If you live in New York, you have access to virtually any cosmetic treatment available today. If you are bothered by unwanted scars, you are highly advised to learn more about your scar removal treatment options. Scars can be irksome and make you feel self-conscious, but there is no need to shoulder such embarrassment. Here at the office of Michael I. Jacobs, MD, we encourage you to learn more about your treatment options to decide which one may be best for you.
A scar is a natural results of your body’s healing processes. Scars form through the process of biological wound repair in soft tissues like your skin. Some degree of scarring is typical after most injuries, except for extremely minor ones. Scar tissue is normally not as functional as the tissue that it is replacing. Scars are normally more vulnerable to ultraviolet radiation, for example. Sweat glands and hair follicles are not present in scar tissue.
Scars are normally pale and flat. In some cases, an overproduction of collagen can lead to scars that appear raised. These are known as keloid or hypertrophic scars. These types of scars are commonly found in those with dark skin or among younger people. Sometimes, scars have a pitted or sunken appearance. This form of scar develops when underlying skin support structures are lost. Many surgical scars form this way, as well as acne scars.
Hyaluronic Acid Injections
If your scars are pitted, you may benefit from hyaluronic acid filler injections. Hyaluronic acid is a component of skin that draws moisture into soft tissues, filling them out and making them more hydrated. We can inject some hyaluronic acid into pitted scars, which helps the skin push up and out for a smoother appearance. At our clinic, we are proud to offer Juvederm® Ultra XC and Juvederm® Ultra Plus XC for scar removal. These products work with men and women, and with all skin colors and types.
Results with Juvederm® are almost instantaneous and last for up to a year. We advise avoiding strenuous activity and extended head exposure for 24 hours after receiving injections. The only real drawback to hyaluronic acid injections for scars is that periodic follow-up injections are needed once the materials have been fully absorbed by your body. We also do not recommend this option for pregnant women.
Microdermabrasion is a revolutionary treatment that is normally used for treating dull complexion, enlarged pores, and superficial scars. It involves the removal of some of the outer skin layer to reveal and encourage new skin tissue formation underneath.
The stratum corneum skin layer is composed of dead skin cells, oils, and cellular debris. Normally this material sloughs off and gives way to maturing skin cells that rise from beneath. In some cases, the stratum corneum can build up on the surface of the skin. Microdermabrasion helps to remove this material and reduce the appearance of superficial scars.
We use a small device to spray microscopic abrasive particles onto the surface of your skin. This breaks up the molecular bonds holding the stratum corneum together. After the treatment, we vacuum away the tiny crystals and dead skin cells.
Patients seem to respond best to regular microdermabrasion treatments as part of their beauty routine. This is because this material can build up again on the surface of the skin and need removing periodically.
Chemical peels are known to treat a wide range of skin conditions, including lines and wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, stretch marks, and scars caused by acne, surgery, or injury. Although these products are very different from each other, they all have something in common: They contain some form of a chemical mixed within a solution that is applied to the skin to peel away portions of the outer skin layer and encourage the development of new skin tissue with less imperfections like scars.
Light chemical peels are only for use with superficial skin problems like light scars due to acne. The chemical solution will contain a mild acid like alpha hydroxy, lactic, or glycolic acid. It is applied to the skin for a specified amount of time to remove some of the outer skin layer and encourage the formation of new skin tissue less affected by scars. A light chemical peel will not require any sedation or downtime in most cases. However, the fact that it is a gentle peel means that multiple applications may be necessary.
A TCA peel contains the chemical TCA mixed within a solution that we apply to your skin to help minimize scars. It will encourage some of the skin tissue to slough off and make room for new skin tissue that has fewer imperfections. A TCA peel may require some sedation and downtime.
Deep chemical peels are the heavy artillery of this class of treatment. They are usually only performed once for the removal of deeper wrinkles and deep scars. Although deep peels are extremely effective, some caution is in order. This powerful form of treatment will require sedation and quite a bit of downtime while your skin heals and remodels. If you are prepared to set aside a few weeks to remain in seclusion at home, you should be very satisfied with the results of a deep peel.
Laser Scar Removal
Laser scar removal utilizes a laser to transmit brief pulses of high intensity light that is absorbed by your skin. The light is converted into heat energy that vaporizes small areas of the skin, layer by layer. Your appearance is enhanced when fresher skin grows into the treatment zone. The thermal energy also boosts your collagen production, stimulating the formation of new skin tissue in the treatment area, resulting in a smoother appearance of the skin.
We begin by cleaning the area and marking the scar with a pen. If you are being treated for facial scars, you may need to wear protective eye gear during the treatment. During the process, the laser will pass over your skin a few times. Your skin will be cooled using water or a special solution in between each pass of the laser device.
After Your Laser Procedure
After your laser scar removal treatment, you will need to make sure to clean the area of treatment periodically. You can prevent the formation of scabs by applying ointments like petroleum jelly after you clean your skin.
Healing normally takes from one to three weeks, depending upon the location and size of the treatment area. Once your skin is fully healed, you should keep it fully moisturized. Use only oil-free makeup for two or three months after your treatment. You should also avoid prolonged exposure to sunlight and make sure that you apply a good sunscreen to the treatment area that will be more vulnerable following laser resurfacing.
Am I a Good Candidate for Scar Removal?
Anyone who wants to get rid of unwanted scars and is in good health may be eligible for acne scar removal. Ideal candidates also harbor realistic expectations about our procedures in terms of what they can accomplish. The best way to determine your eligibility is to come in for a consultation. At our clinic, Dr. Jacobs and his staff will decide if you qualify for one or more of our options and help you evaluate which would be best for your particular situation.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are bothered by the appearance of unwelcome scars that have not responded to other types of treatment, please feel free to reach out and make an appointment with the office of Michael I. Jacobs, MD. At our convenient location in New York, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to explain your options in greater detail and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!