STAMFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Michelle Lopez has lived with painful burn scars for almost eleven years from third and four degree burns. She explained, “My burns consist from the top of my head to the bottom of my waist.”
She was doused with rubbing alcohol, a victim of domestic violence, she stressed, “Physically and emotionally you go through a lot.”
Michelle is getting a lot of help at Connecticut Skin Institute from dermatologist, Dr. Omar Ibrahimi.
As he pointed to her neck, Dr. Ibrahimi said, “She has these constrictures, they are actually extremely painful.” And restricts her ability to move.
Dr. Ibrahimi is using the lastest laser tool for burn scars to release the tension.
He explained, “What the laser actually does is it performs almost microscopic surgery and we remove a very tiny microscopic portion of the burn scar with each hit of the laser. It kind of tricks the body into healing itself so without cutting or moving any tissue, the laser basically helps the body reduce the nature of the scar, flatten it, and make it more flexible.”
The focus is the scars on Michelle’s neck. After the first treatment she said, “I was able to move without so much pulling and there wasn’t as much tension.”
It never fully erases the scars but in a matter of minutes, it makes a huge impact on a patient’s quality of life.
“Even giving them a few degrees of motion might mean the difference of them able to do certain tasks independently,” said Dr. Ibrahimi, “I’ve actually seen patients where in an area where they’ve had burn scars, they start re-growing some hair. They start regaining the ability to sweat.”
It’s Michelle’s third treatment, just the start of more to come, “It’s a continous treatment and I think it’s as far as I start to feel as normal as I can feel.”
Some insurance companies do cover the procedure. It could run from several hundred dollars to thousands. The cost depends on the treatment area.
Dr. Ibrahimi hopes that it will one day become the gold standard for treating scars.
For more information you can call Connecticut Skin Institute toll free at 855-400-9663 or at 203-428-4440.
You can also log onto their website.
Location- 999 Summer Street, Suite 305, Stamford, Conn. 06905