Scars are an unfortunate part of life. When the skin is damaged beyond repair, the trauma results in scar tissue forming.
This happens to everyone, from babies to the elderly.
And for those serving or those who have served in the military, like our own Dr. Garcia, those scars can be even more of a struggle, encompassing the memories of trauma and hardship along with them.
Getting rid of scars or even simply reducing their appearance is no easy feat.
That’s why Dr. Garcia founded the Purple Heart Project, an initiative that offers free scar revision to Veterans injured in active duty.
About Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga
Dr. Garcia is no stranger to the hardships of serving in the military.
In 1995, Garcia-Zuazaga was commissioned in the United States Navy and enrolled in the Navy Health Profession Scholarship Program. In 1999, he graduated at the top 5% of his medical school class at Penn State and moved to DC to complete his Internship at the renowned National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
After Bethesda, Dr. Garcia-Zuazaga moved to Pensacola, Florida for Aerospace Medicine training with the Navy. He earned his “wings of gold” as a United States Flight Surgeon in 2001 and was the recipient of the prestigious Surgeon General’s Award. Following his training at the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute, Dr. Garcia moved to the Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, South Carolina where he was assigned as a flight surgeon for the world famous Crusaders (VMFA-122) squadron. As flight surgeon he served as Medical Department head for his squadron and participated in several deployments all over the world. For his leadership and dedication to the Marines, Dr. Garcia was selected as Marines Forces Pacific (MARFORPAC) Operational Flight Surgeon of the Year.
After 5 years with the Marines, Dr. Garcia moved to Cleveland where he was offered a position as a Dermatology Resident at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Department of Dermatology. As a resident, Dr. Garcia used his leadership skills at a national level when he was elected Resident Member of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology. He also was the recipient of the Dermatologic Surgery Research Award.
The Purple Heart Project
The Purple Heart Project was founded in order to give Veterans injured in active duty a free service to the scars that plague them physically and mentally.
Founder of Apex Dermatology, Dr. Jorge Garcia-Zuazaga, is a Veteran himself. To combine his two passions of dermatology and military service, he created The Purple Heart Project, which offers free scar revisions to Veteran’s injured in active duty.
Scarring doesn’t just impact your physical appearance, but can go much deeper than this. Dr. Garcia understands that by providing scar revisions to veterans, he can aid in their ability to heal emotionally as well.Read more about this initiative here!
What are scars exactly?
When the dermis (the thickest layer of skin) is damaged excessively, the healing process can’t always result in normal skin.
Because of the wound, your body uses collagen fibers to heal the area, which results in scarring and what you know as scar tissue. Because these aren’t normal skin cells, the skin takes on a different appearance, depending on the scar type.
Types of Scarring
Not all scarring is the same. Depending on the type of injury, a specific type of scar will form and these must be treated differently in order to heal properly.
Here are the types of scars:
- Keloid – These scars are often lumpy and rigid and can range from skin color to pink and even red in some cases.
- Linear/Widespread Hypertrophic – These are raised, red, and even itch at times. They form from a specific injury and typically remain in the borders of that injury.
- Atrophic – These are the dreaded “pitted” scars you see often. They’re indented and are often caused by collagen damage due to inflammation (often acne).
- Contractures – These scars often appear due to burns, and cross joints and/or skin creases. Because of this placement or wide-spread scar, the skin moves during the healing process, which can result in a more inconsistent appearance.
How to get rid of scars?
Getting rid of scars is a difficult thing to do. Essentially, your skin has been damaged beyond natural repair. That’s why the scarring happens in the first place.
However, with technology advancing, there are several options to get rid of certain types of scars.
Here are some methods of scar revision:
- Laser Treatments – Lasers like CO2RE Laser, Fraxel Laser, and the VBeam laser are great for treating scars of varying types. While somewhat more aggressive with longer recovery periods, over time, these treatments produce remarkable results.
- Microdermabrasion – With diamond exfoliation technology, this treatment removes the superficial layers of skin in order to improve overall texture and tone, resulting in reduced acne scarring.
- Chemical Peels – This is another method of exfoliation by removing the top layer of skin. Varying acids are applied to the skin, allowing for a quicker cell turnover, which can reduce pigmentation from old scars and other acne scars.
- Micro-needling – If you have any pitted type acne scars (atrophic), this is a great method for you. The needs create microscopic punctures in the skin, triggering collagen production, which can help fill in those scars over time.
- Surgery – Certain scar types (keloid) need surgical removal in order to heal. With this treatment, the scar tissue is actually surgically removed.
- PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) – This is a newer method of natural healing that can provide better results than other treatments alone. You can read more about PRP here.
Scar Revision for Veterans
Those injured in active duty deserve scar revision that makes a difference. Here at Apex Skin, our Purple Heart Project is for those who have served, and suffered.
To learn more about this program and to apply, visit apexskin.com/purpleheartproject
Book an appointment today to learn more about how we can help you restore your skin and revise your scars.