Plastic Surgery Blog
Scars. They’re a pesky result of life’s battles. Everyone has some version of a scar, whether it be stretch marks, keloids, atrophic, hypertrophic, acne-related, we are all sporting some scar somewhere. Scars form as the outcome of our body healing itself.
Most scars are superficial—that is, occurring on the skin, where we can see them. While they may only be surface level, the way we feel about them can run a little deeper. In fact, we meet patients all the time who wish they didn’t have to see (or think about) their scars on a daily basis. But not to worry, we’ve got just the thing for this concern!
Let’s get into the host of scar treatments we offer. And one thing to note—we love the non-surgical scar minimizing options listed below, and they work really well for the right candidates. But in some cases, a surgical approach might achieve the best result possible. That’s also something we can help you with. Learn more about surgical scar revision.
We’ll start off strong with our most effective and intensive treatment for scarring: Morpheus8. This procedure combines the use of microneedling and radiofrequency to target an array of skin concerns. How does this work? The microneedling stimulates the body’s natural healing response thereby facilitating the production of collagen and elastin.
This may seem counterintuitive because you’re making new injuries to the area of a previous injury to solve the issue of the resulting scar. Strangely enough, this is exactly what makes it work. The microneedling wounds are not a substantial enough ‘injury’ to create a new scar, but they do signal to the body that something is in need of healing.
This process is furthered by the radiofrequency heat administered beneath the surface of the skin. Not only does it work to tighten the tissue, but it also boosts creation of proteins crucial in skin elasticity and an even complexion. In the case of scars that are either raised, sunken, or hyperpigmented, this is quite a useful function. We simply can’t get enough of this treatment, it’s just so great for a variety of issues!
That’s part of the reason why we’ve actually incorporated Morpheus8 into our post-surgical care plan. For a few of our cosmetic procedures (tummy tucks, arm lifts, and thigh lifts), our lovely nurse injector Sylvia is administering Morpheus8 treatment on incision sites to minimize the appearance of scars. This appointment is automatically booked for you as part of your follow-up procedures, 6-8 weeks after surgery.
Some studies have found that early intervention with radiofrequency microneedling on a scar at this time in the healing process will help promote good scar cells. Nurse Sylvia will assess the area before performing the treatment to make sure that you’re ready, and you’ll receive more detailed information when the time comes.
In the same vein of machine-based treatments, we’ve got IPL (Intense Pulse Light). For those of you unfamiliar, IPL is a broad spectrum of light directed at the skin and generally used for hair removal and treatment of blemishes, fine lines and wrinkles. Another great use for IPL is hyperpigmentation. A lot of scars, particularly the ones on our faces, can manifest as a contrast in the complexion of the skin.
This often has a lot to do with the sun and the areas of our bodies most commonly exposed to it. But hyperpigmentation also results from our own body’s over-production of melanin whether it be a hormonal, genetic, or some other response.
IPL uses light, more specifically, its effect on cells, to reduce the appearance of superficial concerns. Because it’s a broad spectrum, versus a single beam of light, it targets a wider area at once.
Some other options for scar treatment involve less “invasive” interventions. For instance, in the context of surgery, you may be advised to start massaging the area of incision to break down scar tissue and prevent raised scars or keloids. Pressure garments can help minimize the formation of scars as well, and you’ll be required to wear them for a period of time following surgery.
The use of either ointments and creams, or a strip/sheet can also be beneficial. Silicone is generally the active ingredient in topical scar treatments and it’s a good option for folks who aren’t candidates for (or would prefer foregoing) the Morpheus8 and IPL routes. Silicone strips are usually recommended and you’ll be advised depending on your case. Generally, this is around the 4-6 week post op period and use is recommended for 4-6 months up to an entire year after surgery.
If you prefer a cream, Miracle 10’s Fade Out is a superb choice. I’ve heard, from some of my colleagues, of the miraculous effects of this product. Here’s what our clinic director Dr. Lista has to say about it:
Tell us a little about how Fade Out works.
Fade Out includes important ingredients like sprout extracts, peptides and silicone. The sprout extracts offer different functions. For the most part, they create a more even skin tone by targeting fatigued and damaged cells and their production of melanin. Peptides increase collagen production and promote skin elasticity and repair.
Silicone’s mechanism is still being studied, but it’s thought that the moisture-locking component works to limit the overactivity of scar cells.
What is the best way to use Fade Out?
The instructions are straightforward. Fade Out is best used on fresh scars occurring within the last 3-4 months. It’s most effective if used twice a day before any emollients like your moisturizer and sunscreen.
Depending on the severity of the scar, you can continue to use Fade Out for 6-12 months. It’s best to employ this cream (and really any topical treatment) right after the injury has healed and a scar forms.
What’s your favourite thing about Fade Out?
Fade Out is a very user-friendly approach that works well for pretty much everyone. It’s as simple as incorporating a new product into your morning and nighttime routine. Because of its incredible ingredients, it’s a versatile product that can be used anywhere on the body for a multitude of reasons.
So there you have it. Whether you go for the substantial effects of Morpheus8 and IPL, or you prefer the daily, gradual improvements with Fade Out and silicone strips, there’s plenty of options to treat scars. Stay the course, soldier! And if you need advice as to what might work best for your particular scarring and goals, we’re always here to help.