|Army Medical Corps motto|
Last week I attended a lecture given by an Air Force dermatologist entitled "Botox and Lasers: Restoring Function to Our Wounded Warriors". Just fascinating. He uses Botox to quell the sweating at the stump where a prosthetic limb slides on with a Neoprene sleeve- by chemically removing the sweat glands with Botox and using lasers to remove the hair, the prosthetic is much less likely to slip off and the skin get infected (from infections that start and spread from the hair follicle).
The other aspect of laser treatment is softening and remodeling scars from skin grafts, both for cosmesis and for function- examples he gave were a soldier whose chest was bound with stiff circumferential scars that prevented him from expanding his chest and breathing fully, thus severely limiting his exercise tolerance. After treatment the soldier was able to inspire more fully as the skin on his chest became more lax... and he could walk farther. Similarly, laser treatments were able to soften scars of the antecubital fossa (the other side of the elbow) such that the patient could fully extend his arm. Another patient- a decorated sniper- regained the function of his badly scarred trigger finger, which the dermatologist said, is not just important for function but for the restoration of self-image for people who define themselves but what they can do, and for the mission they perform for the military.
Amazing work. Here is LtCol Hivnor and one such wounded warrior: