”I wanted to talk a little bit today about the timing and use even, of resurfacing of the skin after scar revision. I’ve had a number of patients that have come in after injury, they’ve had scar repairs or they have had a primary repair in an emergency room and were concerned about the way the scar looked and wanted revision of the scar and I would say that resurfacing in general becomes an invaluable tool in getting best or optimal results after revision.

Typically scar revision which I’ve written a fair amount about it and I encourage you to visit my website MaasClinic.com and I’ve written a nice treatsy that’s an excerpt from a book chapter that I did on scars and scar revisions. If you look at the overall recovery phase of phases in wound healing using a method of resurfacing after we take an old scar out and repair it and one of the methods that I’ve described, it’s a very good way of blending that old scar with the surrounding skin and making it even less perceptible.

Now typically linear scars that are across prominent areas of the face like the cheek for example, have to be broken up into smaller components using techniques like geometric broken line closure or running W-plasties where the line is very irregular, it makes it much more difficult for the eye to perceive it and at some point usually about 6 weeks after the treatment, 4 to 6 weeks after the treatment while the wound has still pretty good strength from the wound healing process but is still in the very active phases of remodeling, we’ll commonly use fractional laser or you can still use full laser or ever sanding but fractional laser is a very good tool and I’ll go over that area and blend that scar that we’ve revised using fractional resurfacing in that time frame 4 to 6 weeks and we find that the scar actually even further sort of self-levels and melds and blends into the surrounding area more effectively, making the color match more even and even the texture of the scar itself closer to what the skin looks like in the surrounding regions.

There are really key areas obviously. There are some areas where we can hide scars and creases like the fold or around the hairline or ear where resurfacing isn’t necessary but I find that old or new scars can be improved with fractional laser resurfacing and I can really adjust the density how close together the little dots when it’s a fraction, it’s not the entire surface but only a portion and I can adjust how close together or how big of a fraction of resurfacing we’re doing over a scar to optimize the wound healing and blend it with the surrounding skin.

So it’s an excellent question about timing, 4 to 6 weeks is an optimal time if I’ve revised a scar but if somebody wants just improvement of an existing scar we can really do blending of that scar at any time with the method of resurfacing that’s appropriate for that region.

I encourage you to write questions to me at DrMass.com which is our video blog, you can send pictures, videos, I’m happy to do that or just write your questions. I’m always happy to answer them and I’m always looking forward to hearing more from you. This is Corey S. Maas MDTM on Looking Your Best.”

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