Scarring can happen anywhere on or in your body. Unattractive though it may be, scarring serves an important purpose in protecting your body. Once a scar forms, your skin heals, but it’s understandable if you’re not enjoying the evidence of the original injury.
Our warm and compassionate medical professionals at A to Z Dermatology in Mesa, Sun City, Casa Grande, Gold Canyon, and Chandler, Arizona have solutions that can help the look and feel of embarrassing scars on your body. Here’s a look at what causes scars to form and how laser therapy can help improve their appearance.
Before you think too badly of your scars, remember that they exist to keep you healthy. Scars prevent foreign objects and damaging microbes from entering your bloodstream, at which point, nothing can stop them from causing an infection, barring any illness against which you’ve been vaccinated.
When your skin suffers a minor trauma, like a cut, your body’s immune system goes to work to repair it. Platelets, which are single-celled cell fragments produced by bone marrow, rush to the open portion of your skin. Platelets bunch up against the wound, sticking together to form a clot that stops you from bleeding.
Your body starts to rebuild your damaged skin by employing the production of collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, and elastin, the protein that gives your skin the ability to bounce or snap back in place after being stretched or pinched. As your new skin forms, the scar protects the new skin from the elements until the new skin is mature. At that time, the scar dries completely and falls off.
There are a number of ointments and over-the-counter remedies that are effective at healing small, light scars on your skin. Some people have success with shea butter, which heals with its high vitamin E content, for example. For larger or deeper scars, like surgical or C-section scars, stronger therapies, particularly IPL laser light therapy, will be more effective.
Though IPL, or intense pulsed light, is typically used to treat the skin on your face, it is effective for scarring on any part of your body. A single wavelength of focused light heats the surface of your scar to break up raised or damaged tissue. In the same pulse, the light stimulates the production of collagen, encouraging new, smooth skin to grow in its place.
Though some laser light treatments can damage skin, IPL laser successfully penetrates the skin without damaging the top layer of the epidermis in light-skinned individuals. IPL light treatments are not recommended for deeper or richer complexions.
The number of treatments you will need will depend on the severity of your scar. Typically, you will need about six treatments to achieve your desired results.
We’re more than happy to assist you in your journey to smoother, softer skin. Before we recommend any treatment, we meet with you for a consultation, during which your provider goes over your medical history and identifies any possible risk factors. If you’re ready to get rid of unsightly, pesky scarring, call us today at any of our five locations, or book an appointment with us online.