Why Dr. Daniel Behroozan?
Scars can be a source of discomfort and self consciousness, and are one of the most difficult cosmetic conditions to treat. Each person has their own unique marks, and so a thorough consultation is required in order to determine the best way to improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
Successfully treating a scar’s appearance requires a plan, and most of the time this plan consists of more than one treatment being carried out. For instance, treatment of acne scars may require both, a laser as well as a dermal filler for a particularly deep acne scar. Stretch marks often need multiple treatment sessions performed in order to create a noticeable difference. In addition, part of the treatment plan also requires maintenance at home from your end, which your physician will be able to provide you with more information about.
Dermatologists have the specialized training required to be able to determine the best treatment methods for you based on your particular scarring, your lifestyle, and your health (eg: medication, diabetes, whether or not you get cold sores). Dermatologists also have the training and experience to tell you when to treat a new scar as well, since scars can take up to one year in order to develop fully. Your age and how long you’ve had the scar also affect what treatment options are best for you in order to reduce your scar’s appearance. For instance, large hypertrophic scars can be mistaken for keloids, and vice versa. These two both require completely different methods of treatment, and since time is important with scar reduction, consulting a board certified dermatologist such as Dr. Behroozan ensures that you can start the correct treatment early.
Remember – certain scars such as keloids and acne scars will never go away on their own, and require professional treatment.
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Many patients think that treating scars often requires surgery, especially since surgical scar removal methods are frequently offered from plastic surgeons. These surgical techniques have the potential to make scarring even worse, and can require downtime. These methods are only one option out of many for treating scars, and most treatment options are non surgical.
In addition to scars, a physician will also be able to assist you with other concerns you may have besides your scars. For instance, lasers and microneedling are also able to treat other cosmetic concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles while simultaneously being able to treat scars as well. Skin cancer can also be mistaken for a scar. There have been times when people believe they have a simple scar even though they don’t remember injuring their skin at all. Like scarring, treating skin cancer early is the key to having successful recovery and results. Whenever you see something of concern on your skin, get it checked as soon as possible.
No matter the treatment you receive, it is important that these procedures are performed safely. Improperly performed treatments, especially lasers, can result in burns and even worse scarring, and these occurrences of botched treatments are unfortunately prevalent. The skill of the person performing the treatment is more important than the treatment itself, as this directly affects the results. Without expert, specialized knowledge of the skin, the treatment you receive may not give you the results you are looking for. In a dermatologist’s hands, side effects are usually minor and disappear within a couple days at most. A board certified physician, such as Dr. Behroozan, ensures that your safety is always the number one priority.
Home remedies such as almond oil, cocoa butter, oilive oil, and Vitamin E are commonly touted as self treatment methods; however, these products do not have research that proves their effectiveness.
The biggest downside to these OTC and home treatment methods is that they are all expensive. They require repeated use over a long period of time, and this can require multiple purchases. Because the results take many weeks or months in order to determine their effectiveness, you won’t know if these products are working until you’ve already purchased multiple sessions and invested a lot of time into these to no avail.
Receiving verified, proven information from a board certified professional ensures that you obtain the best results possible, especially when compared to sketchy information from the internet that doesn’t have sufficient research or evidence to back it up. Even OTC treatments such as silicone gels are not universal for everyone. Receiving information from a dermatologist limits the amount of trial and error you will need to conduct on your own, which will save you both, time and money in the long run (time is especially important when it comes to scar healing). Dr. Behroozan also offers products such as medical grade sunscreen at both of his locations in order to ensure that you have everything you need for a complete scar reduction regimen.
Frequently Asked Questions
What things should I avoid before treatment?
Sun exposure should be limited as much as possible before a treatment. No tanning should be done at least 2 weeks prior, and sunscreen with SPF30 or higher should be used every day. Let your doctor know about any medications you are taking or conditions you have as well before your treatment.
Smoking not only slows down the healing process, but also increases the risk of larger scars. Frequent consumption of alcohol and high amounts of caffeine while the wound is healing dehydrates the body and skin, and should both be avoided in the interim.
When can I expect results?
Because these treatment methods require breaking up the old scar and the body must develop new collagen in its place, results will continue to improve over 3-6 months usually. This does vary, however, depending on the treatments used and your body’s own natural healing process. Multiple treatments may be required as well, which can affect the timeframe. Your doctor will be able to provide you with a better timeframe of when you can expect to see results after your treatment regimen has been completed in full.
How do I take care of new scars until my appointment?
Taking care of a new wound as soon as you receive it is one of the best things you can do to mitigate the appearance of a scar. Some things to keep in mind are:
Hydration – Proper hydration is especially important while a scar is healing. Scars should be kept well moisturized and well hydrated. It is a misconception that scars should be aired out to dry. This not only causes scabbing which takes even longer to heal, but can potentially cause even MORE scarring.
Nutrition – Having a balanced diet with adequate protein intake is important. Protein makes up the building blocks of healing skin, and facilitates the healing process. Additionally, excess body fat in those who are overweight can impede the skin’s ability to close the wound seamlessly. A healthy body weight ensures that the body is able to perform the healing process more efficiently.
Sun exposure – UV radiation from the sun is bad for the skin, and in the case of scarring, can make them appear darker and allow more discoloration. Sunscreen with at least SPF30 or above helps limit the discoloration and protects against the radiation from the sun.
Cleanliness – any bandages or wrappings that are used in the area need to be kept clean. The wound should be properly washed and maintained in order to wash out any germs and debris. Hydrogen peroxide should be avoided, as this damages the skin even further. Instead, fresh wounds should be cleaned using soap and water. Stitches are recommended for deeper scars, as this helps the skin heal more smoothly and minimizes the appearance of the scar.
What about home remedies for scar/stretch mark reduction?
There are many common home remedies that are said to help with reducing the appearance of scarring and stretch marks, such as aloe vera, honey, olive oil, and cocoa butter just to name a few. Some of these remedies do help soften and exfoliate the skin, and don’t do any further harm. However, no studies have proven these treatments to be effective in reducing the appearance of scars. The treatments offered by a medical professional have research and evidence to prove their effectiveness in reducing the visibility of scarring & stretch marks.