1. How do scars form?
Scars form part of the skin's natural healing process whenever multiple layers of skin are injured. The injury may result from an accident, surgery, burns, or severe acne.
2. What are the types of scars?
There are three types of scars: Atrophic, Hypertrophic, and Keloidal.
- Atrophic Scarring is depressed pin-like pockets in the skin that can result from skin conditions such as acne and chickenpox. Another presentation of atrophic scars is in the form of stretch marks or striae, the exact cause of which is unknown. It is, however, thought that stretch marks or striae are often due to excessive stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or rapid weight gain (e.g., pregnancy, muscle building, or rapid gain of fat).
- Hypertrophic Scarring is firm, raised, and pink scars that remain within the initial wound area and may fade over time. It is seen most commonly secondary to some injury or following surgery and is seen typically within six months of initial insult to the skin.
- Keloidal Scarring is a firm, raised, and reddish-purple scar that extend beyond the initial wound area and can increase in size with time. These scars are the most distressing to the patient regarding itching, pain, and unsightly surface. They are commonly seen in extensive burns and individuals with keloidal tendencies and hereditary predispositions.
3. How do stretch marks form?
Stretch marks or striae are often the results of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth (common in puberty) or weight gain (e.g., pregnancy, muscle building, or rapid gain of fat).
4. Scars on sensitive skin
One should always use good emollients while anticipating sudden weight gain or loss. This may minimize the appearance of stretch marks.
Is the scar removal treatment permanent?
Yes, the scar reduction is permanent.
How do lasers work on scars?
Laser beams work on the principle of producing micro-injuries in the deeper layers of skin, thus stimulating new collagen formation and making the scar shallow and narrower with each subsequent sitting.
Are Laser treatments for Stretch Marks a safe bet?
Yes, the ablative pixel Erbium YAG laser is the best bet for safety and efficacy on Indian skin. The biggest advantage of Laser treatment is the speed with which the results are achieved. Most patients notice improvement after the very first sitting.
Is the treatment painful?
The procedure feels like snapping a rubber band and is usually tolerated by most patients. But for sensitive individuals and at higher fluence levels, topical anesthesia with a mixture of lidocaine and prilocaine for 60 minutes before the procedure may be needed. As an alternative, cold air or ice may minimize discomfort.
Any side effects of Laser Removal for stretch marks & scars treatment?
No serious side effects or complications are noted post-treatment, however, some patients may get redness and inflammation over the treated area, which is self-limiting and settles overnight. Ice compresses may be applied to the treatment areas to speed up recovery and to make you more comfortable.
How many treatment sessions will I need?
Scar revision requires 3 to 5 sittings while stretch mark reduction requires 6 to 8.