Written for Scars1 by Michelle Alford
Igor Safonov, MD, has treated over 7,000 scars. He studied medicine at the Luganks State Medical University in Ukraine. He is currently a specialist in the treatment and correction of scars at Dr. Bogolomets’ Institute of Dermatology and Cosmetology in Kiev. He has published extensively on burn scars, keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, and microdermabrasion. His book, Atlas of Scar Treatment and Correction, is being published by Springer and will be available in December.
Dr. Safanov started his career in oncology. Initially, Dr. Safanov specialized in X-ray diagnostics and radiology and worked in an oncological hospital. Afterwards he decided to switch his specialization to dermatology, a field where he feels like he’s been able to make a difference. He’s particularly interested in finding new minimally invasive techniques for treating complex wounds.
Dr. Safanov’s training and expertise in microsurgery makes a significant difference in his patients’ treatment. Microsurgery refers to surgery that requires an operating microscope. Using microsurgery, Dr. Safanov is able to rejoin healthy skin around removed scar tissue in a less conspicuous manner, resulting in a less conspicuous scar. It also allows him to carefully reattach blood vessels and nerves in severely scarred individuals to improve overall health and range of movement.
Dr. Safanov uses multiple scar removal techniques, and has developed many of his own state-of-the-art treatments. His treatments often combine multiple scar removal techniques on one scar as opposed to focusing on just one technique. This allows him to use each technique for it does best, resulting in scars being almost completely erased.
Among the techniques that Dr. Safanov uses are:
- Ferment therapy: Ferments clean off dead cells, allowing the surrounding skin to heal naturally.
- Hydration: Recent wounds are applied with synthetic and semi-synthetic coatings that moisturize it and allow it to heal in a humid environment.
- Microdermabrasion: Aluminum microcrystals are used to polish off scar tissue. It evens out the skin, allowing a new level of skin with a smoother appearance to replace the abraded skin.
- Microneedling: A controlled injury is created underneath the skin’s surface without removing the top layer of skin. It increases blood supply to the treated area and encourages natural healing.
- Laser Therapy: Lasers are used to create hundreds of microscopic holes in damaged tissue, spurring the surrounding healthy skin to help heal damaged skin.
Dr. Safanov takes many different factors into consideration when considering how to treat a scar. Scar treatment differs depending on the type of scar—such as keloid or hypertrophic—the location of the scar, the etiology of the scar—such as whether the scar derived from surgery, injuries, animal bites, inflammatory diseases, or burns—and if it’s a fresh scar or an older scar.
Dr. Safanov’s book, Atlas of Scar Treatment and Correction, will include a comprehensive guide in addition to numerous before-and-after photographs such as these:
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