Dealing with Scars

scar-removal-treatmentsEveryone has at least a few scars. After all, every time the skin is wounded it creates some sort of scar. If the wound was minimal, the scar may be barely visible. In other cases, such as traumatic injury or surgery, the scars can be very visible. Acne scarring is also often a source of irritation for many of our patients.

Dr. Carter and the team at Deschutes have various methods of dealing with your scars decreasing their appearance.

Types of scars

Our treatment to minimize your scars begins by identifying the type of scar. This may surprise you, as most people don’t know there are different types of scars.

These are the three basic types of scars:

  • Atrophic scars
  • Hypertrophic scars
  • Keloid scars

Typically the result of acne, atrophic scars are concave, meaning they are depressed downward below the level of the surface skin. Their depth varies with the type of acne and its severity. Stretch marks are also atrophic.

Keloid and hypertrophic scars are similar. They show themselves as raised bulges, usually red in color, that rise above the surface of the skin. Both of these types of scars can become larger than the original wound size. Keloid scars occur much more frequently in people with darker pigmented skin. Hypertrophic scars don’t get as big as keloids and occur on all racial groups and skin pigmentations. Both keloid and hypertrophic scars form when the body overproduces collagen to heal the wound.

How we treat scars at Deschutes

Every scar is unique to the individual, but there are some common treatments we use to minimize their appearance.

  • Topical creams — Cortisone creams can be an effective first step to lessening the appearance of your scar. These creams can reduce the redness inherent in many scars.
  • Steroid injections — Steroids can be injected to soften and loosen scar tissue. For keloid and hypertrophic scars, this will lower their height.
  • Dermal filler injections — Whereas steroids lower scars, dermal fillers help with acne scars and stretch marks, where the scar is depressed. Fillers push up the skin and lessen the depth of the scar.
  • Skin resurfacing — We can lessen scars with various skin resurfacing options: dermabrasion (aggressive), chemical peels (varying degrees of aggressiveness), laser treatments (varying degrees), and microneedling (less aggressive). These usually work to remove various depths of the surface skin to encourage the growth of new skin to replace the scarred skin.
  • Surgical revision — Sometimes the only way to truly minimize a scar is to cut it out and change the incision shape or its angles, closing it with the smallest sutures possible. Dr. Carter performs these minor procedures with great effect.

Have some scarring that bugs you? Call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900 and let’s see how we can make it far less visible.

Dealing with Moles and Skin Tags

Moles and Skin TagsEveryone has at least a few moles here and there on their body. And, with the exception of Cindy Crawford, most people aren’t thrilled with their appearance.

Skin tags aren’t as prevalent as moles, but they’re even more despised.

At Deschutes, we can remove both of these annoying skin growths. Here’s some more information and how we remove them.

What are moles?

Moles are skin growths made up of melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, the pigment found in the skin, eyes, and hair. A mole can show up anywhere on your skin, going solo or in groups of moles. Most moles are brown in color, but they can also be blue, black, or flesh-colored. Most moles are harmless inhabitants of your epidermis, and they don’t cause any pain unless you bump them or they are constantly rubbing on something like your bra strap.

What are skin tags?

Skin tags don’t grow into a bump like a mole. Instead they sort of hang from the skin, attached by a thin stem. Skin tags most often grow on the neck, armpits, upper trunk, and in body folds. They are harmless and why they grow is a mystery.

To leave them or tell them to hit the door

Most moles and skin tags don’t need any attention. They’re not doing any damage and are in places that most people don’t see. Now, if a single mole looks different than your other moles, then the pros at Deschutes should take a look at it to check it for cancer. Otherwise, most moles and skin tags can be left to their own little existence.

But sometimes a mole or skin tag is in an unfortunate place. It’s ugly or is constantly getting bumped, rubbed, or caught in a necklace or other jewelry. So, now you want it off. How do we do that?

Removing moles and skin tags

At Deschutes, these are the ways we tell these growths to hit the road:

  • Excision — That’s a fancy word for cutting it off. Skin tags can be snipped off easy enough with a scalpel or surgical scissors. Moles can be shaved to become flush with the adjacent skin, or, if they’re deeper they may require a deeper cut to remove it and keep it from returning.
  • Freezing — We give theses growths the deep-freeze with liquid nitrogen. We either spray it or swab some onto the mole or skin tag and they retreat and die.
  • Burning — This sounds painful, but it’s not really. We have this little tool that sends electric current down through a wire that becomes hot. This wire is used to burn the growth. With moles, a couple treatments may be necessary to remove them. With skin tags, we burn through the narrow stem and the heat usually prevents bleeding.

Don’t have that mole love that Cindy Crawford does? Call us at Deschutes, 541-330-0900, and let’s take it off!