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Anonymous asks:
Is there anything I can do about the scars on my knee? I went to a plastic surgeon before; he cut the damaged skin off and stitched it back together. However, that didn't last, as I had to use my knee to walk, causing the skin to stretch. Has there been any advancements (laser, solutions) in treating scars?

On: 03/28/2013 03:52 pm

To doctors from: Illinois

Category: Scars

Answers

DrMichelleCopeland on 04/03/2013 02:59 pm wrote:
Whether a scar results from an accident or a previous surgery, for many people it is bit a badge of courage but an unsightly or even deforming mark. In 5 to 10 percent of people, scars become hypertrophied because of an overproduction of scar tissue, and in some cases a keloid develops, causing a scar to appear dark, thickened, and raised. It used to be that to get rid of a scar, doctors had to excise it surgically and resuture the wound in such a way as to minimize its appearance. But that really meant just replacing one blemish with another one potentially just as noticeable.

Fortunately, today we have several ways to improve a scar's appearance. Some techniques are most effective when a scar is still fresh, such as pigment blocking creams to even out color, silicone gel to improve texture, and massage to break down the tissue. But we also have several options after a scar has fully formed. Steroids injected directly into the healed wound can help to shrink the tissue, as can CO2 lasers. Microdermabrasion can flatten the scar, while lasers can decrease the blood-vessel formation in the area and normalize color.