Edmund Kwan, M.D. knows that scars are more than skin deep. Scar removal treatment in NYC at the Manhattan office of Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Edmund Kwan helps you gain confidence. Treatment is tailored to your specific needs, such as skin and scar type.
All scars are not created equal
All scars are evidence that your body has healed an area of your skin that was damaged. Scars come in many different shapes and sizes because so many factors influence how damaged skin repairs itself. A scar looks the way it does due to:
- What caused the injury in the first place – Acne? Surgery? A burn?
- The size of the injured area
- The depth of the wound
- Where the damage occurred (the body part)
- How you treated the injury
In fact, you can prevent scars from forming or, at the very least, reduce their appearance. Wound care is important. Proper care includes keeping the site clean. Hydrogen peroxide can cause skin to deteriorate further. After the wound has healed, proper sun protection helps to reduce discoloration and allows the scar to fade faster. The use of silicone or silastic gel sheets – may also be an effective way to flatten the scar or improve its appearance after it’s formed.
Since your age, ethnicity, genes, and other personal characteristics can affect how skin heals and your odds of developing a specific type of scar, it’s helpful to know that Dr. Kwan has treated many different types of patients. He’s known as an “Asian plastic surgeon” for good reason. This experience with a diverse patient base aids in properly diagnosing scars and in developing a treatment plan that is both effective and gets the best results, while also minimizing potential risks of side effects.
Cicatrix or flat scars
Most scars are flat. When these scars first form, they may be red, pink, slightly raised, itchy, and painful. As skin heals, scars flatten out and may be almost indistinguishable in color from the surrounding skin. They can also be darker or lighter than the rest of your skin. Appropriate wound care increases the chance that a flat scar will develop rather than a raised one.
Hypertrophic or raised scars
This type of scar is firm and elevated above the surface of the skin. While these scars can flatten and appear less prominent, the process takes time. They tend to also arise on the chest, back, and shoulder areas. Sometimes, hypertrophic scarring produces itching and discomfort. It can also restrict movement if it forms on the shoulder, elbow, or at a joint. They don’t spread beyond the injured area. The application of silicone gel can prevent raised scars, especially those that form after surgery, and reduce the size, hardness, redness, swelling, and itching associated with existing scars.
Depressed or atrophic scars
Scars that sit below the skin’s surface produce a sunken or pitted look. They develop after severe acne or chickenpox clears and tend to become more noticeable as you get older. That’s because the depressed areas look more visible due to skin laxity and sagging. Dr. Kwan may use his extensive surgical expertise to lift the scar, bringing it closer to the skin’s surface. Surgery can also be used to break up scar tissue.
More common among patients with darker skin, keloids are characterized by an elevated appearance and they tend to jut out beyond the initial injury site. Keloids never go away without treatment and can reduce your ability to move easily, especially if they form over joints. Surgery may be recommended, or corticosteroids may be injected directly into the scar. Injections help to reduce the size of keloids or other types of raised scars, and ease symptoms like itching and pain.
After your skin is burned, a contracture scar may develop. As its name suggests, these scars are tighter and thicker than the rest of your skin. This tightening restricts movement and can spread into underlying muscles and nerves. A large keloid may also give rise to this type of scar. Surgery helps to increase your ability to move the affected area, and when in the hands of a Board-certified surgeon, the scar is removed precisely.