Scars can be upsetting to many people. Some may be emotionally devastated. Also they are disfiguring and aesthetically unappealing. All this could lead to mental anguish. They may cause
• Itching/ Tenderness
• Pain: due to contractures/ diminished range of movement
• Anxiety/ Depression: due to diminished quality of life
• Sleep disturbances: due to loss of self esteem/ being stigmatized
• Disability: due to physical deformity.
Scarring is a natural response to an injury. The appearance of the scar depends on
• Depth/ Size of wound
• Age and Sex
• Extent of tissue damage
• Presence of infection/foreign bodies in the wound
TYPES OF SCARS
To prevent excessive scarring wounds should be treated promptly. They should be cleaned thoroughly and foreign bodies removed. Any infection should be dealt with. Appropriate sutures should be placed when necessary and a proper dressing be applied. The wound should be inspected peridiocally and antibiotics administered if deemed necessary
TREATMENT OF SCARS
POINTS TO BE NOTED WHILE TREATING A SCAR
1. What scars can be treated by laser?
A wide variety can be safely treated. Each scar has to be assessed thoroughly before treatment so that the client completely understands the benefits as also the limitations of the procedure.
2. How many sessions?
Scar excision may be a single session. However large scars may require a couple of sessions. Laser remodeling of a scar may be done in 3-4 sessions. The choice of anesthesia will depend on the type of procedure to be carried out
1. Will the scar be completely gone?
This will depend on the reason for the scar, depth, skin colour, time of initial repair and the technique. Generally there is 50-80% improvement in the scar and it looks better than the original.