Health Alert: Fraxel for scars

NATIONAL - Scars mark many of us; visual reminders of accidents or surgeries. But a new type of laser can rejuvenate the skin and help erase both old and new scars.

Marc Epstein's getting his face checked following melanoma surgery. "I'd had this mark on my face which was considered non-cancerous, cosmetic, for many, many years. During this year's annual, they picked out and took a biopsy, found the melanoma."

Even in the best surgical hands, procedures can leave scars. Marc was enrolled in a study that helps reduce that scarring. Dr. Cameron Rokhsar says, "Usually most people have reservations about treating fresh scars, and the dogma has been that you can only treat old scars or mature scars."

But in this study, the Fraxel laser was used to resurface brand new scars. Dr. Rokhsar says, "So while you're resurfacing the scar, as it's doing its own remodeling, you're actually giving it a stimulus to remodel further and to really emulate what normal skin would look like."

The laser causes "controlled" damage to just one-third of the skin's surface, and also just below it, at the dermis. It's at the dermis level where collagen is made.

Dr. Rokhsar says, "You're providing a stimulus to the collagen. You're destroying old collagen, providing new stimulus to the skin to produce new collagen. And new collagen puffs things up. So it allows scars to improve."

After a series of treatments, scars begin to fade. Dr. Rokhsar says, "And so what we noticed in this study, in this pilot study, is that the scars that were resurfaced right at suture removal or within two weeks of suture removal, dramatically improved after a series of five resurfacing sessions with the Fraxel laser."

That provides whole scar improvement, with a fraction of the therapy. Doctor Rokhsar says once you have the Fraxel treatments, you don't need to repeat them - the improved skin is all yours.

Currently, Fraxel laser is FDA approved for acne scar treatment, as well as wrinkle treatment around the eyes, and certain skin discoloration treatments.

Posted by Chantelle Janelle