Scar Removal & Treatments
Boca Raton, Palm Beach Florida
Almost everyone has at least one scar – it’s virtually a rite of passage. Most are insignificant and cause no problems. Some are annoying. Some are devastating – disfiguring and unsightly. Severe acne, burns, major surgery, major trauma, and pregnancy can create conspicuous scars, causing self-consciousness, feelings of being unattractive. Efforts to conceal the scars can limit clothing choices. Large, thick scars can interfere with movement and function, depending on their locations, or become infected repeatedly.
Fortunately, Ennis Plastic Surgery has procedures and treatments to diminish the appearance of scars and help return the natural tone to the skin which was noticeably discolored.
Get to know Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ennis
To learn about scar removal, please read the guide below or contact Ennis Plastic Surgery at 561-405-9020 to book a consultation or ask us a question. We are here to help you get the look you desire.
Ennis Plastic Surgery specializes in minimizing the unsightly appearance of more-pronounced scars. Most of the treatment techniques are non-invasive, and do not require anesthesia.
eTwo Sublative Rejuvenation
eTwo Sublative Rejuvenation is a procedure which treats textural imperfections in the skin. This innovative laser can restore your skin’s natural beauty in four to 6 weeks, in some cases, less. Sublative rejuvenation affects the skin’ surface, smoothing scars and wrinkles, firming sagging skin. It’s safe, effective, and can be used on all skin types and colors.
Patients are given a minimum of three treatments, which may be sufficient to get the desired results, then a once-a-year maintenance treatment. Some people may need more than three treatments in the initial series. Application of the eMatrix beam is painless, but patients report a prickly sensation. Following a treatment, there may be a reddish flush to the skin, like a sunburn. It subsides over a few days.
eTwo uses radiofrequency energy which heats the skin layers enough to trigger a healing process in which the skin becomes smoother and appears rejuvenated. Results are seen following the first treatment.
Pixel Fractional Skin Resurfacing
Pixel Fractional Skin Resurfacing uses a high intensity light beam on microthermal treatment zones – tiny, targeted areas, gently and painlessly removing the upper dermis and epidermis. It leaves tissue outside the zone unaffected. Untreated areas facilitate rapid and effective healing of tissues that have been treated using this resurfacing technique. A fresh layer of smooth, unscarred skin is revealed. In addition to diminishing the appearance of scars, the technique also diminishes wrinkling or fine lines associated with the scar.
Microdermabrasion with Hydrafacial
Microdermabrasion with Hydrafacial is a state-of-the-art, skin revitalization and exfoliation scar reduction system. DermaSweep MD uses a wand, the tip of which acts like a gentle but powerful vacuum to remove the skin’s topmost layer. It leaves skin smoother, reduces the thickness of raised scars and stimulates blood flow. It promotes a healthier, natural tone to skin which was previously discolored. While undergoing scar removal, patients also experience deep pore cleansing and firming of the epidermis.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a laser treatment used on severe acne scarring, leaving the skin looking and feeling younger. Sessions typically last about 15 minutes. Patients immediately resume their usual activity, but must avoid exposure to sunlight for a minimum of 48 hours.
There are additional techniques which can diminish the appearance of scars, including:
- Sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide which blocks UVA and UVB rays
- Silicone gel sheeting may help fade or prevent worsening of the scar’s appearance. They can be purchased at a pharmacy or from a dermatologist. Daily treatment for three months or more is required to achieve a beneficial effect.
- Concealer cosmetics can decrease the appearance of scars. The concealer color is chosen based on the color of the scar. Red or pink scars are subdued by concealer with green undertones. Brown scars are subdued by concealer with yellow undertones.
- Injectable fillers, either collagen or fat, can be injected to raise sunken scars, but the effect is not permanent, and must be repeated.
- Steroid injections may help flatten raised scars, but long-term treatment is necessary.
Scar Removal & Treatments? Q&A with Dr. Ennis
Scrapes, burn and cuts or other injuries that reach into the deepest layer of skin – the dermis, form scars. The location of the wound on the body, the depth of the wound, age of the person, and genetic make-up are determinants of the characteristics of the scar. Collagen, a protein found in normal skin, forms fibers, which are oriented in a basket weave pattern. In wound healing the fibers are stretched in one direction. The abnormal orientation of the fibers makes the scar tissue less pliable than normal skin.
Scars can occur as part of a disease process. Some people have a genetic predisposition to produce thicker, enlarging scars known as keloids.
Signs and Symptoms of Scars
Scars occur at the site of tissue damage, and may be:
- Firm and red
- Purple and fibrous, becoming flatter and lighter in color
- Associated with severe itching
- Cause of contractures, with functional disability
Scars may also cause
Mental and emotional complications are associated with disfiguring and aesthetically unpleasant scars, including:
- Sleep disturbances
- Disruption of daily activities
- Post-traumatic stress reactions
- Loss of self-esteem
- Social stigmatization
- Diminished quality of life
Diagnosis of a scar is based on history and by inspection. Very rarely, a biopsy and microscopic examination are required.
Types of scars:
Keloid scars are the result of overly aggressive healing, with accelerated cell formation, and do not stop growing. They extend beyond the site of the original scar, and can hamper movement. Keloids are associated with severe acne, traumatic wounds and body piercing. They are more common in people of color. Some keloids emerge spontaneously in people who tend to form them. They may form benign neoplasms.
Contracture scars occur on burned skin. As they tighten they can impair movement.
Hypertrophic scars are elevated above skin level and red, like keloids, but don’t extend beyond the boundaries of the original injury. They are usually caused by burns or lacerations involving deeper layers of skin, may contain blood vessels and itch intensely. Hypertrophic scars form within 4 to 8 weeks of the wound occurring. They may thicken for months, and become painful.
Acne scars are highly variable, and can form as deep pits, or may be angular or wave-like in appearance.
Atrophic scars may be associated with severe acne or chicken pox. The scars “sink” into the skin, due to the effects of the healing process on localized fat and muscle.
The best way to prevent scars is to treat wounds properly, in three steps.
- Clean out a fresh cut or scrape. Use cool water to sooth and clean the wound. Use tweezers, which have been sterilized with alcohol, to gently remove gravel, splinters, or other debris. Wash around the wound with mild soap and water and a washcloth. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or alcohol for cleaning. They can cause tissue damage and inhibit healing.
- Keep the wound covered. It helps healing by barring bacteria, dirt, and other irritants. It helps the wound stay moist for the first few days, which speeds healing. An antibiotic cream or ointment will help keep the wound clean and moist, which helps reduce the appearance of scars.
- Don’t pick at scabs. Right after you get a cut or scrape, the body starts healing the wound. White blood cells attack infection, and red blood cells, fibrin and platelets create a clot over the wound, forming a scab. Picking off the scab can reopen the wound, allowing bacteria to enter and increasing risk of an unsightly scar.
- Skin adhesive is another way to close small wounds. A doctor applies a liquid film and allows it to dry. The film holds the edges of your wound together. The film is left on the skin until it falls off – usually 5 to 10 days.
Some wounds should be brought to the attention of a physician, including:
- Bleeding heavily without stopping, even after 10 minutes of direct pressure
- A deep wound, or longer than 1/2 inch long
- A laceration near an eye or on the face
- A very dirty wound or caused by a dirty or rusty object
- A ragged wound
- Animal or human bite
- Very painful or shows signs of infection, such as increased warmth or tenderness around it, yellow or green fluid, redness, swelling, fever, chills, body aches or swollen lymph nodes in the armpit or groin.
The Ennis Plastic Surgery Difference
Ennis Plastic Surgery in Palm Beach offers a comprehensive, caring and compassionate approach to cosmetic and esthetic intervention. We understand what an impact scar removal can have on a pateint’s outlook and self-impression.
If you are interested in discussing how scar removal can impact your physical appearance, please contact us to set up a consultation.
1) Scars. American Society of Dermatologic Surgery: http://www.asds.net/PrintTemplate.aspx
2) Junkell G, Hartman-Adams H. Management of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Am Fam physician. 2009 Aug 1; 80(3):253-260
3) First Aid, Cuts, Scrapes, and Stitches, American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/staying-healthy/first-aid/first-aid-cuts-scrapes-and-stitches.html