It’s bad enough that skin naturally starts to provide evidence of aging–with things like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, discolorations and that “chicken skin” texture (aka “crepiness” in beauty packaging and promotion lingo). Sure, some of those can be delayed with a diligent skin care routine and near obsessive application of sunscreen, but what about when the problem is a scar?
As skin ages, its ability to heal itself slows down–so skin damage is less apt to just recover and fade away in a few days. Also, with skin “thinning” and losing its elasticity, scars from earlier days can seem more apparent. And Palmer’s Cocoa Butter creams or lotions may not be enough to reduce the appearance of them.
Getting rid of scars–or diminishing the appearance of them as the process of “removing” them is really more about reducing their appearance as much as possible–might require a more professional approach. Here, NYC-based cosmetic surgeon Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank shares four scar reduction methods that he offers in his practice:
According to Dr. Frank, Dermapen is a tiny device that “takes the technique of needling and incorporates a new method to help minimize epidermal damage”–so there’s less pain. The Dermapen creates tiny holes in the scar tissue that ultimately promote new blood cell generation in order to help smoother skin develop in the area where the scar was. Dr. Frank often recommends a series of treatments that can range in number and recovery time depending on each individual’s case. Recovery can be as little as 1 day or as aggressive as a week. Anesthesia may include topical or injectional therapy.
2. Silicone Microdroplets
Dr. Frank refers to this scar therapy as “silicone injections that aim to help permanently rebuild tissue by stimulating the body’s own collagen production.” The scar treatment involves injecting numerous drops of sterile silicone oil at several points of the affected area. Given that the skin needs time to “rebuild”, these treatments are usually given at monthly intervals.
3. Fraxel Restore and Fraxel Repair
Fraxel is fractionated (hence, the name “fraxel”) CO2 laser therapy that comes in several levels of intensity to address various skin problems or conditions that are best served by skin resurfacing. There is Fraxel Re:fine, Fraxel Re:store and Fraxel Re:pair–Dr. Frank recommends Fraxel Restore or Fraxel Repair for scar treatment. Both laser therapies resurface skin–but Fraxel Restore is less invasive than Fraxel Repair.
4. Vbeam Laser
According to Dr. Frank, the Vbeam Laser is a laser technology that’s used to treat a variety of skin conditions including raised and red scars. Treatment with the Vbeam Laser can take as little as 15 minutes to two hours, depending on the number and size of treatment areas. Dr. Frank notes that the Vbeam Laser is most effective on scars that are darker in color.
As with all in-office cosmetic procedures, the number of treatments, the risks and benefits, the cost and the recovery time all need to be discussed with your doctor before treatment. For those patients in the New York/New Jersey metro area, Dr. Frank’s office is the 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center, 1049 5th Avenue, Suite 2B, NY, NY 10028. His office can be reached at 212-327-2919, and more information can be found at his website, www.pfrankmd.com.