Acne, burns, dog bites, falls, surgery and other such miserable events are not only traumatic to experience but, to add insult to injury, leave their marks in the forms of scars. You may be able to live with a scar on your knee, but even boxers dislike facial scars. The May 2012 issue of Allure enlists experts from different specialties to provide you with the most effective tools to disguise,improve and prevent facial scars.
If your scar is a white line, a New York City dermatologist recommends that you visit a professional who specializes in micropigmentation(like permanent eye makeup) to match your skin color and fill in the scar. This is a good tip for women with recent facelifts who want to wear high ponytails.
Mother warned us not to do pimple surgery in the bathroom, but we did, resulting in “ice pick scars” that taper down into tissue, creating a “V.” Prescription retinoid cream can improve these scars but an in-office “punch incision” treatment, at the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon or dermatologist, can erase them. “More severe cases require punch grafting, which involves covering the holes with a slightly larger bit of skin taken from behind the ear,” advises a Manhattan professor of dermatology. If any unevenness remains after a week, dermabrasion or a laser will clear it up.
What about wavy acne scars? If you have a depressed scar; a “rolling” (wavy) scar; or pocked “boxcar” scars, resembling large pores or indentations left from stitches, the Manhattan dermatologist recommends undergoing treatments using lasers, fillers, or a combination of the two.
According to a 2011 study in Dermatologic Surgery, patients experience about a 72 percent decrease in scarring with four or five sessions of fractional lasers spaced two weeks apart.
So, what can you do to minimize scarring following a simple injury? For a minor burn or a skinned knee, clean the area with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser, and apply cool compresses. Then apply a moisturizing ointment like Aquaphor or Silvadene and cover the injured area with gauze or a bandage. A dermatologist advises that the thinking used to be “air it out,” but not anymore. Moisture allows skin cells and blood vessels to regenerate quickly. Reapply ointment frequently; if a scab forms, it’s too dry. When the skin is healed, apply a scar-diminishing balm such as KeloCote daily and protect from the sun.
Finally, any ragged cut that would benefit from stitches, but doesn’t get them, can scar. If you’re in the ER needing stitches, ask for the plastic surgeon on call. Further, a Manhattan plastic surgeon advises, “Make an appointment to have the stitches removed, usually after about four days, since waiting too long can result in one of those railroad track-like Frankenscars.”
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