Scar Revision / Scar Repair Questions and Answers Archive

Oct
2001

Q&A: What can I do to smooth out acne scars from bad acne when I was younger?

Question:

When I was younger I had pretty bad acne. Now I have deep and numerous pores. Is there anything I can do to smooth them out?

- Ken

Answer:

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

There are a number of things you could do for enlarged appearing pores or acne scars. You could consider a microdermabrasion treatment, a very gentle "sanding" of the topmost layer of the skin. This helps the skin to smooth out over the course of a number of treatments. You could consider a few "Beta-Lift" peels, which place salicylic acid in the pores to exfoliate them and allow them to shrink. You could also start on a skin care regimen such as with a retinoid (like Retin-A or Differin- both are prescription) or you could try an overy-the counter version of retinol (such as Afirm 2X available at my website, www.skinfo.com) or a combination with an alpha hydroxy acid cleanser. Or let the skinwizard tell you what to do at www.skinfo.com- click on the skinwizard and answer 3 questions (your skin care goal would be "toning") and it will guide your selection of a skin care regimen for your individual needs.

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



Sep
2001

Q&A: What should I expect from dermabrasion on a scar from surgery under my left eye?

Question:

On july 10th I had moh's surgery under my left eye, it was quite extensive and I've been left w/ a diagonal scar under my left eye beginning 1/4 of an inch under my tear duct and going towards my left ear. The scar is approximately 2 inches in length and I am having dermabrasion on the 19 of Sept. I would like to know what to expect, will I be in any discomfort, will it swell, and how long does it generally take to heal. Thank you for your time. I have visited a website on dermabraision and did get some information but I guess I feel I just need a little more positive thoughts. Thanks again.

- margaret

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Margaret, I understand that you will be having dermabrasion on this scar. If the scar is narrow and not too depressed, this may help a little. In that area, dermabrasion is not the best treatment since the lower eyelid skin is very thin and fragile and does not lend itself well to mechanical abrasion. I would suggest that you visit with a plastic surgeon in order to explore the possibility of either scar revision if the scar is wide or thick and, if optimal from that viewpoint, laser resurfacing so that an adequate depth of resurfacing can be performed without danger to this very thin skin or your eye.

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



Sep
2001

Q&A: how does scar tissue in the Fallopian tubes decrease my chances of becoming pregnant and how can we overcome this?

Question:

I am 25yrs old I gave birth to my only child in 1995, Me and my husband have not used protection for the past 6yrs and have not been able to become pregnant. I have seen a dr. who says My fallopian tubes have scar tissue in them. My question is how and why does this decrease my chances of becoming pregnant and how can we overcome this?

- Virginia

Answer:

Fady I Sharara, M.D - LocateADoc.com

Dear Virginia You need to address these questions with your doc since he/she is the one familiar with your case. But a prior infection can cause this, and your treatment may be surgery or more likely in vitro (test tube baby). Good luck Fady I. Sharara, M.D VCRM

--Fady I Sharara, M.D
Annandale, Virginia



Sep
2001

Q&A: Should I consider laser skin resurfacing to remove pitted scars from plucking ingrown hairs on my chin?

Question:

I have pitted scars from plucking ingrown hairs on my chin area, not knowing that plucking was making them worse. I have been having laser treatments for the ingrown hairs which has made a big difference and has helped me alot. Although I am still left with these small (not red) scars that are not deep, but bothersome to me and have heard alot of bad things about chemical peels which I do not think I want to have done. I have looked into laser treatment for resurfacing and was wondering if that is the way I should go, although these scars only on the chin area are not deep nor are they red, so I am stuck as far as where to turn, where to go, as the laser place has suggested the peels giving me all the side affects. I am ivory skin colored with dark hair, facial hair all over, which most is blode and not bothersome, aside from the dark ones that started appearing on the chin area, had hormones tested and that was not the case, was told that this was and is hereditary. Can you please give me some guideline as to where to start, if laser resurfacing would be the best route to go, so forth?

- Nadine

Answer:

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

Laser resurfacing is a really intensive treatment which I would use only as a last resort. Chemical peels vary by the strength and the chemicals that are used. Mild chemical peels- salicycilic acid 20-30% (Beta-LIft Peel) or glycolic peels 30-40% virtually have no risks and in a series may help you. Another option would be microdermabrasion, which I favor as a treatment for this type of problem, but you will also need multiple treatments, at least 5-6. Finally, you could try to find someone who has a Cool Touch II Laser. These are known to improve acne scars without much risk. Go to the web site www.aslms.org to find a laser practitioner in your area.

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



Aug
2001

Q&A: What can you recommend if I am 46 years of age and want fertility drugs and donor sperm to have a baby?

Question:

I am a 46-year-old female with regular periods all my life. I have never been pregnant. I was married in the 1980s and had infertility testing done. The doctor was unable to find any problems. I did not seek further treatment. I have had several partners in my life and the only time I used contraceptives was for 6 months in 1976. It was Ovral. Now at 46, I am wondering if I could take a fertility drug and obtain donor sperm to try to get pregnant. What do you think and/or recommend?

- Ruth

Answer:

Fady I Sharara, M.D - LocateADoc.com

Dear Ruth Unfortunately your chances of getting pregnant using your own eggs is < 1%, EVEN if all the tests are normal. The next step at your age is either adoption or donor egg. However, every now and then someone gets pregnant at 46, however the miscarriage rate is also extremely high. Pls go see a fertility specialist to discuss your options. Good luck F. Sharara, M.D VCRM

--Fady I Sharara, M.D
Annandale, Virginia



Aug
2001

Q&A: After bad acne reaction to makeup, what do you recommend for scar removal?

Question:

A couple of months ago I had a real bad reaction to some makeup. I broke out with really bad acne. The acne has cleared, but some scars were left. What would you recommend to have these scars removed?

- marie

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Marie, I wish it was easy to remove scars. It depends upon their character and depth. If they are very deep, they may need to be surgically removed. If more superficial, a type of deep resurfacing will improve them markedly and, if very superficial, a light treatment such as microdermabrasion performed a few times will make them much better. I would suggest that you visit with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon who offers all of the options in order to determine what is best for you.

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



Aug
2001

Q&A, Could a tummy tuck be performed to flatten my tummy and at the same time get insurance to cover this and scar repair from a gallbladder surgery?

Question:

I am a 36 yr old,three children, that has had gallbladder surg. which resulted in a incisional hernia which was repaired twice with failure , finally the third time was repaired again with mesh. After this surgery i have what looks like a fat roll but have never had that before. Could it be scar tissue? I also have had four bikini cuts due to ovarian cysts surg. I have done many things to try to flatten my tummy again with no satisfaction, If i had a tummy tuck how much recovery time will that take and would insurance cover the hernia scar tissue issue? What would be the right way to approach my insurance about this before consultation or involve the doctor i choose? Thank you for you time- Robin

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Robin, You certainly have had a number of problems in your abdominal area. I would suggest that you visit with a plastic surgeon who can determine if there is significant herniation and if your risk vs benefit is in favour of performing a modified abdominoplasty procedure. A true abdominoplasty is likely out of the question with the amount of surgery that you have had and the scarring that is present. He/she should be able to approach your insurance company to determine what will be covered by your policy prior to the surgery.

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



Jul
2001

Q&A: Is dermabrasion the proper procedure for removal of lip lines and lines around the eyes?

Question:

Is dermabrasion the proper procedure for removal of lip lines and lines around the eyes?

- Beverly

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Beverly, Many practitioners have used this for years around the mouth. It is dangerous on the lower eyelid and upper eyelid skin. Microdermabrasion is safer but not effective for all but the finest of lines. Most of us have taken to using lasers in this area for smoothing the skin with minimal risk of scarring. The only down side to this is the fact that it will be red for about one month to 6 weeks after the procedure. The choice of treatment should be based upon how severe the wrinkles are and not on the favourite procedure fo the surgeon.

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



Jul
2001

Q&A: Can I chart my minstrel cycles / ovulation to determine the best time to get pregnant if my period is irregular and I had tubal reconstruction? ?

Question:

I had a tubal reconstruction done 7 months ago, I have been having unprotected sex since then, but I have not become pregnant. They were only able to repair the one side through the surgery. My period is irregular and I have no idea how many days my menstral cycle is. Could you please tell me how I can chart my ovulation and when would be the best time to get pregnant. Thank-you

Answer:

SCOTT ROSEFF, MD, FACOG, Director - LocateADoc.com

Hi, If your periods are irregular, then you're not likely ovulating properly. If this is true, this would make it harder to get pregnant, increase your odds of a miscarriage, and make it hard (if not impossible) to chart ovulation. Assuming you had your surgery by a qualified reproductive endocrinologist, you should contact your RE and discuss testing to find out why you have irregular cycles, along with what the proper medication would be to help you ovulate and conceive. I hope this makes sense.... Good luck! P.S. - I also hope they told you about an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy. Scott Roseff, MD, Director W.E. C.A.R.E. Visit us at www.reproendo.com ======================================== The information herein should be used for educational purposes only, and should never be used as a substitute for medical advice/care by your healthcare provider. Dr. Roseff assumes no responsibility for any actions taken (or not taken) by you due to the information contained herein. =========================================

--SCOTT ROSEFF, MD, FACOG, Director
West Orange, New Jersey



Jun
2001

Q&A: How do I remove dark scars from acne and eczema breakouts if I am African-American?

Question:

I AM AFRICAN AMERICAN. HOW DO I GET RID OF DARK SCARRING FROM ACNE AND ECZEMA BREAKOUTS?

- VISA

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Visa, This is a difficult problem since African Americans do not want to remove all of the pigment but merely reduce the amount of color in darker areas so as to match the lighter brown of the rest of the skin. A white area actually looks worse in this patient population. My suggestion to you is to seek out someone experienced with treatment of darker skin with lasers. This is the only controlled way of reducing but not eliminating the excess pigment. I would suggest either a Q-switched KYP or Q-switched ruby laser for this process. Make certain that test spots are performed first and that at least 3 months is left before an actual treatment (it can take a while for the pigment to reduce).

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



Jun
2001

Q&A: What should I do if I have a chronic upset stomach and do not know if it is physical or anxiety related?

Question:

I have been naseous for the past 6 years!! My mom claims it's my nerves and that it's all in my head and to basically stop being a hypocondriac, unfortunately if it was that easy I'd feel fine. But I can't get rid of it. No matter where I am or what I'm doing I will eventually feel sick. Just recently it got a lot worse. It turned from feeling sick to actually throwing up, during exams I was throwing up every 5 hours and couldn't keep a thing in my stomach. And I lost a lot of weight because of it. I don't have an eating disorder, I have no problem with my weight, except that I might be a bit too skinny. I like food and i want to eat, it just makes me feel sick. This is starting to ruin my life. I don't go to parties or concerts because I'm scared I'll throw up in front of people, I tend to get worse in crowds. A few years ago I went to a clinic and told the doctor that I'd been feeling nauseous for years, he just looked at me strangly and told me that there was nothing wrong with me. Which only discouraged me from seing anyone else, I could have stayed home and had my mom tell me there was nothing wrong with me, but there is, and it's really upsetting to think that nobosy believes me. A few weeks ago I was reading a magazine about a girl who had an anxiety disorder, and all of my symptoms were the same as hers, except where she would have panic attacks and chest pains, I feel sick and have to run to a bathroom. I was just wondering if this could be what I have, and if so how do I convince a doctor that there' something wrong with me? I really don't want to live like this anymore. It really doesn't make life worth living. I find it really hard to explain to people, especially doctor's, and when i try I either feel sick talking about it or start crying because this "disorder" control's my life and there's nothing I can do about it. But I have to try to get it fixed because I an't lose anymore weight, and I'm starting a new job in a couple weeks and I'm scared I'll get fired if I have to keep leaving to throw up. Please if anyone is reading this HELP ME!!!

- Carrie

Answer:

I recommend you first see a Gastroenterologist (a stomach specialist) to see if there is a physical explanation for your problems. If all your tests come out normal you should then see a Psychiatrist. Whether your sypmtoms are due to a physical problem or anxiety, they are very troublesome for you and are affecting your life. It is highly likely that with the correct diagnosis and treatment you will feel much better. Good Luck.

--William C. Howland III, MD
Austin, Texas



May
2001

Q&A: What can I do to avoid or repair scars from burns to my face?

Question:

On April 9,2001 I was at work and a burning torch that I was using blew up in my face.I suffere from 2nd degree burns on my face neck and chin.Since then I have developed some blisters and as of right now I feel like there will be some scars left behind and some skin discoloration as well. Before this I had no scars in my face and I was quite proud of that but now I will bare scars so I want them removed. Can you give me any advise?

- aretha

Answer:

Gregory Caputy, MD, Chief Surgeon - LocateADoc.com

Dear Aretha, You should visit with a burn surgeon who will be able to tell you at this point if there is any permanent scarring. If there is, there are a great many things that can be done from surgery through to laser treatments in order to make the scars better.

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