How Boston Dermatologists Are Helping Marathon Victims

Nicole Karlis on 29 Apr 2013 at 9:00am

How dermatologists are helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. 

Emotional scars may last a lifetime, but the physical ones don't have to. 

One dermatology center, SkinCare Physicians in Chestnut Hill, Mass., is offering free laser treatments to all victims of the Boston Marathon bombings to help them erase the scars they acquired from the explosions. 

“We will do whatever is necessary to help these wounds heal and treat these scars that are results from the wounds,” says Dr. Jeffrey Dover. “One of my colleagues Dr. Thomas Rohrer came up with the idea after the attack. He said, 'Look we really need to do something for these victims and we have all this expertise.’”

According to the Boston Public Health Commission, 282 people have been injured from the bombings that occurred on April 15.  Many are still in the hospital and it could be weeks before scarring begins, which is why Dr. Dover and his colleagues are expecting more people to come in within the next two to four weeks.

“We guess it will be a while before people start coming in because of course the wounds have to heal,” he says.

However, few have paid visits to their office already; some who had foreign objects in their skin due to the explosions.

Scar treatments have come a long way. Dr. Dover says they used to be physically cut out of people to be removed.  While they still can't be completely erased, their appearances can significantly improve with the help of lasers.

“For thicker scars or tight scars, where there’s lack of mobility, we’ll use fractional non-ablative and ablative lasers,” he says. “We can make those scars look better, less red, less angry looking.”

Many people have lost their arms and legs in the explosions and Dr. Dover says those scars can be helped too.

"In fact we treated a man yesterday who had a surgical amputation years ago. We tried to soften the scar from the incision to make his prosthesis more comfortable," he says.

What do you think about doctors offering free treatments to help the victims? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Are you helping Boston Marathon victims? We want to hear your story too! Email Blog editor Nicole at