Scar Revision / Scar Repair Questions and Answers Archive

Dec
2001

Q&A: What should I do if I think my birthmark, removed 4 years ago, may be coming back?

Question:

i had a birthmark removed from my face 4 years ago and it went well. i only was left with a little pink scar which wasn't very visible. however it feels like it may be growing back. is it possible to take that long for a birthmark to grow back and if so is there anything i can do to get rid of it besides having surgery again?

- scott

Answer:

 Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Scott, I am not certain if you had a vaascular (red) or a pigmented (dark brown or black) birthmark. Some pigmentation can recur after laser procedures requiring occasional repeated treatments. Most of my patients require treatments about one year apart for recurrence.

-- Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Dec
2001

Q&A: What treatments are there to remove dark pigment scars resulting from past acne on my back?

Question:

My questions regards bad achne scars. I have had bad achne problems through out my teenage years and now it has somewhat scared my back with dark pigments that's obvious when i take off my shirts. Its very embarassing around friends and I would like to know if there are any treatment of resolving it. Lazer treatment ?? Its an embarrassing fact and i can't seem to find someone to ask these personal problems. Where should i start looking and who can help me? Thank you much for your time...

- Jon

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

There are a few potential treatments: microdermabrasion, mild chemical peels, and laser treatments. I would start by seeing a dermatologist who is affiliated with the American Society of Dermatological Surgery by going to www.asds-net.org and seeing if you can locate someone in your area by clicking on where it says "find a dermatologic surgeon". These are dermatologists who are more oriented towards cosmetic problems and hopefully can find a solution for you. Good Luck!

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: Where can I find a surgeon who specializes in scar revision for a temple-to-temple scar on my 14 year old daughter?

Question:

My 14-year old daughter needs scar revision for a scar that runs from temple to temple just behind the hair line. The scar is a remnant of surgery at 4 months of age to correct craniosyntosis(fusing of the plates of the skull on the right temporal side). She had corrective surgery at age 11 to try to revise the scar and fill in a concave area on the right temple with porex. The scar is instead wider and the porex implant may need to be trimmed back to give a more symmetrical appearance. I am looking for a surgeon or surgical group that has extensive experience with this type of problem. Thank you for any information or referral you can provide. This is covered by our insurance which has a nationwide network so we are willing to travel wherever it takes to get the proper attention to this problem.

- James

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear James, The scar revision and skull contouring should be able to be corrected by any plastic surgeon with additional training in craniofacial procedures. I would suggest that you contact Dr. Henry Kawamoto in Santa Monica, CA (310) 829-0391 who may be able to refer you to someone competent closer to your home.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii



Nov
2001

Q&A: What should my mother do for a 5-month old, oblong, quarter-sized, rough-textured patch on her cheek from sun burn?

Question:

My mother (57) sunburned her face 2x this year. In June a patch formed on her cheek below her orbital bone. It was small like a pimple but now it is the size of a quarter and oblong in shape. It is rough in texture ( scar looking). Her Dr. advised polysporin be used and says not to worry. This has been 5months now. Her Dr wont refer her to a specialist. What should we do?Urgent

- Iris

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

I can't really say unless I saw it, but it sounds like it should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Ask your neighbors and friends who is a reputable dermatologist in the area and then make an appointment. Then write a letter to your insurance company and the doctor complaining that he isn't giving you a diagnosis yet says you don't need a specialist. Seeing a dermatologist may cost you some money (but it should be less than $100) and if he/she feels that it is a problem and needs to be treated than perhaps he/she can convince your doctor to refer you for treatment. If all this occurs and he still won't refer you, get a new doctor.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: What procedure can be used to lighten the color of skin?

Question:

Are there any procedures such as tattoing, etc. for the lightening of skin? What was Michael Jacksons procedure for the lightening of his skin?

- yahaira

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

You can lighten the skin with various bleaching agents, the most utilized was hydroquinone in a 4% formulation (need a prescription) or over the counter in a 2% formulation. Much higher percentages can be utilized for more permanent results and there is speculation that this is what Michael Jackson used but I have no confirmed information about his treatments. Kojic acid is another chemical that may help lighten the skin. Other treatments would include laser treatments or chemical peels. There are tattoo artists skilled in hiding scars with flesh colored tattoos, but I am not sure how this would work if a large surface area were involved.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: Would chemical peel be recommended to remove my patches of red acne scars?

Question:

I am 18 years old and have dealt with mild acne since i was 13. My skin has scarring and i would like to know if a chemical peel would be recommeded. I have little to no acne now, and would like to rid my face of the red scar patches. Is a peel worth it?

- Jennifer

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

You call them red scar patches. Does this mean they are mainly red, or red and indented. The redness makes me think you may be a candidate for a procedure called photorejuvenation, a new treatment for rosacea and sun damage. If there is red in the scar this procedure will help to remove it, plus stimulate the skin underneath to grow new collagen. Find a practitioner in your area or more about this at www.aslms.org or photorejuvenation.com or at esc-med.com. Microdermabrasion can help smooth out superficial scars (indents) but needs to be performed multiple times. Similarly, mild chemical peels would need to be done in a series. Neither peels nor microdermabrasion will help with redness.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Oct
2001

Q&A: What can I do to have lesions removed from my labia area?

Question:

I'm in the Navy and just recently went to the doctor for numerous small blue 2-3mm flat to slightly raised lesions on the vulvar/labia area. They told me it was Hemangiomas and that there was nothing they could do, even though they don't cause me any pain or discomfort. However, is there anything that can be done to get rid of them? What are my options?

- Susan

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

You could have them lasered with a vascular lesion laser (there are many including pulsed dye, KTP, intense pulsed light and more) or you could have them cauterized (more likely to leave small scars but would be effective. If you are looking for a treatment I would recommend you ask your base physicians about seeing a dermatologist with laser experience. Usually the Navy derms are very on top of things!

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Oct
2001

Q&A: What is the best way to get rid of acne scars and now hair on my face?

Question:

I have a couple of questions wrapped into one. When I was younger, I had pretty severe acne which left me with many scars on my face. Some of them are purplish, and others are what look like little "pits". Although they've faded quite a bit, I still find them hard to look at in the mirror each morning. What is my best bet to get rid of them? Also, I've noticed that I've been developing more facial hair (which I find disgusting) and it's to the point that I can't handle plucking and waxing anymore. I've heard of laser hair removal-what is this exactly? Is it painful? Is there any kind of miracle treatment that will cure me of my scars AND hair? If not, which should I try to clear up first? Approximately how expensive are the treatments? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

- Stephanie

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

3 of the best choices for the acne scars would be laser resurfacing with either a carbon dioxide or an erbium yag laser, surgically removing the scars and then having a more superficial laser such as photorejuvenation, mild peels or microdermabrasion, or having treatments with the Cool Touch Laser. You need to find a laser specialist and aesthetic dermatologist. I would go to the American Society for Laser Surgery and Medicine website www.aslms.com and they have listing of their members in all geographic locations. Your hair, if dark, would best be removed by a laser as well (unfortunately a different one than we use for scars). The most expensive option is laser resuracing which would probably run more than $2500 for a full face. Most of these solutions for scarring will probably run into the $1000 range. But it would be better to consult with an experienced aesthetic dermatologist and laser surgeon to determine what it best for you. Good luck!

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: Could a laser procedure remove dome-shaped moles on my face without leaving scars?

Question:

I was interested in getting several dome shaped moles on my face removed. They are benign, but affect my esteem. I don't want to go under the knife for scarring reasons. How succesfull is a laser treatment. What type of laser should I look for. Do you know of any Docs. in Northern New Jersey, NYC area that perform laser mole removal. Thank You...

- justin

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

Laser mole removal is experimental and doesn't work particularly well. Often the moles reoccur. So, in this case, I can't recommend lasers. Usually in my office we do a technique called a "shave removal". This essentially planes the mole off the surface and although it does involve a scalpel, does not require stitches. 95% of the time, dome shaped moles don't return when removed this way and often heal up very nicely. Of course your dermatologist would need to tell you what technique would be best for each mole, as some just aren't quite right for shave removal. I would get a few opinions on how they would be removed and go with the doctor whose description of the procedure made you feel the most comfortable and who seemed to care about you and your result.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Nov
2001

Q&A: What should I do if I am detection a fluid pocket in my chin?

Question:

For the past 6 months or so I've had reoccurring fluid build up in my chin area. I thought it might be due to a clogged hair folicles at first, but it reoccurs so I'm thinking a cyst or boil? Stangely, I asked my General doctor about it recently and he felt nothing, which shocked me. it feels so fluid filled to me but not to anyone else who I'm constantly asking "don't you feel this?" Could I just be the version of a dermatologists hypo-condreact? What's worse is I constantly make it worse myself by attempting drainage. (I know I should just warm soak). Question: if I see a dermatologist will he/she be able to determine a cyst or something even if it's not "flared up" at the time? I'd really appreciate any imput you have to offer. Thank you.

- Leslie

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

Without seeing it it is tough for me to say.. I am going to assume it is there because you say it is. I would make an appointment with a dermatologist(you can alays cancel it), but you could always also try some over the counter stuff like benzoyl peroxide, to see if it would go down with some treatment. Try not to play with it as this does make it worse and can lead to infection or scarring. You could try some acne stuff at my website, www.skinfo.com where there is something called the complete anti-acne treatment and if you gave it a few weeks (the time it will take you to get in to see a dermatologist) you'd know if it were going to respond to something topical.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Oct
2001

Q&A: What causes the scare on my elbow and the one on my knee to occasionally turn red and raised?

Question:

I have a scar on my elbow and one on my knee that occasionally turn red and raise. What causes this? They are not that way all the time.

- Debra

Answer:

Amy Forman Taub, M.D. - LocateADoc.com

They are probably keloids or hypertrophic scars, both of which are scars which still are biologically active despite the acute healing phase being completed. Nobody really understands what causes this, yet they can also cause discomfort such as pain or itching. Yours is unusual in that it waxes and wanes. Often they just get worse with time and require some form of treatment to improve their appearance and also diminish the symptoms. Treatment options consist of injections of cortisone, laser, or silicone gel sheeting placed daily on the wound for months.

--Amy Forman Taub, M.D.
Lincolnshire, Illinois



Oct
2001

Q&A: What is the best way to remove facial moles?

Question:

What is the best way to remove small moles on my face? They are flat moles and I was wondering if a skin peel or laser would work?? Or is there another way?

- Connie

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Connie, It is hard to know without seeing them if they are true moles (which are usually raised) or some other kind of pigmented lesion. Usually, lasers which just remove pigment are very useful for these flat lesions and they can be removed without a scar or white spot. If they are true moles, they will recur with this type of treatment. The only good way of removing a true mole is by removing it along with its "roots". The problem is that this leaves a scar - usually a good one - but a scar nonetheless which is about 11/2 times as long as the mole was in diameter.

--Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon
Honolulu, Hawaii