An informative article on the subject of post-laser wound care was recently published on Plastic Surgery Practice web site.

The author, Joseph Niamtu III, DMD, FAACS, discusses recent trends in laser treatments and focuses on post-treatment care:

Inducing an intentional and controlled second-degree facial burn removes the entire epithelium and part of the dermis. This is obviously a giant insult to the normally intact integument. Patients who undergo fully ablative, high-fluence, high-density, multipass CO2 laser resurfacing have to understand in the preop period that this treatment will be their hobby for 4 to 6 weeks. I am very blunt with my patients who are considering this type of laser treatment, and I do not sugarcoat the recovery.

Read more of his discussion here.

Stratpharma AG, Swiss based specialty pharmaceutical company has developed Stratamed, the first silicone-based scar management product that may be applied to open wounds and compromised skin after procedures discussed in Dr Niamtu’s article, such as laser skin resurfacing. The new product helps with rapid epithelialization, reduces down-time, and is the only silicone gel treatment that improves the outcome of scarring by up to 78%.

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Acne is the most common skin disorder, affecting around 15% of the adult population and up to 80% of adolescents. Facial scarring because of acne occurs to some degree in most cases. The majority of acne scars are flat and depressed below the surrounding skin (atrophic), generally small and often round with an indented or inverted centre. To prevent acne scars, do not pop, squeeze, or pick at acne; do not pull scabs of acne; seek treatment early for acne that does not respond to OTC medications.

Types of Acne Scars:

–          red and/or hyperpigmented marks: a post-inflammatory change that usually disappears in 6-12 months

–          acne scars – icepick: depressed scars, deep, narrow and sharp; usually too deep for dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing

–          acne scars – boxcar: depressed scars, round with sharp edges

–          rolling acne scars: depressed scars, wavy texture in the skin

–          keloids and hypertrophic scars are raised acne scars that may become larger and more noticeable, sometimes painful and itchy.  

Silicone gel like Strataderm is effective for treatment of acne scars and prevention of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Other effective treatments for depressed acne scars include laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, scar surgery (punch excision, punch elevation, punch graft, subcutaneous incision), fillers, chemical peel, microdermabrasion and similar procedures that you should discuss with your dermatologist. For raised acne scars, like keloid and hypertrophic scars, your doctor might consider options like intralesional injections, cryotherapy, surgery, laser and light therapy. Your dermatologist will be able to create a treatment plan based on the type of your acne acne scars, results you can expect, and your medical history.

Acne Scars:

 This study demonstrates that the combination of pulsed dye laser treatment and steroid injection is more effective in reducing the size of symptomatic keloids than either treatment alone. Laser followed by injection is also better than the reverse order of treatment.

Jaimie Shores, MD, Allen Gabriel, MD, Cherrie Heinrich, MD, and Subhas Gupta, MD, PhD.:  Comparison and Sequential Study of Laser and Intralesional Corticosteroid Injection Treatments of Keloids