Board-certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey explains how to make scars disappear, safely
There are countless products available online and at the drugstore that claim to work wonders on everything from wrinkles to age spots. Some products claim to work miracles on scars. Many of these over-the-counter and home remedy “miracle-workers” have little research behind them to support their claims. We encourage you to trust the health and beauty of your skin to medical professionals who understand the science behind the many scar treatment products and therapies. As a Board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Edmund Kwan knows how to make scars disappear or improve their appearance. From his offices in New Jersey, Manhattan, and Flushing, Dr. Kwan and his team safely and effectively treat those scars that don’t fade on their own, or that may grow and become worse over time.
The professional team at Edmund Kwan, MD is sensitive to the far-reaching consequences of those scars that are hard to hide under clothes or are impossible to camouflage with makeup. When skin doesn’t heal in a healthy manner following a burn, cut, sickness, surgery, or other trauma, the scars that are left are way more than skin deep; a patient’s psyche and confidence can also be damaged. You should feel comfortable bringing up any concerns (and questions) during your consultation with Dr. Kwan. The prescription medications and professional procedures available at his Fort Lee, New Jersey office may finally fade deep scars, and improve the appearance of scarred areas that are particularly uncomfortable and itchy.
Types and treatments
Flat scars or cicatrix
This type of scar tends to start off pinkish-red and a little raised, but it may flatten and lighten over time until it blends in with the surrounding skin. Problem is, sometimes as these scars heal, the resulting scar may be lighter or darker than the surrounding area. Proper care of wounds, scrapes, and cuts helps to prevent a raised scar from staying that way, while hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation may be treated with non-invasive procedures, such as lasers or other light-based devices.
Sometimes, your body’s healing goes into “overdrive.” In these cases, the tissue that forms during the skin repair process may extend well beyond the borders of the original injury. Keloids can be so expansive that they inhibit a person’s natural movement. Treatments may include surgery to remove the scar. As a plastic surgeon and experienced reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Kwan is adept at skillfully and precisely repairing scars with surgical excision. Additional treatments may include:
- Steroids injected into the scar to reduce its size and ease symptoms, such as itching. The number of injections required varies from person to person.
- Silicone sheets to flatten and reduce the size of scars. The doctor will advise on how to wear the sheets.
- Silicone sheets and pressure treatments with a dressing like an elastic bandage can also be used to prevent keloids among those who are prone to them, which include patients of African, Mediterranean, Indian, and Latin descent.
Often, patients know they’re at risk due to how their skin responds to an injury. Following the thorough post-surgical instructions Dr. Kwan provides also helps to minimize side effects such as scars. Partnering with a skilled surgeon for your procedure further helps to minimize your risk of scarring.
Similar to keloids, hypertrophic scars are raised and red but typically don’t grow beyond the boundaries of the wound. Steroid injections and silicone sheets can reduce inflammation and also flatten the scar, improving its appearance.
It’s not your run-of-the-mill “zit” that leaves behind reminders of past outbreaks. Long-term inflammatory acne can give rise to depressed or pitted scars with sloping edges. These “rolling scars” look more pronounced as the skin ages and loses its original elasticity and plumpness. “Boxcar scars” have steeper edges than rolling scars, and often cover smaller areas. Icepick scars resemble an empty pore, and may be quite deep.
Acne sufferers are less likely to develop hypertrophic or keloid scars. Treatments for depressed scarring generally involves removing scar tissue, and allowing the body to replace it naturally with functional, healthy tissue. Raised acne scars may respond to mechanical or laser resurfacing or surgical excision.
If your scar impairs you physically, scar removal treatment may be deemed “medically necessary” and may be covered, at least partially, by insurance. Dr. Kwan and the team will answer all your questions during a complimentary, personalized consultation at the New Jersey office. Since so much of how your scar looks and skin heals depends on many factors, such as your genes and skin type, it’s also helpful to turn to a surgeon like Dr. Kwan who has a long history of treating many different types of patients as an expert in ethnic plastic surgery.