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A method called microneedling can help surgical scars heal more attractively — particularly if it’s done inside a month or two of surgery, a little study suggests.
Researchers discovered that for 25 patients, microneedling improved the long-term appearance of scars after numerous kinds of surgery — predicated on both patient and doctor ratings. However the sooner it had been done, the higher. Patients who underwent their first microneedling session within six or seven weeks of surgery had the very best results.
That, the researchers said, goes contrary to the “conventional wisdom,” which holds that microneedling ought to be delayed until scars are in regards to a year old.
Microneedling is really a layperson-friendly term for an operation called minimally invasive percutaneous collagen induction, where doctors work with a hand-held device outfitted with a little needle to generate micro-punctures in your skin. The target is to stimulate the skin’s natural repair mechanisms — like the production of collagen, a protein that helps your skin stay firm and smooth.
Dermatologists and cosmetic or plastic surgeons use microneedling to take care of skin issues like wrinkles, stretchmarks and scars from acne or surgical treatments.
With regards to surgical scars, it’s known they keep “maturing” for approximately per year, said Dr. Casey Sheck, among the researchers on the brand new study.
“So plenty of [doctors] will say, let’s wait and see what this appears like then,” said Sheck, a surgeon with American Surgical Arts, in Mullica Hill, N.J.
But which means missing a chance to improve the skin’s repair capacity, in accordance with Dr. Brannon Claytor, the lead researcher on the task and chief of cosmetic surgery at Main Line Health, Claytor/Noone COSMETIC SURGERY, in Bryn Mawr, Penn.
Around six weeks after surgery, Claytor said, surgical wounds are well along in the healing up process. And he reasons that starting microneedling sessions around that point wouldn’t normally only be safe, but ultimately enhance the scar’s appearance.
The existing study is published in the September problem of the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Claytor’s team enrolled 25 patients (all women) seeking treatment for scars from numerous kinds of surgery: facelifts, tummy tucks, breast surgery, and removal of non-cancerous skin growths included in this.
All patients started their to begin three microneedling sessions, plus a skincare regimen, within six to 16 weeks of these surgery.
Sixteen weeks after their first treatment, the analysis found, all patients were showing improvements within their scar — predicated on standard scales that measure both doctor’s and patient’s ratings.
But normally, patients who started microneedling earlier — six to seven weeks after surgery — had an improved scar appearance than patients who started treatment later (13 to 16 weeks after surgery).
“Early treatment of acute scars was safe,” Claytor said. “And the truly exciting part was, we found evidence that it improved patients’ results.”
The analysis was small, the researchers acknowledged, and Sheck said the outcomes provide a “proof concept” that earlier is way better.
However the findings came as no real surprise to Dr. Kathleen Cook Suozzi, an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, in New Haven, Conn.
“I typically see my patients one or two months after surgery for consideration of laser or microneedling treatments to boost scar appearance,” said Suozzi, who was simply not mixed up in research.
At that time, she said, “I’ve a feeling, from experience, which patients will reap the benefits of early intervention with non-surgical scar treatments, like microneedling or laser, and which patients can continue” without these interventions.
Suozzi noted that study had no comparison group whose scars were left to heal by themselves. So it is hard to learn just how much of the scar improvement was because of microneedling.
Still, Suozzi said, the comparison between patients who have been treated earlier versus later “shows that earlier intervention results in better scar appearances sooner.”
For patients, Suozzi said, the main element message would be to talk with your physician about all the choices for improving scar appearance.
“The very best treatment for just about any one patient depends upon many factors, including surgical site, kind of surgical repair, patient age, and individual differences in healing,” she said.
Microneedling is normally safe, based on the American Academy of Dermatology – typically causing redness or other skin irritation for a couple days.
But much like other procedures considered cosmetic, insurance typically will not cover it. In accordance with device maker Dermapen, microneedling might cost from $100 to $700 per session, based on the section of the body being treated.
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