Wednesday December 11, 2019

Scars: Types and Treatment

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  • Scars are of many types
  • Scars’ treatment varies from type to type
  • It is important to treat scars as per their types

“Scars are tattoos with better stories”. The stories might be very interesting to hear, but the truth is that most of these stories are nevertheless based on some painful moments.

The most superficial injuries like superficial burns and abrasions will heal by epithelialization (formation of tissue over the wound), without any scar formation. But scars are inevitable in deeper injuries.  For many, scars aren’t too bad if they are found in a place easy to cover or are too small to be of any measurable significance.

To save your skin from the scars, make sure to treat them  as per their types.
To save your skin from the scars, make sure to treat them as per their types. Same Condition
Scar tissue

The scar formation rate depends on certain factors like the age of the individual, the site of the wound, the wound healing time, and also the skin tension.  Scars of the wounds on the trunk of younger patients, which may heal slowly probably due to infection, take longer to mature. Also, scars that have a lot of tension across them will take a longer time to mature than scars in older people and in thin-skinned areas, which heal rapidly. These scars have minimal tension across them. Surgical incisions that are made along the tension lines leave minimal and usually acceptable scars. These skin tension lines are where the maximum tension is found when the skin is in a relaxed position. The incisions made across these lines lead to the big, bad, and ugly scars.

There are many types of scars and the treatment mode for each of them is dependent on the factors mentioned above along with their types.

Some of the types and their treatment approaches are listed below.

Scar Treatment

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Pigmentation altered:

Scars are mostly hyperpigmented and when they are present in the areas likely to be noticed, it is advisable to cover them up with cosmetic camouflage or tattoos!!(if possible).

Tattooed scars:

During the process of healing, the implantation of any foreign object like dirt or soot can result in the formation of a tattooed scar, wherein the foreign object would be seen through the pigmentation of the scar. This type of scar can be prevented by taking adequate treatment steps in the beginning, with proper wound management by brushing off the foreign material from the abrasions. The treatment of these scars in the later stage is very difficult.

Hypertrophic Scars:

In some instances, some scars go through the process of formation or remodelling to be exact, longer than usual. Such scars become hypertrophic scars. These scars are red, raised, itchy and painful and finally become pale and mature. These scars most commonly occur in children and in wounds where the healing is delayed probably due to infection.

The occurrence of such a scar can be controlled by a quiet primary healing. But, even if the scar does occur, massage of the scar with moisturizing cream or the application of pressure to the scar can speed up the process of maturation. Scar revision surgery is usually done if the scars cross the skin tension lines or in the event of any wound healing complication. Otherwise, the revision is avoided as there are chances of the scars occurring again.

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Keloid scars:

The major differentiating characteristic between a hypertrophic and a keloid scar is the lack of spontaneous resolution of the latter into a pale scar. There is an extreme growth of tissue beyond the boundaries of the original wound and it most commonly occurs in the Afro-Caribbean and oriental racial groups. It is surprising to note that they often occur in wounds that healed without any complication. The common locations of occurrence of this type of scar are the central chest, the back, shoulders, and the ear-lobes. It is difficult to treat this type of scar. Treatment options include the application of external pressure, injection with steroids (triamcinolone), surgical resection etc. Yet, the most successful and documented method so far has been a combination of surgery and radiotherapy or cryotherapy.

Acne Scar Treatment:

This is one of the most common issues faced by teens and adults alike. The best approach towards avoidance is to prevent the formation of acne in the first place and follow the recommended diet and hygiene practices. But if the situation is already out of control, consult your dermatologist who might recommend a microdermabrasion, commonly known as the chemical peel. You can also ask him about other options like Fractional laser therapy and laser resurfacing.

Scars' type and treatments is very important to know in order to save your skin. Same Condition
Scars’ type and treatments is very important to know in order to save your skin. Same Condition
Some more treatment modalities:

The options available are of course plentiful but no single method is considered safe or effective. Read on to find out some innovative inventions. But always consult your dermatologist to see if it’s a viable option for you.

  1. Compression by silicone gel sheeting: The anti- keloidal effect of silicone is believed to work by increasing the temperature, hydration and probably the oxygen tension of scar. No formal reports are available for this theory. But, this method has been in use since the early 1980s to treat hypertrophic burn scars with successful therapeutics effects to its advantage.
  2. Cordran tape: A surgical tape containing steroid (flurandrenolide), that has been known to soften the hypertrophic and keloid scars.
  3. Interferon therapy: The interferons by their antifibrotic action prevent the hypertrophic scar formation.
  4. Onion extracts: There are some products available, with this composition, over the counter without any prescription. Even though it was initially considered a placebo, some studies have shown a real correlation between the healing and these products. Safer to use on smaller scars!
  5. Topical vitamin E formulation: Vitamin E has also shown significant benefits in the treatment of scars and there are products available, over the counter, containing hydrocortisone, silicone and Vitamin E.

Always consult your dermatologist, even before buying the “over the counter” products. Your skin is safe as long as you keep it safe. Same Condition

Scars: Types and Treatment

Next Story

Machine Learning Can Help Doctors to Improve End-Of-Life Conversation with Patients

A deeper understanding of these conversations, which are often freighted with emotion and uncertainty, will also help reveal what aspects or behaviors associated with these conversations are more valuable for patients and families

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Machine Learning
A Research used Machine Learning algorithms to analyze 354 transcripts of palliative care conversations collected by the Palliative Care Communication Research Initiative, involving 231 patients. Pixabay

Researchers at University of Vermont have used Machine Learning and natural language processing (NLP) to better understand conversations about death, which could eventually help doctors improve their end-of-life communication.

Some of the most important, and difficult, conversations in healthcare are the ones that happen amid serious and life-threatening illnesses.

Discussions of the treatment options and prognoses in these settings are a delicate balance for doctors and nurses who are dealing with people at their most vulnerable point and may not fully understand what the future holds.

“We want to understand this complex thing called a conversation. Our major goal is to scale up the measurement of conversations so we can re-engineer the healthcare system to communicate better,” said Robert Gramling, director of the Vermont Conversation Lab in the study published in the journal Patient Education and Counselling.

Gramling and his colleagues used machine learning algorithms to analyze 354 transcripts of palliative care conversations collected by the Palliative Care Communication Research Initiative, involving 231 patients.

They broke each conversation into 10 parts with an equal number of words in each, and examined how the frequency and distribution of words referring to time, illness terminology, sentiment and words indicating possibility and desirability changed between each decile.

“We picked up some strong signals,” said Gramling.

Conversations tended to progress from talking about the past to talking about the future, and from sadder to happier sentiments. “There was quite a range, they went from pretty sad to pretty happy,” Gramling added.

Machine Learning
Researchers at University of Vermont have used Machine Learning and natural language processing (NLP) to better understand conversations about death, which could eventually help doctors improve their end-of-life communication. Pixabay

The consistent results across multiple conversations show just how much people make meaning out of stories in healthcare.

“What we found supports the importance of narrative in medicine,” he said.

That knowledge could eventually help healthcare practitioners understand what makes a “good” conversation about palliative care, and how different kinds of conversations might require different responses.
That could help create interventions that are matched to what the conversation indicates the patient needs the most.

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A deeper understanding of these conversations, which are often freighted with emotion and uncertainty, will also help reveal what aspects or behaviors associated with these conversations are more valuable for patients and families. (IANS)