By: Susan Church, C.C.P.C.

This information is part 3, the last in this series. In this article, we will concentrate on Scar Relaxation, procedure after care for Corrective Pigment Camouflage C.P.C. and the final results.

Scar Relaxation is the application of repetitive circular tattooing movements to create supple skin texture and to soften the fibrous bands of collagen (scar tissue) to give the patient more flexibility in their movements. (see photos) This procedure works well on all contracted tissue with exceptional results on the hands.

Scar Relaxation was introduced by Susan Church at the first Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) conference in 1991 after she discovered it while working on several burn survivors in concert with Dr. Grossman.

Scar Relaxation appointments are usually scheduled at 4-week intervals. However, dramatic results can be seen and felt after the first treatment.

Patients are excited with their results of the C.P.C. that has been performed on them, many times alleviating the need for potential surgeries on the contractured tissue.

In all post procedure phases of C.P.C. there is an inflammatory response of the skins tissue. The skins typical symptoms may range from mild redness, heat, swelling and discomfort to lymph drainage. All patient's will experience a typical wheal and flare reaction (redness, histamine release and swelling) to the procedure area that is much like a bee sting or mosquito bite. Applications of C.P.C. will also cause increased blood flow to the immediate area. The procedure area will be a bit sore, swell slightly to moderately within the first 24 hours, may possibly be very tender and be slightly pink to red.

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Immediate after care instructions includes the use of either Vaseline or some type of an antibiotic ointment. If possible, cover the area to keep it exempt from free radicals and pollution for 12-24 hours. If the procedure area is swollen, you may use ice for the first 24-72 hours to help alleviate the pain and swelling. Using heat after this period will promote circulation and removal of waste products. Injured tissue will heal much faster and scar less if the patient keeps the area moist. The patient should apply a thin coating of Vaseline over procedure area while showering or bathing to protect it from moisture. C.P.C. areas need to DONATE TO BSTTW USING GoodSearch.orgbe protected and kept out of the sun and tanning beds. While the tissue is healing, which is usually 7-10 days, the patient should avoid hot showers, sauna, steam, chlorine pools and Jacuzzis. Patients should not use their fingers to apply ointments or Vaseline to the procedural area. All products should be applied with a q-tip or tissue. Do not use products that contain AHA's or Retinol A or similar lightening products on the procedure area. (Example-Glycolic, Lactic Acids.) Check your product labeling as it will fade your pigment colour.

Technicians need to be cautious of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (darkening of the tissue) when applying C.P.C. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin's tissue is traumatized. Hyperpigmentation occurs in Caucasian skin occasionally, although it will most likely occur on clients with heavy concentrations of melanin in their skin. Normal skin colour should return in several months following the application of C.P.C.. Bleaching agents such as Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid and/or Licorice applied 1-2 times a day may be used to lighten the skin if needed.

Final colour results are not determined until several applications of pigment colour have been inserted into the procedural area and the skin has totally healed.

Final results cannot be guaranteed as the tones of the skin change all throughout the day as the temperature of the body heat changes from warm to cool and back again.

We as technicians, fine-tune and complete the finishing touches on the work the plastic surgeon has completed. Technicians should always work in concert with the patient's physician. As the physician performs any ongoing surgeries, the patient's C.P.C. colour applications may need to be readjusted. Also, C.P.C. areas can be re-pigmented yearly for a 'colour refresher'.

Hopefully this series on C.P.C. will help you to understand the psychology of beauty that is created to present unique concepts of thinking about beauty that extends beyond traditional basic value.