Scar Removal Options
Scars come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is consistent with all; people don't like them one bit. In fact, most folks are constantly on the hunt for methods to remove those nasty reminders of acne, injuries and surgeries once and for all. The good news is that there are many effective options for scar removal today, from chemical peels to laser procedure. Check out these scar removal treatments to determine which procedure might be the best fit for you.
Types of Scars
To determine which cosmetic procedure will be most effective in scar removal, it is important to identify the type of scar to be removed. There are four basic types of scars:
- Keloid Scars – These scars rise above the surface of the skin and often extend beyond the boundaries of the original injury. Depending on the size of the scar, removal may be done through crytotherapy (freezing the scar using liquid nitrogen), steroid injections or surgical procedures.
- Hypertrophic Scars – Like keloid scars, hypertrophic scars are raised pink areas of skin. However, these scars remain within the boundaries of the original injury. These scars can become red or itchy and may increase in size over time. Typical removal methods for hypertrophic scars include steroid injections or surgical procedures.
- Atrophic Scars – These scars look like punctures or depressions in the skin, and are commonly seen in acne scarring. Depending on the depth of the atrophic scarring, skin resurfacing, collagen injections or punch techniques may be used to remove these scars.
Scar Removal Procedures
The type of scar removal procedure used will depend on the type and size of the scar and the preferences of the patient and doctors. Some of the common techniques used for this purpose include:
- Steroid Injections – Steroid treatment is frequently used on keloid scars, because it can soften and reduce scar tissue. It is also used occasionally on hypertrophic scars for the same reason. These injections tend to be most effective on fresh scars, where the scar tissue is still forming.
- Microdermabrasion – This procedure uses a diamond-tipped device to remove the outer layer of skin, leaving a smoother complexion underneath. Microdermabrasion is relatively non-invasive and requires a fairly short recovery period. This treatment works particularly well on smaller, shallow scars. However, deeper dermabrasion techniques may also be used on deeper scarring with excellent results.
- Chemical Peels – Chemical peels come in a variety of potencies, so the treatment can be tailored to the size and depth of the scar. Chemical peels are sometimes used on atrophic scars, like those in acne scarring.
- Dermal Fillers – Injections of collagen can also be used to reduce the depressions cause by atrophic scarring. The major drawback with this procedure is that the treatment must be repeated every few months to maintain desired results. However, it is the least expensive and invasive scar removal option.
- Laser Scar Removal – Laser procedures can be used to remove nearly any type of scar, including the three listed above. A laser is used to target the scar and remove the outer layer of skin, leaving a more consistent complexion underneath. The laser can also work into the deeper layers of skin to stimulate collagen growth in the area and further diminish the appearance of scarring. Different lasers allow the doctor to customize treatment to the needs of an individual patient.
If you are living with a reminder of an injury or acne condition, there is help available. With many options in scar removal today, you can find a treatment to effectively eliminate the appearance of your scar for a smoother, more consistent complexion. Contact us today to learn more or to arrange a free consultation with a skin care specialist near you.
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