Scars

Q.I was a real tomboy growing up, now that I'm an adult I have scars that are more than 10 years old and have left a permanent scar on my legs. I've tried skin bleaching creams, but nothing seems to work. Is there anything I can do to have scar-free legs. I'm so tired of wearing pants and covering up my legs.

A.Some of the newer photolight machines and newer lasers can lighten the scars. These procedures rarely make them disappear. Go to a laser specialist in your community. There are a number of good machines that can help.


Q.I put on weight drastically a few years ago leaving stretch marks on my bottom. The skin tone of my inner thigh is also darker than normal. What can I do to overcome these two problems?

A.Stretch marks, medically called striae, result from stretching of the skin from pregnancy, weight gain/loss or increased muscle mass. The collagen and elastic fibers in the skin have "changed" to accommodate the increased tension on the skin. Many stretch marks have improved with topical massage and scar creams such as Mederma. At this time, unfortunately, there are no creams or procedures that will make them disappear completely.


Q.Five years ago I had laser surgery on an existing scar I have on my forehead. After the surgery the scar healed nicely, smooth and flat. However, the scar has remained extremely red and I am worried that it is never going to fade. I have been to several dermatologists and they all say the same thing "the redness will fade with time". I have been waiting almost five years for this scar to fade. I wish someone could do something for me or give me some solid answers.

A.Healing scars have increased blood circulation and the architecture of the skin is somewhat different than surrounding normal skin. A few options are available to address the appearance and texture of a scar. First, it is very important to rub the area firmly at least five minutes twice a day (always wait at least a month after surgery). As for the red appearance, an over the counter topical scar medicine called Mederma has been very helpful for many people. This is probably the most economical approach. Also helpful are silicone sheets or gels and a different laser specifically for "red" in the skin. You probably need to see a physician for the last two options. This is difficult - good luck.