Laser Therapy Helps Reduce Development of Scars

Many patients who undergo cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures experience significant scarring from the incisions.  Procedures such as the tummy tuck, breast augmentation and facelift surgery typically leave behind large, noticeable scars that are difficult to cover up with makeup. Scars can take weeks, months and even years to heal completely and there are a number of topical scar gels and creams available to reduce the appearance of the traumatized skin.

However,  results from a recent study completed at the Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) in Pittsburgh indicate that laser therapy may be used as an early intervention plan for scar formation.  Lasers can be used to stop the growth of scars by delivering high-energy waves to the skin and lightening any discoloration on the traumatized skin. Pulse-dyed lasers and fractionated lasers have been the most effective at reducing the appearance of scars after surgery so far, and lasers such as Fraxel may even help reduce the appearance of mature scars

Dr. Suzan Obagi, assistant clinical profesor of dermatology at UPMC explains that the best time to treat scars with this type of therpay is right when the sutures are removed.  This helps reduce the risk of dark scar formation, and may also speed up the body's natural healing process.  Increasing collagen and elastin production helps the skin recover rapidly and restore itself to its natural state.

Younger patients tend to heal faster than older patients regardless of the type of treatment used, and overall health and diet also play a role in wound healing and scar development. Individuals who are deficient in vitamins and proteins may not be able to heal as fast or as effectively; however, laser therapy may help to reduce the risk of deep scar formation and improve the healing process overall. (Source:

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