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Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion vs. Microdermabrasion

Dermabrasion and microdermabrasion are two skin treatments that may sound similar, but they are actually two very different procedures. Dermabrasion works on more layers of skin, so it can treat deep wrinkles, scars, and hyperpigmentation. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, only provides an intensive exfoliation that rejuvenates the skin, but does not work on skin problems that run deep. Before getting one of these treatments, you should understand the difference so that you get the right treatment for your situation.

What is Dermabrasion?

Dermabrasion is a treatment in which a dermatologist or plastic surgeon uses a special instrument to basically sand your skin. This allows new, smoother skin to replace the skin that has been treated. Dermabrasion is often used to remove scars on the skin, especially the face, such as acne scars or pox marks. It can also work on deep wrinkles and other skin problems. However, it cannot help with some skin problems, such as pigmented birthmarks, moles, or burn scars. It can also cause discoloration or scarring in those with darker skin. Dermabrasion is typically performed in a doctor’s office and requires some type of anesthetic. You might also be given medicine to help you relax.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is performed by spraying small exfoliating crystals on the skin to remove the unsightly or damaged sin. It is basically an intensive exfoliation and skin rejuvenating treatment, rather than any type of surgery and does not require any anesthetic. It works best on skin problems such as age spots, dark spots, or dull skin, although it can also help with fine lines and wrinkles. It does not work on removing skin problems that effect many layers of skin, including stretch marks, wrinkles, scars, or deep acne scars. It only makes subtle changes, improving your complexion, and does not affect the skin’s pigment, so it is safe on all skin types and skin colors.

What is the Difference Between the Two?

Dermabrasion is more invasive than microdermabrasion. It affects deeper layers of the skin, so it can work on scars and other significant skin problems. However, it also means there is a longer healing time. You might feel a burning sensation for a few days, and you might be given medicine to help with the discomfort. The healing time lasts between 7 and 10 days, although the skin may remain pink for about six to eight weeks. You have to avoid sunlight until the pink color fades. Microdermabrasion, on the other hand, has a smaller window of healing. The skin will be temporarily pink, but within 24 hours it is well.

Because dermabrasion is a more invasive treatment, it also has more possible side effects. It could cause uneven changes in skin color that may be temporary or permanent, it might cause a scar, infection may occur, and there may be a darkening of the skin. Microdermabrasion on the other hand has minimal side effects, typically just the potential for irritation if the crystals get into eyes. Once you have undergone the treatment, be sure to take care of the skin to ensure it heals well and does not lead to more problems.

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Which is Better for Scars: Silicone Creams or Silicone Sheets?

Which is Better for Scars: Silicone Creams or Silicone Sheets?

There are endless treatments for scars – lotions and gels, ointments and injections. They’re stuffed into pharmacy aisles and online inventories alike, promising fast results and easy healing. However, two of these treatments manage to keep those promises.

Silicone creams and silicone sheets counter the effects of scarring. They both relieve inflammation while also decreasing rigidity and improving elasticity. They also both deliver concentrated polymers to the skin, improving its appearance, texture, and collagen responses. This makes them ideal for treatment – but which is best?

What is Silicone’s Effect on Scars?

Silicone proves essential in the healing process. It infuses the skin with key amines (organic nitrogen-based compounds) to maintain proper hydration and oxygenation levels. It also interrupts the body’s excessive collagen composition, stabilizing levels to reduce the build-up of tissue. This ensures that scars heal quickly and minimizes their overall appearance.

Read More: Scar Healing

What is Silicone Cream?

Silicone cream, as its name suggests, is a spreadable topical formulation fortified with silicone. It allows for direct skin contact, with individuals applying it to their scar sites. This introduces amines into the body and expedites healing.

Read More: Silicone Creams

What is a Silicone Sheet?

A silicone sheet is an adhesive product. It’s a two-sided design similar to a bandage that combines a latex shell with silicone gel padding. This padding rests against the scar and delivers steady nutrients throughout the day. It’s typically reusable.

Read More: Silicone Sheets

Which is Best: Silicone Creams or Silicone Sheets

The effectiveness of silicone creams and sheets are undeniable. Both products, according to studies conducted by Dr. Thomas A. Mustoe, a member of the Feinberg School of Medicine, promote accelerated healing within the body and reduce the effects of scarring. They’re useful against keloids, hypertrophic scars, contractures, and more. However, one does offer distinct advantages over the other.

Silicone creams are more efficient for daily use. Their lightweight formulas absorb directly into the skin, rather than requiring adhesives (which can roll, twist, or come undone.) Cream is easily used with other topical options such as sun block, make-up, moisturizers, or cleansers, and they’re undetectable. It’s also easily applied to facial areas, where sheets often prove cumbersome. These benefits make them ideal for the treatment of new and old scars alike.

Read More: New and Old Scars

Consult With a Physician

Silicone creams offer the same advantages as silicone sheets, but are much easier to use. Some individuals, however, may require more extensive procedures to treat their scars – such as dermabrasion, micro-needling, chemical peels, facial revisions, and more. Be sure to consult with a physician if you have a very complex scar.

Read More: Scar Treatments

Silicone scar products are the gold standard in scar therapy. This makes them perfect for treating inflammation, rigidity, and more.

Have a question about silicone creams, sheets, or other options? Leave us a comment! We’ll be happy to provide more information. Subscribe to Scars and Spots to get our posts delivered to your inbox.

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Risks with Scar Reduction Surgery

Risks with Scar Reduction Surgery

Healing often proves slow. Those suffering from scars often find themselves growing impatient and turn to scar reduction surgery, thinking it is a better option than topical treatments. Is it? Let’s examine the process and its risks.

When topical scar therapy fails, more invasive techniques used to reduce the appearance of scars include laser resurfacing, dermabrasion, and surgical scar revision.

What is Surgical Scar Revision?

Scar revision surgery is the most invasive technique for reducing scar appearance but often yields the most impressive results. It typically involves:

  • Numb the patient with anesthesia.
  • Remove rough or dead cells from the scar site using surgical excision.
  • Identify viable skin flaps (adjacent pieces of tissue, unaffected by the scar).
  • Gently lift skin flaps over the previous scar site, bring the edges together and suture them together.

Scar revision surgery is usually performed by plastic surgeons. When performed correctly, scar revision surgery delivers the maximum results while minimizing additional incisions. However, patients must realize that with this method comes a variety of risks.

Read More: Scar Reduction

What are the Risks of Scar Reduction Surgery?

Those considering scar reduction surgery should note the potential dangers involved:

  • Most scar revisions can be performed under local anesthetic. Even though this is less risky than general anesthesia, local anesthetics still come with risks including allergic reactions
  • Skin discoloration
  • Skin swelling
  • Nerve damage
  • Infection at the incision site
  • Post-Op bleeding
  • Further ugly scarring
  • Pain at the surgical site which may continue for weeks

Many of these issues often prove temporary, but the possibility of permanent complications remains after any surgery, even the most minor. Individuals should thoroughly discuss the scar reduction process with their doctors, as well as note any current conditions they have that may increase their risks.

Read More: Surgery

What is the Expected Recovery Time for Scar Reduction Surgery?

There is no established timeline for scar reduction recovery. Some patients may heal within two weeks, while others instead require a month. It depends greatly on:

Scar Type – Certain scars, such as keloids, can be more extensive and more difficult to remove. The more extensive the surgery, the longer recovery can take.

Scar Location – The placement of the scar site directly affects its overall healing speed. Scars over joints are constantly subjected to movement and can therefore take longer to heal. Occasionally, the scar revision site may be immobilized to encourage faster healing.

Age and Genetics – The person’s age and their genetic traits impact healing tremendously. Older patients tend to heal with less scarring. Some people are genetically “better healers”!

Read More: Scar Healing

Scar reduction surgery can be highly beneficial for many patients.. However, there are inherent risks with any surgical procedure and patients should approach it with caution. Discuss your options fully with your plastic surgeon, and make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery!

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What Is the Difference Between Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars?

What Is the Difference Between Atrophic and Hypertrophic Scars?

No two scars are alike. Each one is shaped by genetics, metabolism, perfusion cycles, oxygenation rates, and more – and different wounds respond to different treatments. It’s important, therefore, to understand how the most common tissue tears can be healed. Let’s examine atrophic and hypertrophic scarring.

Read More: Types of Scars

What are Atrophic Scars?

Atrophic scars are flat lesions that appear on the face and body. They’re formed when fatty deposits beneath scar sites disintegrate, causing a sudden recession of collagen and muscle. This decreases the overall elasticity of the skin and creates a shallow, pitted effect.

Atrophic scars are typically associated with skin disorders, such as: chickenpox, cystic acne, or extensive ultraviolet damage. Their sizes, textures, and depths vary greatly. They’re not generally considered painful, but they are often prone to irritation or inflammation.

What are Hypertrophic Scars?

Hypertrophic scars are, unlike their atrophic counterparts, raised lesions. They occur when an excess of collagen builds within the body, causing the tissue to thicken dramatically. They’re clustered around the scar site (unlike keloids, which spiral outward) and feature red, textured appearances.

Hypertrophic scars have many causes – cuts, surgery, burns, or even acne. They will often heal on their own, but the process is slow and sometimes painful (extreme irritation or itching may occur).

How Do Patients Treat These Scars?

Treatment starts with identification. Once patients establish whether they’re suffering from atrophic or hypertrophic scars, they can then quicken the healing process.

Atrophic Scars

Atrophic scars occur when external factors interrupt the body’s collagen process. There are, however, several treatments available to reinvigorate this process:

Dermabrasion

Cylindrical pads move across the scar site, buffing away olds cells and encouraging the growth of new ones. Skin is gently stimulated and collagen production resumes.

Soft Tissue Injections

Soft tissue injections introduce patients to new collagen, pumping controlled doses directly into the scar site. This slowly rebuilds elasticity and fullness.

Silicone Gels

Silicone gels restore natural hydration levels, helping skin achieve greater mobility. They also soften pitted tissue and minimize the appearance of atrophics.

Hypertrophic Scars

Hypertrophic scars occur when the body releases too much collagen, but several treatments are now available to maintain proper production, including:

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy utilizes bursts of light to penetrate the skin, with high-frequency pulses reversing the collagen flow.

Compression Therapy

Compression therapy relies on varying degrees of pressure (often achieved through bandages) to slowly eliminate build-ups of collagen.

Vitamin C Complexes

Vitamin C complexes infuse tissue with key nutrients, helping to stabilize collagen production. They also reduce redness, irritation, and rigidity.

Before starting any scar treatment program patients should consult with their physicians.

Read More: Get Rid of Scars

Atrophic and hypertrophic scars rank among the most common afflictions worldwide. They affect men, women, and children alike. Learn how to identify them to ensure successful healing.

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How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

How to Avoid Scars from Pimples

Excess oil beneath the skin signals a variety of problems, with the most frustrating of these being pimples. These tiny pustules appear on the face and body, housing bacteria, dead cells, and sebum secretions. They cause surface inflammation, irritation, and even scars.

According to the Acne Resource Center Online, 25% of individuals suffering from pimples will have some form of scarring – whether atrophic, hypertrophic, or hyper-pigmented. To combat this statistic we suggest examining both the causes of scars and the available treatments.

The Causes of Pimple Scarring

Acne is far more than a series of pimples, blackheads, and whiteheads. It’s also a medical disorder, triggering several effects beneath the skin. These effects – which include cyst production, nodular inflammation, and blood vessel penetration – directly impact surface and interior tissue, damaging them both.

With this damage comes a sudden production of collagen, with the body trying to repair itself. These repairs, however, often fail:

Too Much Collagen: the body produces an excess amount of collagen and causes tissue build-up. Scars then form, with raised appearances and reddened edges.

Too Little Collagen: the body produces too little collagen and the skin begins to sink, pitting the tissue and causing scars.

Read More: Acne Scars

How to Avoid Pimple Scarring

Pimple scarring is unfortunate. It’s also often avoidable. Those wishing to reduce their chances of atrophic or hypertrophic effects should:

Treat Acne Immediately

Utilize OTC or prescription treatments as soon as acne appears. This will interrupt the damage cycle and maintain tissue health.

Avoid Picking at the Skin

Popping a pimple may seem wise. Too often, however, does this cause further complications, releasing bacteria back into the skin (which often creates more acne) and triggering collagen production. Don’t do it.

Follow Hygiene Regimens

Daily, gentle scrubbing of the skin often proves essential in avoiding scars. Remove excess oil, dead cells, bacterial pus, and other free radicals to maintain appropriate moisture and elasticity levels. Tissue remains balanced and less likely to require collagen.

Study Genetics

Multiple factors shape the body’s healing process. None are more important, however, than genetics. Pimples are prevalent in some families, with members prone to breakouts and scarring alike. See how often these issues have occurred in the past to better prepare for their developments in the future.

Utilize these suggestions to reduce acne and avoid scarring.

Read More: Get Rid of Acne Scars

Consult With a Dermatologist

Acne is a disease. Seeking help from a dermatologist, therefore, is highly recommended for those who suffer from frequent breakouts. These specialists deliver key information about prescription options and OTC cleansers. They also prove helpful for patients wishing to improve the appearance of existing pimple scars, offering access to dermabrasions, tissue injections, and more.

Read More: Dermatologists

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