Many women are tempted by the promises of cosmetic surgery. Admit it, the thought has crossed your mind.
But the one thing, many women says, are holding them back is the possibility of post-surgical scars. According to Dr Low Chai Ling, founder of SW1 Clinic which offers both non-invasive aesthetic as well as plastic surgery services, she is beginning to see an increase in numbers of patients who seek her expertise to lighten post-surgical scars.
“This may be due to the rise of cosmetic surgical cases as plastic surgery becomes more acceptable” says Dr Low. “Of course, patients are also more well-educated and know that there are treatments they can do to lighten these tell-tale marks”.
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The idea of having a surgery to transform your face or body and yet have no scars to give it away sounds like having your cake and eating it too. But many who have undergone these scar-erasing therapies swear that they are a godsend. Here are some treatments that help scars do the ‘vanishing act’.
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Many post surgical scars can feel and look a little uneven. The texture is not as smooth as the surrounding skin and that’s a dead giveaway of a scar. Scars common on the face include rhinoplasty scars, even lip lift scars (that extend across the base of the nostrils). When asked why she was willing to pay hundreds of dollars in lasers to remove these scars, Fiona, a 30 year old dancer said “The point of undergoing these cosmetic alterations is to look ‘natural’, the scars give the game away!”
According to Dr Low, resurfacing lasers such as Fraxel Dual has been successful in resurfacing post-surgical scars, with the aim of matching the final texture to the rest of the skin, helping them to blend in seamlessly. She has also performed this on patients after breast augmentation surgeries to help them lighten their scars sited on their infra-mammary creases.
A series of sessions will achieve optimal results but even one session will help the scar look somewhat better, in our opinion.
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Fresh scars may heal with redness, leaving behind a red mark. Studies have shown that Vbeam laser, when used on red scars will help to not only promote their healing but lighten any residual redness. As red stands out on skin, lightening the erythema will make the scars less prominent to the naked eye. Studies show that pulsed dye lasers such as Vbeam help to improve the appearance of post-surgical scars.
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As scars heal, they may leave behind pigmentation, a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This is more common in darker skin types such as asian skins. That is why Asians contemplating surgery should be prepared to deal with post-surgical scars that are pigmented.
In such cases, topical lightening agents can be employed but some patience will be needed for resultant lightening to be visible. As most patients want the quickest resolution from their post surgical scars, pico pigment lasers can be used to break down the pigment cells which are then easily removed by the body’s internal processes. A combination of lasers and topicals would result in a synergistic result, and this strategy is often employed by medical professionals for best outcomes.