How to treat woundsEnglish 

How to treat wounds

Whether by laser, microneedling or surgery: if you want to treat scars, you usually have to pay for them yourself. What options are possible?

Acne on the face, burns on the body, cuts from surgical procedures: scars can always remain. Anyone who perceives the marks on the skin as a stain, often wants to remove them very quickly.

But it is not that easy. “You can improve the appearance of scars with various procedures, but they usually do not become invisible,” says Prof. Philipp Babilas, dermatologist at the Regensburg Skin Center. In addition, the treatment can cost money: Anyone who decides to do it should clarify in advance who will bear the costs, advises Jochen Sunken from the consumer advice center in Hamburg.

Wound treatment: seek expert advice

This decision requires advice from specialist dermatologists or plastic and aesthetic surgery specialists. Because which of the procedures will be used depends, among other things, on the patient’s skin type and the type of wounds.

Scars are a type of replacement tissue that the body makes to close wounds. There are thick (hypertrophic), sunken (atrophic) and growing (keloid) scars. They can be treated in different ways – an overview:

Treat scars with laser therapy

With this method, dermatologists can use calculated injuries to treat a scar in a highly targeted manner without destroying adjacent tissue. It is suitable, for example, for the improvement of acne or surgical wounds. The downside: “Laser therapy takes time,” says Babilas. Several sessions are often needed.

Microneedling against scars

A device is filled with the best needles that pierce the scar up to 1000 times per minute. This is to stimulate the skin to produce collagen and elastin. Microneedling is often used for smooth or sunken wounds.

Surgical intervention

In the case of a large scar, it is sometimes advisable to cut the scar and sew it back up. An alternative may be skin grafting. The surgeon removes fat tissue from an inconspicuous area of ​​the body and stitches it over the scar tissue. According to Babila, the disadvantage of these variants is that new wounds are created.

Treat the sores with cortisone treatment

A specialist injects cortisone into the scar tissue with a thin injection needle. This inhibits inflammation and stops cell growth. This is especially important for thick scars and keloids, says Babilas.

Abrasion of scar tissue

This procedure is called dermabrasion. Keloid bumps or acne scar edges are removed with a rotating grinding head. It is painful, so it is done under general anesthesia. “Follow-up treatment is often necessary,” says Babilas. Scars can also form again.

How much do the treatments cost?

General statements about the amount of costs are difficult to make, each case is different. “This depends quite a bit on the size of the scar or wounds”, says Babilas. According to him, a laser treatment can cost on average 200 to 500 euros per session, while a cortisone treatment costs around 100 euros per session.

Funding can be a problem. “Removal of scars for aesthetic reasons alone is not a service provided by statutory health insurance,” says Claudia Widmaier of the Central Association of Health Insurance Funds (GKV) in Berlin.

Wound treatment: In which cases does health insurance pay?

It is different if the insured persons are damaged in bodily functions by the wound. However, in the case of disfiguring wounds, it depends on the individual case. “It plays a role if the scar is visible – for example on the face – or if the scar is generally covered by clothing,” explains consumer advocate Jochen Sunken.

If the scars need to be removed for psychological reasons, there is no claim against the health insurance. According to Sunken, she pays for psychotherapy, but not for wound care.

Perhaps a payer other than the health insurance company is an option. “If the scar is the result of a traffic accident, for example, the other party involved in the accident may have to pay for the costs,” says Sunken. If the cause was an accident at work, the employers’ liability insurance association can pay the costs.

dpa

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