of scars are ones that continue to grow scar tissue after the affected wound has already been filled. The best results came from laser surgery to remove the expanding scars, rather than reducing their collagen production.
By the late 90s though, laser scar revision was becoming more accepted and resulted in a greater reduction in the scar’s appearance. Surgical related scars were found to be especially receptive to laser treatment when the laser was applied shortly after the original scar-producing surgery was performed.
Other types of scars that have been effectively treated with lasers are acne and chicken pox related scars. The light from the laser is used to actually cut away the overproduced collagen. There are many types of lasers that can be used in laser scar revision. One laser is called a pulsed dye laser and is effective in reducing the inflammation in hypertrophic and keloid scars. Pulsed dye lasers can also help reduce itching. Other types of scars that are indented can be resurfaced with these types of lasers.
Speculation still exists as to exactly how lasers work in reducing scar tissue, but the fact remains that they are effective. There are some medical studies being conducted on the laser’s effects on collagen production in the skin, or on already produced collagen. What seems to be unanimous, however, is that laser scar reduction does work, and with little, if any, side effects. This makes laser scar reduction an attractive option for people looking to reduce the cosmetic effects of scarring on their bodies.
All people may not be able to undergo laser treatment for scar reduction. Only a thorough medical examination coupled with an extensive medical history overview can show if someone is able to undergo this type of treatment. A patient interested in discussing their options should contact only an experienced board-certified plastic surgeon; one who is particularly adept at laser scar revision surgery and laser treatments.