At Dermatology Associates of Atlanta’s Laser Institute of Georgia, we are often asked about treatment for prominent scars from surgery or previous injuries. In a new study published in the recent issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the method of managing hypertrophic scars and keloids with lasers has strengthened in reputability as being safe and effective.
In the study, a group from Shanghai Second Medical University assessed the effects of laser therapy on hypertrophic scars and keloids with 919 patients within 28 clinical trials. After administering laser therapy for the scars, scores overall were positive. Response rates, reported by the doctors administering the treatment, were as follows:
- • 71% of scar prevention therapy was positive
- • 68% of hypertrophic scar therapy was positive
- • 72% of keloid therapy was positive
Though the study tested several laser types, the lasers that produced the most positive responses were 585/595-nm pulsed-dye laser, frequently used for this type of treatment at the Laser Institute of Georgia, and 532-nm (“nm” indicating the wavelength of the laser light used in nanometers) laser subgroups. Results were based on scar height, scar erythema, and total scores of the Vancouver Scar Scale, a test widely used in clinical practice and research to document transformation in scar appearance. However, if patients want to see real results, they will have to practice patience: the ideal laser treatment interval was five to six weeks for pulsed-dye laser therapy.
While many people think of hypertrophic scars and keloids to be one in the same, in actuality they are two separate bodily responses to injury. Keloids are abnormal scars that grow beyond the original site of damaged skin. With normal scarring, which can be treated with lasers or topical treatment, bundles of collagen are parallel to the skin surface. With keloids, the collagen fibers are randomly organized in a dense connective tissue matrix, causing overgrowth. They can be caused by repetitive trauma, infection or foreign bodies interfering with wound healing, or simply form in clean wounds. Though hypertrophic scars are also associated with negative healing of wounds, they do not grow out of control; rather, they reach a definite size before stabilizing.
We understand that laser treatments are an investment just as we understand the importance of removing unsightly or painful scars. Therefore, we offer CareCredit® financing to assist in payment for laser procedures. Please contact Dermatology Associates of Atlanta for a laser consultation to best determine which type of advanced laser technology will best fit your scar reduction process. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ for more dermatology information.