Scars and Skin Resurfacing
Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients. Hopefully, you’re taking advantage of the current climate and enjoying our lovely city in autumn. If this is your first visit to The Breast Place blog, we cover a range of topics here. From breast cancer management to anti-aging skin treatments to helpful tips for maximizing your overall health and wellness—The Breast Place is committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! Our offices are open and our staff are prepared to answer any questions you may have about your health, your breast cancer risk, and how to reach your aesthetic goals.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, as such, we dedicated our last post to exploring the history and meaning of this observance. NBCAM hasn’t been around for long, but its impact on women’s health cannot be understated. As we work towards a cure for breast cancer, we must also normalize regular screening and take time to listen to the stories of survivors. By doing so, we can help save lives. We included a list of ways you can help support breast cancer awareness this month, even if you’re unable to donate or join a race. If you’re interested in understanding the breast cancer awareness movement, there’s no better resource! Definitely check out our last article when you’re done here!
Today’s topic concerns scars. Scars can be painful reminders of the past, unsightly blemishes, or as unremarked upon as freckles. However, what most scars have in common, is their seeming permanence. Many of us resign ourselves to living with our scars for the rest of our lives, regardless of their impact on our day-to-day activities and self-esteem. We’re here to help alleviate this misconception. Not all scars are permanent. In fact, most scars can be significantly improved through focused treatment and the right regimen. From surgery scars to stretch marks to acne scars to burns—almost all scars can be helped by skin resurfacing. We’ll talk about how scars form, their effect on mental health, how resurfacing can help, and finally what we offer at our practice. There’s no need to live in discomfort, try various at-home remedies with little success, or accept the intrusive presence of scars. There are options and we’re here to help! If you have a scar you’ve been wanting to be rid of for years, this article is certainly for you. Without further ado, let’s delve into what scars are and where they form within the skin!
What are scars?
When an injury of any kind occurs, our bodies work diligently to fix the damage. Therefore, scars can be considered the side effect of our bodies performing their healing duties well. However, sometimes, our bodies can perform a little too well. In these instances, people develop what are called keloid scars—smooth, hard growths made up of scar tissue. Keloids can occur anywhere on the body, can be genetically derived, and can be difficult to get rid of. Since keloids can grow back larger than before when merely cut off, they usually require the expertise of a medical provider, who will suggest some type of dressing, injection, or removal surgery. Keloids are one of the only types of scars which will not always benefit from laser treatment or other skin resurfacing methods, as these can make the scarring worse.
If you’re not prone to developing keloids, chances are you’re saddled with a run-of-the-mill scar. A cut, burn, boil, ulcer, or any other form of trauma to the skin, will trigger the body’s healing response. In order to close the cut or injured site, the body essentially “stitches” the skin together with scar tissue. Scar tissue is a collection of proteins, primarily collagen. Now, a hypertrophic scar is the scientific name for these formations of scar tissue. Hypertrophic scars will usually heal over time, leaving only a faint indentation or discoloration to prove it was ever there. However, this dissolution process can take years. Whereas, contracture scars are the scientific name for severe burn injuries. Contracture is the process certain burn scars undergo, when the skin thickens, pulling the surrounding tissue taught and preventing freedom of movement. While laser treatment is an option, for most contracture scars, a plastic surgeon will recommend removing the scar tissue entirely.
Stretch marks are also a type of scar. When the skin stretches or shrinks abruptly, the underlying layer of collagen and elastin fibers rupture. This rupture is visible even through the uppermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. These can occur during pregnancy, puberty, weight loss, and weight gain. Similarly, acne scars occur when the walls of an inflamed pore rupture, causing damage to the surrounding tissue. Cysts and nodules, present in severe acne, occur deep within the dermis and can cause intense scarring. Both stretch marks and acne scars alike are aesthetic concerns which can drastically affect people’s lives. In the next section, we’ll discuss the psychological impact scars can have on us.
The Effect of Scars
A short study, titled ‘The Psychology of Scar: A Mini-Review’ by Mildred Ngaage and Mark Agius, featured in a 2018 edition of Psychiatria Danubina, noted the effect of scars on self-confidence is overwhelmingly negative. According to the study, individuals with scars can undergo “a remodeling of their emotional state and are more prone to the development of depression and anxiety,” as well as feelings of shame. Due to a sense of perceived inadequacy, those with scars can find they are unable to communicate effectively, cultivate intimacy, and resist avoidant behaviors.
While most people have several scars located in various places across their bodies, those with highly visible scars report feeling “othered.” In another study in the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, of the 573 statements collected by researchers, these were the common themes: physical comfort, acceptance from self and others, social functioning, confidence and management of condition, and emotional well-being. The majority of participants in the study felt their scars negatively affected every single one of these areas.
High visibility, uncommon textures, and high contrast contribute to people’s uncomfortableness with their own scars. While there’s nothing out of the ordinary or shameful about having scars, their ability to stunt your growth and mitigate your sense of self-worth cannot be underestimated.
How does skin resurfacing work?
There are several forms of skin resurfacing available for the treatment of scars. The most common and least invasive method of resurfacing scars in laser treatment. This method utilizes focused light therapy to increase cell turnover and rid the skin of damaged cells. The second most common and slightly more invasive technique is microneedling. This method uses thin, hair-like needles to invoke the body's healing response and increase the production of collagen (as well as new cells). The Breast Place offers the best of both worlds with Secret RF.
Secret RF is a microneedling device combined with fractional radio frequency. A type of dermal remodeling, Secret RF works by causing tissue coagulation and hemostasis. Tissue coagulation is the means by which hemostasis—stopping the flow of blood—occurs. Consider our previous explanation of what a scar is and how it forms as a result of the body’s healing process. In the same manner the scar formed, Secret RF technology is able to reverse the process. Secret RF can penetrate the skin at various depths (from 0.5 mm to 3.5 mm), allowing technicians to tailor each treatment to the type of scar being treated. Once embedded, the insulated needles then deliver high-frequency radio waves directly into the skin. These frequencies, in addition to the creation of “micro wounds,” stimulate the skin to repair itself. The treatment can be done in under twenty minutes and with minimal pain, yet yields significant improvements in both skin quality and texture.
We hope we’ve given you the information you need to make an informed decision concerning your treatment options. If a scar is currently impacting your quality of life, do not hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation. We’ll give you even more information on the procedure and how long it will take to see results. Our kind staff are here to help walk you through every step of the way. Give us a call or fill out one of the contact forms scattered around our website and we’ll be in touch! Thank you for reading and we hope you’ll return for our future articles!
While we offer so many different kinds of services for our warriors and anyone who comes into our offices, skincare and body care is a big part of what's important to us and what we give to our patients every day!
Hello to all of our warriors, friends, supporters, and readers! We are so thrilled you're back reading the blog and here to read more about the many different ways The Breast Place can make you feel better, look better, and how you can enjoy a little more out of your everyday life. In our last blog, we debunked some of the top myths about botox, and it got us thinking about all of the products, services, and merchandise we offer here at The Breast Place for all of our patients and patrons. It also got us thinking that we needed to remind all of our readers that everyone is welcome to come visit and work with us. Our offices aren't limited to a certain age group, and we are open to anyone who wants to make their bodies feel and look better. We are here for those incredible warriors who are fighting every day against that tyrant silent killer, breast cancer, and for those who are looking to support their body's natural health to make them feel better with a multitude of skin and body care. So, that inspired us to give a little blog overview on some of our many services and why they are both important and beneficial to those who get them!
2. Body Contouring
No matter how hard you work out, no matter how much you diet, and after going through some very big life changes like having a baby, your body will always decide what it wants to do with the fat in your body. Somehow, it always tends to stay in the places we hate the most, and no amount of push-ups, crunches, mountain climbers, or burpees can chase it away. After any life challenge or natural challenge, unwanted fat can hang around no matter how hard you work. In as little as 15 minutes per treatment, you can target those unwanted areas on your lunch break with no downtime and resume your daily activities right away! The muffin top, love handles, lower abdomen, and "bra-fat" can be treated with our non-invasive body contouring done in the office. Outside of these wonderful benefits, what are some other benefits that body contouring can give you?
You live your life to the fullest and through each trial and celebration that comes with it. While we all work hard to care for our skin and to let it age how we choose, our bodies and our skin makes those decisions. That's where facial rejuvenation comes into play. To keep you looking young even after the effects of treatment, raising children, menopause, or surviving life’s challenges, we now offer facial rejuvenation services, Botox/Dysport, and dermal fillers! Laser resurfacing is used to address pigmentation issues like melasma and sunspots, micro-needling with radiofrequency is to promote collagen rebuilding and with no downtime. Laser resurfacing is the newest technology aiding in rejuvenation and antiaging. If you are concerned with fine lines, wrinkles or redness like rosacea, our Cutera Excel V+ laser treatments are right for you. Paired with the best skin products for optimal results, we hope to empower you to look and feel your best at all times. Outside of all this incredible information, what are some more positive benefits of facial rejuvenation?
There you have it! An insider's look into just three of our many services and products. Can you believe the number of benefits that come from just these three services? There are so many wonderful reasons why these and all of our services are incredibly beneficial for all of our patrons, warriors, and friends that come to our offices! If you have any questions about these or any of our services, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We would love to speak with you about the many ways we could help improve your life with one or all of our treatments. While this blog was dedicated to skincare and much more, we are still the best breast cancer center in Charleston! Be well out there, we know that you're fighting hard. You are not alone in this, and you never will be!
While Breast Cancer is something that all of our warriors experience and fight for every day, October is an opportunity to spread this awareness on an even high level and open the world's eyes to what this disease really is.
Hello, warriors! Welcome back to the blog and welcome back to part two of our blog discussing what breast cancer awareness means to us. While we are rapidly approaching the end of October and the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we hope you know how incredibly proud we are of each of you. We know this year's difficult situation has prevented us from doing what we all normally like to do to spread awareness, raise money, and gather with our fellow fighters, supporters, and warriors. 2020 can't cancel our hope, our fight, our journey, or the color pink. We all continue to stand in solidarity together, continue to fight together, and support one another. We know this year might be weighing heavy on you and your family, but please believe us when we say that we understand and we are with you. Please continue on your journey, continue with your fight, and continue using your story to prepare and educate others. Your fight can be a light in the darkness for others and for the rest of 2020 and beyond. Have you been feeling at a loss this month, that you haven't found your voice in this battle, that you're not giving back enough or doing enough? Don't be discouraged. Your voice and everything you're doing every day speaks volumes. To help give our own bit of help and support for the rest of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and beyond, we wanted to create a blog on how to make everyday Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Your voice, your journey, and how you choose to handle and battle your diagnosis is a testament in itself. Even if you aren't particularly vocal or you don't share your experience in a blog or through social media, that doesn't mean your journey doesn't impact others. When you go in for your treatments, consider the people sitting around you. This could be their very first or very last treatment. A kind smile, sharing your experiences with them, or just being a positive presence within this little snapshot of time can cause a ripple effect to those battling around you. How youR battle progresses also doesn't go unnoticed by your doctor or nurses. They find comfort, inspiration, and drive from how hard you fight and in the relationship you build together.
Your journey and battle can bring you closer to your loved ones than ever before and can create a bond that you never expected. How you live in your survivorship and how you share your experiences with a new friend or coworker leaves an impression too. Don't think you have to shout from the rooftops and put yourself in the spotlight if you don't want to. Every step of your journey affects someone. If you want to be public about your experience, that is a welcomed expression too. Writing a blog, documenting your experiences on Facebook or Instagram, being a mentor to someone recently diagnosed, participating in group meetings, and more can also help others and raise awareness. No matter how you chose to share and express your experience, both are just as important and beneficial as the other.
There are many steps you and your loved ones can take to promote awareness throughout the entire year, here are some tips and suggestions to make that possible.
We know that your voice is important. Each of your individual stories is worth telling, saving, and sharing. We know that awareness and what we need to cure breast cancer isn't at the level that it deserves and what it should be. Every day we are fighting to make your voices louder, the cure closer, and helping to educate the world about this horrible disease. While so much of the world just sees Breast Cancer Awareness Month as pink ribbons and fundraisers, we see your stories, your pain, your frustrations, and all that you go through every day. Let us stand together to make Breast Cancer Awareness month more than just a month, and finally beat this disease once and for all.
What Does Survivorship Look Like?
Life after treatment looks different for everyone, but what could it look like for you?
Healing, as we mentioned in our last blog, comes in may waves. Survivorship becomes a way of life, and it looks a little different for everyone. It's a daily battle to deal with but you are strong enough, wise enough, and worthy enough to live with it and through it. You are allowed to claim how you want to live your life. We do offer several services to help your survivorship feel a little easier. After life-changing events, we offer total wellness through IV therapy to help with energy, laser scar revision following surgery, skin resurfacing and rejuvenation using the latest laser technology, dermal fillers for fine lines and wrinkles, body contouring to address unwanted areas of fat with noninvasive treatment, and more. We are here for you in many ways, please never hesitate to reach out.
What else can survivorship look like? For some, it begins when you've finished treatment, and there are no signs of cancer left. For others, it begins with their diagnosis and continues through a long term treatment that helps manage their illness or helps reduce the risk of it returning. It is a different process, because how you physically and mentally respond is not the same for everyone, and that's ok. Here are some tips and suggestions on how to handle what you might be feeling and going through to provide some peace and guidance.
It is common for the first year after your treatment has finished to be the hardest of all the years to follow. Take these tips to heart, and know we're here to help you through your whole survivorship journey. If you are interested in any of our services, please contact us at your earliest convenience and visit our website to request a consultation. We are here when you need us. Your survivorship is as unique as you are, and that is ok. We can embrace it together and give you the best quality of life as possible. Continue to fight, be proud of the journey you're on, and be well.