Laser Scar Revision
Scar treatment is an essential part of minimizing damage after undergoing trauma. For children, the presence of a noticeable and unpleasant scar can have lasting psychological ramifications that affect their development during adolescence, in addition to the unwanted aesthetic consequences. At Pediatric Wound Care & Laser Specialists, Dr. Amaya employs the latest in laser therapy and scar revision technology to provide his pediatric patients with the best in scar treatments.
What Type of Scars Can Be Treated With Lasers?
Laser scar revision can effective reduce the color and texture multiple types of scars to include the following:
- Traumatic Scars (sports injuries, automobile accidents, fall injuries)
- Burn Scars
- Surgical Scars (Sternotomy Scars, Laceration Scars, Tracheostomy Scars, Abdominal Surgery Scars)
- Medical Procedures (Skin/Tissue Biopsies, Chest Tube Placement)
- Medical Complications (IV Infiltrates/Extravasation, Contractures)
- Acne Scars
What Causes Scars?
Scars form as the result of trauma, burns, complex surgeries and infections. When injuries extend beneath the epidermis, the superficial top layer of the skin, and into the deeper layers of the dermis, the body’s wound response activates by providing nutrients to and increasing collagen production in the affected area. The resulting scar tissue looks and feels different than surrounding skin. Scar tissue also does not produce sweat or grow hair, functioning differently than skin in the same area. While minor scars are typically only aesthetically concerning, large scars or scars located on joints or other functional areas of the body can have lasting effects.
Why Treat Scars?
While scars can negatively affect outward appearance, their ramifications can go beyond just the superficial. Scar tissue is less elastic than normal tissue and can cause discomfort for children, including itchiness, tightness and pressure. Scarring can impact range of motion if present on joints or even restrict breathing if a large scar forms on the chest. The development of eschars, dry and dark pieces of inelastic scar tissue, can create range of motion limitations that often require treatment. When scars do form, whether the concern is aesthetic or functional, laser therapy can be an effective option for remodeling the scar tissue and improving quality of life.
Advanced Laser Technology
Topical agents can provide simple scar treatment and are often the first choice in scar revision therapy. When topical agents are not enough or patients and their families wish to pursue other options, Dr. Amaya can provide the latest in laser scar treatments. At Pediatric Wound Care & Laser Specialists, Dr. Amaya uses the Lumenis UltraPulse and Quanta Light 4V systems to treat his pediatric patients undergoing scar revision.
The Lumenis UltraPulse is a fractional CO2 laser, meaning it targets only a small percentage of the affected area at a time. Fractional laser treatments benefit from fast recovery times and minimized side effects, without reducing results. The Lumenis UltraPulse laser is specifically designed for scar revision and penetrates deeper than any other aesthetic CO2 laser. This ablative laser treatment improves the underlying structure of lesions to restore more normal collagen structuring.
Dr. Amaya also utilizes the Quanta Light 4V laser for scar revision, medically-indicated hair removal and treating lesions. Dr. Amaya will determine which laser treatment, if any, is the best option for treating each patient’s scar or lesion.
Pediatric Laser Scar Treatments
Dr. Amaya can target a wide variety of scars using advanced laser treatments. Scars resulting from trauma-related injuries, like sports injuries, burns, car accidents and fall injuries, can all benefit from scar revision treatments. Laser treatments can also target scars that result from surgeries and other medical procedures. Topical ointments and creams can prevent scars from forming or diminish scars that already exist, making them a common first response option. When topical agents fall short or other methods are warranted, laser treatments can provide powerful scar remodeling for effective treatment.
Preventing scars from forming is typically easier than treating scars that already exist. At the onset of an injury, Dr. Amaya will work to ensure any scarring that occurs during the healing process is minimized. He will also work with pediatric patients who have scars that have reached full maturation, usually nine months to one year after the date of the injury or medical procedure.
While modern scar revision has advanced greatly, it is important to note that no scar will ever have the appearance of normal tissue, even after extensive treatments. Having realistic expectations about the final outcome is an important part of the scar revision process.