Laser Scar Revision
As part of our long-term care and reconstructive services, Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America offers several treatment options for scar revision and management, including lasers, silicone and pressure.
Scar management at BRCA can include gradual scar revisions or more invasive procedures that can help reconstruct a patient’s injuries.
What is scar contracture?
At BRCA, our surgeons work closely with patients and physical therapists to implement preventive care plans to reduce the possibility of scar contractures through positioning, splinting and exercising the at-risk areas. In addition, BRCA offers management that ranges from medical massages and injections of certain medications through physical therapy and laser and other tissue rearrangements or new graft insertion. Your strategy for recovery will include plans between you and the surgical team to see what the best option for you is.
How does laser therapy help?
Laser scar revisions can assist with:
- Loosening of scars to improve range of motion
- Decrease itching
- Decrease pain
- Improve appearance of the scarred area
Types of scars
Laser technology is a preferred treatment choice for both hypertrophic and atrophic scars.
Hypertrophic scars have texture and are raised because of excessive collagen formation.
Atrophic scars are depressions in a patient’s skin caused by inflammatory skin conditions, such as chicken pox or cystic acne.
What scar therapy does BRCA offer?
Scar treatments at BRCA include the Fractional CO2 Laser and Intense Pulsed Light techniques.
- Fractional CO2 — The Fractional CO2 Laser treatment used at BRCA uses ablative fractional resurfacing, which works by making pinpoint holes in the scarred skin and then remodeling the skin through the creation or stimulation of collagen. This technique is used for exaggerated hypertrophic scars, but it can also benefit patients with wrinkles, acne scars or sagging facial tissue.
- Intense Pulsed Light — Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is a non-ablative treatment that uses a spectrum of light to target specific colors in your skin. IPL uses energy to heat the skin and remove unwanted cells, sending out multiple wavelengths simultaneously to treat a range of skin conditions. IPL therapy is non-invasive and treatments typically take a few minutes at a time.
While some scars need multiple treatments, IPL is recommended for patients with:
- Facial redness
- Dark spots, or liver spots
- Facial vines and broken capillaries
What to Expect After Laser Scar Revision Treatment
Laser scar removal enables you to reclaim your health and regain your self-confidence by reducing scarring. A scar removal laser is a popular and effective method for improving the appearance and softening rigid scars to improve function on the face and body, but what can you expect after the conclusion of laser treatments?
After treatment with a scar revision laser, expect to wear a bandage. The initial bandage wrapped around the treated area by your doctor should remain in place for at least 24 hours.
Following the 24 hours after reconstructive scar surgery, you should clean the area between two and five times per day following your provider’s instruction/direction. Healing ointments and creams may also be recommended for the healing process.
Expect the average healing time to take anywhere from 5 to 21 days, depending on the type of treatment and the person’s specific needs. Note that your skin color may not fully return to normal for several months.
Potential Complications of Laser Scar Revision
Laser scar revision could lead to several complications, none of which are dangerous to your health. While generally safe, it’s important to be aware of the potential for side effects before undergoing laser scar revision.
The two primary complications include:
Cold Sore Aggravation – Laser treatments can aggravate cold sores. Let your doctor know so they can provide antiviral medication before laser scar revision.
Milia – Milia resembles whiteheads and may occur after laser treatments. They are not dangerous, and a gentle exfoliation session is typically enough to remove them.
Please speak with our team if you are not sure what type of scar you have, or if you want to learn more about laser scar revision or other treatments that can help with your scar.