Scars are usually reminders of something we would rather forget – acne, injury, or illness. The conspicuousness of a keloid scar carries even heavier emotional baggage. Dr. M. Christine Lee uses leading-edge scar removal techniques to help her patients in the Walnut Creek, CA area leave those memories behind, and enjoy the confidence of clear skin.
More than just a scar
Skin is intended to be a smooth, continuous layer of protection for underlying tissues and organs. When skin is injured, the body identifies a threat – the opportunity for pathogens to enter, causing infection. The biological wound repair process is activated. A fibrous protein called collagen exists in an even basket weave distribution providing structure to healthy skin. After an injury, collagen clusters to close the wound. The resulting scar has different texture than surrounding skin, and it may be raised or indented; pale or reddish in color.
Keloids are excessive scarring that can develop into large, noticeable growths extending beyond the original wound dimensions. Keloids may also form spontaneously. While medical research has not yet identified exactly why some people get keloids, we know that this unusual scarring is related to:
- Excessive or deficient production of the melanocyte hormone MSH.
- Collagen abnormalities.
- Constriction of small blood vessels.
- Tension on skin or muscles in the area of injury – back, chest, and upper arms are common locations.
- Infection at the wound site.
- A foreign body in the wound.
- Repeated trauma at the same location.
- Genetics – family history of keloids.
Anyone can get keloids, but they are more common on dark complexions. Since a keloid is essentially an inert mass of collagen, it is not cancerous or otherwise a health threat. However, depending on the location, a keloid can be tender or itchy, or rub on clothing. Without treatment, a keloid can become quite large and disfiguring.
Patients in Walnut Creek, CA get tailored keloid scar removal strategies
With more than 25 years of experience in dermatology, Dr. Lee knows that every patient, complexion, and scar is unique. At The Skin and Laser Treatment Institute, keloid scar removal is never “one-size-fits-all.” She utilizes innovative combination protocols and has more than 40 different types of lasers at her disposal, to get rid of keloid scarring on skin of every type and age.
To determine how to remove keloids scars on you, Dr. Lee starts with a comprehensive skin evaluation. She explains treatment options, and together you look at keloid removal before and after photos. She answers your questions candidly, including, “How much is keloid removal going to cost?” Then she provides an expert recommendation on how to treat keloid scars for the best possible outcome in your situation.
Your treatment approach may include one or a blending of techniques including:
- Dermabrasion – A device with a rapidly-rotating head removes outer skin layers, smoothing the scarring. This can be a good choice for mild keloids on face or other areas with delicate skin.
- Laser resurfacing – Ablative laser therapies remove superficial to moderately deep scarring with tremendous precision. Laser resurfacing can be safely performed on face, neck, chest, and hands.
- Medications – Intralesional corticosteroids, interferon, or bleomycin may be injected directly into scarring. The anti-inflammatory properties of these drugs shrink keloids.
- Excisional surgery – In severe cases, keloid tissue must be surgically removed. It may sound counter-intuitive, but specialized wound closing techniques such as W-plasty and Z-plasty greatly reduce risk of keloid recurrence.
While new keloids can develop from additional skin trauma, once a specific area is successfully treated, results are generally permanent.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Lee to feel good about your skin again. Call The Skin and Laser Treatment Institute in Walnut Creek, CA at (925) 528-0117.