For many people, scars are a reminder of a painful or embarrassing time in their life—embarrassment that often continues due to the ongoing appearance of the scarring. Scars can occur following any type of trauma or from skin problems such as acne, and visible scars can negatively affect self-esteem and confidence. The good news? Scars don’t have to rule your life forever, thanks to the great results of skin treatments we offer at our offices in Miami. Scar resurfacing has come a long way, and today there are many minimally invasive procedures available that can improve the appearance of scars and rejuvenate the skin for better facial aesthetics.
How Does Scar Resurfacing Work?
There are several different treatments that can be used to address shallow scars and skin redness, all of which work to stimulate the body to produce more collagen and new skin cells, smoothing the skin and improving tone and texture. Collagen is the structural protein responsible for keeping the skin smooth, supple and firm, and many treatments encourage the body to produce more of this protein, leading to scar improvement. Skin treatments can also address redness found in new scars, leading to a better overall appearance.
Scar Resurfacing Treatments
Though resurfacing treatments may seem very similar, there are definite differences in the method of treatment and the expected results. An expert dermatologist like Dr. Walder can evaluate your skin and recommend the best treatment for your needs. Scar resurfacing options we offer include the following:
CO2RE Fractional CO2 Resurfacing
Carbon dioxide laser treatments have been a trusted tool for dermatologists and plastic surgeons for years, thanks to their reliable results. Fractional lasers are a gentler version of the fully ablative lasers and can be used to reduce the appearance of scarring by using gentle pulses of light to carefully destroy damaged skin, allowing new skin cells and collagen to form. The laser treats both the upper and lower tissues, also penetrating deep into the skin and targeting damaged cells for renewal.
CO2RE fractional CO2 resurfacing is performed in the office, and patients receive local anesthesia to avoid discomfort during the procedure. This procedure requires only a single treatment and involves less downtime than fully ablative lasers.
Laser Genesis® is a gentle laser treatment that is perfect for patients with busy schedules. It’s a non-invasive laser treatment that works by heating the upper dermis of the skin, stimulating collagen production and smoothing the complexion. This is a great treatment for redness and large pores as well as for reducing the appearance of scarring.
The treatment is so gentle that no anesthesia is needed and patients can get back to normal activities right away. The skin may remain pink for a few hours after treatment, but this subsides quickly.
A radiofrequency treatment that targets the deep tissues and leaves some healthy skin to hasten the healing process, eMatrix™ can treat many different skin concerns, including scarring. Because the procedure does not involve the use of light, this treatment is safe for all skin types and produces great results after a series of 3-5 treatments on average.
No anesthesia is needed for eMatrix™ treatments, though there may be some minor discomfort (patients often describe a prickling sensation). Minor swelling can easily be controlled with prescribed creams and medications, and patients should be back to their normal routines within a few days. Treatments are typically spaced 4-6 weeks apart.
A pulsed dye laser that is often used for skin discoloration and redness, V-Beam uses gentle pulses of light to target unwanted pigment. The advanced hand piece uses a cooling device to protect the top layer of skin and reduce discomfort during the procedure. Some patients prefer topical numbing during the treatment, but it is not required as the sensation is usually a mild warm/tingling feeling.
Most patients need 2-4 treatments, which are spaced about 4 weeks apart.
Who is a Candidate for Scar Resurfacing?
There are so many options available that any healthy adult with realistic expectations can be a candidate for scar resurfacing. It’s important to remember that, though the treatments we offer can produce great results, they cannot work miracles. Patients should discuss their expectations during the initial consultation and make sure moving forward is the right choice before taking the next step.
Your Scar Resurfacing Consultation
If scars are causing you embarrassment or poor self-esteem, then you should consider scheduling a consultation at our Miami offices to learn more about treatment options. Only a board certified cosmetic dermatologist or plastic surgeon can give you the expert advice you need to reach your scar resurfacing goals. During your consultation, you will discuss your needs for treatment, and Dr. Walder will evaluate your scars and make recommendations about which treatments might help you based on the severity of the scarring, your lifestyle, and other factors. During the consultation, she will also evaluate your candidacy for treatments that interest you, and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. This is a good time to get to know Dr. Walder and our practice.
The Scar Resurfacing Procedure
While each treatment varies in terms of the specific treatment process and anesthesia, all resurfacing procedures follow a similar process. First, anesthesia is administered (if needed), and a cool gel is sometimes applied to protect the skin, depending on the treatment. A special hand piece is used to deliver laser or radiofrequency energy into the skin, helping the body to renew the skin and produce healing collagen. Most scar resurfacing treatments are brief, though some require multiple treatments for good results, especially for minimally invasive options.
Recovery & Downtime
Skin treatments have become much gentler over the last decade, and most scar resurfacing procedures do not require extensive downtime. More invasive and powerful treatments like carbon dioxide laser procedures require a few days of downtime, as well as some patience while the side effects of the procedure fade. Other treatments will only result in minor redness or swelling, allowing patients to get back to normal activities almost at once. Your preferences and ability to take time off for recovery will be one of the factors in which procedure is right for you.
Scar Resurfacing FAQs
Is scar resurfacing safe for all skin types?
Some treatments are suitable for people of all skin types and colors, while others may pose risks such as hyperpigmentation for patients with dark skin. During your consultation, Dr. Walder will perform an assessment and recommend treatments that are safe for your specific skin type.
How should I care for my skin after scar resurfacing treatments?
It is very important to protect the skin from the sun following resurfacing procedures. Strong sunscreen, protective clothing, and avoiding the sun when it’s at its brightest will help prevent any sun damage from occurring. Sun damage after resurfacing procedures can result in brown discoloration (hyperpigmentation) or reduce the results gained from the procedure.
Which treatment is best for me?
You and your provider will discuss your treatment options during your consultation and determine the plan that is right for you. Only an expert can provide specific advice on reaching your resurfacing goals so it’s best to keep an open mind when you attend your consultation.
Are there risks to the scar resurfacing procedure?
Some treatments have side effects and rare complications associated with them, but most treatments are extremely safe, resulting in only mild side effects such as temporary swelling and redness. You and your doctor will go over the potential risks, and you’ll get tips on preventing these complications before and after the procedure.
Will my scars go away completely?
There are no guarantees in cosmetic treatments, unfortunately, since every patient has different needs. In most cases, patients can expect significant improvement but not complete resolution of scarring. Your doctor will provide you with specific expectations during your consultation that can help you estimate results.
Discuss Your Options with an Expert
If you’re ready to finally banish unsightly scarring, give us a call at our Miami practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Diane Walder and her colleagues. Dr. Walder is an acclaimed cosmetic dermatologist who can help you reach your scar resurfacing goals. Call 305-866-2177 today to schedule your consultation appointment.