Exploration of Nonsurgical Scar Modification Options: Can the Irregular Surface of Matured Mesh Graft Scars Be Smoothed With Microdermabrasion?

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The purpose of this study was to determine, in principle, whether microdermabrasion can alter waffle-pattern (meshed split-thickness skin graft) burn scars after scar maturation. Matured waffle-pattern mesh-graft scars were treated with multiple microdermabrasion sessions over the course of a year (maximum 20). Before and after treatment, the treated scars and the control scar on the same patient were assessed with subjective and objective scar assessment tools (scar scales, cutometer [elasticity], laser Doppler flowmeter [vascularity], Semmes-Weinstein filaments [sensation], and high-resolution ultrasound [thickness]). The treatment resulted in continuous improvement of some physiologic skin functions like perfusion response (feedback), thickness, and elasticity when compared with nontreated scar, although no statistical significance was reached. Both Vancouver scar scale and patient assessment scales showed significant improvement. The study showed that even mature waffle pattern scars can be modified by minimally invasive interventions. Larger study groups and more economic treatment modalities need to be studied in the future.

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